I just returned from nearly a month in India. I spent the majority of time in Rajasthan and concluded the trip with 4 days in Varanasi. I did an enormous amount of reading, in advance, about The City of Light but still felt rather unprepared -- even a bit anxious -- about the destination as travelers' reactions/experiences vary so widely. I am very well-traveled and have pretty much covered the globe, always staying at 5-star properties that many here are familiar with. On this trip, for instance, I stayed at The Serai, Taj Lake Palace and Devi Garh, among others. But, no destination and no property -- in my personal option -- held a match to Varanasi OR Nadesar Palace. Both were simply extraordinary and I am SO happy that I had the chance to experience them at the END of my long trip -- an absolutely perfect conclusion.
Varanasi itself is kaleidoscopic; a true in-your-face, almost other-worldly immersion in Hindu culture. This is a destination that MUST be on anyone's short list of places to visit in the World... let alone, India.
And, then there's Nadesar Palace...
We're all different. I travel alone and appreciate luxury accommodations that offer a special sense of home, with intimacy and that singular level of service which not only comes from exceptional training, but also from a genuine desire to make guests feel truly cared for.
For me, Nadesar Palace and its entire staff exceeded in every way possible. It was quite likely the best hotel experience I have had, to-date.
As reported in other posts/reviews, the property is gorgeous. The infrastructure and grounds were immaculate. Varanasi is most definitely a chaotic place and being able to switch it off at the end of a long day lends balance to the entire experience. Once through the gates, one enters a quiet, beautiful, almost blissful postcard of a grand colonial past. The fact that the property has only 10 suites lends to an extremely personal and intimate environment that can't be replicated by larger properties regardless of their "star power".
Traveling solo, I didn't require a 4-room suite and stayed in the Bhutan Room on the second floor, which faced the Hindu temple on-site. Contrary to other opinions, I loved the fact that the Palace allowed local women and their children on-property to worship during a festival that was occurring at the time. My room was just lovely. Every evening a man played a bansuri flute on the balcony -- hushed, almost haunting music that was a perfect complement to the environment.
I must make one special and important call-out to Sumalya Sarkar, the Sous Chef at Nadesar Palace. Thank you SO much for your lovely cuisine. The food was exceptional... Especially the Lamb Chops Masala, which was not a menu item but was prepared as a special item for me. I loved it so much, that I asked if he would be so kind as to provide the recipe and prep tips. Not only did he oblige, but he also made himself available online -- after I returned home -- and answered a few questions, with helpful guidance. Now THAT'S what I call SERVICE! When was the last time you have ever had a luxury hotel's sous chef give you personal assistance in YOUR OWN kitchen? KUDOS and thanks so much, Sumalya! I am preparing them, yet again, this weekend.
Thanks, in fact, to you and ALL your associates at Nadesar Palace for making my stay forever memorable!
Only one criticism -- and I think it's an important one: The website. It absolutely does not do justice to the property. More photos and an improved gallery is needed to better capture this JEWEL of a hotel!
Someday, I will return -- And, I will most definitely look forward to that day!
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- Also Known As:
- Nadesar Palace Varanasi Hotel Varanasi