New Launch- Playground@JW Marriot, Aerocity

I have been in love with the latest surge of Street Art across India and I am extremely happy that the concept has finally made it’s way into a Five Star property, namely The Playground @ JW Marriot, Aerocity.

Food Truck in Alfresco 1

The Food Truck at the entrance of the restaurant reminiscent of the movie ‘Chef’ and Jon Favreau’s eclectic cooking style greets you as you walk towards the restaurant. Yogesh Saini, the brain behind Delhi Street Art has engineered the graffiti for Playground and has also decorated the truck along with the interior walls inside the restaurant.

Playground Artwork (1)

As you enter the alfresco style lounge bar stocked with the finest spirits of the world, you can see a – reflection of the hotel’s sensibilities; comfort, style and a sense of grandeur. And of course the hidden gem so to say,  is provided by the elusive Speakeasy. Partially hidden behind street art, this members’ only lounge houses coveted bottles and niche spaces. Mood lighting, luxurious interiors, wood paneling and handcrafted leather loungers from Timothy Oulton set the Speakeasy apart from the rest of the property. With its carefully curated bar menu and cocktails which highlight handpicked ingredients, the bar features some of the best single malts in the city.

Social Lounge 3

Redefining nightlife at Delhi-NCR, JW Marriott Aerocity has successfully created an amalgamation of gastronomic wonder and luxurious interiors, while focusing on the preferences of its patrons and marking a new step in the hospitality sector in the country.

Address:  Asset Area 4, Hospitality District, Delhi Aerocity, New Delhi, Delhi 110037

Phone: +91 11 4521 2115

Hours: – 11am to 1am

5 ways to add Luxury to your Home

Whenever we think of luxury we automatically start assuming expensive. While a lot of rich a luxurious products do fall in the higher price bracket, you can easily create a luxurious atmosphere with a few simple tips without burning a whole in your pocket

Scented Candle Jars

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These come in various materials from stone to ceramic. You can get a metal jar or marble jar and place it on your console or side table for your chic update.

Faux Fur

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While real Fur is a big NO-NO, Faux Fur if used properly can make a space look cozy and luxurious. If you are not ready to commit to a big throw, you can always add elements like fur cushions or fur seats.

Coffee Table Books

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These are a Stylist’s go too. The trick is to get the right colours to go with your interior. Monochromes are safe while a bright red or blue can add a touch of colour

Semi- Precious Stones

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And no I don’t mean just wear them. You can get stunning Home decor products like coasters and door knobs in stones like Agate and Rose Quartz. These look luxurious and add a touch of class!!

Linen Bedding

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While the opinion in India seems to be divided about linen bedding, with some people feeling it might get hot, there is no doubt that linen bedding spells luxury and coziness. Also the beautiful colours would add richness to any bedroom.

Flower Power

Ok, so obviously hotels spend a lot of attention to their flower displays. Beginning from the entrance lobby to the restaurants to the room, most hotels have elaborate displays. The thing I have learnt and been told by a lot of experts is, that most of these displays are not that difficult to achieve and can add a lot of panache to any room. Here again we have a few experts from Small Luxury hotels of the World  (SLH) giving us a few tips

Fleming Mayfair, London, UK

Yan Skates, Director, Bespoke Flowers, Fleming Mayfair

Image Courtesy- SLH,Flemings Hotel

“Our flower displays change in design from week to week, to keep up the wow factor for our regular visitors. So that would be my first tip- keep changing your displays every time you entertain. We take inspiration from new quirky venues in the city, study interior magazines religiously and keep up with current exhibitions in town or when travelling abroad. Inspiration can strike anyplace and anywhere so keep a lookout. Shop windows can be another great source. Another tip- if you pick from the garden or have a limited budget, a small number of blooms have more impact if they are put individually in vases. The vases could be the same or a variety depending on your theme and décor.”Hansar Bangkok, Thailand

Khun Surasak Jaijumpa, head florist, Hansar Bangkok shares his step by step technique to create a flower arrangement for your home.

