Clarks Amer, Jaipur Redefining Royal Living
Rajasthan is a state which has constantly caught my fancy. Since childhood, I had always been intrigued by the vibrant culture and ethos of this desert-land and nurtured a wish in my heart to explore it. So, naturally, when an opportunity to go on a short vacation over a long weekend surfaced, I chose Jaipur with my eyes shut! Though it was just going to be a weekend getaway, I was nonetheless excited about spending two days with my fiancé in Jaipur.
My fiancé had booked us in the Presidential Suite at Clarks Amer, Jaipur which is the first 5-star hotel in the state of Rajasthan. Knowing this, we were confident that we would be treated to an authentic Rajasthani experience there! I remember reading in a blog that the hotel also has the oldest elevator in the Pink City and this further piqued my excitement since I love everything vintage!
The grand lobby of Clarks
Clarks is located just a few minutes away from the Jaipur Airport, so we were glad that we did not have to travel long distances to reach the hotel. A short cab drive took us inside the gates of Clarks and immediately, the first thing that I noticed was the airy setting and the ample amount of greenery. The hotel staff was extremely courteous, and a bell boy immediately came to help us with our luggage and escorted us into the hotel lobby.
The Clarks lobby was regal and calling the lobby magnificent, would be an understatement! The lighting and the intricate chandeliers further added to the grand effect of the foyer. As we checked in and were on our way to our suite, we came across ‘The Jaipur Shop’, a shop at the lobby level, which offered a variety of Rajasthani rare finds and animal printed shirts, bags and dresses. My excitement piqued even further, and I wanted to start shopping right away.
The royal Presidential Suite at Clarks
The royal Presidential Suite at Clarks
As we stepped inside the beautiful Presidential Suite, I was blown away by the quaint ambience and the subtle yet classy interiors of this room. Coupling the best of old-world charm, modern facilities, and elegance, the Presidential Suite was even better than what we had imagined. I was glad that this sophisticated, comfortable and tastefully-furnished suite was to be our abode for the next couple of days!
Walking across the wooden panelled floor, I made my way to the huge window at the other end of the room. To my utmost delight, a lovely view of the lush greenery surrounding the property greeted me when I peeped through the window.
By the time we finished unpacking and freshening up, we were ravenous! After a bit of deliberation and discussion, we decided to head for lunch to Zolocrust, a chef- only restaurant located at the property itself.
Pizza Al Caprino at Zolocrust
The Apple Pie at Zolocrust
The unconventional Zolocrust restaurant at Clarks
Upon our arrival, we were told that Zolocrust is an unconventional, fully vegetarian pizzeria and bakery, where every service – from cooking to cleaning to serving - is looked after by the chefs! The chef in-charge of our table told us that most of the vegetables used in this restaurant are grown at a fully equipped poly-house there itself. This further increased our excitement and we couldn’t wait to start eating! We ordered Pizza Al Caprino and Apple Pie and I must say, the farm-to-table concept was a winner!
Post lunch, we were ready to explore the Pink City. On our way out, we noticed a lot of international groups of tourists waiting to be checked in and realised that this property must be quite popular with the foreign tourists as well. Jaipur, brimming with spectacular monuments, opulent palaces, historic forts, and various UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is a paradise for history lovers. Since both, my fiancé and I, are avid history buffs, we thoroughly enjoyed the sightseeing tour organized by the hotel as a part of our package.
The luxurious pool and the state-of-the-art gym surrounded by greenery
After a satisfactory day out, we were back in the hotel by late evening and decided to immediately burn some calories post the day’s gluttony. I hit the gym followed by a refreshing dip in the pool. The gym overlooking the pool has state of the art facilities. With glass walls on all sides, all you see is green when you are at the gym.
On my way back to the suite, I found myself drawn to the sound of really peppy musical beats. It was like some show was about to begin! I followed the direction of the music and reached the pretty decked lawns which were being made ready for a grand wedding reception. Rajasthan is a favourite among couples for destination weddings and this was the first time I would be witnessing one! Needless to say, the décor was exotic, one that seemed of an ethereal and royal wedding. The scintillating traditional lamps had cast a golden, romantic hue on the entire lawn and the fragrant flowers and petals adorning the premises were giving it a fairytale-effect. Right from the decor to the logistical arrangements and from the extensively laid out menu to the seating arrangements, every little detail had been perfectly crafted by the hotel staff.
