St Regis Polo: A Taste of Luxury In Rajasthan

If you haven’t already read my post on the St Regis Polo in Jaipur, you can read it here.
So here’s how the weekend panned out for me. It was a perfect mix of luxury, glamour, sport, food, wine and, of course, a whole bunch of beautiful people. Now really, who could ask for anything more? I have said this before and I will say it again – I couldn’t see anything more appropriate and befitting for the St Regis group of hotels to host this elegant affair, at the heart of what is easily India’s luxury hub – Rajasthan.
In Jaipur, we stayed at the charming ITC Rajputana property, located a short-drive away from the old city of Jaipur. Now don’t let the hotel’s sombre exterior deceive you – as soon as you step in, you will find yourself bathed in a sense of old-world Indian luxury. The magnificent marble lobby, in white, gold and orange, and its imposing staircase is quite impressive.
Here are a few pictures.

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The reception area of the ITC Rajputana
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The marble staircase with its Rajput and Moghul decor.
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A beautiful play of subtle and bright colours, and a juxtaposition of design elements. I couldn’t think of a better welcome in the Pink City.

As I stepped into my room, I was greeted by the sight of an official invitation from the folks at St Regis for their string of glitzy events over the weekend.

The invite was accompanied by this elegant leather and metal bracelet. This 'passe-partout' bracelet was to be worn in order to gain access to the events.
The invite was accompanied by this elegant leather and metal bracelet. This ‘passe-partout’ bracelet was to be worn in order to gain access to the events.

Keeping the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival in mind, the first evening was a relaxed and sophisticated evening with author Farrukh Dhondy, at Le Meridien Jaipur. This modern hotel impresses with its Mughal-style gardens and fountains as you enter. Over cocktails and canapés, Farrukh regaled us with excerpts from his books, anecdotes from his life and cheerful banter with those in attendance. This was followed by a dinner on Le Meridien’s terrace, out in the crisp north Indian winter air. A lovely evening indeed!

The majestic entrance of Le Meridien Jaipur
The majestic entrance of Le Meridien Jaipur

The next morning, was the big day. It was time to get get dressed up and set out to the Rajasthan Polo Club to attend the Maharaja Bhawani Singh St Regis Polo Cup 2015. So as to not stick out like a sore thumb, I made it a point to read up on appropriate polo attire. Turns out – bright colours, easy silhouettes and relaxed sophistication is the order of the day, when it comes to polo. I couldn’t be happier.

I chose to wear a white shirt and grey bow-tie along with a navy blue corduroy jacket, with a tiny ladybug lapel pin for good luck. Easy, comfy and chic.

All set for the match. Here I am with Divya Thani Daswani Editor of Condé Nast Traveller India and TV host-food journalist Karen Anand.
All set for the match. Here I am with Divya Thani Daswani Editor of Condé Nast Traveller India and TV host-food journalist Karen Anand.
Entrance to the Rajasthan Polo Club.
Entrance to the Rajasthan Polo Club.
The polo match begins with the pomp and fanfare expected of Jaipur's Maharajas. Elephants, horses and traditional dancers.
The polo match begins with the pomp and fanfare expected of Jaipur’s Maharajas. Elephants, horses and traditional dancers.
This was followed by Paul James, Global Brand Leader of St Regis hotels in a vintage car
This was followed by Paul James, Global Brand Leader of St Regis hotels in a vintage car. 
Then came Nacho Figueras, Luxury Connoisseur and Polo Champion, in a horse-drawn carriage.
Then came Nacho Figueras, Luxury Connoisseur and Polo Champion, in a horse-drawn carriage.
The horses lining up for play.
The horses lining up for play.
Let the game begin.
Let the game begin.
Spectactors and the royal family of Jaipur enjoy the match.
Spectactors and the royal family of Jaipur enjoy the match.
Exchanging a few words with the dapper and charming Nacho Figueras after the match.
Exchanging a few words with the dapper and charming Nacho Figueras after the match.
Couldn't resist a selfie!
Couldn’t resist a selfie!

That night, a glitzy soirée was thrown in honour of the polo match. Now, when you’re in Jaipur, things are done in real style. So you can kiss the idea of a banquet hall or a hotel ballroom goodbye. This party, was held atop a mountain, in the historic portals of the Jaigarh Fort, overlooking the city of Jaipur. The party was held in the central courtyard of the ancient fort and one had to walk through magnificent arched hallways, courtyards, terraces and labyrinthine tunnels before one actually reached the party. It was MAGICAL. Here are some images.

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Walking to the gala dinner at the Jaigarh Fort.
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The fort was illuminated to perfection.
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Abandoned hallways, laden with history.
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Lounge area at the party. Could it get any more elegant?
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The actual party area near the ramparts around a central pond.
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Of course, the drink du jour was the iconic Bloody Mary, a drink immortalised by the St Regis group, when it was invented at the St Regis New York in the early 1900s.

All in all, it was a wonderful and supremely glamorous evening. A weekend of polo with a bunch of connoisseurs. Who could ask for anything more? And when it takes place in Jaipur…even better!

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