When Satya and I are not in the comfortable environs of our home in Delhi, we are mostly stuffed inside sleeping bags and tents. Or maybe in shepherd shelters or caves. Comfortable holidays that involve no amount of walking and sleeping on cosy beds is almost unreal to me. So when we planned our holiday to Jaipur, we decided to do it in style..Part of the fun of this trip was our stay at Devi Niketan, a ‘ heritage’ property that promised to be an experience.
A short flight of 45 minutes took us from Delhi to Jaipur. It is another matter that it took 30 minutes for our luggage to be spooled. Effectively, we spent 40 minutes at the Jaipur airport. Another twenty minutes and we were at Devi Niketan.
Devi Niketan has only recently opened its doors to the public. Located in the heart of the city on Sardar Patel road, it welcomes you with lush green, well manicured lawns. Once inside the gate, all outside noise is lost. The creme and red facade, with jharokhastyled windows looks beautiful. Owned and managed by Admiral Madhvendra Singh (Retd); Ex Chief of Naval Staff, it is truly in ‘ship-shape’ as he likes to say it.
We were greeted by warm smiles and quickly shown to our room. Typical to ‘fauji’ style, there are certain house rules, albeit simple ones like meal timings, saving water and electricity..and they follow it strictly. So you must inform the kitchen staff atleast two hours in advance if you will be taking your meals at the hotel.
Devi Niketan stands out most for its simplicity. It almost does not feel like a hotel. No unnecessary clutter, no fancy, gaudy designing. Just clean, simple and tasteful. Every article and piece seemed like it belonged to a home – whether in the lounging area or the rooms. Things the lady of the house would use for her own home. Ethnic linen but lightweight and fuss free. Dark wood tables minus the intricate web of woodwork. Sensible large cupboards with hangers et al. The four poster bed was marvelous with a small table lamp on the side. And thoughtfully, an electric kettle with tea and coffee bags in the room.
There is a cosy lounging area with a small selection of books on both floors of the hotel. The walls act as guardians of history, with newspaper cuttings, letters, family portraits and decorations of generations of the royal family of Chomu. The first floor courtyard is ideal for star gazing or simply enjoying the breeze. Though given our daily outings, we found no time to enjoy that. A quiet lawn, adjacent to the swimming pool, is a perfect sit out when you want more privacy. Surrounded by a wide variety of trees and the sing song of birds, I managed to finally conclude my Bill Bryson.
Like the conclusion of a book, so every journey must conclude to make way for another one. This one had reached its end and my mind had already began working on the checklist for the next.
For details about Devi Niketan: http://www.deviniketan.com
For my pics, log into: http://picasaweb.google.co.in/namiarora/JaipurDec08?feat=directlink