- TOMMY HILFIGER & JONATHAN NEWHOUSE DINNER TO CELEBRATE LONDON COLLECTIONS: MENPosted 12 hours ago
- COBBLERZ LATEST COLLECTIONPosted 3 days ago
- JACQUELINE FERNANDEZ @ SHANGRI-LA HOTEL, MUMBAIPosted 6 days ago
- DAPPER SUMMER SUITS FROM FENDI KIDS @ LES PETITSPosted 6 days ago
- FATHER’S DAY COLLECTION @ TOMMY HILFIGERPosted 6 days ago
- NEON COLLECTION BY DESIGNER ANURADHA RAMAMPosted 8 days ago
- FIGHT MONSOON SKIN PROBLEMS WITH AYURVEDIC DETOX MASSAGE @ ARISTO SPAPosted 9 days ago
- ILEANA DCRUZ LAUNCHED CLEAR ANTI DANDRUFF SHAMPOOSPosted 10 days ago
- ENTICE PRESENTS FLORAL JEWELLERY COLLECTIONPosted 14 days ago
- TALLBIRD™ EMU LAUNCHES INDIA’S FIRST EVER REFINED EMU OILPosted 16 days ago
HOT NEW YEAR DESTINATIONS FOR 2011
Posted By Rupali Dean on 2011-01-13 07:24:46
The World is not enough when it comes to choosing a holiday destination. Just as there will be many facets to any critique, I’d like to show you the way to the fun places that deserve patronage. I have categorized them under heads of various interest levels for people and hope you will regard this as a Travel bible to be put up to delicious use…
AURANGABAD FOR THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL BUFF
WHERE TO STAY- The Lemon Tree Hotel will certainly wow you with their warm hospitality. The rooms are extremely comfortable clean, fresh smelling and open out to the inviting pool. If you are looking for absolute luxury, Taj Residency Hotel is definitely a great option.
MUST ENJOY- As we all know Ellora is just a half hour drive away from Aurangabad and is the pinnacle of ancient Indian rock cut architecture. Go for a day tour of Ellora, a real deal as it includes many other sites that are definitely not to miss, I am talking about the Daulatabat Fort, the Ghrishneshwar Temple, the Bibi-ka-Maqbara which is also called the mini Taj Mahal and is the exact replica of the real Taj Mahal in Agra but about half the size and Panchakki. Ajanta is Ellora’s twin when it comes to world heritage listed caves in this area and is about an hour and a half northeast of Aurangabad. Ajanta contains a total of 30 different caves with beautiful paintings that represent mostly the lifestyle of the era when they had been conceived. An archaeological buff will find this totally fascinating and it would have to be one of the highlights of anyone’s India trip.
MUST DINE- For a scrumptious Maharashtra style meal I would definitely recommend the Taj’s Residency restaurant. For a coffee shop menu go to Lemon Tree’s Citrus café.
VISHAKAPATNAM FOR THE BEACH BUM
WHERE TO STAY- The Park Hotel on Beach road for stunning sea views.
MUST ENJOY- Vizag is a beach resort with city status, palm fringed beach with a white sandy bay and a view of the Dolphin’s nose on the horizon. This is a destination offering a holistic relaxing experience. Its port also handles the worst cargo like coal, iron ore, sulphur, phosphorus and manganese. The Rishikonda beach is a picture perfect setting with golden sands, surf and sea and hill cottages overlooking the grand vista. Visitors can windsurf, swim, sunbathe, snorkel, sail or take boat trips. One of the most prominent beaches on the East coast is lovingly famed as RK Beach. The promenade along the beach is a popular track for joggers and walkers while “Sukh Sagar”, on the beach, is a relaxed grazing ground for Vizag’s café society. The submarine museum on the same stretch showcases the glory of the submarine arm and a glimpse of life inside it as well as the hardship encountered by the submariner at Sea. Located on a picturesque hill, a most popular haunt for the locals and tourists alike is the Kailasgiri hill. Out here do not miss the Sunset. Simply stand on the “Titanic shaped view point” and watch the breathtakingly beautiful spectacle as the calm blue sea begins to swallow the orange ball and the crimson rays in the sky slowly dissolve into twilight.
