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Travel tales

Iconic Clarks Amer, Jaipur

I often used to go to the Clarks Amer, Jaipur in the late 1980’s for a cup of tea with my would-be girlfriends. Oh yes, it was an expensive cup of tea for me as a student, but you see – whats money go to do when it is the question of luxury and status building. During these visits, I often used to fantasize to come here one day and spend some days and soak in the luxury that the hotel provided.

Thanks to Ramya, Ankur and Ms Timmie Kumar, this dream of mine turned into reality last week as we stayed at this first five-star hotel in Jaipur, built in the mid 1970s for two nights. In a land of low rise havelies and other structures, it still is a wonder that it has been the tallest building around for so long.

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There was an added attraction too from Clarks Amer – the Landwehr Orchestra Live performance, which we attended on the second night of our stay. The orchestra was here in Jaipur to celebrate 70 years of Friendship treaty between Switzerland and India and the 70th Foundation year of Clarks Group of Hotels. Having Landwehr perform at the hotel was a matter of pride for the Clarks group of Hotels.

It is important here to mention that Clarks Amer and its management including Timmie and Apurv Kumar have always tried to bring unique and enriching experiences to their beloved city. They regularly host and organize Art Events, Animal Welfare Summits and Music Festivals such as the extremely popular Tablu Music Festival. The Landwehr Orchestra’s performance was one of the hotel’s most culturally refined presentations.

Well, coming to the hotel now, I found it to be a great place to stay and I was happy to come here and live out my dream. The hotel complex is set in beautiful lush green gardens with splendid decor and architecture.

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As the check-in process was going on, I started eyeing and my camera went on a shooting spree. Clarks has a huge lobby and the decor made me nostalgic. Excellent lighting and amazingly chosen designs of the intricate chandeliers, coloured glass windows, wooden jaalis and painted ceiling further added to the grand effect.

After a warm welcome with a tilak ceremony and a glass of cold Sherbet, we were escorted to our rooms. As we got onto the elevator, my eyes got glued to a message glittering in golden lettering – “This is the oldest passenger lift in the city” and I kept staring at it in awe. This certainly is the royal grandeur of the oldest five- star hotel in the Pink City.

I was stunned by the classy interiors when I entered the room. Best of yester-years charm were amalgamated with modern facilities, and the result was sheer elegance. Wooden flooring, huge glass windows and a lovely view of the lush greenery surrounding the property greeted me in the room. The bed was comfortable and bathroom was clean.

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The hotel currently has 214 well equipped rooms spread over 8 floors and 5 restaurants. They also have an outdoor pool. Free WiFi in public areas, free valet parking, a health club, a bar/lounge and a coffee shop/café are also available. All the rooms have 24-hour room service and LED TVs with cable channels. The rooms are classified as – Superior Rooms, Club rooms, Penthouses, and Presidential Suites.

The hotel also features a 24-hour business centre and meeting rooms. Clarks Brijj Convention Centre is supposed to be the best business center in the entire north India.

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The feature that I liked the most was this is an environmentally green hotel. I loved going into the Semal Bagh (named after the Semal trees that grow here), the front garden where I was at home with the music of chirping birds. They also have the nature walk which leads to the homes of a few birds (geese, swans and emus) and animals that the hotel owners have given shelter to. The vegetable and herbal gardens aer also located here. There is a lawn at the back of the hotel too, known as Rama Bagh. Both these gardens have a capacity to house between 1,500 to 2,000 people for any weddings and large events.

The most unique feature of the hotel was their initiative on reducing use of plastic. Now, you get paper straws and cutlery at Zolocrust and they plan to replace the commercial plastic water bottles with glass bottles with water from in-house bottling plant.

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The hotel also has some of the best restaurants in Jaipur; SORA, a rooftop bar, Durbar, a north Indian and Continental Restaurant, Dholamaru, an authentic Rajasthani restaurant, ta Blu, a Rooftop Cafe Bar & Art Gallery, and Zolocrust, a 24×7 Live Bakery and Pizzeria.

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