You will need:

– Variety of flowers of various sizes.( I have used long stem roses, alstroemeria, lisianthus, amaryllis and tulips)

– Medium sized glass vase

– Bundle of twigs- (I have chosen red wood)

– Fresh water

Method

– Begin by cutting the wood sticks to the height of the glass vase. Next line the glass vase with smaller glass tubes*, if you do not have glass tubes at home you can use the wood sticks in place of this.

– After the glass tubes are positioned, put the red wood in between each tube to keep the over all display sturdy and provide a nice colour accent and texture to flowers

– After all the cut wood sticks are places, add some additional uncut red wood branches to give the arrangement some height

– Now fill the vase with water. You can use a syringe to squirt the water the keep the arrangement clean.

– Now, cut the flowers and begin placing them into the arrangement. Tip- start with the larger size flowers first and then fill in the empty areas with smaller ones. And you are done!

*These test tubes are easily available at any chemist or even some stationary stores.

Here is a DIY tip by me on how to create an interesting Flower arrangement

Photograph- Binaifer Bharucha

Instead of using just traditional vases, use various single pieces of sets. So these could include a few small vases as well as glasses and cups of various sizes. The thinner glasses/vases can be used for long single flowers and the wider ones for bunches of smaller flowers. Place these on a long tray and put them on a console or in a round tray on your round dining table. You can use ribbons and lace to wrap these vases/glasses. This is a perfect look for an outdoor party.  Add more quirky elements like colourful beads in the clear glasses. This looks funky and doesn’t cost much at all. So go ahead try it and let me know how it worked.

To check out more tips on how to create hotel style at home click here

Review: Tamra, Shangri-La, New Delhi

Tamra, the new all-day dining at the Shangri-la, takes its inspiration from the early ages of culinary evolution when copper (tamra) vessels were key components. I think the concept and the visual appeal of Tamra is fabulous. Tamra brings a high level of creativity to the casual dining scenario with a large variety of food offerings from around the world. It successfully brings old world charm and presents it in a new avatar,as it borrows its decor inspiration from the early trading markets when Indian spices, jute, copper, silk, leather and other items were appreciated at shores all over the world. Even the interactive kitchens are a tribute to the early market place, where Chefs showed off their skills and produced culinary delights to sell to traders and visitors.

Tamra, Shangri-la, www.stylecity.in

Walking into Tamra was quite a pleasant surprise for me as I am not used to seeing Hotel coffee shops go through such creative ideas and style the space. Tamra has a unique five, live kitchen concept, along with an elegant wooden bar next to the entrance. Conceptualized by the renowned Dubai based Stickman Design, the restaurant is a visual depiction of culinary delights from around the world. From the wheat grass lined planter boxes that form the backdrop to the continental station to Copper hanging pots that are displayed over the two infinity tables where mirrored walls provide an exaggerated view,the space gets an overall warm and convivial character

Tamra, Shangri-la, www.stylecity.in

Led by the hotels Executive Chef Martin Bracker, Tamra’s open theatre stations are Asian, Indian and regional, Japanese and Teppanyaki, homemade gelatos and a Dessert Bar, Cold Cuts, Cheeses, Breads and a Salad Bar. However despite the large Designed with intimacy in mind, Tamra has pockets of privacy screened off by decorative floor to ceiling jute rope partitions. Hanging shelves at the back of the show kitchens display decorative culinary installations and provide a quirky backdrop for the interactive kitchens while the counter tops are lined with signature dishes to showcase the food. The food itself is amazing! The variety and amount of food offered here possibly surpasses that of any other Hotel coffee shop buffet. They also have a ‘ghar ka khana’ counter which is perfect for the traveler who is missing home cooked food. Finally at Rs.2100++ (w/o alcohol) the buffet is also extremely well-priced. Piece of advice, go starving if you really want to enjoy the vast selection!

