It seems that my endless journeys on Motorcycles have truly begun! It is indeed a lot of fun. And I am increasingly beginning to take a liking to organised India package tours. The first one of which you will be able to read about if you click here. Of course there is a reason behind that which you will realise soon enough. This is a small article of a series of articles that I am going to publish about my long ride during my travel in Rajasthan with my friend on a motorcycle.
We began our tour from New Delhi on a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a Heritage Softail. Our first stop was in Jaipur and we were staying at the Lebua Lodge which is situated at the very edge of Jaipur just at the outskirts. In fact, the hotel shares its own perimeter wall with the ancient historic wall of the Amer Fort. During my last visit to Jaipur, I stayed at the Ibis which was a standard International hotel, something that you find in any regular hotel anywhere in the world. However, as I was saying, this time I was staying at the Lebua Lodge, a premium chain and we arrived in the afternoon.
The reception is a beautifully made area. The locale is simply fantastic! It is right at the edge of the lower Aravalis. There is lush greenery all around. You find yourself right in the middle of nature. The drive up to this place is through rocky terrain with no tarmac at all for the last stretch of two kilometres. It is a bit of a search if you do not find the subtly hidden marking boards; but once you are inside, you feel like you are in a different world.
I got off the motorcycle. It was an easy ride. Not like last time when I came on the R1. Superbikes are a tough proposition. The Harley was comfortable though very slow!
Anyway, my first impression of Lebua; I was bowled over! The interior decoration of the reception is very pleasing to the eye. The colours are very pleasant. I couldn’t stop taking pictures. I felt like a child in a candy store. I walked around the whole property. The hills all around, the greenery everywhere… and there are no rooms here. You stay in tents. Yes, tents! And these are super luxury tents. I have never even heard of tents like these! Yes, they are real tents; they are made of textile. And they are totally air-conditioned with temperature adjustments. And each tent has a sit out facing a green lawn and some kind of crop that they are growing.
The bathroom is also tastefully done with a wonderful bathtub dug into the ground!
The swimming pool is beautiful right alongside the Amer Fort wall. And the only Restaurant is adjacent to the pool. The whole ambiance is very soothing. One can sit at the poolside, order a drink and watch the sun go down over the Aravali hills. It is such a pleasure to be here, relax, have a drink and have absolutely nothing to do and just laze around in the pool. I felt my stress melting away!
I went for a walk outside the perimeter of the Lebua Lodge. There is an old mosque nearby. The walk through the jungle is exciting. You meet the occasional villager who smiles at you, women who carry unthinkable weights on their heads that you can barely see their faces. But they still smile at you shyly when you look at them. I walked for half an hour before turning my way back to the Lodge. I wanted to spend some quality time in my room and enjoy a nice refreshing bath!
The sun went down without much drama of the monsoon clouds or extraordinary colours which I would have much appreciated. In the evening we went to have dinner. Food and beverage is pretty good too. I have heard a lot about the Lebua service. But I found it to be a little lacking. I was on a romantic tour. I asked for a few candles; they never came. The waiter at our table had trouble taking our orders. Maybe because it was off season. But that is no reason for lacking service. Quality of food was quite good. I wouldn’t call it outstanding though Krishnendu insisted that food would be really good. Now that I have started discovering good hotels and restaurants, I have become increasingly discerning about my tastes.
Morning breakfast spread was ordinary. They had good idlis. But there were no nuts or dry raisins or peaches or plums. We were told that such a spread is only for European travellers. That sounded a little strange coming from the hotel staff. I mean I paid for the hotel and breakfast. I should get what is their regular menu.
Overall, I would say that my stay at Lebua was excellent. The locale is really beautiful. The nature is quite raw and fresh. You feel healthy being in a place like this. And you are far away from everywhere making the place very quiet. I enjoyed my stay. And there is no way that I would have found this place had I been travelling on my own with a backpack! No matter how much freedom you have while travelling with a backpack, you do miss out on a lot of things as well. And this was just the beginning. I was on a long tour of several days. I was about to discover Rajasthan in more depth.
I thank Maavalan Travels for the excellent negotiations of hotel tariffs and room rates. Again, as a walk-in client, even if I had known how to get here and somehow reached the place, I would never have got the rates that I got from my agent! The guard at the entrance would not let you in without prior reservation.
Click on the following link to see my video on my trip … My Lebua Jaipur Video.
There is a lot more to come… keep watching this place for the next part of my adventures during my Rajasthan discovery tour!
Ms Katerina has travelled extensively on 4 continents and considerably in South India and parts of North India over multiple visits.