MUST DINE-“Daspalla” is pretty much the only restaurant in the city for authentic Andhra home-style food in a fine dining setting, and happily the food, ambience and service all combine to make a visit to this restaurant a captivating experience.
AGRA FOR THE ROMANTIC AT HEART
WHERE TO STAY -The top choice to stay over is at the Jaypee Palace Hotel owing to its Water bodies, Pergolas, gazebos, and Mughal style landscaped gardens that create an awe-inspiring setting. Jaypee Palace revives the historic and artistic legacies of the Mughal era with luxurious rooms and suites, while the breathtaking views and the splendid interiors provide you with the ideal Sojourn.
MUST ENJOY- Whether one admits or not, the Taj Mahal at Agra has a place in our hearts because over the years we have read, seen and heard so much about this fascinating monument. Truly the Taj is an architectural phenomenon, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to enshrine the remains of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. A reverie in white marble, it is a sight to behold and a view that mesmerizes one on a moonlit night and captivates one’s senses when glimpsed shrouded in mist. Truly it’s a concept holiday that strikes the perfect balance between lush comfort and some relaxed soul searching. Pack your bags and go to Agra to get lost in the world where affordable luxury is offered in a stylish and sophisticated environment
MUST DINE- Pavilion café at the Jaypee Palace is a round the clock coffee shop. Spice Pavilion offers the best of North Indian fare, specializing in the Awadhi style cuisine from the palace of the Nawabs of Lucknow.
AMANBAGH AT AJABGARH FOR A SOUL VACATION
WHERE TO STAY-The simple luxury of soul fulfillment and space harmoniously blend together while staying at the exceptional tranquil retreat Amanbagh Resort by the Aman group. This unique place was once a Maharajah’s hunting lodge. Fringed by date palms and mango and jamun trees, Aman’s shimmering pink-sandstone resort is an oasis in the wilderness.
MUST ENJOY- Sightseeing options close to Amanbagh include a visit to the abandoned medieval marketplace at Bhangarh, the old town and fortress of Ajabgarh. You can opt for an early morning excursion by jeep to Bhangarh, also known as the abandoned City of Ghosts, for Yoga and breakfast! One legend has it that this now uninhabited city of once magnificent bazaars, palace, gardens and bathing pools was deserted overnight , having been cursed by an evil court magician, Selu Sewra, who had unsuccessfully attempted to seduce Bhangarh’s virtuous and beautiful queen. The fort is amazing for photography. You could also head out in the open jeep for a “cow dust trail”. You will love the drive which is through beautiful, yellow fields of mustard and a few villages. There is no privacy in the lives of the villagers. The bathing and all other stuff is right by the highway. This tour can also be great at “sunrise” when the world wakes up as one can smell the cooking fires starting, see the goats coming out of their overnight shelters, watch children pumping water from the village wells and often standing under the very cold stream of water for an alfresco shower. End your tour with “masala chai” and cookies.
MUST DINE- Sample this dinner accompanied by Rajasthani musicians and dancers at Amanbagh’s courtyard!
UNCHAGAON FOR THE HISTORY LOVERS
WHERE TO STAY- The Unchagaon fort turned resort offers seventeen double rooms and suites along with numerous activities & recreational games. The décor with its understated elegance is a reflection of the time, when style remained a way of life.
MUST ENJOY- You will love your excursion to the colorful Saturday Bazaar and get a true flavor of an Indian Village. You can even picnic among the trees on the banks of river Ganges, at a private picnic spot. One may bask in the solitude in the warm sunshine, sit beneath the orchard trees in the farm, walk along the river, enjoy horse riding on Peshawari breed horses and bullock cart rides or walk through the village haat or play billiards, squash, croquet, badminton to name just a few. Staying here is an experience too enchanting as one gets to know the real village life and it’s amazing to nestle in the comforting lap of nature. All in all, the Fort has been restored to provide comfortable accommodation, whilst retaining the atmosphere of a bygone area, filled with antique furniture, historical photographs, old hunting trophies, a snooker table etc. The village of Unchagaon is also fascinating, and an afternoon walk reveals traditional activities such as pottery and sugar refining.
