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With the hotel overload in Dubai, and to a lesser extent in Doha (Qatar) and Abu Dhabi (UAE), Oman has had a slightly lower profile among the emirates, but that seems to be changing: Four Seasons is heading to the sultanate, and so is Aman, and looking at the photos of recently opened Alila Jabal Akhdar makes us want to book a ticket to capital Muscat as soon as possible.
A two and a half hour 4WD-only drive from Muscat into the Al Hajar mountains, the hotel is built to fit within the natural environment, perched on a cliff overlooking the gorge below (Jabal Akhdar means “The Green Mountain” in Arabic). There are just 78 suites and villas, all with outdoor space like above to soak in the surrounding landscape and dramatic sunsets – more photos below.
Those visiting the Indian city of Jaipur have even more reason to stay a little longer after a tour of Nehru Garden or the countless surrounding palaces and forts. Fairmont has just cut the ribbon on their first property in India and has payed a great deal of respect to the local flare.
The 'Pink City' of Jaipur plays a significant role in creating a luxurious feel anyone walking into the hotel. The design of the 5-star property is borrowed from classic Mughal Dynasty features that speak to the culture's opulence and extravagance. From the rooms to the bathrooms and back to each of the four dining options, the decor is a sensitive re-design of the traditional Mughal palace.
Each of the 255 rooms and suites feature hand-painted artwork and traditional Rajasthani decor. Now it may seem like the luxury might end there, but each shower and bathroom is a whole new world. Over-sized with a grand entryway, they can make any guest feel like Indian royalty, down to the traditional diamond and star patterned floor.
Perhaps best known for its historic Canadian hotels like the Royal York in Toronto, The Plaza in New York and Savoy in London, there are a number far-flung places where you can find Fairmont as well, including the Fairmont Norfolk in Nairobi, or the Fairmont Zimbali in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
And from next month, it's adding a 255-room hotel in Jaipur, the capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan, southwest of New Delhi. Dubbed "the Pink City", Jaipur is a planned urban development dating back to 1727, and particularly famous for its architecture, with a number of spectacular forts and palaces that remain today. Its nickname originates from a visit by the Prince of Wales in 1876, for which the city was painted pink in celebration (no, really).