Eclair Delight

Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts today announced the launch of its first-ever global éclair programme, Le Méridien Éclair, in partnership with award-winning pastry chef and new LM100 member, Johnny Iuzzini.  Le Méridien New Delhi will offer guests the opportunity to indulge in a variety of modern twists on the chic Parisian pastry, with the hotel’s pastry chef, Chef Vikas Shrivastava at the helmm offering three signature flavours – coffee, chocolate and vanilla – as well as unique creations inspired by New Delhi and other parts of the country.

Eclairs, Le Meridien, www.stylecity.in

Eclairs, Le Meridien, www.stylecity.in

“The destination inspired éclairs is a novel take on the chic Parisian pastry and offers a new perspective to our creative guests and helps them to discover not only interesting aspects of a destination but also experience local cuisine and share the experience at their next stop”, said Tarun Thakral, Chief Operating Officer, Le Meridien New Delhi.To celebrate the launch of Le Méridien Éclair, Le Méridien New Delhi will host ’A New Perspective on Eclairs’ and offer guests the opportunity to create their own éclair innovations guided by Chef Vikas Shrivastava. Guests of Le Méridien New Delhi throughout the months of June and July will also be encouraged to upload and share their experiences on social media using #LMeclairs.

Eclairs, Le Meridien, www.stylecity.in

Le Méridien hotels around the world will continue to feature a variety of destination-inspired éclairs, offering guests an authentic taste of the local cuisine and culture, from the Maple Bacon Éclair and Texas Honey Pecan Éclair at Le Méridien Dallas by the Galleria to the Dulce de Leche Éclair, infused with coconut, from Le Méridien Panama. Le Méridien New Delhi will feature the Jaggery Ginger Éclair, Rose Cardamom Éclair and Clotted Cream Kalakand Éclair to unlock the flavours of Delhi and Hazelnut Tamarind Éclair from Le Royal Meridien Chennai and Coconut Jaggery Cardamom from Le meridien Kochi. The Le Méridien Éclair programme comes on the heels of the brand’s recent announcement of a new global partnership with French Bossa Nova collective Nouvelle Vague, who has curated a 24-hour soundtrack for Le Méridien hotels around the world, as well as a new global beverage programme, Le Méridien Sparkling, inspired by the European aperitif culture. Together, these programmes elevate the guest experience via the brand’s signature Hub experience, encouraging visitors to unlock their destination through coordinates, culture and cuisine.

Le Meridien: A Curated Experience for the Creative Class

Le Méridien was founded by Air France in 1972 a leader in design and innovation at that time, with the first hotel, the 1,000 room Le Méridien Etoile in Paris. The original concept was to provide a “home outside of home for Air France passengers” which led to a presence of Le Méridien in the world’s primary and international cities, as well as exotic resort locales in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.  Le Méridien’s ARRIVAL Experience commences from the moment guests arrive at the hotel door steps until they have opened the door to their guest room. It was curated by the brand’s Cultural Curator Jérôme Sans and engaged a range of LM100™; a group of cultural innovators. Current LM100 members include Le Méridien Cultural Curator, Jerome Sans; world renowned artists Sam Samore, Joan Fontcuberta, Younès Rahmoun, Youssef Nabil, and Michael Lin; contemporary Chinese artists Chen Wenbo, Yan Lei, An Xiaotong; award winning photographer, Ralph Gibson to name a few.

