Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal about my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Hippie in Heels.
What I was up to other than here:
- After two weeks in London, I headed to Latvia. Ben stayed back through the weekend with his family. I traveled to Riga, Sigulda, and Jurmala. It was a very cool (and cold) trip. I wasn’t prepared for the weather, but then I never really am. It’s autumn in Latvia so it’s really beautiful this time of year.
- I went to London on Wednesday where I stayed with a friend for a couple nights and did a day’s work with a local photography company (post coming soon!).
- Today at the butt-crack of dawn I was off to Morocco with my friend Tia! While you’re reading this I’m probably at my layover in France :) I’ll be here 10 days. WiFi could be bad, not sure yet.
- I have a BIG announcement today or tomorrow – not sure exactly when!! Stay tuned ;)
Now your story,
While traveling outside India for the last month, I realized that I miss Indian hospitality. I never thought I’d say that since it seems all I do is bitch about how they wouldn’t know hospitality if it bit them on the bum.
In most cases it’s terrible in India, but when it comes to 5 star hotels and establishments, it’s VERY good, maybe the best of anywhere I’ve traveled and the rates are lower there making it a crazy good value.
So, I thought I’d share a couple examples of why it’s so good in India.
I backpacked the North and stayed in cheap guesthouses years ago. In NE India there aren’t hardly any hotels, let alone luxury. For a month in Karnataka I stayed in guesthouses. In Kerala I did only hostels. These weren’t luxurious by any means, but some had a lot of charm of course.
I actually don’t stay at luxury hotels often when I travel India but when I do it’s for two reasons:
-because I’m doing a review in Goa for the ebook on accomodation here that I’ve been wanting to write for 3 years
-because I’m with Ben and he’s on business
Most of the top hotels offer you pretty much a butler service. You can’t really beat that. They call you by name all the time.
At the Sheraton in Bangalore, when I walked in the club room, the receptionist stood up and said “Hello Miss Jones, would you like some champagne?”. I can compare this to the Sheraton at Maui which was also lovely but did not have personalized touches at all.
In India you would never take your bags to your room or lug them up stairs if it’s a walk up. They simply wouldn’t let you if you tried!
There’s always a welcome drink and sometimes even a welcome shoulder rub while you sign in and wait for your room key. That’s the best.
At the Alila Diwa, when I came back to my room from dinner, they had filled the tub, added roses, and put a glass of champange next to it.
They also always add like gifts in the rooms. If you’re sick, you can bet they’ll send you up something.
It’s no wonder when CN Traveler or any top sites come out with the top hotels in the world, India always dominates. Usually rooms like this go for about $300 a night, but could be $200 or of course a lot more. I wouldn’t think they go any higher than about $700 though even for the suite unless of course you’re renting a villa.
Some of the villas in Goa offer incredible service. Coco Shambhala is the best example. You get a whole villa with a hot tub and “butler” of sorts who is constantly bringing snacks. Most the time, the mini-bar is free at places like this as well.
So if you come to India and never do luxury travel, it a good place to book a hotel for a couple nights and splurge out! You get a bang for your buck.
This is India!
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