Graceful Monaco


Home to arguably the world’s most glamorous royal family, this tiny city-state welcomes celebrities and high rollers in their droves, no doubt drawn to its glitzy nightlife and designer boutiques.

graceful monacomonte carlo bay

Monaco is a discreet, welcoming place and that is why celebrities like it here: they can stay in private and not be disturbed by fans. This is a place where wealthy and successful people come to live because they know they can leave million-dollar artworks in their Ferraris, or not lock their doors, and come back to find everything is still there.

place du palaisnicole kidman in the biopic of grace

The countless security cameras that swivel and zoom every time you cross a street or walk into a shop no doubt help, but Charlotte’s back on brand, pointing towards the perfectly placed bunches of flowers that decorate the lobby. Here enthusiasm is contagious. Monaco is a glamorous city – state, penned in by France and the Mediterranean and just a short drive from Italy.

grace kellyhotel metrolole - pool with a view

hotel metropole

Now, with Nicole Kidman’s biopic of Grace Kelly opening the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and Louis Vuitton’s cruise collection dropping anchor here, it’s clear Monte Carlo’s star cachet is on the rise. Add warm weather, beautiful scenery and a history scattered with royal tales and intrigue….it is a must to visit place.

The world’s smallest city-state has a population of just 30000, yet every time there is a big event – a society wedding, or even a Robbie Williams concert – that number rises to 2000000.

For beautiful, spacious rooms, a Karl Lagerfield-designed restaurant and the occasional celebrity spotting, Hotel Metropole is very lovely indeed. The staff at the hotel are super-friendly – ask them to print you a Princess Grace tour map.

Courtesy by G.N.

Advertisements

Feeling Heady In Hyderabad


The Taj Falaknuma Palace – the restored Nizam’s Palace – is yet another jewel in the crown of the city that boasts of the Charminar

taj-falaknuma-palace-courtyardTo enter the Taj Falaknuma Palace involves many steps. You drive to the entrance of the 32-acre palace; then, get on a horse carriage, which takes you to the entrance. You are greeted with vetiver juice. A flag bearer carrying a golden flag-pole bearing a coat of arms marches ahead as you climb the white staircase. Then the rose petal shower.

Taj-Falaknuma-Palace-bWalk into the Ritz Carlton in Miami or George V in Paris and all you get is a form asking for your credit card details. Here in the East, we take hospitality much more seriously, garlanding our guests, giving them a welcome drink, offering them attar and sandalwood paste, or, in this instance, showering petals on them.

cn_image_2.size.taj-falaknuma-palace-hyderabad-india-112405-11Built by Vicar Ul-Umra, the prime minister and son-in-law of then the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1893, the Falaknuma (meaning ‘mirror of the sky’) has had a chequered history. Sir Vicar as he was called, built and inhabited it for a mere five years when he heard that the Nizam was coming for tea. Tea extended to dinner and then overnight. Twenty days later, the Nizam was still in residence. What happened next was typical of the tehzeeb or etiquette of the era, when words were pregnant with hidden meaning. Sir Vicar watched his master’s delight in the palace and the curious questions: “How have you built a palace so wonderful?” He intuited that the Nizam coveted the palace that he had bankrupted himself to build and decided to give it to the Nizam as a nasr or offering. “Huzoor, I have built it for you,” said he. That same evening, three generations of Sir Vicar’s family, along with their retinue of staff, moved out of the palace. To give up something so substantial is not easy for any person, but that was the ethos of the era. The Nizam insisted on paying more than what the palace had cost to build. He presented Sir Vicar with Rs 68 lakh (10 lakh = 1 million), small change for a man who was on the cover of Time magazine with the headline, “The richest man in the world.” The Nizam had his own currency, airline, railways, a fleet of Rolls-Royce, some of which were used to dump the household garbage, and the 48-carat Jacob’s diamond that rolled about his table in lieu of a paperweight.

The-Spectacular-Taj-Falaknuma-Palace-in-Hyderabad-11The Nizam’s family used the Falaknuma till after Independence, when they entertained India’s first President Dr Rajendra Prasad in 1951. After that, the palace fell out of use and into disrepair till the current Nizam’s estranged wife, a princess belonging to the Turkish nobility, decided to restore it. Princess Esra Jah reconciled with her husband, the current Nizam, who lives in Australia, during her son’s wedding. In 2000, she decided to restore the palace in partnership with the Taj Group of Hotels. By then, the palace was in an advanced state of disrepair. Water poured through the roof, rats were running around, the furniture and upholstery were chipped and broken, and cobwebs hung throughout the place. “I was among the first persons to see the palace and it was scary,” says the historian, Mr. Prabhakar.

It took ten years and countless iterations to get the palace back into its pristine glory. The walls were painted a hundred times to match the shade that Princess Esra had in mind: the colour of the sky at dusk. Today, the Falaknuma is a Victorian pastiche of many architectural styles. There are Corinthian columns, Italian frescoes, Carrara marble fountains, Tudor arches, Venetian cut-glass chandeliers, French trompe d’0eil paintings that make cement look like wood, fleur de lis on stained glass windows, English paintings and upholstery. “Not one of the objects or influence is Indian,” says Mr Prabhakar proudly. The result is stunning but a little disconcerting. It is as if the palace was airlifted from Europe and placed atop the hill in Hyderabad.

char minarThe city sparkles far below as Sufi singers sing on the Gol Bangla’s terrace. It is a city built for love, when Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah, whose portrait hangs in the Smithsonian, fell in love with a maiden called Bhagmati. In 1591, he moved his capital from Golconda to what was then a tiny village on the banks of the Musi village. He named the new city after his wife, Hyder Mahal. The city was modelled on Esfahan in Iran, with water-bodies for moon-watching, fountains, fragrant gardens and broad boulevards. When the bubonic plague hit the city, Quli Qutb Shah prayed to Allah to release his people from its clutches and built the Charminar (Four Minarets) in gratitude. Diagonally across from the Charminar is the Makkah Masjid, among the holiest shrines in India, built using soil and stones from Mecca. Ten thousand of the faithful can pray together here.