Le Meridien, www.stylecity.in

Transforming the guest experience:
Based on proprietary Starwood research that showed that the first 10 minutes sets a guest’s mind for the rest of the stay, Le Méridien identified 4 signature moments to make the guest’s Arrival experience memorable and special.
a) Artwork on the doors– Right upon Arrival the entry door was considered as a canvas and 40+ artworks have been created for the brand by numerous established and emerging LM100 artists around the globe.
b) Unique Atmosphere- A unique atmosphere has been created including the signature scent created by New York perfumery Le Labo, called LM01, a signature soundtrack, and a lighting ceremony (created by each hotel) to celebrate the transition from day to night.
c) UNLOCK ARTTM At check-in the guest receives an artist-designed key card that serve as pieces of artwork themselves.  The hotel keycard is created by a contemporary artist and is intended to become a collector’s item.  The program, called UNLOCK ART™ in addition consists of unique partnerships to provide guests with complimentary access to contemporary cultural centers around the world,including San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts, Shanghai’s Museum of Contemporary Arts and a lot more.
d) Soundscape in the elevator- Le Méridien has transformed the expected and mundane event of riding an elevator into an “Elevated Experience” through a unique 24 hour soundscape.  Le Méridien has appointed Henri Scars Struck, an LM100 member and the visionary Grammy-winning French composer/producer, to create this soundscape for Le Méridien hotels globally.

Le Meridien, www.stylecity.in

Le Meridien, www.stylecity.in

Le Meridien Delhi sees the work of ‘Thukral & Tagra’ who have created a walking interactive experience piece through the lobby. When people walk, the floor becomes animated by a crowd of characters that immediately surround you and follow you on your journey. When you stop, they stop.  If you start to walk again, they follow you. These characters are elements of the artists’ vocabulary that you find in all their paintings and other works. They are characters or idioms from global lifestyle, contemporary culture, communication, transportation, music, health and nature. Contemporary culture as a culture of signs. Pop signs. Signs of the time.’

Le Meridien, www.stylecity.in

LE MERIDIEN’S LOBBIES WILL THE BECOME THE GATHERING PLACE FOR CREATIVE MINDS, NAMED “THE HUB”-Le Méridien aims to become the gathering place for creative minds by providing a space that encourages dialogue, awakens curiosity, stimulated thinking through physical + human components in the space. The environment of the hub will consist of curated contemporary art in high impact areas (graphic, sound, video), unique seating, styling, F+B component with coffee at its center and trained Baristas are the core component of Le Meridien’s Hub.

Review: Trifecta, Mumbai

Every month hundreds of restaurants are born in Mumbai, and then even before you can begin to remember names they shut and are replaced by something else. Most of them are just run of a mill places with nothing exceptional to offer, the rest just can’t keep up with the original standards. So, in Mumbai more than any other place I tend to feel most sceptical about trying out new places and least of all getting attached to them. Situated conveniently on Juhu Tara road in the Hotel Royal Garden,Trifecta which has replaced Opa is the latest entrant into the Mumbai culinary scene.This multi-cuisine restaurant has neo-modern interiors with the option of either lounge style seating outside or an elegantly designed indoor area with wooden interiors.Over-all nothing extraordinary so far. All that changed once we started tasting the food.

Trifecta, www.stylecity.in

Trifecta offers a large 10 page menu with three cuisines namely North Indian, Oriental and Continental with carefully selected dishes and a large selection of cocktails. We started with cocktails namely Pina Colada and a Manhattan. The cocktails were perfect, in fact they could give the best bartenders in the city a run for their money.Then on the advice of the manager, we ordered for a Non-veg(Indian) platter which had small portions of koliwada fish, chicken kali mirch kebab, chicken pudina kebab, chicken acahri kebab, chicken reshmi, chicken tikka, fish tikka and mutton seekh kebab. The kebabs were tender and reminded us of lakhnawi kebabs which are some of the best kebab’s in the country.

Trifecta, www.stylecity.in

After that we decided to go for second round of drinks before ordering main course. Impressed by the bartender’s skills, we now were greedy and wanted more. So we ordered for a classic margarita as we continued to relish the appetizers. We then entered the major dilemma for the evening-what to order for mains from the vast menu? This time we decided to savour the continental and oriental flavours. So we called for chicken khao suey and Jamaican jerk chicken.The flavours of both was authentic and mesmerizing. So we requested to personally compliment the executive chef Mr. Sandy. Having 13 years of culinary experience under his sleeves, he informed us that the secret behind such delicious food is that they prepare most of the ingredients in-house instead of going for artificial flavours from stores. And then although we were bursting, he tempted us to try the Mousse cake and we were really glad that we did so, as it was delish! So if you are in the area we definitely recommend you to drop in and have a meal at Trifecta.

