A suite with a spa, traditional meals on solid silver thalis and archery lessons are some of the experiences on the itinerary of Prince William and Kate Middleton as they prepare for their first visit to the subcontinent.
“The royal Indian experience will begin at the entrance to their suite [at Mumbai’s iconic Taj Mahal Palace hotel] — solid brass doors from a traditional Indian palace will open up onto rooms adorned in traditional Indian art, from a checkers board inlaid with Mother of Pearl to a traditional Suryavanshi sun-shaped mirror, and antique gold and brass chests, lamps and pots,” said a source at the hotel. “The suite comes with a Sheesh Mahal study that has a roof shaped like a royal chhatri, studded with mirrors. A traditional jhoola or swing, and period fans, hang from the ceiling.”
The couple will begin their week-long tour of India and Bhutan on Sunday, by checking into Taj Mahal Palace hotel for one night, a move that is being seen as a show of solidarity with the victims of the 26/11 terror attacks.
Special arrangements for the visit include a “suite spa” so that the couple can be treated to a herbal scrub and ‘a stimulating wrap of exotic spices and herbs from the hills of India’, in complete privacy.
“The arrangements are being made keeping in mind the royal couple’s special request that they be as immersed in Indian culture as possible, during their stay with us,” the source at the hotel said.
During their stay, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend a charity fund-raiser at the luxury hotel. Executive chef Amit Chowdhury will present a four-course meal at the event, served on silver thalis. The menu will be Indian, by request, and will feature a total of 20 items, including Ajwaini fish, dal Langarwali and two kinds of biryani — Awadhi gosht and Lucknowi. Dessert will be dodha with rabdi, chenna payesh and sharifa kulfi.
The couple will also stay at a Taj property in Bhutan, the Taj Tashi, where they will play a game of archery, the national sport of that country.