Today, the roads that radiate from the Charminar sell rhinestone-studded lac bangles that are a signature of the city. Countless shops glitter with these coloured gem-like ornaments. Vendors sell burqas, dupattas, vessels, fruits, knives, clothes, Unani medicines, orthopaedic massages and anything else that a person can need. It is a hub of humans and commerce. The Chowmuhallah Palace down the road is quieter. Built over 45 acres in the 18th century, it is now a museum and used for weddings and other ceremonies. Only 14 acres remain since the current Nizam fled to Turkey and then Australia to escape debt payments from his wives and concubines. I attend a wedding there one night. The palace is stunning when lit up at night. Tuberose garlands cast their heady scent and the aroma of slow-cooking biryanis makes the tongue pucker. This is a city that takes it meat seriously. Men can argue for hours over the right technique to cook patther ka gosht, or lamb seared on a stone slab.

lac benglesTextile expert Soraiya Hassan Bose belongs to an old family. Today, she and a band of weavers sell the state’s kalamkari and ikat weaves in her eponymous shop. Hyderabad’s hand-loomed, hand-woven textiles are known throughout the country for their quality.

Local fashion designers such as Anand Kabra use the state’s weaves in their designs and infuse it with a modern cut. Jewellery designer Suhani Pittie lives in a heritage mansion that houses her contemporary creations. Both are passionate about their home state and its rich traditions.

There are two Hyderabad today, one is the city around Hussein Sagar Lake; the modern city that attracts IT companies to its Hi-Tec City or Cyberabad. Then, there is the slower, more leisurely city that was created by kings and Nizams; the Hyderabad of slow-cooked meals and exquisite etiquette.

Courtesy by K.T.

3Day / 2Nights and Leisure fun in Macau


Day 01 :-

After arriving in Hong Kong international Airport, take a direct ferry to Macau and check into the hotel. Freshen up and set out to explore the city.macau

Begin with A-Ma temple, which is dedicated to the worship of Matsu, the goddess of seafarers and fishermen. Head over to the Rusins of St. Paul’s, where only the church’s front facede and grand stone stairs remain, and Senado Square. Next, stop at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf to smaple Macau’s world –class cuisine or good Indian Food.

Catch The house of Dancing Water, a breathtaking water-based show at the City of Dreams, and the Performance Lake featuring a cornucopia of water, light and fire elements in the open area in front of Wtnn Macau. Families can dine and shop at The Venetian Macao, while adults can try their luck at the casinos.

Day 02:-

Start the day on a high note with a visit to the 228m Macau Tower, the worlds 10th highest free standing tower. Here, adrenaline junkies can climb 100m up the mast’s vertical ladder to the summit, free fall from a 223m platform – deemed the worlds highest bungee jump – or take a thrilling walk around the main outer rim of the tower sans hand rails ( safety is guaranteed via an overhead rail system ). And whilst the adventure seekers are having fun, the women can go for a relaxing spa session.

In the afternoon, visits to the Macau Museum, Wine Museum and Grand Prix Museum are highly recommended. Come evening, visit MGM Macau, which boasts European – inspired facades, a dramatic skylight dome, myriad terraces invoking an old-world Portugal feel, and a light and some show each evening.

Day 03:-

Depart for Hong Kong.

For Packages write us on adler-tours@hotmail.com or visit us at http://www.adler-tours.com

Colombo, Sri Lanka ( Things not to miss out for !! )


For Packages write us on adler-tours@hotmail.com or visit us athttp://www.adler-tours.com

Getting There

Colombo, situated one hour’s drive south of the Bandaranaike International Airport, is the largest metropolis on the island, stretching about 12 km along the coast from its southern beach suburb of Mount Lavinia to the Fort and inland to Kelaniya.  The city’s main roadway, Galle Road, is the main road south to the city of Galle and beyond.  This makes Colombo a convenient resting point at the start or the end of your holiday.  The best way to reach the town from the airport remains a private taxi. Useful drive times include:  Colombo to Bentota (2 hours); Colombo to Galle (3.5 hours); Colombo to Kandy (3.5 hours); Colombo to Dambulla (4 hours).

Historical Background

Colombo is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka and lies alongside the present administrative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura, Kotte. Colombo’s port was influential as early as the 5th century when ships from Rome, Arabia, and China traded with Sinhalese kings for food supplies, spices and jewels. Colombo’s destiny changed over the centuries as many nations fought for dominance over the island’s valuable treasures including Arab settlers in the 8th century, followed by the Portuguese, the Dutch and, finally, the British who captured Colombo in 1796. This era of western domination ended peacefully with independence in 1948, followed by a separatist war fought by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) that lasted over two and a half decades, the affects of which were felt through out the country. Terrorism was eradicated from the Sri Lanka in May 2009 and peace continues to rain on the island once more. Through out it all, the city of Colombo has remained stable and comparatively safe and today’s two million population in the city represents a mix of cultures. Sinhalese, Moors, Tamils, Burghers (Dutch descendents), Chinese, and Malay populations all contribute towards the colourful fabric of Colombo society.

Sights

The city of Colombo is a blend of the old and the new.  Seventeenth century buildings – some restored as hotels, shops, and government offices – stand side-by-side with the rest of Colombo’s modern skyline and rudimentary small shops. Several ancient Buddhist temples, Hindu Kovils, churches, and mosques are found in the heart of the city as well as in the suburbs.  Museums, art galleries, golf courses and gyms, spas and salons, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, all add to Colombo’s appeal.

Accommodation

Colombo offers a wide range of accommodation options from the five-star city hotels expected in an Asian capital to a clutch of interesting boutique hotels. There are mid-range city hotels, too, although the great value of the top-end hotels makes it hard for them to compete. There is a shortage of quality guesthouse accommodation in the centre of town. On the outskirts of the centre a couple of villas make a welcome change from standard hotels. The best city hotel is arguably Cinnamon Grand, reinvigorated by the John Keells Group. Their selection of restaurants is unrivalled. Trans Asia and the Hilton trail only marginally behind. Ceylon Continental, a friendly if more limited five-star on the seafront, offers outstanding value. The Galle Face Hotel, which now has a boutique-wing called The Regency, is the favourite for those wanting some colonial charm and a seaside location. Consider Colombo City Hotel as a simple, modern budget choice. If you are after a beach, though, Mount Lavinia Hotel is the only option. The boutique selection includes the stylish Tintagel, opened in 2008, Park Street Hotel run by the acclaimed Taru Villas Group and the eclectic CASA Colombo. For those looking for a villa ambience on the edge of town, choose form Havelock Place Bungalow, Villa Talangama and Java Moon. Mount Lavinia also offers two appealing houses: Mount Lavinia House and Mount Lodge.