MUST DINE- The food at the Fort is really nice and home style and the service makes you feel like the King himself.
TORONTO FOR ENTRALLING VIEWS
WHERE TO STAY- Sutton Place hotel on Bay Street, which is close to the financial and fashionable shopping districts, major attractions, and world-class entertainment venues.
MUST ENJOY- As you approach the city, you will be enthralled by the lights below and will marvel at how big everything is in Toronto, the largest and most famous city in Canada. A few hours west of the Frenchier Montreal and only an hour north of the USA, Toronto provides a relaxing respite. Head to Toronto’s historic “Casa Loma”, aka House on Hill, an old historic castle style mansion house that sits atop the city on a hill. This was the dream home of one of Toronto’s great pioneers, Sir Henry Pellatt.Interestingly he built the house as part of a dream (read expensive dream). It is also amazing to rent and use canoes right in downtown Toronto, at the Harbour front Canoe and Kayak Centre on Lake Ontario. A walk through Toronto’s Chinatown area along Spadina, south of College, is like being in China itself. It’s a popular location for movie filming, and a Mecca for shopping in shops that could easily have been lifted whole from any city in China, be it Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong. At night do visit the Royal Ontario museum and I’d say that the dramatic new architecture, which has fused the old stone building with a new addition that resembles a giant crystal, is worth the trip itself….more so at night! And of course do not miss going atop the CN Tower.
MUST DINE- A day trip to the Ice-wine Vineyards in Niagara is a must for all liquoristas like me (and of course the Niagara falls too) and what can be better than having lunch by the vineyard. Another place I suggest for a great experience is the Mill street brewery at night which offers decadent seafood.
SONEVA KIRI, KOH KOOD FOR THE SIX SENSES
WHERE TO STAY- Located on the island of Koh Kood, on the southeast coast of Thailand facing the Gulf of Siam, Soneva Kiri is truly beyond stars, a boutique luxury resort whose “Intelligent luxury” philosophy is to offer luxuries of the highest international standards together with sensitivity and a local feel in design, architecture and service.
MUST ENJOY-Vacation adventure begins with a 60 minute plane ride to the resort. One would then be welcomed by Mr Friday who is on hand throughout your stay. You would then be escorted on the five-minute Aqua sense power-boat crossing from the airfield. The resort conjures up images of how the Swiss Family Robinsons might be living after many generations, had they found themselves settled on a large gold deposit. It’s all wood and bamboo which masks absolute luxury and comfort at all levels. Spend one of your days on the beach in your own private space, where you can relax in the shade of a palm tree. The tur¬quoise-coloured waters are all yours to enjoy. Also feast upon a delicious picnic lunch including loads of wine. I’d simply put it this way- Sun, sea, food and wine – the perfect ingredients for a romantic day away.
MUST DINE- Located just off-property; arrival At Khun Benz’s restaurant is by a splendid Aquasense motorboat from the Dragon Jetty. A true destination for fine Thai cuisine and wine lovers, the menu is very innovative, reflecting a truly wonderful Thai cuisine whilst offering some interesting contrasts for the palate
YARRA VALLEY FOR THE WINE ENTHUSIAST
WHERE TO STAY-Balgownie Estate Offers the ultimate experience for lovers of wine, nature and relaxation and is located an hour from Melbourne city. On entry, the oak lined drive takes you to a contemporary designed rammed earth Cellar door that houses wine tasting and a restaurant. You will love the stylish Yarra Valley accommodation, complete with a day spa, pool and fitness centre.
MUST ENJOY- Here you can explore some of the Yarra Valley Wineries and take time to sample some lovely wine. Take a tour of the Domaine Chandon winery, which is linked to Moet and Chandon. Their sparkling wine range includes a sparkling pinot noir which is different but tastes great.TarraWarra Estate is a 400 hectare cattle grazing property, vineyard and bush land reserve on the banks of Victoria’s mighty Yarra River You can also spend time at a Wildlife Park seeing kangaroos, koalas, Tasmanian devils, platypus and other Australian wildlife.
