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From stargazing to drag brunch, hotels wrap A-Z activities in Christmas and New Year packages


New Delhi: Those taking off to hotels at the year-end don’t have to restrict themselves to lazing around the pool, stuffing themselves at the breakfast buffet or gambling into the wee hours. More worthy pursuits are on offer with hotels and restaurant chains in India lining up experiential activities for guests during Christmas and New Year festivities. Apart from the sundowners, there’s stargazing, baking sessions, food trails, beekeeping, spa and salon treatments, even a drag brunch – and there’s plenty more.

Narendra Bhawan in Bikaner will host a sundowner on the shore of Darbari Lake while guests at The Tamara Coorg can choose a consolidated New Year package that includes beekeeping, stargazing, trataka yoga and cardamom and spice trails.

At the Hilton Goa Resort in Candolim, the Poder experience introduces guests to local bakers, providing a first-hand experience of what goes into making Goa’s famed bread.

City Hotels Also Draw up Plans
Additionally, the Long Lost Recipes experience is aimed at delving into the roots of Goan cuisine, featuring dishes that have otherwise faded into obscurity.

There’s more to Goa beyond beaches, parties and casinos, insists Amandeep Singh Grover, general manager at the Hilton Goa Resort.

“We are inviting people to explore and experience a very different side of Goa – one that is lost, overlooked, or undiscovered,” he said. “Our goal is to make people aware of the rich culture, heritage, and lost cuisines, allowing them to discover the authentic and diverse beauty that defines Goa.”

Both Suryagarh Jaisalmer and Narendra Bhawan Bikaner have got an “outstanding” response for new year celebrations, with 98% of the hotels being sold out, said Siddharth Yadav, vice president, MRS Group of Hotels.

The Taj Corbett Resort & Spa has partnered with Chaliya folk artists from the upper Himalayan region of Pithoragarh to perform for the year-end celebrations.

“The Chaliya art form traces its history to the 10th century,” said general manager Ajay Sharma. “We would like to preserve this elusive art form and provide a platform to the artists to help sustain it.”

Even city hotels have more to offer.

The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai is celebrating its 120th anniversary with the launch of a light and sound show on December 16 for resident guests by the poolside. The multimedia experience will continue to be a part of the Christmas and New Year celebrations and thereafter.

Boutique luxury retreat Anopura in Jaipur will host a festive farm programme tailored for children that includes hands-on experiences with dairy animals, sessions with the head ranger and artistic activities at the cattle ranch. For adults, Anopura is offering a farm-to-table programme that includes cooking classes with an emphasis on sustainable food practices.

The Lalit Ashok in Bengaluru has a drag brunch lined up for Christmas, which will include an appearance by artists from the community.

ITC Hotels’ Mementos property in Udaipur that was launched this year is hosting an exclusive sundowner for Christmas. The package, costing Rs 15,000 plus taxes per couple, also includes unlimited wine and beer from 1 pm to 3:30 pm, and a foot massage from Kaya Kalp, The Royal Spa.

The Grand Mercure Bengaluru at Gopalan Mall is offering a staycation package which includes pick-and-drop services, movie tickets for a couple, a candle-lit dinner for two with complimentary cocktails and discounts on select spa options.

Divya Aggarwal, chief growth officer at Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality, said select Social outlets will transform into an Xmas bazaar on Christmas, enabling customers to get gifts from local business communities in certain cities.

The Zana Lake Resort in Udaipur has lined up an exclusive vegetarian gourmet experience for New Year with a poolside sundowner while the Country Inn Tarika Riverside Resort in Jim Corbett will host a winter carnival.

A special Christmas sailing from Mumbai to Lakshadweep and back to Mumbai by Cordelia Cruises on December 23-27 will include Christmas treasure hunts on board besides gingerbread village making.


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