Travel Review: Weekend Getaway to Jaipur and Stay at Crowne Plaza. (Tonk Road)
It’s been a while since I caught on to my writing spree. It feels good to be back on track and I will write and publish a blog post at least twice or thrice every month, from now.
Yes, pinky promise.
Today, I’m going to write about our weekend-getaway experience in Jaipur and how our experience was staying at Crowne Plaza on Tonk Road during that weekend.
What their massive property looks like at night.
Snehsha and I departed on a flight from Mumbai on 20th November (Friday) at 19:00 and landed in Jaipur around 20:10. We headed straight to Crowne Plaza on Tonk Road (20-25 minutes away from the airport) and checked-into our suite immediately after arrival.
We were pleasantly surprised at the lavishness and spaciousness of the entire property, especially our suite with a dedicated bedroom and a separate living area.
Here’s the living area of the same suite we lived in, which included a mini bar, a small dining table, a living area, a desk, a wardrobe, a bathtub in the attached-bathroom, a separate toilet in the living area to host guests and also two plasma television sets – 1 in each room of the suite.
Located in the business hub of Sitapura, the hotel property is equipped with 218 rooms and 20 suites in total – which includes 90 superior/king rooms, 67 twin-rooms, 26 deluxe-king-rooms and 15 club-king rooms with private balconies. Corporate guests can also enjoy and have a relaxed stay at any of their 8 business suites or 12 executive suites.
Saturday morning began with breakfast at Sirocco, their lobby restaurant, on the ground level of Crowne Plaza, with this soft & fluffy Mushroom & cheese omelette – served with chicken sausages, crispy bacon, hash browns, grilled tomato and brown buttery toasts.
Their talented executive chef, Mr. Vikash Prasad, visited our table to share meaningful culinary conversations with us, while we enjoyed food cooked by him for breakfast. The cold weather in Jaipur deserved a short nap before lunch, or perhaps a relaxing spa treatment instead.
So after breakfast, Snehsha & I were off to experience a couple’s spa treatment, before it was time to go enjoy lunch with Vikash again at Crowne Plaza’s iconic new restaurant: House Of Han.
Both of us have enjoyed spa treatments at many 5-star properties before, including the most popular and award-winning spa treatments offered by Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa in the recent past. Our expectations were obviously very high from Crowne Plaza, and our welcome made it look promising right from the start of our treatment!
60 minutes of bliss at Crowne Plaza’s spa!
Our 60-minute-therapy at their spa left us feeling extremely relaxed, light-headed and refreshingly oriented in our bodies, minds and souls. The only thing I found odd during our treatment was the lack of music in this place. Relevant spiritual music found and heard at spa centres usually, add great value to the entire spiritual and relaxing experience.
After our spa treatment, we rushed for our lunch at House of Han, situated on the ground level of Crowne Plaza.
House of Han’s architecture and beautifully detailed décor made us feel like we had entered a lavish Chinese household, instantly after we walked into this artistically appealing restaurant.
I was caught candidly while having an intense conversation with the GM of Crowne Plaza, Ashwani Goela, exchanging observations and tips to enhance every dining experience at their property.
We began our lunch at House of Han with this satisfyingly soulful Prawn Dumpling soup. The flavours were simple but unexpectedly mild and minimal. However, this soup did its job of getting us hungry for a long meal, very well.
Prawn Dumpling Soup at House of Han, Jaipur.
Some traditional steamed Chinese buns to go with our soups.
What you see here, is a traditional long Chinese teapot, usually referred to as a “long spout pot” or a “long-spout-kettle”, which is usually made of copper. As a part of Chinese tea culture and tea ceremony, the performance of long teapot is practical and highly ornamental. Hot water cools down naturally when flowing through the long spout, and reaches to the temperature suitable for sipping. The server also shared a significant story from history for us.
He said, it is believed that the long spout pot/kettle was invented during an ancient war period, to keep servers away from the table, and prohibit them from eavesdropping into essential conversations that occurred during that time.
We were impressed with Chef Han’s technical skills in the kitchen. His command over creating symmetrical presentations, were remarkably and artistically unique. These stir-fried prawns were cooked to perfection. Hot, spicy and irresistible!
Stir fried prawns at House of Han, Crowne Plaza, Jaipur.
Asparagus and peppers in garlic sauce, cooked and served with love, love for food and love for art.
