Aman Nath

The hotelier and author talks about his favourite hotels in Provence, France, and Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Aman Nath
Aman Nath

OT Favourite hotel in the world
Aman Nath
Actually, I have two Oustau de Baumani&egravere ( in Provence, France, and Chapslee ( in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.

OT When did you last visit
Aman Nath I&rsquove stayed at the Oustau de Baumani&egravere only once, for a night, just before we opened Neemrana [hotel] in 1991. Then I dropped in six or seven years ago for a meal. I have been to Chapslee many, many times, always staying in a different room. It&rsquos like a home away from home for me.

OT How was the experience
Aman Nath Baumani&egravere is a 16th-century farmhouse in the village of Les Baux de Provence (which lends its name to the mineral bauxite) in the Alpilles mountains. The sense of arrival at Baumani&egravere was really fantastic. Suddenly, in the middle of nowhere, there was civilisation. You felt like staying there even if you couldn&rsquot afford it (and in those days it was certainly a stretch). The ambience was classic French, very unselfconscious, and it was the kind of place where they made you feel really special.

Chapslee, meanwhile, is private, homely, and stylish. The service is warm and personal. And the detailing is exquisite &mdash when I stayed in the Pink Room, I was given a pink coverlet and the tray that was brought in had a pink flower on it. Every detail speaks to you. When we started Neemrana, Chapslee was the closest thing to a role model for me.

OT And the food
Aman Nath The food at Baumani&egravere is superlative, but then you expect nothing less from a restaurant with two Michelin stars. They also have a great wine cellar, but unfortunately I don&rsquot drink wine. Reggie (Ratanjit Singh) is your perfect host at Chapslee, and rustles up delicious Raj and Anglo-Indian fare for his guests. A dish of mutton with plums was particularly memorable.

OT What is the hotels&rsquo USP
Aman Nath At Oustau de Baumani&egravere, everything was enacted in some terrific French way. Tr&egraves chic At Chapslee, one feels privileged that the hosts are sharing their very nice lifestyle with you.

OT Would you visit again

Aman Nath
I&rsquod love to stay at Baumani&egravere again, but even hoteliers have to work for a living and I&rsquom pressed for time As for Chapslee, I wish it could be airlifted to a more serene location then I would visit more often.

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