Nestled in a remote valley of the Aravalli Hills, 270 km from Delhi and a four-and-a-half hour drive off National Highway 8, lies the dream destination of Amanbagh. We were met on arrival by the charming and ever smiling, Robyn Bickford and Manav Garewal, Joint General Managers of the property. At the entrance two hostesses clad in orange sarees sang a hymn to Lord Vishnu asking for his blessings on our stay and accorded us a traditional welcome writes Bunty Singh.
Amanbagh, part of the international Aman Group of hotels, was created about eight years ago to welcome guests from across the world, the ‘Aman Junkies’. The property has primarily two types of accommodation 24 Haveli Suites and 16 Pool Pavilions. We checked into a Pool Pavilion which is a stand-alone two room cottage. We entered a small lobby and to our right was this spacious bedroom with a king-size bed, the most comfortable one I had slept in recent memory, a cosy seating area, and a Bose Wave music system, not a common sight in most hotels. And to the left a vey large hexagonal dressing area with a ‘his’ and ‘her’ closet and sink, a sunken bath in the middle and separate shower and toilet facilities. But interestingly, and probably consciously no television in this suite and this is when I realised we were in for a ‘de-tox de-stress’ week-end !
Created in old Rajasthani style, the entire property is built in pink sand stone and marble, so typical of this region and a favourite with me. The main building houses the well stocked bar, dining room, library and a boutique but the best part is the wrap-around veranda where one could lounge or have a meal spaced in such a manner that you would not hear the people at the next table. Two swimming pools, a 33 metre large pool for ones with strong lungs and a 12 x 12 metre wading pool make up the central ‘square’ with the spa on one side and the health club on the other, but who wants to jump on to a machine when you are at such a place !
Since our stay was short, we took only one excursion, and that was to the medieval city of Bhangarh, 15 km away. But there are many other trips you can take from here, even venturing further afield to the famous game sanctuary of Sariska. Sita Ram our guide was exceptional and it was a delight to be shown around by him, describing the history of the region as well as the flora and fauna. But the most impressive part of this dream property was the caring thoughtfulness of the staff who were ever willing to please, noting and rememberig our every wish and need. Well-cooked meals were served graciously when we wanted them in the spacious verandahs facing the blue expanse of the colonnaded swimming pool surrounded by landscaped gardens.
I write this lounging on a chair overlooking my private pool with the hills as a backdrop and not a care in the world, but alas! the time has come for us to depart and we must leave in a couple of hours.
Thank you Robyn and Manav for making us so welcome, as I know you do with each one of your guests.