“Let me, O let me bathe my soul in colors; let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow.” – Khalil Gibran
As we enter 2019, I’m spending the day looking back at some of the most amazing experiences I have had this past year and the ones that top the list are my getaways with The Wanderous Tribe. While each one has been special in its own unique ways, one that I just haven’t been able to stop raving about was our trip to Narendra Bhawan in Bikaner, Rajasthan in August last year. Now when I first heard of the place, I pictured a classic, Rajasthani palace hotel sort of a place. Little did I know, that Narendra Bhawan was going to surprise me in ways I could not have imagined possible.
The first look is undoubtedly grand, but with an eclectic twist. Decadent as it ought to be, it has a surprisingly homely feel to it at the same time. I was instantly drawn to its lush yet functional interiors, designed to be well suited for a modern traveler, while preserving the strong visual character and the old-world charm of the haveli that was home to Maharaja Narendra Singh Ji.
“Unconventionally curated, it is composed of Narendra Singhji’s memories from his travels to destinations near and far. Experiences at Narendra Bhawan tap into the memories of its original incumbent and takes its guests on a journey through his past wherein the best moments of his life are translated into an array of curious options – some interestingly epicurean, others fantastically novel and everything always enchanting.”
First thing you notice when you enter is The Gaushala, a lovely little animal friendly al fresco lounge, where we enjoyed many a drinks later that night. Just across from that is the main entrance, where we were welcomed by the very warm vice president, Siddharth Yadav. Now this was anything but a hotel lobby. Think a room full of plush leather couches, gorgeous chandeliers, walls decorated with ‘Ekaya Banaras’ weaves, beautifully curated curios and penguin classics lining the shelves, and the air filled with some good old jazz music playing in the background. You know right then that this property, designed by Jaipur-based, Ayush Kasliwal is going to be anything but ordinary. Every space you enter seems like an effortless amalgamation of the old and the new. The place is quite literally a visual treat, especially for someone inclined towards art and design.
Along with their remarkable hospitality, the informal vibe and their utterly impressive epicurean delights, it’s that charming balance of bold hues and the harmonious blend of contrasting design elements, that makes this property such an attractive choice for destination weddings. Now August being at the helm of festive season, I couldn’t help but succumb to those wedding-y vibes and get my desi girl mode on while I was there! Sharing some images below for your visual pleasure 🙂
Basking in the unsurpassable charm and regalia of one of the many pretty corners at Narendra Bhawan, wearing Ivory by Dipika.
Couldn’t help but twirl my way through these picture-perfect corridors!
One with the ever-so-lovely, Pupul!
I’m not the most dog-friendly person but I so wanted to hug this stunner, Nala, for posing so patiently with me! Given that Narendra Singh ji had raised more than hundred pedigreed purebred dogs on this property, along with purebred cattle and horses, the property is extremely pet-friendly and I absolutely loved that about them.
Just like the rest of the areas in the property, the accomodation at Narendra Bhawan makes you feel like absolute royalty. The rooms are all designed to give you a glimpse of the various stages of a Maharaja’s life. One in particular caught our attention more than the others – The Regimental Suite with its strong militarian aesthetic. I was so in awe of the strong play of colors and materials in the room.
The space is replete with charming decor elements and furniture fit for a king/queen! This elegant dressing table for instance, with those bell shaped ceiling lamps, instantly gets your attention and you can’t help but be in complete awe of it all!
It seems so hard to believe that this three-storeyed structure was only added to the original space later when Narendra Bhawan was to be turned into a hotel. The intricate stone jali blends in rather seamlessly with the old aesthetic of the Rajasthani haveli making it seem like it was always a part of it since the old days.
I’m wearing a blush pink chanderi anarkali, delicately hand embroidered with zari, sequins and gota patti, paired with a golden zari sharara and a mint green embroidered dupatta from Naaz by Noor.
The terrace at NB was a complete surprise, so unlike what any of us expected. With such a soothing, Mediterranean vibe, it instantly transports you to land far far away. What’s great is that it’s a fab space to both lounge at in the day or indulge in a romantic candle-light dinner by the infinity pool at night. We opted for the latter on our last night at the property where they treated us to a splendid Rajasthani thali.
Well that’s all for now folks! Here’s hoping I get to visit this stunning property soon again and enjoy the life of an eclectic royal, even its just for a weekend 🙂 I mean it’s fairly simple to get there now given that there is a direct flight to Bikaner from Delhi and the hotel is a short 30 minute drive from there, so its just perfect for a short getaway. A big thank you to the lovely team at Narendra Bhawan for hosting us and ensuring a pleasant and a rather lavish stay!
To a beautiful 2018! Cheerio!
Big thank you’s to PR Pundit & The Wanderous Tribe for facilitating this association.