Food & Drink

Food is a highlight of Colombo, much more so than you might imagine. You won’t go hungry here with its wide selection of small restaurants serving local hawker-style favourites like meat patties, fish buns, egg rolls, string hoppers, lamprais, kothu roti and biryani. All the local restaurants are extremely cheap. There is also a wide variety of fast food outlets, including McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC. Colombo is the best place in the island for Indian cuisine and the following are recommended: Agra, Mango Tree and Navaratna. For those looking for fusion or European-style food, there are some very special treats. For the quality of its food, especially its meats, Chesa Suisse, a Swiss restaurant, is outstanding. The most popular dining-out experience is at the Paradise Road Gallery Cafe, the restaurant with the most seductive ambience in the island. The owner of the Gallery Cafe, Shan Fernando, has also now opened Tintagel, a private hotel and restaurant that offers a more refined menu. For a more informal open-air dining experience, the Barefoot Cafe, managed by colourful celebrity chef Kollu, is popular and often has live jazz. The best seafood restaurant in the town is Lagoon at the Cinnamon Grand. The best Thai restaurant is the Royal Thai at Trans Asia. There is a huge selection of Chinese restaurants but we recommend two: No. 168 off the Galle Road, which is an authentic no-frills restaurant popular with the local Chinese community, and the Emperors Wok at the Hilton. If you are searching for authentic Sri Lankan food then choose from the Palmyrah Restaurant at Renuka Hotel, the Peninsula in Rajaigiriya suburbs, Hilton’s Curry Leaf and the iconic Green Cabin Restaurant on Galle Road. Colombo by night can be fun with a scattering of pubs and nighclubs that come alive especially on Friday and Saturday nights and features live bands or DJ music.  H20, D’s, and Zetter are more popular with the younger lot.  Bistro Latino, Rhythm & Blues, The Library at Trans Asia and Sugar located on top of H2O appeal to a more mature crowd.  Characterful pubs include the Breeze Bar and Cheers Pub at Cinnamon Grand, Cricket Club Café,  and Inn on the Green nearby Galle Face in Colombo.

Shopping

From buzzing bazaars to stylish boutique outlets, Colombo is increasingly becoming a popular shopping destination within Asia. Odels is Sri Lanka’s most famous shop, a growing department store in the centre of town.  Western-label clothes are sold at a fraction of overseas prices. Other attractions include homewear stores like Paradise Road, Suriya and Gandhara. Saffron Villas is popular for antique furniture. Barefoot is famous for its handspun and vibrantly-coloured fabrics. There are several good quality jewellers. If you want to get a feel for the trading heart of the city, spend a hectic morning wandering the narrow streets of Pettah Bazaar where you will find anything from steel pots to the latest mobile phones. If you accept anybody’s offer to act as a guide, ensure you know the financial basis upon which this has been offered!

Events

Colombo’s streets come alive in January for the annual `Duruthu Perahara’ organised by the Kelaniya Temple and again in February for the `Navam Perehara’ organised by the Gangaramaya Temple.  These processions display traditional folklore, music and the rhythmic dance forms.  Dancers, drummers and flag bearers represent the different provinces. Chieftains in traditional attire and scores of elephants dressed in glittering cloaks are all a part of these colourful pageants.  Vel, a Hindu festival that pays homage to Lord Murakan, takes place in July or August where an ornately decorated Vel chariot, drawn by a pair of snow-white bulls carrying the statue of Lord Murukan, parades the streets of Colombo.  The chariot moves slowly while the drums throb, the bells tinkle, the Tanjore band plays and a “Bajan” gathering singing divine songs follow the chariot.  The arts, sadly, remain largely inactive. The most popular event in Colombo’s art calendar is the Kala Pola (art fair) held in February which sees the shady sidewalks along Green Path filled with the creative works of local artists. Activities

Colonial architecture of Fort & Pettah

1

Colombo’s three-mile long rampart, cordoning off the area covered by today’s Fort and Pettah, was originally built in the sixteenth century by the Portuguese and then further developed by the Dutch and the British. Today, it is the commercial hub of the country, consisting of government offices, banks, five-star hotels and the country’s largest wholesale bazaar, which sells a huge range of items. In the Fort many of the old colonial buildings still stand alongside a slowly modernizing skyline.

Geoffrey Bawa Architecture

2

The late Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka’s most influential architect, was responsible for linking the ancient architecture of this island with that of the modern world. Sri Lanka’s Parliament, which Bawa was commissioned to design, was created in the centre of a vast man-made lake. The building incorporates traditional Sri Lankan and South Indian architectural features with a series of pavilions with copper roofs. We also recommend a visit to the Paradise Road Gallery Café, formerly the studio of Geoffrey Bawa. His imprint still remains strong here with courtyards, ponds, walkways and open pavilions – spaces that inspired a creative genius.

Art Galleries

3

Permanent collections & temporary art exhibits of Sri Lankan artists are held regularly at the National Art Gallery, Sapumal Foundation, the Lionel Wendt, Barefoot Art Gallery and Paradise Road Gallery Café.

Music & theatre

4

Classical to contemporary forms of music in Sinhala, Tamil and English by local as well as foreign artists is available on CD at various music outlets in Colombo including ODEL, Barefoot, and Torana at Majestic City. Live performances featuring local jazz, pop, and folkrock artists take place at Rhythm & Blues, Barefoot or on a Sunday at the SSC club in Colombo 7. English theatre is limited, but there are occasional local productions that are interesting and usually take place at the Bishop’s College and British School auditoriums or the Lionel Wendt.

The National Museum

5

Colombo’s National Museum, established in 1877, is housed in an impressive colonial building in the heart of the city surrounded by extensive gardens. The museum comprises several galleries dedicated to Sri Lanka’s history and cultural heritage, literature, coins, rock sculptures from the ancient cities, period furniture, artistic theatre traditions, as well as a museum of Natural History. The National Museum is closed on Fridays.

Dutch Period Museum in Pettah

6

The Dutch Period Museum is housed in the old Dutch House, built by Count August Carl Van Ranzow in the latter part of the 17th century. The museum provides an insight into the Dutch period in Sri Lanka and houses artifacts including furniture, ceramics, coins and photographs. The museum is closed on Fridays.

Kelaniya Temple

7

The ancient Kelani Raja Maha Viharaya, situated six miles from Colombo, stands alongside the Kelani River. According to the Mahavamsa, Lord Buddha stopped at this ancient temple during a visit to Sri Lanka in 523 BC where he was invited to preach at the invitation of the king. The Buddha sat and preached on a gem-studded throne on which the Buddha sat and preached. This temple is also famous for its image of the reclining Buddha and paintings, which depict important events in the life of the Buddha and history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

Bellanwilla Temple

8

Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya, located close to Mount Lavinia, has a long and hallowed history. The great sanctity attached to this temple is due to its sacred Bo Tree, which according to ancient texts is one of the thirty two saplings that sprang from the sacred Bo tree at Anuradhapura, planted in the 3rd century B.C. This ancient Buddhist temple houses elaborate statues of Buddha and frescoes depicting his life.