The magnificent dining experience at Dhola Maru
I regretfully pulled myself away and started walking back to the suite. Instead of heading out, we decided to have dinner at Dhola Maru, an exquisite dining option at the hotel. According to what we had heard, Dhola Maru is famous for authentic Rajasthani delicacies and we were dying to try out the traditional specialities served there. Upon our arrival, we were personally greeted by the chef who recommended the dishes we should order as per our taste palate.
While there are a large number of dishes that I found drool-worthy, especially worth a mention were their Laal maas and black daal. I would come back to Jaipur just for the Dhola Maru experience! The ambience of the restaurant is imperial, to say the least! The best part about the dinner was the magnificent view of the entire city. With singers singing live Sufi music, our experience was as authentic as it could be.
Having had an exciting and a jam-packed first day, we were quite exhausted by the time we were done with our dinner and so we decided to retire for the night.
The lush greenery at Clarks
Having retired early the previous night, we were awake before our usual time the next morning. Since both of us were wide awake, we decided to go for the refreshing “nature walk” within the hotel. The hotel looks even more royal in the early-morning sunlight. As we strolled through the “nature walk” hidden between 50 year- old trees, we noticed the extensive area of greenery that Clarks showcases. We saw the poly house where vegetables are grown, chased Emus, parakeets and geese at the hotel campus, spotted migratory birds, butterflies and owls on trees, walked on the fresh morning grass! Oh! A magical experience for someone like me, who is very used to the hustle-bustle of city life.
After spending a peaceful morning amidst nature, we headed to Durbar restaurant for breakfast. Featuring an elaborate spread of delicious North Indian and Continental dishes, the Durbar restaurant left me impressed with the huge variety of food they serve. I enjoyed a hearty buffet of fresh juices, salads, eggs, waffles, and Indian dishes like parathas and dosas. What I was impressed with was the fact that the chef attends to guests at each of the restaurants, which adds a lot of personalisation to the guest experience.
Post a fulfilling breakfast, we decided to visit the wellness zone- the Spa. In addition to providing a range of beauty treatments and services, the spa also assures you of a soothing massage administered by skilled masseuses depending on your requirement. The welcoming staff briefed us on the various treatments available and suggested the best ones suited for our body type. The expert hands of the masseur administered relaxing treatments to us that within minutes, waved away our fatigue and re-energized us.
The wellness zone-spa at Clarks
The spa session made us feel fuzzy and sleepy, so we decided to skip our plan to head out and decided to order room service instead. The service was quite prompt and efficient; within minutes, the food reached our suite. One more thing that left us impressed was the use of eco-friendly straws that came along with our drinks. Upon asking the staff later, we found out that Clarks avoids the use of plastic straws, spoons, and bags. Yes, they really are a green and an eco-friendly hotel!
The opulent Clarks Brij Convention Centre
In the evening, I decided to head back to the pool for a swim with my fiancé. On our way to the swimming pool, we came across the Clarks Brij Convention Centre. The staff had informed us on the previous day that Clarks presents patrons with an extensive range of facilities at the six impeccable banquet halls and conference rooms. Out of these six halls, Clarks Brij Convention Centre, is supposed to be the crown jewel.
The dreamy champagne dinner specially organised for us by the staff
Later in the evening, my fiancé had asked the hotel to organise a nice and intimate dinner for us. The management surprised us with a private butler service at an exclusive candle-light champagne dinner under a gazebo and had created a dreamlike ambience especially for us! They had also gone an extra mile and organised a private Rajasthani dance performance exclusively for us. The warm and friendly staff truly made the evening magical for us!
TaBLU Rooftop Café and Bar
Post the dreamy dinner, we decided to end our trip at TaBLU` Rooftop Cafe Bar & Art Gallery located within the hotel. The happening atmosphere, the groovy music, the variety of eclectic drinks and the presence of different age groups made us believe that this was definitely one of the best in Jaipur. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, especially the 360-degree view of the city from the bar.
The grand property of Clarks
As we ended our visit and left for the airport the next day, our hearts were full of warm memories of the pleasant and royal Jaipur stay. To sum it up, we completely enjoyed our vacation at Clarks.