Come December and the air is filled with the spirit of merriment and celebration, with Christmas and New Year round the corner. And what better way to bid goodbye to a year and rejuvenate yourself for the coming year, than to take a vacation at one of the splendid resorts of the Taj Group of Hotels?
The choice of locations here is abundant as they come in a range to suit all budgets and tastes — from royal retreats to beach getaways, and luxurious spa treatments to gourmet cuisines. Choose a Taj hotel or resort for a great holiday in India or abroad.Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
One of the most romantic of these resorts is the Taj Lake Palace at Udaipur, Rajasthan. The palace appears to rise ethereally from the serene waters of Lake Pichola, a surreal marble vision of delight against the enchanting backdrop of the Aravalli mountains. The palace has been tastefully refurbished, preserving the heritage of the past, yet providing a contemporary ambience. Here one can indulge in the royal Mewar fare at the Lily Pond, or sail into the middle of a purple hued sunset on the Ganguar — a 150-year-old ceremonial imperial barge. Or one can step into the Jiva spa for herbal health treatments. You can also take a heritage champagne walk of the palace.
The Rambagh Palace, JaipurUmaid Bhawan Palace Resort, Jodhpur
The Rambagh Palace, also called the 'Jewel of Jaipur', represents the finest tradition of Rajput hospitality with elegantly appointed rooms, airy verandahs, marbled corridors and majestic gardens. Enjoy a memorable evening of romance in a private tent lit with flaming torches on the palace greens. Indulge in an opulent dining experience in the gilded Suvarna Mahal, with exotic regional cuisine, lilting classical music and vintage wines from the palace cellar. If you're addicted to playing cards — here's a fine opportunity to do so under a star-speckled sky with royal feasting. Let the adrenaline flow with a game of polo and then wind up the day's activities with a drink at the Polo Bar. The Jai Mahal Palace in Jaipur offers a royal lifestyle where one can even play a game of chess with exquisite life-size chessmen!
Arrive in style in a 1942 Cadillac at the royal Umaid Bhawan Palace resort, Jodhpur, one of the world's largest private residences. This golden-hued desert sandstone monument is set amid acres of verdant green gardens and is an inimitable tribute to the art deco style of architecture. The palace has as many as 64 rooms and suites to choose from. A visit to the private museum is a good way to spend your time, or perhaps try your hand at a game of squash on the marbled courts or billiards in the panelled recreation room. Drive through the enchanting city of Jodhpur and have an al fresco dinner accompanied by the music of the desert.
Taj Hari Mahal, Jodhpur
The Taj Hari Mahal at Jodhpur offers an exquisite haveli-style hotel with intricately carved arches, open terraces, quiet courtyards and charming jharokhas. Silhouetted camels, lighted torches, spectacular Rajasthani folk dance performances, succulent barbecue delicacies and a dazzling fireworks display offer the family a memorable evening in the heart of the desert.
Usha Kiran Palace, GwaliorTaj Exotica, Taj Fort Aguada Beach Resort, Taj Holiday Village, Goa
The Usha Kiran Palace at Gwalior, built in the late 19th century by the Maharaja of Gwalior, is a heritage hotel and resonates to some scintillating music performances in the legendary music traditions of Gwalior.
If you're a beach person, the Taj has a slew of offerings in Goa. You can head to the Taj Exotica, where the powder-soft beaches and lush greenery will perk up your spirits. You can even set off for a dolphin spotting cruise here with your children – and if you're lucky to spot one you'll find them squealing with delight.
If you are looking for a more historical touch to your holiday then Fort Aguada Beach Resort would be a good option which is dreamily spread across a picturesque 45 acres and a 16th century Portuguese coastal fort. The resort will help instantly relax your senses. You can even enjoy a romantic dinner, while your children are well looked after by expert childcare staff.
The Taj Holiday Village recreates the rustic charm of Goa with a contemporary touch in its stylish terracotta-roofed cottages set amid landscaped flowering gardens. A joy ride on a banana boat in the azure blue ocean waters is sure to gladden your heart.
Taj Malabar, Cochin, Taj Green Cove Resort, Kovalam, Taj Garden Retreat, Kumarakom
Perfectly located on Willingdon Island, the Taj Malabar, Cochin, unfolds a soothing panoramic view of the harbour, and the enchanting backwaters in Kerala. Tour the lush spice plantations redolent with the fragrance of flowers and spices, the call of birds and the soothing charms of nature. The Taj Green Cove Resort in Kovalam and the Taj Garden Retreat in Kumarakom are the other options where one can savour authentic coastal cuisine from the Malabar and Travancore regions of Kerala, or even enjoy the charm of living in a houseboat.
The Fisherman's Cove, Chennai
The Fisherman's Cove in Chennai is a scenic seaside resort built on the ramparts of an 18th century Dutch fort that is perfect to soak in the sea, sun, sand and history.
If you're looking for an international experience at an exotic locale, then you can choose from the Taj Coral Reef Resort or the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, both in the Maldives. You can also pick the Taj Exotica in Bentota or the only-villa beach resort — the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa in beautiful Mauritius.
Besides the resorts and locations described above, Taj holidays also present an experience like no other with opportunities for deep-sea diving, private pools, candlelit dinners, gourmet meals, outdoor adventure sports, meditation, activities for children, ayurvedic and health spa treatments, and shopping. In short, an ideal holiday spree is all yours for the taking.
Telephone: Taj toll-free reservation line in India: 1 800 111 Taj (825)
or call (91-22) 6601 1825