This post is dedicated to my dear dear Daddy. He taught me a lot of things – from Maths to Professionalism. If I may say so – he also taught me how to be dreamer and live life. Now that he is not with us physically, there is big void in my life. But I will slowly learn to live life the way Daddy did – king size. And I know that he is there around us helping us recover.
May 2013 was a highpoint in my vacation list – one of the reasons for that was I was travelling to Delhi to surprise my Dad on his birthday. And also because I had planned a surprise trip and stay at Neemrana Fort Palace for him. Yes the timing was horrible – May is probably one of the hottest months to travel to Delhi-Jaipur and definitely not the best time to head to Neemrana. But then what could I do – my Dad’s birthday was on 19th May. And as it turned out, this trip was the last trip we took, before he was diagnosed with cancer.
It was a hot hot Sunday and we sneaked our change of clothes for the night into the boot of the car without letting Dad know about it. We told him that we were heading for a long drive towards Jaipur – we did not even tell him that were heading to Neemrana. He did guess that though when we told him to head towards Jaipur. He thought we were going to Neemrana for lunch and he was very thrilled at the idea. When we reached Neemrana – we took the bag of clothes out from the boot and that is when he realised that we had made reservations for the night. He was super surprised. And surprising Dad was a big deal – he always was too smart for all of us.
Drive to the entry to Neemrana Fort Palace is a tricky one – narrow roads that turn at every hundred meters – maybe was a perfect pathway for elephants and horses but was definitely not a good approach for Dad’s new Cruz. Mom was so scared of the approach that at one point of time she contemplated ditching the plan.
Its a gorgeous property. The moment you step in the feeling of royalty kicks in. They offer stays in different types of rooms – our s was called Kesar Mahal. Like the name, the room was decorated on the Kesar theme (yellow in color).
The rooms do not have televisions in the room. Now my Dad was big TV guy – he loved surfing through different channels and keeping him away from the TV on his Birthday was such a crime. But then we wanted to give him this experience and so we compromised that. And he loved it. He was so amused at the idea of staying in an actual fort.
We also took a ride in the hot summer around the fort area in the vintage car. Dad loved it. We almost waved to the bystanders as we rode past them behaving like wannabe royalty.
The hotel offers lunch and dinner buffets on a per head basis. The breakfast is complementary. All the three spreads are large and delicious. Since it was summer – the buffet was indoors but I was told that during the winter season they do the lunch buffet outside.
Things you should be aware about:
- Carry an ID proof for everyone wishing to stay. No, one ID proof is not enough. Luckily we were all carrying an ID proof.
- It is not a budget stay. But if you travel during off-season and you are ready to bear the summer of Delhi-Jaipur then you can get some discount.
- You might not get a room that you booked – in our case the AC was not working in the room I had booked. But the folks happily upgraded us to Kesar Mahal.
All in all, I had a great time. And I am glad I could give Daddy this amazing experience on his birthday.