Far from the clamour of Pink City’s touristy centre is an oasis of tranquility and grandeur, one that offers five star hospitality and has a world-class brand tag. Located in the Kookas area on the outskirts of Jaipur is Le Meridien Hotel.
Being a brand that stands for impeccable hospitality, I expected nothing but the best from this hotel. But it still exceeded my expectations. Even before I reached the hotel, their ‘experience specialist’– Lovely Tripathi– emailed me to seek additional information such as time of arrival, bedding preference or fitness needs that could help them enhance my experience at the hotel.
It’s hard not to fall in love (at first sight) with this regal palace hotel, complete with manicured gardens and water bodies that render the apt background score.
We were welcomed in traditional Indian style with garlands and a refreshing welcome drink. Who doesn’t like that extra pampering on a holiday. It was a smooth check-in done in a jiffy and we were escorted to our Villa room.
Rooms: The hotel has 126 rooms across categories- Rooms, Private Villas and Suites. Superior and Deluxe Rooms have balconies, villa rooms have attached gardens while suites have a dining area and two balconies overlooking water bodies.
We checked into a Villa room. The four poster bed, lavish bathroom that let ample natural light in and a small garden that our room opened to, everything was gorgeous and perfect here. We were three people in a room and with an extra bed it was spacious enough to accommodate us. The contemporary walking wardrobe and dressing area was beautifully done too.
The bathroom housed premium toiletries and a sunken bathtub and shower with an outdoor view! it for sure was the high point of stay. Villas and Suites have on on-call butler service as well.
Beyond Rooms: When you are not busy taking a stroll in the expansive lawns of the hotel or soaking in the beauty of this architectural marvel, you could take a dip in the pool or head to its terrace bar— Madeira — for some tipple. There is also a 42-seat cinema, kids club, spa and host of indoor and outdoor activities on offer including Golf. Le Meridien, Jaipur is a favorite among business and MICE travelers as well as it offers ample conferencing space and various venues such as open lawns and halls. During our stay as well there was a conference that was happening but that didn’t invade our privacy. Many hotels fail to organize large conferences and end up spoiling the peace of leisure guests. However with this hotel that was not case, underscoring its experience in handling both type of tourists.
Food: The hotel houses Meridien’s international cuisine restaurant— Latest Recipe and also an Indian speciality fine dining restaurant — Surva Vilas. Latest Recipe has sumptuous buffet spreads and also ala carte. When in Rajasthan, you must try the Rajasthani fare. Surva Vilas has lip smacking Rajasthani delicacies that makes for a memorable meal. From October to March Jaipur weather is pleasant and its also the busy season for Rajasthan. This is also a good time for a poolside barbecue. Palki, the poolside restaurant is where you can enjoy the barbecue snacks and cocktails.
We ordered Chinese for dinner, Italian for in-room and had continental and Indian for the breakfast. The all day casual dining restaurant Latest Recipe did all meals and cuisines with perfection. You must try their Beetroot Halwa and Belgian Chocolate Mousse, and well thank me later.
THE Verdict: In my earlier reviews too I have said that its not just well furnished rooms, palatial buildings and five star amenities that make a property a luxury hotel; but it’s the service and experience that is offered which makes it truly luxe. Le Meridien has got it all right, making it an ideal stay option for your weekend getaway, offsite or Rajasthani holiday. The service is flawless and staff friendly. My three-month old baby was traveling with me and the staff would walk that extra mile to ensure that he was comfortable. They even took care of him when I was busy with my meals.
THE Tip: The hotel is close to Amer Fort but far from city’s other attractions like Hawa Mahal and Bapu Bazar, so plan your itinerary accordingly. The hotel can arrange city sight-seeing tours for the guests. Villa rooms that come with outdoor showers are gorgeous. So choose a villa room if you have the budget.
Le Meridien is a Starwood Hotel Group brand, which has now merged with Marriott International. The merged entity is now the biggest hotel group in the world. So not only can you use your SPG points, but also your Marriott Reward points if you are a member.
In the end I have a confession to make, I gave an extra star for that beautiful (Villa) bathroom. This one gets full five stars! You gotta check it out.