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Splurging in India

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It may surprise you that India is one of the best places to splurge and to be treated like royalty for a day or a week! You can dine using gold-plated silverware at Taj Rambagh Palace (yes, a real palace!) in Jaipur or be serenaded by a flute-player while gazing over Udaipur city on your swing at Taj Lake Palace. You can journey to the Himalayas for a yoga retreat or down south on a boat sailing the waters of Kerala where all your meals are cooked fresh for from local produce. Or enjoy a private classical Indian concert at the home of local musicians.

When my son and I did our first trip to India, we were fortunate to stay at the Taj Lake Palace which is set in the middle of Lake Pichola. It was built from 1743 – 1746 by the former Maharana Jagat Singh II as a royal summer palace. To reach it you wait at a dock for a small canopied motor boat to take you on a quick ride to the palace. You disembark and are showered with flower petals and offered a welcome fruit drink in the luxurious entry hall. Our room had a marble bathroom, down beds, fluffy bathrobes and slippers. My son’s favorite luxury was the 32” flat-screen TVs! 
After venturing out for the evening my son was thrilled to find a special chocolate cake and personal message from the manager welcoming him to the hotel! It was delicious.
In the morning we feasted on a splendid breakfast with fresh fruit and yogurt and custom-made omelettes. 

Another way to spoil yourself is to stop at one of the many beauty shops and spas for unparalleled facials, manicures and pedicures, not to mention Ayurvedic massages complete with herbal oils. A nice twist is that such service is not reserved for the wealthy, middle-class Indians also visit their local beauty salons for these treatments, so you may have an opportunity to exchange stories with a fellow customer from Mumbai or Jaipur. And India has a wealth of lovely, natural beauty products you can take home. Then whenever you apply one of the masques, the scent of the flowers and herbs will immediately send you back to the streets and temples you left behind!
In any town in India you can have clothes tailored in a day for a very reasonable cost. Choose simple cotton or luxurious sari fabrics and have them made into fabulous skirts, pants and shirts. Here is Anne looking wonderful in her custom-made sari.

If you linger in one city for a few days you can also have jewelry made out of silver or 22-karat gold, set with local semi-precious stones. And the interactions you have with the craftsmen will be the most enjoyable part of the experience. I had a purse fixed the time I was traveling in India. The repair took 15 minutes, but we spent an hour talking about our families and music! As they often say in India  “Everything is possible!”

Your friendly India expert,

Laura Finkelstein
Got questions about India? Ask Laura


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