India’s Hidden Boutique Hotels – If you’re looking for an Indian getaway that doesn’t involve the usual puppet shows and palace feasts, and you want to see the gentler, more creative side of India, these family-owned properties could be just the India experience you’re looking for. India is full of lesser-known towns with histories as unique as the soil they set upon. These resort properties were created with the visionary roots that only Indians can achieve – creations built of love and entirely unique from any other place on earth.
About two-and-a-half hours outside of Kolkata, West Bengal’s boutique resort, Rajbari, is not so much a hotel as it is a discovery. The property had fallen into disrepair after decades of neglect, but one Kolkata local, Ajay Rawla, rediscovered and renovated this 1800s merchant palace so breathtakingly, that its entrance has been deemed the most beautiful in the entire country.
Designed on the grandest of scales, the façade of the courtyard is multi-columned, perfectly expressing West Bengal’s swaggering history. This was a land of fortune hunters, Englishmen who chose the native way of life over their own, and landowners whose sole claim to riches were their extensive art collections.
Rajbari is the Sleeping Beauty that was kissed by a man enamored with the history and the property. Staying here is akin to a fairy tale with West Bengal as the magical princess. Sail the Hooghly River for the day and return just before dusk to take part in the evening Sanskrit prayers. In true period reflection, enjoy your dinner in the stately, candlelit dining room as you journey back to 1819. Pure perfection on every note.
Deep in the jungles of northern Kerala in the Western Ghat mountains, discover a heritage of peace and storytelling. Anand Jayan is the third generation to own Pepper Trail Resort. He inherited these 200 acres and transformed them into South India’s most rewarding property.
Two of the resort’s suites are within a bungalow that’s more than 140 years old. Complete with Kerala-inspired chairs, pillars, and more villas and swimming pools in the works. Up high under the Pavilion, you’ll be treated to seasonal, local cuisines. Peppery Mutton is one of the visitor favorites, as well as indigenous fruits and other delicacies. Listen to the serenade of hornbills and parakeets as you enjoy your meal.
Yes, you’ve discovered God’s country.