Chef Han’s expertise on cooking and his intricate drawings on food plates, is something that can be considered a deliberate and talented technique of plating or presentation, with a pure intention of storytelling through the form of food. He thinks food is the truest and most useful source of nature, and his efforts are sincere to bring food to life, with his knowledge, expertise and acquired artistic skills.
Chef Han’s Signature Hakka Noodles.
House of Han Fried Rice
A door that combines Chinese and Indian art together, marks House of Han’s entrance and exit point.
After our lunch at House of Han, we decided to rest till it was time for us to leave the hotel to go shopping and have dinner at Chokhi Dhani Resort Jaipur
Chokhi Dhaani Resort, Jaipur.
What a lovely shop, what a proud shop owner!
Here’s me shooting at wooden dolls! 5 bullets, 5 rupees!
I got only 6 out of 20 shots I bought!
After shopping for mojaris, desk-souvenirs and kurtas; we decided to have dinner at the dinner garden of Chokhi Dhani Resort; where they had this beautiful buffet and ghazal-performances set up for guests like us.
Live ghazal performances while we enjoyed local Rajasthani delicacies under an open starry sky.
Hot bhakris, tandoori rotis and laccha parathas were being served by local Rajasthani women right in the middle of the massive dinner spread set up at Chokhi Dhaani resort that night.
After a wonderful and unforgettable Saturday night at Chokhi Dhaani’s garden restaurant, we were ready to take our flight back to Mumbai on Sunday. But before we left, we had enough time to go check out Johari Bazaar, Nahagar Fort and also pick up kachoris from Rawat for our friends and family members back in Mumbai!
We left our hotel at 8 am on Sunday to explore shopping options amongst hundreds of shops situated together on the long street of Johari Bazar.
Johari Bazar: more than 400 shops on one single street.
From jewellery to mojaris to leather bags to woolen jackets, Johari Bazar had a lot to offer.
After spending a lot of unnecessary time looking for things we didn’t really need but bought anyway, we headed straight to one of the most beautiful and popular forts in the city: Nahargarh Fort Jaipur.
This is what the entrance of Nahagarh Fort looks like. Inviting enough, isn’t it?
Doesn’t this look like something you might have seen before?
This is the fort where Aamir Khan dives after chugging a pint of beer in Rang De Basanti.
Before we left the fort, we thought of grabbing a quick snack outside.
Hawkers were selling spicy bhel outside and we managed to get this on our camera while he prepared our order.
After spending some wonderful time and eating lots of bhel puri at Nahagar Fort, we decided to take a quick stop at Rawat Mishthan Bhandar & Restaurant – to buy 4 dozens of dal & pyaaz ki kachoris each, for our friends, colleagues and family members.
We had exactly one hour to enjoy the exclusive Sunday brunch at Crowne Plaza, so we packed our bags and began our long meal with some fusilli in pesto from their live pasta counter.
Fusili in pesto with sautéed mushrooms at Sirrocco, Crowne Plaza, Tonk Road, Jaipur.
Their Sunday brunch spread was extensive and the staff on duty were attentive, prompt and focussed.
Lavash and breadsticks to go with our beer and appetisers.
That’s what their mezze counter looked like.
Different kinds of salads, breads, hummus & dips on display.
We enjoyed having fresh apple fritters prepared by this chef live at the dessert counter.
Amongst 15 to 20 different things we tried at Crowne Plaza’s Sunday brunch, we recommend this watermelon & feta salad from their mezze counter. If you’re looking for an extensive unlimited buffet option in Jaipur, you should definitely consider dining at Sirroco at Crowne Plaza on Tonk Road, at least once.
After our Sunday brunch experience, we checked-out of our suite at Crowne Plaza and rushed to the airport for our flight at 6 PM. I’ve been busy setting up my new creative agency since October and we needed this break more than we expected it to be.
Getting away from the hustle-bustle is absolutely essential, especially when one’s busy setting up new ideas and dreams. I’m glad I got some time out of my busy life, which currently involves a lot of tasks to be achieved every day and every week, including launching Lensplate’s brand new website.
Goodbye, Crowne Plaza Jaipur Tonk Road.
We enjoyed our stay and we hope to see you soon again.
The amount of activities we managed to experience and capture during this short weekend-getaway in November, has left us wanting more of Jaipur and we promise to go back in 2016 again.
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