Eat Well, Travel Better – Photo Gallery

Travel and Food

All my photos organised and easy to find..

Shared some of my favorite shots taken in the last twelve months. These may not be the best shots I’ve taken but they are a small selection of my favorite ones. Got more photos in the external hard drive, will continue to update them. Click on “Eat Well, Travel Better – Photo Gallery” for the photos.

Xoxo

All new at The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa

Décor, Events & Experiences, Hotel, Travel and Food

With all new decor and a new sense of comfort, The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa in Bahrain has had an exciting makeover to ensure your stay is an even more pleasurable experience. All the living spaces have been revisited to blend function and design, to improve your feeling of wellbeing. Well, my affection for The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa dates back to 2017 when I had one of DD’s first milestones celebration at the hotel! Fast forward one year, I’m back and excited to witness the transformation that has taken place in 2018.

Bigger and brighter, discreetly exuding sensuality, everything (post-renovation) lived up to its reputation. While the colours are brighter, fresher and more dynamic, the lighting is very natural, creating a real feeling of wellness. Everything has been designed to make you feel at ease.

Teal (color) is given pride of place in the rooms to provide warmth and comfort.

Bloggers and members of media getting a tour of the renovated rooms

Luxury takes on a whole new meaning with exotic mix, high-design interiors to the tech savvy amenities, every detail of the new rooms are created to inspire an ambience of chic, modern elegance.

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Just as the overall concept for the bedrooms is to combine comfort and functionality, the hotel reception looks welcoming and ergonomic. Whether your stay is for pleasure or business, you can make the most of all the benefits of The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa.

Members of the media

In addition to the rooms, lobby space and renovated reception area with bright new furnishings, the hotel refurbishments now include a complete overhaul of dining at the newly launched and stylized “Royal Café”. A great place for both formal and informal meetings, the Café provides a welcoming atmosphere for guests. I was pleased with the nice selection of teas, decadents and light dishes.

Newly launched and stylized “Royal Café”

 

Anticipating our need for extra scones and tea refills before we even knew we wanted them. Great service!

“Decadent” is the word which best describes “my pick of the day”.

Tasty Treats & Delectable Dishes. Extremely attractive!

 

At the “new for you” media event with Mr. Kourotsidis (General Manager) & Mr. Barakat (Director of Sales & Marketing), The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa

Gifts for bloggers and members of the media

 

Photo Gallery

The decor is very chic and the textural furniture add glam sheen and shine to the place. The service was so good that I went home and texted the Team to thank them. I love nothing more than being surprised by anticipated good service being nothing short of exceptional. This is a place for a get-together, partying, a romantic date or someone who happens to be blogging their way through 5* hotels…

I want to go back!

Call to book your next getaway or simply for a catch-up with friends. For more information, please call 17531666.

If you book your room in advance, you can get up to 15% off their flexible rates? Visit https://www.radissonblu.com/en/diplomathotel-bahrain/hotel-deals to learn more!

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North East at its finest, Vivanta By Taj – Guwahati

Hotel, Travel and Food

THAT’S A WRAP. Thank you all for your support! I loved this blog. Loved shooting it, loved writing it, loved coordinating, contributing, and loved reading it as it held an emotional aspect – going back to the place you grew up in is a really weird mix of feelings. But truth be told, it was a lot of work, I was on the road a lot, daily keeping up with the motherhood tasks all while trying to post 1 fortnightly article and update the older ones.

On this vacation, I wanted to make the most of my time exploring the luxury destinations and dishes in my city. So, I bring to you my lavish and exclusive experience at the dreamy Vivanta by Taj, Guwahati. Taj group of hotels epitomize royalty, luxury & elegance and Vivanta by Taj, Guwahati offers a unique flavour of hospitality with world-class refinement while remaining deeply rooted in its local heritage.

I visited the hotel on the very busy Saturday afternoon. Upon arrival, I was welcomed with the offering of a Gamusa/Gamosa/Gamocha (a white hand-woven piece of cloth of cotton or silk, with red woven patterns or motifs on two sides and red stripes on the long border) that holds a unique identity of the Assamese Society and the trademark aarti, tikka of a Taj Hotel.