MUST DINE-The current release Yarra Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are some great examples of what to expect from the Balgownie Yarra Valley label. The cellar door and restaurant is stylish for both casual and formal dining. It uses fresh local produce to create tantalizing dishes influenced by European and Asian cuisine especially chosen to compliment and enhance the flavours of the Balgownie Estate wines.
SYDNEY FOR FAMILY FUN
WHERE TO STAY- Four Seasons as it offers unparallel views of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
MUST ENJOY- Sydney’s many and unique experiences make for a memorable, fun and exciting time. On offer is excellent food and wine, a city that brims with vibrancy, the Bondi Beach that sparkles and invites, roads to be driven on, paths to be walked on, unique animals to behold and an ancient aboriginal culture that explains how it came about. Do Visit the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the climb of your life. Truly nothing can match that feeling of personal achievement one gains as you climb 134m into the sky on top of the world’s largest steel-arch Bridge. Relax in one of the waterfront cafes around circular quay, the city’s lively ferry hub. First tour the interior of the extraordinary Opera House and then do go in for a performance. Experience all the excitement of Paddington market, a lively, bustling weekend bazaar and fill your hamper with a vast assortment of fresh and interesting foods, fantastic crafts and hand made gifts. This is not just a market; it is a way of life, a cultural experience rich in history and tradition dating back over 110 years.
MUST DINE- Easily accessible, right in the historic heart of the world’s most beautiful harbour and only 10 minutes walk from city hotels is Waterfront, specializing in fresh Australian seafood.,
ROVANEIMI FOR SNOW LOVERS
WHERE TO STAY- Book on the net with Lapland Safaris and everything from warm overalls to adventure and sightseeing will be taken care of.
MUST ENJOY- Crisp white snow, crackling fires, long nights that call for coziness, a good cuddled-around-the-hearth feeling and more is all there at the town of Rovaniemi, which lies in the heart of Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle and attracts thousands of visitors each year from across the world for its various activities like husky rides, ice-fishing, snowmobiling etc. A Vital Part of every Finn’s essential nature and as the saying goes “The sauna is to Finns as wine is to the French”. The rituals is sauna, then roll around in the snow or dip in the frozen lake and repeat the process for as long as you like and you will be surprised to see how the Finns beat themselves with whisks of birch twigs. 8 Kilometers north of Rovaniemi is Korvatunturi, where Santa Claus officially lives year round at his Arctic Circle headquarters. It sure is a white fantasy land, constructed partially of snow buildings.
MUST DINE-At any restaurant a must-try specialty here is the reindeer meat. You may have it stewed, broiled or sautéed in butter, splashed with lingonberry sauce. Do not miss the creamy morel soup and the cold smoked arctic char (a mixed taste of salmon and trout).The Finns raise their lids for the national drink of Karhu (fisherman’s candy) and Koskenkorva (vodka). Cloudberry cocktails, made with the more commonly known Lakka, work just as well too.
WHERE TO STAY- Le Méridien, located in the city Main Boulevard, offers amazing hospitality to match its location.
MUST ENJOY- Perhaps Chiang Mai offers the best climate and the most beautiful part of Thailand. The borders of Thailand are also a fascinating place to observe trade and politics up close. Start your first day with a visit to the Maesa Elephant Camp, a short drive from the city. It is fun to watch the Elephants lumbering into the water for a wash.
The elephants perform a series of stunts in an arena including basketball, soccer, log hauling and piling and dancing. Finally they paint pictures of landscapes, flowers, trees and abstracts right in front of you with truly amazing dexterity. The elephants then advance towards the audience and accept bananas and sugar cane from the adoring crowd and pose for pictures. What a show! Next you’ll be taken to a tribal village, where one can interact with long necked women. Do not forget to explore the Night Market, get Thai massages, eat yummy street food and go on a Flight of the Gibbon (Zip Line drive) tour, river rafting and pay a visit to the famed Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (temple).
MUST DINE- Whole Earth in the night market for its decadent Northern Thai cuisine. The minced chicken with basil, fish cakes, Thai curry and rice will simply take you to a foodie’s dream world.
Last Updated on 2011-01-13 07:33:04