RECIPES
KHAO SUEY
Ingredients
1.70gms Fresh Onion
2.50gms Fresh Garlic
3.25gms Fresh Ginger
4.20gms Green Chilly
5.10gms Thai Ginger(Galngal)
6.10gms Basil Leaves
7.25ml Refined Oil
8.120ml Coconut Milk
9.15gms Broccalli
10.15gms Mushroom
11.15gms Babycorn
12.15gms zucchini
13.5gms Madras Cyrry powder
14.10gms Silken Tofu
15.5gms Salt

Condiments
1.10gms Fried Garlic
2.10gms Fried Onion
3.10gms Crushed peanuts
4.10gmsChilly Flakes
5.10gms Chopped Celery
6.10gms Chopped Green Chilly
7.10gms Lemon Wedages
8.10gms Chopped Coriander
9.10gms Chopped Spring Onion
10.10gms Sliced Onion

METHOD
First Of All Grind This Ingredients Like Onion, Ginger, Garlic, Green Chilly, Thai Ginger(galangal)and Make a smooth paste, then heat the pan put some oil then put few fresh basil Stair Well Add Smooth Paste Cook For Few Minutes Then Add Coconut Milk And Stair Well Until The Paste And Coconut Milk Mix Properly ,Give The Seasoning ,After That Add All Vegetable With Tofu . Garnish With Fresh Basil And Serve With Flat Rice Noodles Or Steam Rice And Condiments.

 

Grown up Gap Year with SLH

A couple of years ago, the notion of Gap Year where students take time to travel or get life experience before moving on to university or embarking on a career was almost unheard of in Asia. However it has since become increasingly popular and more fresh-faced school and university students are heading to the shores of New Zealand, Thailand, India and beyond for a grand adventure. But Gap Years needn’t be confined to the youngsters, a growing number of professionals, empty-nesters and retirees are hankering after the same kind of around the world, off the beaten track experiences, albeit in a little more style than the traditional gapper. Here, Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), experts in luxury boutique travel, share their dream itineraries and experiences for a“Grown Up Gap Year”retirement, redundancy, sabbatical or just an escape from the rat race, whether you have a full year, a few months, or a couple of weeks,these are the destinations to dream about.

Solo Traveller

A journey through Costa Rica makes the trip of a lifetime. Explore this ecologically rich country with SLH – from quiet beaches to wild rivers, a Central American adventure awaits. Our dream itinerary would include a stay at Hotel Punta Islitaoverlooking a rugged bay on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, Punta Islita is a picturesque beachfront resort set on a tiered hillside. Expect a close-up view of authentic Costa Rican culture amidst forest-covered mountains with plenty of fast-paced activities such as zip lining and forest trekking, and a relaxing spa with treatments inspired by nature to fill your alone-time. For quieter moments, one of the main attractions of Punta Islita is the peace and seclusion – warm tropical breezes, forest scents and sea and sky views are best enjoyed from your hammock for a taste of delicious solitude. From there, head to Le Caméléon in Puerto Viejo. Close to some of the world’s quietest beaches in Puerto Viejo, this is a sophisticated yet relaxed beach retreat where a laid back Caribbean lifestyle becomes second nature for all guests. Laze by the pool and enjoy a massage…or visit Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, renowned for manatees, dolphins and sea turtles that nest on the beaches from February to May. Rancho Pacifico in Puntarenas  is an idyllic spot to end the journey – expect ultra-comfortable isolation in the midst of tropical jungle. Set high on a secluded hilltop, surrounded by 250 acres of rainforest, this eco-luxury resort provides 10 dramatic rooms – choose from suite, villa and treehouse accommodation. Activities abound – take the private Bosque Puro Trail 1,000 feet up to the top of the coastal mountains into the cloud forest, or journey into a remote part of the Osa Peninsula via the Sierpe River by boat. Sightings of monkeys, sloths, jaguarundis, anteaters, tree frogs, toucans and parakeets are commonplace in this area.

