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Kalaignar is no more. This is perhaps, no way to begin a hotel review. But things are bound to veer towards the unusual when, on your second night of stay, a five-time chief minister and a beloved figure for a big section of the population passes away, that too in the burning heartland of politics-Chennai. For starters, the Phoenix Market City Mall, within whose complex this four-star luxury hotel is located, cleared out and shut down in the span of a heartbeat at the news of M. Karunanidhi's passing. A gloom was settling in, a lockdown was impending.


IT's SO, SO GOOD - Come for the view, stay for the food, says Bhavika Govil about jüSTa Sajjangarh Resort & Spa


First comes the pappardelle, and then the fettuccine. After that, you have the linguine, the spaghetti, and the thinnest of them, the spaghettini,” the chef rattles off, in what is an Italian twist to the chicken-and-egg question. With exuberant hand gestures in view, hills in the background that could be mistaken for those in Tuscany, and a moon that hits my eye like a big pizza pie, I wonder, for a split second, if I am in Italy instead of Udaipur. A quick peek at my boarding pass-turned-bookmark confirms that I am not.


To Madras, with love

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This new bar in the city is a design marvel. If you are stopping by for a quick beer, you are in for a surprise and might spend more time looking at the ceiling than savouring your cold brew. Its design context rests quite literally on a single element—a 20 km long stainless steel wire coated with copper woven in a Madras checks pattern suspended by counter weights. “I was influenced by the traditional weaving patterns in the area. To define different zones we used plumb bobs, a beautiful traditional material that works as counter weights,” says architect Pronit Nath about the design of the bar.


This new hotel offers stunning views of Udaipur’s Monsoon Palace - Reviewed by Conde Nast

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It is a beautiful thing to wake up in your comfortable hotel bed and look over out the window and see it there, up among the heavy monsoon clouds, in all its glory. You can’t help but hum the Octopussy theme song.

And the view of the 19th-Century Monsoon Palace really defines your stay at the newly opened JüSTa Sajjangarh Resort & Spa. While the palace is visible from almost everywhere on the property, the hotel itself is the antithesis of what you would expect of a hotel in this erstwhile princely state known for its Rajputana glory. Instead of jharokhas and intricate wall carvings, you are greeted by clean lines and an aesthetic that is minimal with pops of colour.



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The hospitality industry has undergone a drastic change from the days when I began my career in the industry, in the 1990s. I have spent nearly 3 decades in this industry and have had the opportunity to work with the best in every aspect of hotel-keeping and learn from them. Having interacted with leaders from the different industries, from retail, manufacturing, software, banking, infrastructure, logistics and so many other industries, I have learnt from experience that after the Defence Services the hospitality industry is actually the best to instil discipline and build a good character in anyone which are life skills. While education does give us the required theoretical knowledge, it is here that we learn to understand respect for other individuals, good mannerisms and master new skills sets through hard work and determination. Over the years, there have been several changes in our segment, faster, simpler and more efficient ways of doing work.

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