The Justa Sajjangarh Resort & Spa offers unparalleled views of the Aravallis and the Monsoon Palace
It was the latter half of December and Udaipur was just recovering from the lavish Ambani wedding that took place in the city. As we were picked up from the Maharana Pratap Airport, to make our way to the Justa Sajjangarh Resort & Spa, our cab driver told us about the wedding guests who stayed at the hotel and how the superstar Beyonce was at the same airport. We drove through the quiet town with billboards advertising new year parties with singer Monica Dogra. As dusk settled in, we reached the property — a glittering five-story building. After a quick welcome drink, we were taken to our suite. With a dining table for four, two bathrooms, two TVs, a couple of couches, an alcove by the window and an opulent bed, the rooms are certainly designed to spoil guests. The alcove and one of the bathrooms boasts views of the Monsoon Palace, at night, just a twinkle up on the distant Aravalli Hills.
Though tired from our journey, the prospect of chef Surya Kant Nirala’s specially curated meal lured us out of the cosy bed. The restaurant, Sabor, offers global cuisine, along with a few regional specialities. We started our meal with a Broccoli and Mushroom soup, just right for the bitingly cold evening. The chef also treated us to Activated Charcoal Spaghetti, jet black in colour and flavourful. We ended the meal with pastry chef, Sumeet Sethi’s chocolate creations.
The next morning, we woke up to an awe-inspiring view of the hills from our bathroom. Equipped with a two-seater hot tub and full-glass wall, there was no better way to soak in the view, pardon the pun, than from the tub. Thoroughly rejuvenated, we made our way to the breakfast buffet, to enjoy some Indian delicacies such as puris and chole. Post that, we were ready for a day of exploring the city.
We started our trip with the iconic City Palace. Built by Maharana Udai Singh II in the mid-1500s, this complex of gardens, smaller palaces and museums is a sight to behold. Outside it is a view of Lake Pichola and Jag Mandir. As you walk through the towering gates into the palace, and navigate the tiny hidden passages of the edifice, you feel nothing less than Roger Moore from the 1983 Bond movie, Octopussy, that was shot in the palace. The palace houses many museums and you can view priceless artifacts such as portraits, royal robes, paintings and furniture.
For our lunch, we made a stop at Natraj Hotel. The small restaurant was not easy to find, in spite of help from the ever-so-reliable Google maps. The late Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef, author and tele-vision personality, had recom-mended the restaurant which he visited during his trip to the city. After a simple Rajasthani thali and a chat about Bourdain with the owner, Mr Davendra (who remembered him fondly), we headed back to the hotel to be pampered some more.
Back at Justa, we went on a tour of the property, which houses a pool, a rooftop lounge with live grill stations, an outdoor party area and a small performance venue. The tour ended with a session at the Ekam Spa, where we opted for a sea salt scrub and a rejuvenating facial. The scrub was nourishing and the facial was indeed revitalising.
The next morning, we slept in and celebrated our last morning in the room by ordering in a pizza. Snuggled in our alcove, with a book in hand we savored the pizza and the hills. And before we knew it, it was time to pack up and head to the airport.
If you are someone who appreciates a good view and the right mix of luxury with Indian hospitality, then Justa is a good bet.
The writer visited Udaipur on invitation from Justa Sajjangarh
Resort & Spa