Finding yourself

Seeking a spiritual retreat? Why not follow in the footsteps of Julia Roberts and embark upon a journey of self-discovery as portrayed in the novel and movie Eat, Pray, Love! SLH offers a charming selection of luxury escapes in Florence, India and Bali, the three destinations the protagonist famously visited on her journey.Dine Like A King In Florence: JK Place Firenze Hotel -. Suspended in a bubble of refinement in the heart of the city, JK Place Firenze Hotel is an exceptional retreat, adored by everyone who stays behind its modest townhouse façade. Inside, it is elegance epitomised with century’s worth of artefacts and lovely homemade food served all day in a glass-covered courtyard.Find Inner Calm In India: Fragrant Nature Retreat & Resort, Kerala The natural village setting of Fragrant Nature Retreat & Resort reflects the authentic Keralean way of life. In a stunning setting overlooking a fresh water lake, the extremely comfortable rooms and villas bring you close to nature while fine dining, a pampering spa and a traditional cruise boat provides more than a touch of supreme comfort.Love Yourself In Bali: Spa Village Tembok Bali. Set amidst a dramatic volcanic landscape on Bali’s north-eastern coast, Spa Village Resort Tembok, Bali is where your restorative journey begins. Dedicated to top-to-toe pampering and personalised spa treatments, this uniquely peaceful and tranquil spot is surrounded by tropical gardens and provides a beach-side restaurant, a spectacular infinity pool and stunning accommodation.

Off The Beaten Track

Hotel Terelj, Mongolia .Set on the banks of the Terelj River in a remote spot surrounded by lush tree-covered mountains in the Gorkhi-Terelji National Park, the Terelj Hotel is a polished sanctuary of relaxation just 50 kilometres from Mongolia’s capital city, Ulaanbaatar. An almost untouched corner of the earth, near the birthplace of Ghenhis Khan, the pristine wilderness surrounding the property is some of the most carefully protected parkland in the country. Guests enjoy outdoor adventures from bird watching to hiking and climbing or horseback riding through meadows of edelweiss, grassy steppes and forest-covered mountains. Although sparsely populated, the park is also home to nomadic Mongolians, offering visitors the chance to meet with the authentic people of Mongolia. Admire the Khagiin Khar glacial lake, the Yestii hot springs, and spot brown bears, wild boar, wolves and over 250 bird species before retreating to the hotel’s veranda to relax in an armchair under a cashmere blanket – the grown up way to experience the wilderness!

Ski Season

Art and Relax Hotel Bergwelt, Austria. At a heady 1950m, Obergurgl in Austria boasts a long ski season for maximum snow days. The typically Tyrolean village has magnificent scenery and lively après ski to boot – stay at the Art and Relax Hotel Bergwelt, a fabulous ski-in ski-out property set high on a sunny plateau. Delightfully traditional, the lodge offers modern, stylish interiors, a panoramic restaurant, a spa with the highest pool in the Alps and a fantastic welcoming bar with blazing fire. We wouldn’t mind holing up here all winter long! Royal Park Hotel Kandersteg, Switzerland. From Austria, head across the border to Switzerland to the small alpine resort of Kandersteg. Excellent skiing, snowboarding, heli-skiing, cross-country skiing, skating, tobogganing and even ice hockey await! Stay at the Royal Park Hotel Kandersteg, which sits in a huge park, perfectly located for all the activities on offer in the area. The ski season staples of fondue and raclette served at Berner Stübli restaurant are truly legendary.

Reservations for any Small Luxury Hotels of the World property can be made by calling +65 6232 5060, online at www.slh.com or via the new iPhone app. Travel agents need only remember the GDS code LX for LuXury.