No matter how many times you visit the Taj Mahal it evokes powerful emotions. One can not stop marveling at the architecture and its magnificence. Same goes for its namesake hotel brand- The Taj Hotels. Each time one stays at a Taj property, as a guest you cannot stop appreciating the impeccable hospitality and charm of the hotel. So when the (re-branded) Taj Hotel & Convention Centre opened its doors in the city of Taj Mahal- Agra, I had to plan a weekend trip to experience all the Tajness. On a  Sunday I reached the hotel in three hours from Delhi with my toddler in tow. I was bowled over by the welcome not because there was traditional aarti and welcome drink before I was escorted to my suite, but because my son got a grand welcome with hotel staff addressing him by his first name. The joy of checking into a luxury hotel lies in these finer details.
I kept scouting for the elusive network bars on my phone for about five minutes standing outside my tent. I had just checked in at V Resorts Utsav Camp in Sariska and before entering my tent I wanted to see if I could post some stories right away on Instagram. I gave up after 10 minutes and looked up. I was standing amid acres of arid wilderness. There were Arvallis for the view and chirping birds for the company. I knew I won’t indeed be looking for the network anymore.

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Tourists once favorite hangout zone in Delhi, Connought Place lost the steam few years back and sort of became dull. Now with restaurants and pub making a beeline for CP in recent years, it has become food and entertainment epicenter once again. A new gem added to this crown is Niche Lounge and Bistro, young and dynamic Tarun Arora’s brainchild. Arora with his concept restaurant goes beyond the conventional to create just what the name suggests- a niche experience.
As the elevator opens to Taj Vivanta’s North-Indian cuisine (read Punjabi) restaurant Paranda a quintessential highway truck, rustic ambience and smiling servers welcome us. We visited Paranda for a lunch meal during Surajkund Mela, the annual handicraft fair that attracts throngs of people. Vivanta By Taj, which was earlier a Claridges property, is located bang opposite the fair venue. The north-Indian cuisine restaurant has introduced a new menu and before narrating in detail about the food and experience, let me declare new menu to be a winner all the way. Here’s why.
The calm and yet modern baroque interiors of Malt & Co. soothe the nerves and the happy sound of conversation is reassuring. One can watch the beer being made, and drink it too! The attraction, asides from having 'crafted' beer devoid of synthetic preservatives, is also the relaxed environs without too much loud music that doesn't let you hold conversations. Piccadilly has always been the trusted place for kitty gossip or weekend ruminations.

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