This is an incredible honor and the equivalent to getting a Hermès scarf imo..not a bag though (hint hint to hubby ;))

After the welcome tea and a sumptuous lunch at one of the grand in-house restaurants, SEVEN (an ode to the seven sister states of India, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh) it was time I took a tour of the hotel and its highlights and luxury services. Ms.Indranee, Public Relations Consultant, accompanied me for the blog tour. Her knowledge and passion for the Taj was evident and she answered all of my questions pertaining to the Vivanta by Taj, Guwahati (I ask a lot of questions…as Google can attest).

Menu that shows Northeast India at its artistic best

Highlights of my lunch at SEVEN.

-Salmon khorika with bambooshoot chutney.

-Penne Mandhania Pesto.

-Traditional Assamese Thali.

-Masor Tenga (fish in tomato gravy).

-Amita (Papaya) Khar.

-Black Rice (Manipuri) Kheer.

-Pork leg with bambooshoot and laai xaak.

-Assamese style mutton leg.

-Siddho Chicken.

-Rich pastry dessert from France called “Opera” (Butter cream
Almond sponge based on almond powder, egg white, flour ,vanilla essence, icing sugar, Coffee liquor, Black rice pudding, Ginger Belgium Chocolate Veloute)

(Special thanks to the kitchen and catering team Chef Biswarup, Pastry Chef Toufique and Debraj for all of their efforts in creating a truly special traditional full course meal with authentic dishes from Northeast India).

The other in-house restaurant UMAMI (do you guys know what that means? I didn’t….it’s the savory taste on our taste buds. One of the five basic tastes) serves a wide range of international cuisines including contemporary Chinese and Japanese.

Along with SEVEN and UMAMI, the property also has a lounge bar, OCTAVE. This place is well known for its friendly and relaxed atmosphere as well as a convenient meeting spot for friends, families and work colleagues. All the restaurants can all be accessed from the Hotel’s lobby.

Akash and his team at Octave are awesome party starters. You will get a fantastic show combined with high quality cocktails/mocktails

Stunning range of Decanterlights at Octave

Photo Gallery

The architecture and experiences at Vivanta by Taj, Guwahati pay homage to the local culture. The entire experience revolves around the landscape, the local knowledge and folklore. The hotel weaves those characteristics to make our stay unique and fosters a sense of belonging immediately.

My tour included of one of the Deluxe Delight Rooms on the 6th floor. It had all standard amenities that you expect of a luxury hotel. The rooms boast of traditional carved wooden and bamboo furniture, royal interiors, abundantly stocked mini-bar, sleek workspace and picturesque hill and pool views. Can anything get better than this? (yes a week long stay!….on my wish list) I loved everything from the textured walls, to the elegant bed linens, everything was masterfully styled with motifs that symbolise the Ahom dynasty and is a beautiful amalgamation/confluence of all Northeastern tribes and generations. The perfect blend of modern with traditional roots.

Some More Highlights of my Room Tour

I have a great admiration for those hotels that provide Forest Essentials Bath & Body products so if the Taj group could get any higher in my opinion, they just did.

Apart from the easy accessibility and brilliant interiors, another major selling point of the hotel is the tranquil Jiva Spa (Taj’s award winning Indian and all-natural Spas) that offers soul stirring Ayurveda and Spa treatments. For an ultimate rejuvenating experience, treat your love and yourself with a “Sangam” (couple) Jiva Spa experience.

Look at these positive notes instead of looking on the floor during your spa treatments. How exotic!

If you are at the Jiva Spa, ask Esther for a detoxifying Vishuddhi chai (a lipsmacking yet calming concoction of lemon juice, jaggary and holy basil) before and after your massage.

Jiva treatments and therapies are inspired by the very meaning of the word Jiva (‘inner force’) which, for centuries, has been deeply rooted in India’s rich heritage of wellness.

WELLNESS AMENITIES AND DETAILS

-A large spa reception lounge
-1 Couple treatment suite & 2 Single treatment rooms
-A large fitness zone
-Wet and dry areas
-Experience shower
-Beauty zone for face, hand and feet, hair
-Dedicated manicure and pedicure zone

Tel: 0361 710 6710 (The spa is open daily from 8 am to 8 pm)

Email: jivaspavivanta.guwahati@tajhotels.com

This culturally rich hotel is a wonderful venue for artists and art lovers. Hastakshar’ artwork collections (a unique art gallery initiative by ‘First Hand Foundation’) are displayed around the hotel premises on the first floor next to Jiva Spa.