Hindu Kovils

9

The city of Colombo has several Hindu Kovils with colourful and ornate statues and shrines dedicated to different gods and deities. A visit to a kovil, especially during the time of a pooja (ritual offering devotion to the gods), is a special experience with the clanging of bells, chanting of prayers and intoxicating smell of oil lamps and incense. The New and old Kathiresan Kovils dedicated to God Skanda, the god of war and victory, are located in Pettah. The oldest kovil in Colombo is the Sri Kailawasanthan Swami Devasthanam.

Churches built during Colonial period

10

St. Peter’s Church near the Grand Oriental Hotel in Fort was previously a Dutch Governor’s banquet Hall until first used as a church in 1804. St. Andrew’s Scots Kirk built in 1842 is located on Galle Road next to Cinnamon Grand. Wolvendaal Church (Colombo’s oldest Dutch Church) is in Fort.

Royal Colombo Golf Club

11

Royal Colombo, built in 1879, is a welcome escape from the hectic city centre. Located in Borella, a short distance from central Colombo, the course is a green oasis accompanied by a clubhouse of colonial charm. Listen to your attentive caddie to avoid the numerous water hazards. Despite being in the centre of Colombo, the course maintains its tranquillity, although the occasional commuter train running along the 6th fairway can prove hazardous.

Cycling Colombo to Negombo

12

If you are looking for a challenge, jump on a mountain bike and take the coastal route to Negombo. Leaving early in the morning from near Colombo docks, the route quickly takes you away from the busy roads and into the communities of the Colombo suburbs. It is a fascinating transition from the commercial hub of Colombo, exploring some of the cities poorer communities before cycling through the fishing villages of this untouristy coastline. A three-hour ride brings you to Negombo, a vibrant fishing port and holiday centre. Lunch well in Negombo before retracing your steps – or hiring a minivan from Red Dot to collect you.

Rock climbing & caving

13

Hideaway, a small boutique villa in Wathuregama, offers abseiling and caving in the surrounding natural caves and rock faces. State of the art safety equipment including helmets, headlight torches, abseiling equipment and experienced guides are provided by the hotel. This activity is only for guests of Hideaway and prior notice is required.

Spa

17

The Angsana City Club and Spa of the Cinnamon Grand is a luxurious facility providing a range of Ayurvedic and aromatherapy massages and treatments, a fully-equipped gym and roof terrace swimming pool. Crown Saloon, also centrally located, provides Aromatherapy spa treatments as well as beauty and salon facilities. The Water’s Edge Golf & Country Club’s Aryana Spa overlooks the magnificent vistas across the golfing green. This spa features a menu of Balinese, Thai and Ayurvedic relaxing and rejuvenating treatments. The Sanctuary Spa, opened in 2002, in the heart of Colombo city, is a day spa where clients can spend the entire day or just pop in at lunchtime. Red Dot clients get a small discount.

Ayurveda

16

The Siddhalepa Ayurveda Centre offers holistic wellbeing based on the ancient healing wisdom of Ayurveda through their centres located in Dehiwala and Wijerama Mawatha in Colombo 7. The history of Siddhalepa on this island dates back to 200 years with generations of the owning Hettigoda family playing a vital role in promoting the philosophy of Ayurveda in the country.

Yoga

21

Regular Yoga sessions are offered in some of the gyms in Colombo including the Hilton Residencies Sports Center, Global Fitness Gym in Colombo 5 and the Lifestyles Gym in Colombo 7.

Meditation

18

Several Buddhist centres in Colombo conduct guided meditation sessions and Buddhist discussions. These include Vishva Niketan International Peace Centre, Sarvodaya, the International Vipassana Meditation center down Wijerama Mawatha in Colombo 7, Vajiraramaya temple in Bambalapitiya and the International Buddhist Research & Information center (IBRIC) located at the Naradha Centre in Colombo 7. Books, DVDs and recorded audio tapes on Buddhist teachings are also available in some of these Centres.

Colombo area wetlands

14

The Diyawanna Oya and Talangama wetlands located in the Kotte suburbs offer opportunities for bird watching. These areas are a combination of tanks, canals and paddy fields which have recently been declared as protected natural areas and are supported by the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka. Further south, in the suburbs of Piliyandala, is the Bolgoda Lake, Sri Lankan largest natural fresh water basin. Many species of birds, butterflies, monitor lizards and monkeys can be spotted in this area.

Gampaha’s ancient rock temples and wilderness

15

The ancient Maligathanne temple and the Pillikuttuwa temples dating back to over 2,000 years are situated in the suburbs in Gampaha about 45 minutes from the main city centre. The Pillikuttuwa temple and its surrounding wilderness covers an area of around 200 acres and consists of a natural forest reserve and several caves. The Maligathanne temple is perched on a two tiered rock that is considered the highest point in the Colombo district with panoramic views. King Valagamba built the rock temple to safeguard the sacred tooth relic which is now enshrined in Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth. Situated over an area of about 65 acres, Maligathanne has 20 caves to explore.

Sri Lanka’s traditional dance

16

Traditional dance in Sri Lanka is associated with rituals and ceremonies intended to expel sickness and misfortune as well as evoke blessings during auspicious occasions. There are several dance forms including Kandyan (up country), Sabaragamuwa (central province), Ruhunu (low country). Each of these differs in dress, rhythm of the drums, dance movements, and folk songs. Sri Lanka’s Tourism ministry organises dance performances each Friday at 5:30 pm at the Hotel School Auditorium, 78 Galle Road, Colombo 3. This auditorium is situated right opposite the Cinnamon Grand hotel and nearby several other hotels in the Galle Fort area.

Colombo city walks

Take a stroll through the city of Colombo and experience this vibrant and yet laid back capital city with its mix of ethnic communities living; centuries old colonial period architecture to contemporary Bawa architecture; and road side eateries and restaurants serving a variety of local foods and beverage. Personalised Colombo city walks are now on offer and will take up to three to four hours. The walks are conducted in the evening-time when it’s less humid. The rate includes entry permits, hosting fee, food and beverages while on walk as well as a complimentary beer/wine at the end of the walk. Group of up to six guests are accommodated on this personalized experience. For those preferring to omit the walk and do only a drive through Colombo, there is also a `Colombo City night-drive’ on offer.

We do have packages for Sri Lanka, write us onadler-tours@hotmail.com or visit our sitehttp://www.adler-tours.com

ACTIVE BALI


active bali

Forget Eat Pray Love, this Indonesian getaway is real appeal lies in its action adventure offerings.

