Thursday, June 1, 2017

FTLOFAOT takes on Westin Pushkar

It wasn't too hard to make the connect. Pushkar: a beautiful (yet holy) city known to amass thousands of tourists every year for it's intrinsic sightseeing value, coupled with the embodiment of luxury and hospitality; The Westin group finding themselves a spot there. What I did not however anticipate, is that this particular property under the Westin umbrella would find itself a niche of being one of it's kind (read: Resort and Spa). If you're in Rajasthan or any other state, north of the Vindhyas, getting here is easy peezy. Train to Jaipur and then a three hour drive. Flight to Jaipur and then drive down. If you're coming from Delhi like we did, a Shatabdi to Ajmer and then a drive is advisable but if, like me, long car drives are your jam then an 8 hours long car drive is not a bad option either. Now that I have the technical stuff out of the way, I wish to wade right into the fabulous details of this property, you know the G-life (good life). 
This sprawling large property, i.e. The Westin Pushkar Resort and Spa is literally, and I mean literally everything you want to pack into a holiday. I wouldn't deny that it serves as a great business hotel too but with 36 Premier Villas, 24 luxury villas and 20 Royal villas, you really could do with the princely treatment on a holiday or otherwise. In a style which is patently mine, let me take you through the top 10 things that you would not want to miss at this splendid property:
  • Breakfast in the pool: I know what you're thinking. Is something as frivolous as a breakfast in pool really unmissable in life. But you know what, you wouldn't know till you try it! Granted, now my normal breakfast in bed will pale in comparison everyday but this luxurious spread of the best continental breakfast on a floating table while you dip away in your private pool (mind you, we stayed in the Royal villa), is definitely what dreams are made of.

  • The sprawling greenery: Believe it or not, the hotel is like an oasis in the middle of the barren desert. While not so barren in season (where it is supposed to be covered by rose bushes on all sides), most parts are the real sandy dunes of Pushkar. In the middle of it all, the most beautiful manicured bushes, palm trees, hedges and patterns that make you think endless lush greenery are definite components of a beautiful, green getaway.

  • The dome: It never suffices to say 'the dome'. But it might suffice if you saw this magnificent structure created right in the middle of the main swimming pool with a little bridge that carries you across to it. Straight out of a Yash Raj movie set, the dome plays a key role in a lot of weddings that take place here and I would think so too! Having my little dramatic moment right in front of the dome myself.

  • Gastronomical delights: It didn't take me too long to dive right into the real stuff. I honestly would not ever recommend or venture out myself to a destination where I wasn't sure I was going to be fed with utmost sincerity. Westin Pushkar, like all other fabulous Westin properties across the world does just that. We had the good fortune of experimenting with different cuisines at every meal but the clincher for me would have to the Asian lunch at Seasonal Tastes, their restaurant.

  • The 'Crafted at Westin' Experience: If you follow me on instagram, you obviously already know about my sojourn behind the bar with Chef Ajay where I made two kick ass cocktails in one night. Its nice and dandy to have make-your-own-cocktail nights once in a blue moon but here's the important bit: here at Westin Pushkar, this is a daily feature at Mix, their bar. Permanent. For good. Whenever. You get the point. And that to me is extremely impressive. It helps that they have an immaculate presentation of the whole concept at their bar with the chalk boards and signages that help you get cracking on your own potent concoction. An accompaniment of the world's finest cheese (again, with names scribbled alongside) did not hurt.

  • Recreational offerings: I usually do not do extensively vegetational holidays but when I really want to vegetate, spas, yoga classes and the likes are high on my agenda. A great spa with their Signature Balinese massage (the spa is new so it's not exactly free of hiccups but they are definitely getting there) was all that I needed to culminate this fabulous vacation. It helps that there is the option of a movie hall (on the property, yes!) for private movie viewing and the option of ordering in all your favourite food and drinks right to your seats all at Westin Pushkar. Next time though, I'd love to take one of the yoga classes that they offer.

  • The comfort of the villa: Safe to say, that nothing apart from a suite is going to cut it for me after my stay at the Royal villa at Westin Pushkar. From the most thoughtful welcome snacks to my own private plunge pool and a treadmill right inside my villa along with the heavenly bed, there really wasn't much left to my imagination (in this case, a brilliant thing that was!).

  • Entertaining the idea of this being your next corporate offsite and/or large scale party set up destination: I know I know, this sounds a little pushy. But let me tell you exactly why I feel like this is a value addition and how I verified it. Over the weekend that I spent there, I saw at least two huge groups of corporates who were there for a conference and it seemed to go off seamlessly for them. Given how the property is, it is not hard to imagine why they would be comfortable bringing their families along. The structure and architecture of the property itself provided a fillip to its business customers. Away from the city yet, in the middle of it all. Quite clever, if I might add.
  • The peace and the quiet: There really is no alternative to a peaceful getaway even when you're in the plains. With only the sounds of pool splashes and the birds twittering away, I could picture why a family looking to get away for a weekend would want to head here. Or a couple looking to just spend some quality time with an uber luxurious set of options for treatment would choose to be at the Westin Pushkar. The construct of the property is such that it transports you to an ideal sort of a holiday spot. See for yourself.

  • The added advantage of being in Pushkar: My relationship with Pushkar goes a long way back. Almost from the time I was in high school I have harboured a special sort of a connect with this town of sand dunes, camels and magic carpets. A trip around this cornucopia of history, spiritual relevance (like the only Brahma temple in the world) and just the sheer amount of colour and food is perfect to complete that holiday reverie. Who says you cannot step out of the property on a holiday if you so wish.

If I haven't told you enough, there is always the website to find out more about The Westin Pushkar Resort and Spa.
Find them on faceboook and instagram. If you do end up visiting, do share your experience with me (so that I may gloat!) and also more seriously, if you have any questions, feel free to ask away. 


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