Pune Travel Guide
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There's no question that the Dalai Lama is a modern man complete with his own website, webcasts and personal treadmill setup. And don't forget, he Twitters! So it's not that surprising to see him out and about at a hotel party in Pune, India. Still, we think it's rather cool.
His Holiness showed up at the Le Meridien Hotel after attending the World Peace Festival.
All the members of the staff were extremely excited to have The Dalai Lama at the hotel. His Holiness was received at the entrance by Jaswinder Narang, General Manager of Hotel Le Meridien, and felicitated the spiritual guru by garlanding Him. Jaswinder Narang then personally escorted His Holiness to his suite.
Despite the suite accommodations, the Dalai Lama actually only stayed at the hotel for a few hours, probably just to get some rest. Yet we wondered if he still had to pony up for internet in the suite? That would cost him $15 for 24 hours. Surely, Le Meridien waived this fee for the Dalai Lama. Room rates at the hotel typically start at $175 a night with the Royal Club suite starting at $385 a night.
Here comes yet another Langham Hotel: this one's going to be the Langham Place, Koregaon Park in the city of Pune in India. Well, here almost comes another Langham, since it's not actually due to open until sometime in 2010.
Like other Langhams, this one will be a bit fancy. The big selling point at the moment is a huge atrium including (among other things) palm trees, a resident DJ and three-storey windows. There's also going to be a Portal, which unfortunately is not somewhere you can go to get whisked away to another dimension, but instead this Langham Place hotel plans to:
combine its lobby lounge, cocktail bar and business centre in one area called Portal, where work and play seamlessly intertwine to meet the needs of today's multi-tasking world.
You know the scene. You open the door to your brand new hotel room, run over to the window, open the blinds and bam, you are hit with the anti-view. Maybe you are looking down a dirty alley, witnessing a drug deal, staring at an air shaft in the face, or seeing a brick wall. Whatever you are viewing it is not extremely pleasurable. Help out your fellow hotel mavens by uploading your anti-views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number with the not-so-easy-on-the-eyes view.
With a name as grand sounding as the Royal Orchid Golden Suites, you'd expect something quite magnificent when you were heading here in Pune, a city in the Maharashtra region of India. Unfortunately, at least one of the rooms has a view like this.
This is really a pity, because from all reports the gang at the Royal Orchid Golden Suites treat their guests very well and it's one of the most popular hotels in Pune. Average rates are something around $125 a night, and for that rate in this city we'd be hoping for a better view, so check the room before you check in.
Maybe Africa is over. Maybe the new hot place is India. Maybe Madonna is completely out of touch and in several months, will be wishing she'd adopted an Indian baby. Why? Because Brad and Angelina are in India, that's why.
Camping out "unofficially" at Le Meridien in Pune, where the duo are filming/producing the Marianne Pearl movie, the India trip is all about family right now. That is, until the paparazzi start to mob them during a rickshaw ride (above) and a bodyguard starts to strangle a photograhper.
Nevertheless, Angie has been using the gym daily to keep her post-preggers body in shape, after the gym closes to the public of course. The couple has also had plenty of clothes purchased for them from the hotel clothing store. This one seems odd as hotel shops usually carry Jimmy Buffet-style clothing and in India, maybe some generic saris. But apparently here, it's the best place to buy haute couture in town and Brangelina has been loading up on "party clothes" by Wendell Rodricks for evenings out which includes dining at the rooftop restaurant.
Not all this pertinent info has just been leaked from hotel staff. One guest actually caught glimpse of the super-star duo:
On Saturday, a guest caught a glimpse of the couple and their eldest son on the fifth floor. "Angelina seems to be friendly. She was dressed in jeans and a casual top and looked my way and acknowledged me when they passed by. Brad, however, looked straight through me," he said.
"Their security guards reached the floor before them. They even asked me to leave the floor using the stairs since Angelina and Brad would be taking the elevator up. I refused and just sat on the sofa in front of the elevator."
Wow, we always pegged Angelina as the scary, look-straight-through-your-soul half of Brangelina but we learn instead that it's Brad's Blue Steel that will make you cry.
New York Magazine lists 12 ways to remake your boring old self, and number 10 is Go To An Indian Spiritual Retreat To Have Sex All The Time. Spiritual Retreat?? Lots of sex?? We needed to know more.
Welcome to Osho Guest House.
The Osha (late sex-guru)'s philosophy, Zorba Buddha,
combines Zorba the Greek, that guy who loves alcohol, dens, and women, with the silence and meditativeness of Buddha.
The 40-acre resort near Mumbai, manifests serenity: bamboo groves, wild jasmine, peacocks and waterfalls.
Your road to enlightenment (and tantra) starts with a clean and silent room (er, chamber?), air conditioned and "tastefully modern," $45/ night. The guest house is just above the meditation auditorium, so you may be woken early by the silent noise of collective non-thought.
No need to stress over the packing list, everyone wears maroon robes (you can rent or bring your own).
For a short stay, you'll maybe want to sign up for a Wellness Weekend, which includes everything from daily classes to evening parties.
By the way, there are definitely HIV/Aids Tests at the door.... you gotta be negative to enter. Osho's wishes.
· 12 Ways to Remake Your Boring Old Self [New York Magazine]