Its lush green rice paddies, pretty white sand beaches, plethora of spas and retreats and frequent colourful festivals make Bali the obvious choice for a relaxing getaway. But not all of us love spending ten days sprawled out on a beach towel soaking up rays. Thankfully, the island’s incredible landscape makes it ideal for numerous activities to inject a little excitement into your trip, too.  Despite its tiny size, each area of the island is quite distinctive, so it’s worth hopping around every few days to experience the best Bali has to offer.

Ubud is perhaps the best known spot, due to its starring role in the ‘Love’ section of Elizabeth Gilbert’s  book (and subsequent film) Eat Pray Love, and the town certainly has a lot  to offer those looking for the same spiritual awakening (some may say midlife crisis) she experienced. The activities available are somewhat serene and, as such, draw those attracted to its slow pace, vegan cafés and the possibility of meeting their very own hunky Javier Bardem.

If you spend any time in the town’s cafés munching on raw cakes and spirulina and berry smoothies (and you absolutely should), you can’t fail to notice leaflets and posters promoting Yoga Barn. The studio offers the usual power yoga and Iyengar to help you destress and lengthen those limbs as well as some more, ahem, unusual activities such as ecstatic dance (dancing like a loony), crystal bowl meditation and sound healing. It’s easy to get swept up in this way of life in a town that wafts with the smell of incense from every temple and seems to encourage clean living and a slower lifestyle with its café culture and pretty surrounds.

To complement your yoga, most of  the town’s guesthouses rent out cheap  bicycles which can be used to explore  the jaw-droppingly beautiful (and  sometimes surprisingly steep) lanes  and roads that wind through the temples and the green rice paddies which  are stacked up on hillsides surrounding  the village. Make sure you remember to pack a camera and plenty of water!

But if Ubud is a little too laid-back to satisfy the adrenaline junkie in you, Kuta is the best spot for some of Bali’s best known activities. People flock to Kuta for its long beaches and great surf.  Whether you’re a beginner or you could  show the Balinese beach boys a thing  or two, the whole town is set up to ensure you have access to everything you need to hit the waves and show off your skills. Unfortunately, that comes at a price. The town is far from beautiful, except the beach, which remains relatively unspoilt. It is no doubt the ugliest part of Bali, and is lined with western style pubs and restaurants and was the site of the tragic Bali bombing in 2002. By day, everyone hits the beach for surf school and to show off their toned abs while at night the town comes alive with thumping music pumping out of a whole street full of clubs.

sanur beachBut to base yourself in Kuta would mean missing out on some of Bali’s most dramatic and beautiful sights so ensure that, if you want to surf, you also allow time to pack up your belongings and stay in a hotel elsewhere for at least a few nights. It is also worth nothing that Kuta is not the be all and end all of water sports on the island. While it is the best spot for surfing and kite surfing thanks to its impressive waves, stand up paddle boarding can be done almost anywhere. Schools tend to be based around the Sanur area which is free from surfers and allows beginners to learn on flat waters before progressing to catching waves on their very first lesson.

If you’d rather keep your feet on dry land, one of the best ways to take in Bali’s coast, temples, mountains and rice paddies is to take an organised bike trip through the very best the island has to offer. There are a clutch of companies offering tours ranging from simple loops around Ubud (which are easy enough to navigate alone) or more advanced trips, such as the popular Mt

lake batur

Batur Crater Rim to Batur Lake route, which involves a hair-raising descent from 1,700m above sea level with the sea on one side and the crater on the other for a lengthy 35.9km. There are a mind-boggling number of companies offering guided tours of most parts of the island, ranging from easy loops of Ubud to challenging mountain descents.

If you’re not very confident on two wheels, you can also scale the island’s volcanoes by foot. In fact, hiking in Bali is big business and there are a number of hikes you can arrange with a guide or for smaller trips, set off on alone. One of the most popular is the sunrise hike to Bali’s tallest mountain, Gunung Agung, which involves a mostly dark trek up the mountain, rewarded with a spectacular sunrise when you reach the top. Many people consider this one of Bali’s most rewarding experiences. There are also numerous hikes through paddy fields, thick forest and waterfalls and hidden temples. If you decide to  hike, do your research in advance to  find out if a guide is needed (sometimes  scammers will tell you a guide is necessary when it isn’t, but in other spots an experienced guide is essential), find out  what you should wear for the journey  and if there are any permits you need  for the walk. A good concierge or tourist information centre will be able to discuss this with you.

A trip to Bali isn’t complete without a little diving or snorkelling. Nearby islands of Lombok and the Gili’s are great for exploring the ocean, but you can find plenty of spots on Bali that are teeming with marine life too. The most popular spot for snorkelers and divers alike on the island is Pulau Menjangan, where you’ll find a reef alive with parrotfish, clownfish

snorkeller

and corals as well as exciting caves and drops in which to explore the local flora and fauna. Tulamben is another option, offering a sunken freighter just metres from the shore, making it perfect for easy snorkelling. Ten days is a good amount of time to spend hopping around the island by taxi or bus and take in its best activities and sights. Travel from one side of the island to the other can take just a few hours if you go directly (significantly more if you take a bus).

The best news is that however active you are, you can rejuvenate your aching body for pocket change. In Bali, you are never far from a great Balinese massage, the island’s traditional and well known techniques of acupressure, skin rolling, and stroking using essential oils to stimulate the lymphatic system. Those who are really interested in the technique can take a short course to master the massage – which is both a brilliantly selfish present and the best souvenir you can take back to friends and family! Everyone is a winner.

Courtesy by K.T.

SAHARAN ADVENTURE


food stallsMarrakech is a fascinating mosaic of cultures and traditions, desert landscapes, authentic Kasbahs, spice bazaars and sumptuous palaces.  For decades, it’s been  attracting artists,  writers and — more  recently — travellers in  search of the exotic  STORY 8 PHOTOS BY  ANDREW MARSHALL  t’s late afternoon in the centre of  exotic Marrakech, founded more  than 1,000 years ago with its  Andalusia-inspired arches, ochre  ramparts, souq  marketplaces and  distinctive skyline of mosques set  against the majestic snow-capped High  Atlas Mountains. I find myself thoroughly lost in the medina, where narrow passageways seethe with human activity. Covered bazaars are crammed with spice stalls and workshops of every kind, with artisans at work fashioning slippers, weaving rugs, dyeing textiles and hammering metals.

spices

In the heart of the city is the world-famous Djemaa el-Fna, a town square named by UNESCO as part of Humanity’s Universal Heritage. This cultural and artistic crossroads is a meeting place for locals and a stage for storytellers, acrobats, musicians and snake charmers. I grab a seat and a chilled drink at Le Grand Balcon overlooking the square and watch the drama unfold.

