You can make anything by writing – CS Lewis
Want to spend your holiday like a royal Indian emperor or prince? Fairmont Jaipur is the place for you.
India has a new luxury address with the opening of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts in the Pink City – Jaipur. Fairmont Jaipur is the place where traditional architectural design marvel meets modern luxury. To start with, you are welcomed with a loud beating of gong, traditional drum and trumpets before entering the premises of the hotel at the massive wooden gate, like warriors in olden days when they came victorious from battle field. It does not look like a world class luxury five star hotel but more a fort or palace with those arch and octagonal towers feature. “It is created from the ground up, the overarching design paying tribute to the great Mughal dynasty and recreating the traditional Mughal forts,” says Jennifer Fox, President, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.
Forts and landscape at the time of the great Mughal Dynasty must have looked like this hotel which is perfectly build on Aravalli hills. Located next to Le Meridian on National Highway-8 just outside the main city covering around 9 acres of area. It is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company which hired interior designer Clive Gray of Bangkok based Randolph Gray Design to bring in the past glory into the old fort. The property has 225 rooms which includes seven suites, meeting space, seven restaurants and bars, conference facilities, Business Center, swimming pool, lawn with a capacity of 1000 guests, Willow Stream Spa and fitness center with sauna – steam and hot bath in the hammam style. And in coming days they are planning for retail shops also.
To keep the traditional touch local artisans and craftsmen were brought in, which echoes in the interiors of the hotel with a distinctive Persian and Ottoman styles, Islamic influences and a love of symmetry in design. Just after the gate is the courtyard Char-Bagh leading into the reception which is adjacent to lobby called Durbar Hall. A magnificent and lavishly decorated area comes after silver coated aluminum door, where a musician sits playing flute to welcome the guest. On the other end are the large arched windows, flanked by solid stone columns providing views of the terrace and formal fort garden, a perfect spot to enjoy a tea buffet. Detailed, patterned plaster work and delicate ceiling adornments in shades of gold, blue and red as well as traditional artwork are featured around the walls. In upper storeys, one can see the features of small balconies and hidden terraces, with elaborate carved screens, creating three-dimensional facades which cast flickering shadows throughout the day.
A stay in the hotel room will give you a totally different experience. Each room measuring around 580 sq ft has traditional studded timber doors, large Portuguese colonial-inspired four poster beds, wooden floors, private foyers, vaulted ceiling and timber furniture like low sofa and large surface work desk. Its large windows with hand-embroidered silk curtains give you a panoramic view of Aravalli hills. Rooms are accessorized with silverwares and Mughal themed gold paint and hand paintings on the walls giving that majestic feel. So are the bathroom with a large soaker tub, a separate multi-faucet shower with a stone bench and an arched front extending to the ceiling. It has glazed sliding door panels, each featuring a traditional ornately patterned screen and marble floors have geometrical pattern of stars and diamonds in Islamic traditional style. It also has modern amenities like cordless phone, wireless HSIA, 40 inch flat panel televisions, and IPod docking stations. Interestingly one will find a hand crafted wooden parrot hanging in one corner of all the rooms in the resort, and parrots either painted on the walls of the resort or carved in stones and furniture, reminding the time when this bird was believed to be a lucky charm.
Guests can also give themselves a culinary delight with the dining option at Zoya. The all-day dining and buffet style restaurant has cuisine from around the world with a dedicated section of Rajasthani fare highlighting heritage dishes from the royal household. Lal-maas, lamb cooked in masalas with red chillies is a must try! There is lobby tea-lounge Anjum serving selection of authentic and high quality teas. Read a book in the regency style library bar Aza with an impressive selection of wines and malt whisky with old world oak display cabinets. Enjoy the Mughal cuisine at Zarin, the latest addition in the list. Cigar Diwan the only designated smoking area in the whole resort with a mix of high and lounge seating which can put up ten guests.
And there are amenities like grand ball room, two junior ball rooms and seven meeting rooms about 56,000 sq ft in area, making it one of the biggest in the city. The main ballroom which is 26,000 sq ft features a soaring, hand painted decorative ceiling and intricate detailed jali on the walls. A perfect place for wedding ceremonies, after all Jaipur is becoming an international destination for marriage. “Marking the brand’s first foray in India, guests can enjoy the same benchmark service as they expect from our other international selections such as The Savoy, London and Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai. With an auspicious beginning at Fairmont Jaipur, we look forward to successful growth in the region and offer a memorable stay to our valued guests,” Mr. Atul Lall, General Manager, Fairmont Jaipur.
Perfectly situated in the golden triangle of India’s tourist destination, Fairmont Jaipur can be an ideal place for a royal stop over. Or just to spend a quiet time with self, away from the hectic schedule of city life.
(Published in Society Interiors Oct ’13, Cover Story – Page No. 96)