I’m no stranger to India, in fact this visit to the Motherland was my third. However, contrary to the usual visits (which usually consisted of seeing relatives and people I’ve never met or hadn’t seen in 10+ years, multiple visits to Saravana Bhavan and usually a bout of gastro), this time we’d be seeing India from a different perspective. A luxurious one.
Don’t be fooled by the poverty, dirty streets and mix of funky smells, India has some of the most lavish hotels, incredible architecture and amazing food you’ve ever seen/tasted. If you ever get to travel to this incredible country, here’s some things you can do to make your trip as glamourous as Fergie’s song.
Stay at a 5 Star hotel
India’s 5 star hotels aren’t exactly cheap, but compared to what you’d pay back home, they’re definitely better value for money. From the moment you walk through the door you’re made to feel like royalty; a genuine warm welcome, a lei of flowers and complimentary ice cold drinks to relieve you from the fires of hell (a.k.a the sweltering Indian sun).
Most hotels have an included breakfast buffet (heck yeah!) with made-to-order specials so you can start your day in the best possible way (choc chip pancakes with ice cream please).
Aside from the service and delightful staff, the design of the hotels are unlike any other; beautiful views and great on site facilities which are free for guests to enjoy. If you’re lucky, you might even bump into a celebrity or two; Glen McGrath happened to be in the gym at the same time as me and I was starstruck 😅
Travel in style
If you’re travelling in a group (of 20 like we did), or even if you’re not, you can hire transport to get you everywhere you need to go. The benefit of this is that you’ll have a private vehicle which is usually air conditioned (big plus!) and you escape the crowdedness and claustrophobic environment of Indian public transport (okay it’s not actually that bad, but you get the picture right?). The drivers will even wait for you while you shop, how cool is that?!
Visit the Royals
Take the opportunity to visit the palaces of both the living and the dead royals of India and learn about what they did to shape this amazing country. Delhi is famous for the Taj Mahal and Humayun’s Tomb, Rajasthan has the Amer (Amber) Fort and Jaipur has the City Palace, all of which are architectural marvels.
Hire a photographer
At most tourist attractions you can hire a photographer to follow you around and snap some great shots to brag about on your Instagram. The service does come at a cost, however these guys not only capture all your cliche “pretend-I’m-holding-up-the-Taj-Mahal” (see exhibit A below) poses, but they also go the extra mile and develop them for you in a cute little album in which you can pick out your faves to take home. Plus you also get a disk with all your photos on it, so you can show your Nan who doesn’t check Facebook.
Check out the outlet malls
Indian malls are unlike any shopping centres we have in Melbourne. Most of them are 5 or 6 levels and full of both Indian and western brands. DLF Promenade is so big you could probably spend at least a day or two there if you wanted.
Order room service
How can you stay at a schmancy hotel and not order room service? Although you’re in an Asian country, there’s a great selection of both Asian-style or Western foods for you to choose. Of course, most of them come with chilli included, but you’re in India so make like the locals and have a crack!
If I’ve missed anything, feel free to leave a comment below.
That’s all for now!