As the orange sun travels across the sky and the minarets and palms gradually fall into silhouettes, chefs begin to cart in their food stalls and before long the aroma of barbecued meats and  kebabs fills the air. When the sun finally sets, all the music in the medina ceases for one of the most evocative of travel sounds, the muezzin’s call to prayer.  Soon, another muezzin in another mosque starts up, and then another until the entire city is filled with these fervent sounds.

In addition to street eats, Marrakech offers some wonderful fine-dining opportunities at palace restaurants, most of which are converted riads (a traditional house or palace with an interior garden).  An excellent example is the Narwama, hidden away down a narrow alleyway covered in Berber rugs, a short stroll from the medina. Situated in a glorious 19th century riad with 21st century Zen décor, the Narwama offers an award-winning combination of Moroccan and Thai cuisine with the best Mojito in town.  “The food we serve here is Fez cuisine, the finest in Morocco and one of our house specialities is lamb tajine with pears,” says the owner Ali Bousfiha. “The tajine is Morocco’s most famous dish and the name refers to the conical-lidded pot in which it is prepared, as well as  the intricately spiced stew of meat  and vegetables, sometimes with dried  fruits and nuts, cooked very slowly over  a charcoal fire.”

DID YOU KNOW?  Marrakech gets its nickname of ‘red city’ from the city walls, which are made of a distinct orange-red clay and chalk that give them their colour.

5 THINGS NOT TO BE MISSED

* Go haggling in the souqs of Marrakech for carpets, slippers, ceramics, leather ware and more.

* Eat traditional spice-laden Moroccan food from a restaurant in the Medina.

* Go skiing or trekking in the Atlas Mountains.

* Relax at the Cascades d’Ouzoud (167km northeast of Marrakech) where the three-tiered falls drop 110m into the river below.

* Go to a hammam for a traditional Moroccan bath or massage.

TRADE  CENTRE  Marrakech has the  largest traditional  Berber market  (souk) in Morocco,  and you can find anything from  traditional Berber  carpets and  slippers to  consumer  electronics and  much more at the  several souks there

The following morning I’m up early to be ready for a three-day High Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Tour, which I had arranged the previous evening with my hotel tour operator. It’s 7am and I join a small group, made up of four Brits, an American couple and an Australian, standing outside the Hotel Ali in Marrakech. “Could be the perfect recipe for a cramped weekend,” I think to myself, as we all crowd into the minibus, and hit the P3 1 road towards the mountains.

kasbah under atlasFrom Marrakech, the 70km climb to the Tiz n Tichka Pass in the High Atlas Mountains is a clutch-grinding series of switchbacks, offering fantastic views.  The first stop is a wind-blasted pass poised between the two worlds of the High Atlas Mountains and the sub-Sahara. We head towards the Dades, Draa and Ziz Valleys, blessed in this arid land with life-giving rivers. They are indescribably beautiful, lined with palmeraies, ancient Kasbahs and towns that have changed little in centuries. Historically, tribal feuding and banditry were a way of life for the Berbers of the region, and as a result, hundreds of Kasbahs (defensive forts constructed of red baked clay) were built throughout these valleys.

Thirty-eight km before Ouarzazate is the exotic Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou, a location favoured by filmmakers. Over 20 movies have been produced here including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator. We enter the Kasbah through a broad arching gateway that leads to the living quarters of the village, pass through courtyards of homes adorned with colourful Berber rugs and enjoy expansive views that demonstrates the Kasbah’s once strategic strength.

In nearby Ouarzazate, the minibus grinds to a halt in a tight knot of laneways where our driver jumps out and leads the group through a labyrinth of passage- ways to a dim doorway where Mohammed spreads his arms wide in welcome.  “Hello, what are your names? Where are you from? Please, come in and see some magnificent carpets.” After being encouraged to make ourselves at home, Mohammed reappears carrying a silver tray with an elegant metal teapot packed with fresh mint leaves, tea and sugar.  While he makes a spectacle of pouring  the fragrant golden liquid from a great  height into small decorative glasses, his  brother Ali brings in some rugs to “plea-  sure our eyes”, and with great flourishing flicks rolls them out before us. After  haggling hard and stocking up on carpets, we drop down from the High Atlas  Mountains into the Dades Valley and  the spectacular Dades Gorge with its  glowing red gorge walls, startling rock  formations, more Kasbahs and finally  our bed for the night.

The next day, with the mountains far behind, the surrounding stony landscape gradually changes into windblown sandy plains. Ahead, begins the Great Erg Chebbi, an immense dune system that sweeps south into the Sahara. Nearby, several camels stand masticating, waiting to carry the tour group into the desert sunset.

In single file, we ride into this vast sea of sand, where the dunes rise and fall like waves. The setting sun casts shadows of the camels and riders across the rippling sands, a more romantic image than the reality of the camels’ jolting motion and foul breath.  Fading pink clouds have been swallowed by the night sky as we finally reach our camp consisting of two tents of camel hair slung over low poles in a depression in the dunes. As we all sink gratefully into rugs thrown over the sand, the camel- handlers, Brahim and Mahjoubi serve mint tea followed by delicious tajines.  After dinner, Mahjoubi takes out his drum and he and Brahim begin to sing an ancient song of love. One of the travellers plays a didgeridoo, another pulls out his harmonica, while the tummy grumbles of the camels add another musical dimension to this magical atmosphere under a star-studded Saharan sky.

Courtesy – K.T

Paradise by the Sea: Bintan (Indonesia)


 

bintanBintan Island or Negeri Segantang, the largest of 3,200 islands in Riau Archipelago and the third largest of the 27 provinces in Indonesia, is an idyllic retreat offering a wide range of activities. The Island, with an area of approximately 1,140 sq kms and a 105-km-long coastline, is a popular beach destination. The charm and aura of Bintan, primarily a resort island, leaves a lasting impression on the minds of high-end travellers wanting to have a good time with family. The island also attracts Conference and Incentive groups.

A short-haul destination for Indian travellers, Bintan can be accessed from Singapore. Indian visitors can combine their city holidays in Singapore with Bintan as a two to three nights  extension. There is a regular ferry service operated by Bintan Resorts Ferries (BRF) that plies between Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Singapore and Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal, Bintan Resorts. The duration of travel is 55 minutes.

A niche destination as far as the Indian leisure traveller is concerned, Bintan offers a wide range of activities. While the Indian traffic to Bintan has been dominated by the FIT, honeymooners and family segments, there has been a marked increase in Incentive travel groups, corporate meetings and special interest Indian visitors (weddings and religious groups). Bintan has fantastic facilities to lure MICE and Wedding segments.