The works of these artists reflect the region’s diversity and its rich cultural, spiritual and natural heritage.

The Fitness Centre at Vivanta by Taj, Guwahati has everything you need to meet your health and fitness requirements on the go. The in-house gym has a trainer and a yoga instructor.

The gym setting is spacious, clean and provides a friendly atmosphere catering for all levels. Including the child in me ….who wanted to bounce on the exercise balls…what? It’s a valid form of exercise!

The spacious lawns, gardens and pool area on the hotel grounds offer a good walking opportunity. The hotel is tucked in vegetation and its gorgeous gardens greatly enhance the look of the place, especially the Halicornias, (also popularly known as yellow orchids, lobster-claw, wild plantain or false bird-of-paradise) the colors of which are an important source of attraction and are used for interior arrangement in the hotel.

This hotel has already become a landmark in Guwahati city. It is located in Khanapara and very close to the Secretariat in Dispur, the Capital of Assam and is conveniently situated near Guwahati-Shillong highway. The distance from the Airport is covered within an hour through the expressway, after taking a right turn from Jhalukbari crossing. The hotel is hospitable for both business and leisure travelers. It is a proven international business and conferencing destination as well as a great place to stop by –enroute to discovering the Northeast India.

 

I left the hotel with a sense of pride at my heritage and deep appreciation for a chain that is providing International modern standards of service but has not forgotten Indian standards of hospitality and roots. Oh I also left stuffed! The food was amazing!

If you enjoyed reading this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by sharing it on Facebook and Twitter. Come back here and share your travel and getaway stories.

Love love love

~Sanchali

MORE DETAILS ABOUT VIVANTA BY TAJ, GUWAHATI

Location: Nikita Complex, GS Road Khanapara, Guwahati, Assam – 781022 INDIA

Website: https://vivanta.tajhotels.com/en-in/guwahati-assam/

Email: Vivanta.guwahati@tajhotels.com

Tel: +91 361 7106710

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Vivanta-By-Taj-Guwahati-1460485220652281/

Instagram: @VivantabyTaj

Twitter: @VivantabyTaj

 

Holiday Inn Express – On A Short Layover

Hotel, Travel and Food

This month, I had the opportunity to stay at the Holiday Inn Express New Delhi International Airport T3, for a quick layover before my next flight. This was my first stay at an airport hotel as I was traveling with my adorable (I know all babies are adorable but mine really is! #ProudMommy) 9 month old baby girl but without my husband, so leaving the airport to check into a hotel was a ‘travel don’t’ for me, especially since I had to catch another flight the next day.Conveniently located inside the New Delhi Terminal 3, the hotel is just a short walk to the departure gates for boarding.

This Holiday Inn Express was recommended, and it did not disappoint. By making our reservation in advance, check-in was a breeze, and we were in our room in no time. The room was clean and bright, even though I did have to take away a star for the room size. After having a cot included in our room there was hardly any room left in the room. The night and morning shift duty manager, Akshat and Abhishek, respectively, were very accommodating. Their service exceeded my expectations as I only booked this hotel for convenience. The hotel boasts of modern design and comfortable facilities. I enjoyed complimentary breakfast and free Wi-Fi.

The breakfast also had typical buffet type food and was well presented with fresh fruit, juices, cereals, pastries and baked goods. One can not only enjoy breakfast or dinner with a view of runway but also at the the comfort of their room.

 

I definitely would stay here again the next time I am in Delhi for a pre-flight freshen up or a short stopover.

Hotel Facilities:

  • Free Express Start Breakfast
  • Free Wifi
  • Aqua Pods
  • 24-hour fitness center
  • Therapeutic Treatments Spa
  • On-site restaurant
  • Total Number of Rooms: 93

Terms and conditions to access the airport hotel:

Guest must have a departure flight from Terminal-3 only. Please note that as the hotel is located within the airport terminal building, only a maximum of one night stay is permitted due to government regulations. Once the guest checks-in to the hotel, they are not allowed to leave the hotel premises. Passengers Arriving on an IntL flight and further taking an intL flight can access the international wing. Passengers arriving from an international flight and taking an onward domestic flight or by road in Delhi and taking an International flight can check into the domestic wing.

