Goa is a state of mind. A slice of paradise. A house for the body, a home for the soul. The Goan properties featured below are thus introduced on Airbnb. Unseasonal showers in Bangalore today; the famed Bangalore weather is back, it can’t get more romantic than this, and I can’t help but dream of a vacation. We’ve been to Cidade De Goa and Dona Sylvia in the past. Most properties in Goa are drop-dead gorgeous, but the ones below are also inspiring for their decor. Now, isn’t that a bonus as you soak in the sun, the sights and sounds of the sea, the swaying palms, the feel of the sand under your feet, and the colors assaulting your senses? I can never seem…

We visited Hampi for two days last weekend (the long weekend of Ganesh Chaturthi). Unlike most places, the planning bit to Hampi was challenging since we decided not to drive and take the train instead. I found very little information online on how to travel to and from the hotel, and how much it would realistically cost. Almost everyone we knew had only driven before or stayed at a guesthouse, we were confused over what to do. One of the key parts of any of our trips is the hotel. If we visit any place, let’s say for two days, one day is just for lounging in the hotel doing nothing but indulging. So, it goes without saying that the hotel must be good.  Since…

I was in Trichy two weeks ago; it was the Golden Jubilee celebrations of my alma mater which we’d missed anyway. I usually don’t visit Srirangam on my trips there but this time happened to go there two times in three days. And each time, was in for a complete surprise. The crowded thoroughfare leading upto the temple was full of stuff that has eluded me for a while: cast iron cookware (not comparable to Lodge for quality but will do the job at 1/10th the price), baskets, plastic koodai, brassware…. I was at peace there. Longed to go back a second time. Felt very much at home even though it was probably the second time I’ve been there. Do you ever get that  feeling? I draw…

It’s a long weekend for many here in Bangalore for Pongal/Sankranti. If you are longing to get out of the city for a getaway or some time spent in the wilderness, then The Serai may just be the place from what the pictures tell me.  With three resorts in Kabini, Bandipur and Chikmaglur based on where you tastes lie: in the coffee country, by the waterfront or amidst wilderness, all of them are perfect for a three-day weekend. I would love to go someday.

But, when I saw the pictures my interests took me off a tangent to the decor – the way the rooms were tastefully decked up, and I’ve learnt a thing or two from each one of them.

This is a review of our 4-day stay in Novotel Dona Sylvia Beach Resort in Goa. What do you do when you want complete peace, a secluded place and some time off from humanity? Head off on a vacation to a beach that is off-limits. I’m thinking South Goa. This post is a picture story of our recent 4-day trip to Dona Sylvia, Goa as it unfolded – hotel, beach, sight seeing and time to pack up.  So I’m going to be doing little talking.

Review: Novotel Dona Sylvia Beach Resort, Goa

My son loved the water sports at Jack’s – he went on a ringo ride, banana boat ride and jet ski.

Novotel Goa - one of the best places to stay in Goa.

Six years ago, we stayed at this beautiful property called Cidade de Goa in Goa. You can read all about our experience in this old post from my other blog. Six years later and a nearly six year old in tow, we return to Goa for this long weekend. When it comes to this resort, it’s only fair to let the pictures do the talking.

View from the lobby

The trip to the eco-friendly Dune Hotel in Pondicherry was great despite the scorching sun. Memories of lazing around in the hammock, milking the cows, fighting out the rough sea unsuccessfully, seeing my holding a crab in his little palm, petting Nash, lugging ourselves on a bicycle, shooting balloons, playing bat and ball on the lawn, and seeing my son at the potter’s wheel to make a cute piggy bank will linger on forever. A lot has been written about the hotel, a favorite place in Pondicherry among the design bloggers. So I’m not going to rave about it. Instead, here are some amazing ideas to reuse and recycle some common objects that I saw was being done at the hotel. A cluster of plastic…

There’s a shop around the corner where my parents live. It’s a plain, white-colored, non-descript building that houses many Indian and Pakistan antique and handicraft shops. But the one on the corner stood out. Every time we passed by that route, I would longingly gaze into the shop for all its colors and variety displayed on the windowsill. Then one day, I went in and regretted why I hadn’t been here before.It’s one of a kind that you fall in love the first time and long to go again and again. Colors have that kind of a magic over me.

The store is called Pleasant Home and it’s in Adliya, Bahrain. The shop has  a wide range of lamps from Turkey, Syria and Iran. Apart from this, one can find quirky items like a old water boiler from Russia with inscriptions in Russia dating back to the 1800s, traditional Arabic incense holders, and dishware called Tajine. So, are you ready for a virtual tour as I take you through the magical world of Turkish and Syrian lamps?

On a closer look, you’ll see these lamps can either be hung from the ceiling or on walls with clamps. Very delicately done with pieces of colored mirrors.