Bintan_Water_Sports_Bintan_IndonesiaThe Northern Coast of the island is often referred to as Bintan Resorts, a consortium of five independently-owned and operated beach resorts, four designer golf courses, as well as a range of recreational facilities and attractions like spa, golf, water sports, shopping etc. The resorts include Angasana Bintan, Banyan Tree Bintan, Bintan Lagoon Resort, Bintan Lodge, Club Med Bintan Island, Nirwana Gardens and Ria Golf Lodge. These are among the big resorts on the island. For those who like to spike up the holiday with a bit of adrenalin rush, Bintan Resorts offers all-terrain vehicle rides through the challenging forest terrain.

Located within minutes of Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal, and within easy reach of the resorts, are four magnificent championship courses designed by golf luminaries, Ian Baker-Finch, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Gary Player. Beautifully-crafted ornaments and display pieces, beach and swimwear, fashion apparel and accessories, and a host of other items are also available at the resort shops. Tourists can go resort-shop hopping, or explore Pasar Oleh Oleh and Kampoeng Lagoi Leisure Village. For a touch of authentic village life and shopping experience, one can take a day trip to the capital city of Riau Islands—Tanjung Pinang.

UAE Delight !!!


Free Theme Park Tickets boost Abu Dhabi Hotels

As a part of this year’s SummerFest Abu Dhabi, any guest booking three nights at over 35 selected Abu Dhabi hotels, excluding during Eid, will receive free tickets to the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi theme park and Yas Water world water park. This promotion has been organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), will be distributed through various sources and hotel websites and will include complimentary WiFi and free meals for children under 12 years old. This year, SummerFest Abu Dhabi has been expanded to 52-days, running 27th June to 17th August, and will span mid-summer, the holy month of Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr and the destinations’ traditional EidFest Celebrations.

!cid_8170335542-1


Atlantis Expand Aqua-venture Water Park.

Dubai’s Atlantis, The palm is expanding its Aqua-Venture water park with a 40m- high slide and what it says is the world’s first zipline circuit. Kerzner international, the  developer and operator of destination resorts behind the Atlantis, said the tower of Poseidon plus a range of additional features will open in August 2013. When the new development is complete, the 17 hectare water park will offer two  gigantic water slide towers, the new zipline circuit, the Middle – East longest river ride at 2.3 km long, with tidal waves and pools, water rapids and white water chargers, plus 700 meter of white sand beach overlooking The Palm. Over all the park will use more than 18 million liters of fresh water to power the park’s array of water-slide features.

pic 2


The Yellow Boats

The yellow boats is UAE’s unique sightseeing experience. They pride themselves on providing a safe and consistent delivery of guided tours around the wonders of UAE. Their unique trips to Abu Dhabi and Dubai provide the perfect escaping during your holiday, weekend or time off. Take photos of the sights from the comfort of the Yellow Boats. Weather you are looking for a unique sightseeing experience, a leisurely group excursion or a fun filled off site with your colleagues, The Yellow Boats can bring the fresh perspective to your day with some of the most interesting and exciting on water experience. The Yellow Boats are rigid inflatable crafts powered by latest generation engines that are costumed designed for both speed and safety. As the boat industry goes, these 12 seat rib boats are top of the line and they are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and machinery. The Yellow Boat fishing charters provides professional and experienced skippers and fishing guides: offering the ultimate service and catering for the novice through to the most experienced angler. They are quipped with the latest technology and powered by the latest twin 250 HP Yamaha Outboards.

3

09 NIGHTS-MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE WITH 03 NIGHTS CRUISE


malaysia singapore

Get 100 % Pay 78%!

Ex Delhi & Mumbai : INR 85000/-

Ex Kolkata : INR 83000/-

Ex Hyderabad : INR 84000/-

Departures From : Delhi / Mumbai / Kolkata & Hyderabad

April : 30

May : 07 , 14 , 21 , 28

June : 11 , 18 , 25

Tour Inclusions: 
Air Ticket on Singapore Airlines.03 Nights SINGAPORE,01 Night GENTING,02 Nights Kualalumpur & 03 Nights Super Star Virgo.07 Lunches,01Packed Lunch,09 Indian Dinners.Tea Coffee,Soft Drinks.Visit Phuket,Langkawi OR Panang.Santosa,City tour Putrajaya,Kualalumpur,Singapore.Genting Out Door & Indoor.Langkawi OR Panang City Tour.All Inter City & City/Airport Transfers.All Taxes.

*Visa Fee Not Included.

 Collection of Hotels:

Sanway Putra or Similar – Kualalumpur ( 4**** )

Genting First world OR Awana or Similar ( 3***)

Grand Chancellor or Similar – Singapore ( 3***+)

Super Star virgo Cruise – Inside cabin ( 5*****)

 

For Booking Contact: 00-91-9825673771

visit our website: http://www.adler-tours.com

Insider’s Guide to Mumbai


The-Taj-Mahal-Palace-Tower-Mumbai-1

Taj Mahal Palace

CALLING MUMBAI A MASH-UP would be an understatement. India’s most populous city is marked by an unrelenting convergence of high and low: Prada-clad women wait for fresh sugar-cane juice at corner street stalls, and luxury high rises overlook psychedelic street murals. In Mumbai (or Bombay, as most locals still call it), you can rub elbows with bankers, diamond merchants and film producers at velvet-roped bars, then step outside to grab some of the world’s best street food and watch the sun set at Chowpatty beach, whose atmosphere turns carnival-like in the evening. Uncomfortably hot in the summer, Mumbai swings into peak travel season now, with foreigners and NRIs (an official-turned-cheeky term for nonresident Indians) showing up in droves for vacations and weddings.

Though extreme poverty blights the city, a rich cultural renaissance is under way. Contemporary art galleries are fast multiplying in Colaba, Mumbai’s southern district. Boutiques from D7 in the western suburb of Bandra down to Bombay Electric and Le Mill in South Mumbai showcase local designers who marry traditional fabrics with edgy silhouettes. The city’s namesake film industry, Bollywood, employs more than 2.5 million people and churns out 700 to 800 movies a year, nearly as many as its American counterpart.

 

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (C.S.T) or The Victoria Terminus Mumbai

  • Significance: It has been declared a ‘World Heritage Site’ by UNESCO.
  • Attraction: Victorian Gothic Style of Architecture
  • Built In: 1888

Located on India’s western coast, Mumbai served as a major port for the Portuguese and then the British from the 16th to 20th centuries. The colonial-style churches and Victorian Gothic buildings that dot the neighborhoods serve as a reminder of the city’s past, while a growing number of modern glass-encased high-rises (including Indian industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s much talked-about $1 billion, 27-story home) look to the future.

