Happy Birthday To Us!

01.December 2009

India

The rest of India faded into the background as we entered through the doors. The flowery scent of incense greeted us, pulling us into the calm wood interior.

Checking in was made extra special as the manager was summoned to greet us personally…you see, we had emailed ahead to let the manager know that we were staying at his luxury, five-star hotel to celebrate both of our birthdays (end of November/beginning of December) and to mark the six month point of our trip (already?). He greeted us warmly, told us how pleased he was that we would share this celebration with them and had two attendants usher us to our room.

Ista Amritsar The room was beautiful!! Wood floors, real furniture, a soft (!) bed with real linens (no holes or stains), soft music playing, windows that looked out onto the pool below and a pillow menu…yes, a menu of pillows to suit every sleep style! And the bathroom!! Sheer heaven! All tiled and spotless with a huge, wonderful shower sporting endless hot water, pretty smelling soaps and lotions, and big fluffy towels to dry off with.

Ista Amritsar Welcome But the crowning glory was the young man they sent with a chilled bottle of champagne to accompany the chocolate birthday cake set on the table….oh my god, it was sooooo good!!

Cheers, Ista Amritsar We didn’t leave the room all afternoon, spending all our time cleaning and preening and lounging and enjoying every amenity the room had to offer. We finally emerged, scrubbed clean and smelling like I don’t think we have since we left home, to make our way to the lounge where another kind young man made me a tasty, long awaited gin and tonic.

Dinner was excellent (goat curry with rice and chapati) and, just as we were finishing up, the manager appeared again to ask if we would like a special meal prepared for the following evening. Seriously, a special menu…just for us? How could we say no?

Ista Amritsar Breakfast We slept like angels that night. In the morning we had tea in bed, ordered breakfast to our room and lounged some more until we left to visit the Golden Temple. We returned to lounge around Poolside Lounger, Ista Amritsar the pool for the afternoon. The pool boy took time to show us all around the pool area and then left us to lounge on the way-too-comfy lounge bed poolside. Seriously….a pool boy!

Special Menu, Ista Amritsar Dinner was amazing. All the staff greeted us as we arrived at the restaurant and were ushered to our own special dining room where our private waiter introduced himself  and the manager and chef stopped by to say hello…seriously, private waiter!! There was a printed menu for us – fish tikka, basil grilled paneer, mutton With Chef and Server, Ista Amritsarcurry, chole masala, gulab jamun with ice cream…just to name a few. The meal was amazing – we left absolutely stuffed and more than thankful – when the bill came all that was listed was the bottle of wine we had enjoyed…the chef had prepared the meal as a gift to us!

Relaxing Morning, Ista Amritsar We finished off the chocolate cake for breakfast the next morning and lounged around the room for as long as possible…checking out at the last possible moment, not wanting to leave our temporary slice of heaven.

As a parting gift, the hotel had a car and driver drop us off at our next destination…a ‘normal’ backpacker hotel in the city center. The driver must have gotten quite a chuckle when he saw the hotel that he was dropping us at…but it was back to reality for us.

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12 Responses to “Happy Birthday To Us!”

  1. Jana Says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I am so excited that you did that for yourselves, you both truly deserved it…it looked and sounded amazing. You will never forget this birthday!!
    xoxoxoxo

  2. Lisa M Says:

    Happy Birthday! I’m so glad you had a special day. It sounds wonderful and must have been even more special after the variety of accomodattions you’ve had over the trip so far.

  3. Juanita Says:

    Happy Birthday you two! What a way to celebrate!!!

  4. Lisa Says:

    Happy Birthday you two! Whoever cooked up the plan to celebrate this way was brilliant! I hope the memories of that special treat carry you through on your next leg of traveling.

  5. Sara Says:

    Happy Birthday!!

    Glad you had a good celebration.

  6. Mandy Says:

    Oh, Gillian, this sounds wonderful and I, like everyone else, am thrilled you treated yourselves. You definitely deserve it. Happy Birthday to you both!

  7. Sheri Says:

    Haha I guess I should have read this before the email I just sent you!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    What an amazing way to spend your day! And to have such nice people to spend it with. Just incredible.
    This will by far be your best birthdays ever! Never forget a moment of them. A much needed moment of paradise to spend on two great people!

  8. Dawn Says:

    Happy Birthdays and 6 month anniversary! Great way to take a vacation from your trip. Looks like you had a great time.

  9. Holly Says:

    Wow! What an amazing way to spend your Birthdays. You guys really deserved this, good for you. I love the stories, the description of everything is so vivid it transports me to the place you are describing. Your photos are stunning!
    Well… keep me amused, keep me envious, and keep me wondering what will happen next.
    Keep the stories coming.

  10. Marta Says:

    Happy birthday guys! I bet it was a great one!

  11. Gina Says:

    Happy Birthday Gillian
    I’m sure you’ll remember this birthday for a long time. I remember spending one of mine on The Great Wall and having Peking duck for dinner.

  12. eric helgoth Says:

    Happy Belated Birthday to you both! This was an amazing story and a great way to spend your special day. I loved it!