More Details:

Direction: Level 5, Terminal 3, Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi 110037, India

Price: Starts at 8,330.00 INR

Check In: 2:00 PM

Check Out: 12:00 PM

Check-in Age: 18

Tel: 91 11 45252000/18001033066

email: reservation@hiexdelhiairport.com

Facebook: Holiday Inn Express 

Instagram: @holidayinnexpress

Twitter: Holiday Inn Express

Photo Gallery:

Radisson Blu – Aarvi’s Five Star Half-Birthday Staycation!

Events & Experiences, Hotel, Travel and Food

We have just returned home after celebrating our baby, Aarvi’s Half Birthday and a 3-day vacation at The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa. The 5-star Radisson Blu is located in Manama’s prestigious diplomatic area, just 5 minutes’ drive from Bahrain International Airport.

It was one week after Eid and the celebration planned was the kind that comes out of nowhere. We reached the hotel on the afternoon of Thursday and the celebration was planned for the same evening. Upon check in we were graciously greeted by the bellman who retrieved our luggage and initiated our awesome vacation. Preethi at the front desk was very helpful upon checking in to the hotel. We thought we would be unable to check into our rooms because we had arrived before time but check in was very easy, on arrival before the time stated for the room we were given a warm welcome and shown immediately to our room with minimum administration. What more could you ask for?!

The room was very comfortable and spacious, we had a quiet and picturesque view with pool and the sea. The room was beautifully maintained and housekeeping was excellent and exactly what you expect from a 5-star hotel.

Early morning picturesque view of one of the pools from 9th-floor room (this was taken the next day)

Another view from the room, just so special!

 

After our check in, I checked with the front desk about a blog tour of the hotel. I had then the pleasure of being introduced to Maryam, the Marketing Manager and the Assistant Food and Beverage Director, Sudeesh, who both graciously guided me on how I could make the birthday memorable. They had the celebration arranged in the hotel’s Al Fanar restaurant, the only rooftop venue on the island with a superb view of Manama’s iconic skyline and city lights.

Not just that, Maryam also personally gave me a tour of the hotel spa, pool, pool bar, fitness studio and the hotel restaurant, where I was introduced to the Restaurant Manager, Narendra, who gave me a comprehensive tour of the restaurant. One of the most eye-widening aspects of that tour was the restaurant kitchen and the huge range of great food, awesome desserts and confectioneries, bread and cakes and some of the most popular types of Dilmah Tea from Sri Lanka.

Getting a Kitchen and Food Tour with the very friendly Restaurant Manager, Narendra

Different kinds of SALADS

The never ending main course

A little discussion with the very decent Assistant Food and Beverage Director, Sudeesh

Most popular types of Dilmah Tea from Sri Lanka

The Cooking Station, Asian Cuisine

The very talented Chef Sutar, Chef de Partie

Later we wandered around the rest of the hotel, then went back to our room to relax. We had ordered a half cake for my daughter from Cakes and Bakes, my friend Lamia and Chef Prasad had arranged to drop it off at the hotel for us later in the evening.

We reached the restaurant around 9 pm, where, a very cute looking arrangement of candles, balloons, flowers, adorable tiny toy gift boxes and birthday cracker candles awaited us. We received a very warm welcome by the restaurant staff. The management struck exactly the right balance between offering warm hospitality whilst maintaining an element of privacy for guests.

She was so happy, she almost clapped.

While we sang Happy Birthday, we held LO in our arms near the cake, DH (dear husband) blew the candles out for her, then put her in her stroller & let her smoosh a portion of her cake-which she hated by the way LOL

CONGRATULATIONS to us! We survived the first six months without any complain 🙂

And then after the cake cutting and dinner, we didn’t want Aarvi to get too cranky and overtired, so we returned to our room once again to relax. We had a wonderful sleep in the very comfy beds with very comfy linens. The toiletries in the bathroom (lotion, bubble bath/gel, shampoo and conditioner) were lovely.

Range of Toiletries

Aarvi seems to be enjoying her TRU BLU moment

Next day, after a cup of delicious hot coffee and some snuggle time with my baby girl, it was time to get out of bed and head towards the pool. We were allocated a room on the ninth floor and the biggest challenge we faced was to take the elevator as my 6-month-old daughter is terrified of elevators.