Once you’ve had your fill of galleries and fine dining, take a 1-hour ferry ride to visit Elephanta Island, where Hindu and Buddhist rock carvings—some dating back to the sixth century—will leave you awe-struck. Or head over to the stunning Chhatrapati Shivaji (formerly Victoria) train station and watch locals dash at rush hour. Mumbai suffers no shortage of shiny new toys, but it’s the city’s spirit that will have you hooked.

image

 Madhur Jaffrey

The Foodie Madhur Jaffrey  Actress, food writer and cookbook author

Rare Eats // Britannia & Co. Parsi food is hard to find outside of private homes. Order the fish patra; and berry pulao, a rice dish made with barberries. And you must have a fresh lime soda. S S Ram Gulam Marg, opposite New Customs House, Fort, 91-22-2261-5264.

Bazaar Fruits // Crawford Market. It’s basically a market of seasonal produce. If you’re there in April or May, you should buy the Alphonso mangoes. Near Abdul Rehman Street, South Mumbai

Coco Central // Konkan Café. Beautiful fish with coconut and red chilis. Everything is shipped from the Konkan coast—they have more than a 100 coconuts shipped in every day. Taj President, 90 Cuffe Parade, vivantabytaj.com

Street Sweets // Bhendi Bazaar. This area is home to the Dawoodi Bohras, a Muslim community whose roots trace to Egypt and Yemen. You will find the most amazing sweets, such as halwa and jalebi (a sweet and crispy pretzel-like disc), in the lanes here. Near Mohammed Ali Road, Bhuleshwar

Restaurant claims to have made world's longest dosa

People carry a 32 feet (9.75m) long dosa, a south Indian crepe made for the promotion of the upcoming movie, “Quick Gun Murugun” in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

 image

Suketu Mehta

The Novelist Suketu Mehta Author of “Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found”

Snack and Sleep // The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower. The grand hotel is back on its feet after being heavily damaged in the 2008 terrorist attacks. I like to go to the Sea Lounge and watch the Parsi families trying to arrange matches between their young over tea. Apollo Bunder Road, Colaba, tajhotels.com

image

Daryl Visscher/Redux Pictures for The Wall Street Journal

Taj Mahal Palace

File:Buildings near Nariman Point, Mumbai.jpg

Buildings near Nariman Point, Mumbai

Great Greens // Shree Thaker Bhojanalay. An eating club that originally catered to migrant workers, it is now comfortably air-conditioned and still serving the greatest vegetarian meals I have ever eaten in a restaurant.31, Dadyseth Agiary Marg, Kalbadevi, 91-22-2201-1232

Strolling Grounds // Kamala Nehru Park. Everyone calls it the Hanging Gardens. When I’m jet-lagged and up at 5 a.m., I head to the top of the park, which has a fine view of the bay. Ridge Road at the top of Malabar Hill, Malabar Hill

Deep Fry // A. Ramanayak Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding. South Indian home cooking served on banana leaves. They will also let you watch as they fry terrifically crisp potato chips. LBS Market Building, 1st Floor, Matunga, 91-22-2414-2422

Words of Wonder // Strand Book Stall. You go to the Strand to look at books, talk about books, buy books. I sometimes shop for American and British novels there and have them shipped back to New York; it’s still cheaper. Sir P.M. Rd. Fort,strandbookstall.com

Maharashrian Mehdi decoration

the BEST bus in Mumbai

Local Bus Travel

image

Anoushka Shankar

The Musician Sitar player, composer and daughter of Ravi Shankar

Sound Stage // Blue Frog. Surreally modern in its décor and design, it’s the only place in India that combines a music-centered auditorium with the casualness of a bar. There are international and Indian artists; usually it’s a live act followed by a DJ. Mathuradas Mill Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, bluefrog.co.in

image

Daryl Visscher/Redux Pictures for The Wall Street Journal

Bombay Electric

Super Sands // Juhu Beach. I try to spend a minimum of an hour here. It’s a place where you really get the vastness of the people that call the city home. Everyone lands up on the beach to have an ice cream with their family. You see quite a variety of people. West Mumbai

Star Grazing // Indigo. This restaurant is in a restored bungalow and feels really warm and swanky at the same time. You can do that usual actor spotting, but the food is actually really good. 4 Mandlik Road, Colaba,foodindigo.com

Street Style // Fashion Street. Miles and miles of market stall shopping. I tend to buy several of those simplekurtas (cotton tunics) to wear over jeans, and stop and have street food.MG Road, South Mumbai

Cheeky Chic // Bombay Electric. This shop has really unique clothes and cool accessories, kitschy Indian things. Definitely for people who like clothing with a twist. 1 Reay House, Best Marg, Colaba, bombayelectric.in

image

Raymond Bickson

The Hotelier Managing Director and CEO of Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces

Culture Cool // National Centre for the Performing Arts. There is a great mix of established work and experimental, Indian and Western classical. You cannot go wrong. NCPA Marg, Nariman Point, ncpamumbai.com

Abundance of Dishes // Trishna. We bring guests here, and they are stunned by the hundreds of items on the menu. The garlic-butter king crabs are the reason people return again and again. Birla Mansion, Sai Baba Marg (next to Commerce House), Fort, 91-22-2270-3213

Old Worlds // Phillips Antiques. I love to gaze at their beautiful treasures and maps, and check out any new collectibles. From carved cupboards to Gauri heads to oil lamps, it’s an authentic slice of the past. Madam Cama Road (opposite Regal Cinema), Colaba, phillipsantiques.com

Snack Attack // Camy Wafers. My daughters and I just love the fresh potato chips from this Colaba snack shop. 5-6 Oxford House (off Colaba Causeway), Colaba, 91-22-2282-8430

Restau-Disco // Shiro. This restaurant is a wonderful oasis in midtown. Friday night with music from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s is great fun. And the food is delicious.Bombay Dyeing Mill Compound, Pandurang Budhkar Marg, Worli, shiro.co.in

Plus Don’t Miss…

Elco Pani Puri Center A legendarypani puri (crispy fried canapés) street stall that went brick and mortar. elcocateringservices.com //

Forest Essentials The place to load up on handmade soaps and creams, many of them laced with sandalwood, rose andmogra (a type of jasmine).forestessentialsindia.com //

Ahilaya A favorite for silk and cotton tunics in pastel hues. 91-22-2202-4053

Natural Ice Cream A must for the seasonal fruit-loaded ice creams likesitaphal (custard apple) and chikoo (sapota). naturalicecreams.in 

« Older entries

%d bloggers like this: