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Hotel review- Deo Bagh, Gwalior.

There was a time I used to want to do things on a vacation. Discover, meet, explore, photograph. I was young then. In my middle age, I notice a marked tendency towards remaining stationary any opportunity I may get. Now, if I happen to be on holiday, I consider waking up an activity and ambling to the restaurant an excursion. Neemrana's hotel in Gwalior is perfect for a person like me.

Space

It might be a hot month to go to Gwalior but inside Deo Bagh the heat, beating down, takes on a surprising beauty as it touches the abundant greenery. The 17th-century Jadhav Kothi was picnic grounds for its Maratha family. Designed as a Mughal charbagh--four big lawns crisscrossed by raised paths--the mardana was at one end and on the other far end the zanana. Today, the mardana is where the current Jadhav family lives and the zanana has become the dining hall of Deo Bagh, the hotel. The best part of Deo Bagh is all that space. Only 15 rooms have been built, using just one part of the charbagh. All the other acres of space are yours to gaze at and recharge your soul. The rooms are spacious too and, in keeping with Neemrana style, tastefully and traditionally decorated. On one of the baghs stand a centuries old cenotaph, carved exquisitely, and the family temple. If I wanted to be really active, I could do my exploring right on the premises.

Food

However, naturally I did not want to be really active so I instead focussed on the dining hall. Biru the chef at Deo Bagh might as well be superman. Everything we tasted was delicious, even the odd combination of spinach cream ginger and garlic. I don't know how the man does it but he makes everything simple taste divine. In my three days there, he made simple north Indian food--dal, gobhi, chicken curry, kheer, paneer and so on--but the flavours and textures were unbelievable. This is among the best north Indian food I have tried at any hotel. Even better: If you want to taste authentic Maratha cuisine, you can make a request in advance and the chef from the Jadhav home will deliver the goods. I had gole ka bht (rice with khoya balls); barbat (a delicate mutton preparation); mandosari dal (with over 10 types of flavouring), loo achar (tangy loo) and more.

Excursions

You cannot really afford to miss the beautiful Gwalior Fort (skip the Sound & Light show) if you have not been before. There are also Orchcha, Jhansi and Agra--all day trips. This place is quite ideal for those interested in the architectural heritage of India.

Advantage uma

If you go this month, here's a plus to your holiday. When you are staying at a hotel that has been fashioned out of someone's home, what better than meeting that person and getting the story directly from her? Uma Devi Jadhav is the force behind Deo Bagh, making the run from Amman to make sure everything runs smoothly back home. But more than that, she is an entertainer like few others. Once in a while she breezes in, dressed in fine saris, and it won't take much cajoling to sit her down and ask her to recount juicy tales from the past in her singsong voice.

Do that. Enjoy the stories. Rest. Read. Recharge. Deo Bagh is meant for just such a gentle break.

At a Glance

What: New heritage boutique hotel

Where: Deo Bagh, Jadhav Kothi, Opposite Janaktal, Agra-Mumbai Highway, Bahodapur, Gwalior. Tel: (0751) 282 0357; http://deo-bagh.neemranahotels.com/

Cost: Rs. 4,000-Rs. 6,000 with breakfast.

Verdict: Green, tranquil, perfect for a relaxing weekend.Reproduced From India Today Travel Plus. Copyright 2013. LMIL. All rights reserved.

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Publication:India Today Travel Plus
Date:May 1, 2013
Words:642
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