At around 9 am we reached the pool. When we reached the pool, it was partially crowded while some people occupied the pool bar. Diplomat Radisson offers 4 elegant swimming pools.

Gaurav’s leisurely swim

Kontiki, the pool bar

The pools were very nicely designed and the scenery was quite tropical. Women can also enjoy their own indoor pool at the luxurious spa and wellness center. There is a large gym, spa and treatment rooms for men next to the pool. I didn’t get time to use the gym; however, my husband did. After a workout in the fully equipped fitness center, he managed to get the requested photos for me.

After swimming, it was time for the husband to babysit, while I went to get a tour of the spa and wellness center of the hotel facility.

Women’s locker room/sauna

Indoor jacuzzi room… I absolutely love the modern style of this. I wish the one in my apartment was the same

 

Many different types of Spas

The hotel’s Zen-style spa is an Asian-inspired retreat that includes separate men’s and women’s facilities along with 15 treatment rooms for massages, facials and aroma baths. At the spa, attention has been applied to every detail. For example, the massage benches in the treatment rooms have a bowl of flowers placed underneath the head hole so that you face these rather than just the floor during your treatment.

Getting to know the face and body product selection

The spa offers an extensive menu of facial and body treatments performed with the highest-quality products, including PHYTOMER.

Naturally Flavored Detox Water, not only do these fruit-infused waters taste great, but they’re also fantastic for health!

After spending quality time at the spa, I headed over for the Friday brunch at Al Fanar. For those who do not know, the ‘Friday Brunch’ is very popular with ex-pats working in the Middle East and most good hotels and restaurants have one. This was my first visit to this brunch.

Guests could enjoy a wide selection of international buffets and cooking stations and choose from the many specialty corners, including Italian fare, seafood, Asian cuisine, grills, a carving station, a dessert corner, drinks and a Mojito station.

 

At Brunch, Restaurant Manager, Narendra had arranged for me to take a tour of the kitchen and meet the top team of chefs behind all the fantastic and creative 5-Star dishes. Meeting the exceptional chefs was one of the most overwhelming experiences that made my stay a positive and pleasant experience.

The exceptional Chefs

Top team of chefs behind all the fantastic and creative 5-Star dishes

The brunch started at 12.00 and finished spot on 15.00hrs.

The very beautiful Karina with her band The “High Times” Drums – Tim, Bass – Max, Guitar – Alex (Doing an interview with them soon)

The youngest fans from Netherlands

Guests enjoying their afternoon time with their loved ones accompanied by delicious food and drinks

Arrived back in the room for a short rest and then that evening we decided to have an early dinner, that permitted a leisurely evening by the pool and Kontiki Pool Bar.

Pool view from Kontiki Pool Bar

The restaurant has a killer vibe and some of the most stylish pan-Asian cuisine in town, it’s the food that really makes this restaurant a standout. The crab cakes and soups are very good and highly recommended.

The very creative Edward adding finishing touches to my drink

After a wonderful evening and the perfect tropical dinner, we decided to call it a night. We had breakfast the next morning and checked out around 11:30 am.

I have stayed at the Radisson Blu chain in India and Dubai, UAE, and have never been disappointed. The service, food and accommodations are well worth the price and the properties are beautifully maintained. For people wishing to visit Bahrain, I would highly recommend a stay at Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa in Manama and believe you too will enjoy their magnanimous hospitality.

Special thanks to Maryam, Karen, Sudeesh, Narendra & Edward for making our stay a memorable one, right from the check-in to the check-out it was just no hassles!!! Appreciate all the help. Awesome staff only enhanced our stay.

Love love love!

Sanchali

Note: Some important details  about The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa.

Check-in: from 3:00 PM
Check-out: until 12:00 PM

Most Popular Facilities

Family Rooms
Free WiFi
Outdoor Pool/Indoor Pool
Spa
Free Parking
Airport Shuttle
4 Restaurants On Site

Contact

P.O. Box 5243 Manama
Kingdom of Bahrain
Tel: +973 17 531666
Fax: +973 17 530843
Email: info.diplomat@radissonblu.com

RESERVATIONS

Tel: +973 17 525251
Fax: +973 17 533870
Email: reservations.bahrain@radissonblu.com

SALES AND MARKETING

Tel: +973 17 525267
Fax: +973 17 531633
Email: sales.diplomat@radissonblu.com

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