OT When did you last visit
Aman Nath I&rsquove stayed at the Oustau de Baumanière 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 Baumanière 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 Baumanière 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 Baumanière 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 Baumanière, everything was enacted in some terrific French way. Très chic At Chapslee, one feels privileged that the hosts are sharing their very nice lifestyle with you.