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28 Kothi: A Passage to India

Jun 27, 2019

By Katherine Turman

Written by: Katherine Turman

The city of Jaipur is such an impressive locale that even a Beatle paid homage to it in song: Paul McCartney wrote “Riding into Jaipur” for his 2001 studio album Driving Rain to commemorate the lovely “Pink City” that’s part of the Golden Triangle tourist circuit, and is also home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites–the Jantar Mantar and the Amer Fort.  

For anyone visiting the area, there’s no better base of operations than the calm and lovely 28 Kothi, a boutique hotel that Condé Nast Traveler called out in its 2017 Hot List. (It was the only hotel in Indian to land on the coveted list!) Abhishek Honawar is the co-founder of 28 Kothi, and his goal for the property was “to create an elevated sense of hospitality with simple luxuries showcasing India. We have been able to offer our hospitality to travelers looking for quiet comfort, explorers in search of adventure, and designers and artists visiting from all over the world.”  

The city itself is a bustling burg, the capital of India’s Rajasthan state, but the quiet, centrally located gem of a hotel is set in the residential area of Shivaji Nagar. Like the area itself, 28 Kothi basks in a beauty that evokes the royal family that once ruled the region, who, in 1727, founded what is now called the Old City, or “Pink City” for the color of many of its beautiful buildings.  

In short, 28 Kothi is of and about local culture, while also providing a sense of comfort, security—and guidance from staff—for foreign visitors from any country. Travel in an area where you don’t speak the native language can be stressful, but the five-room boutique hotel offers a tranquil and helpful home base from which to explore the region. With just two master suites (Moonstone and Sapphire), two deluxe rooms (Spinel and Topaz) and one single room—the cozy second floor Peridot—attention to guest’s comfort and needs are paramount and easily achievable, thanks to the intimate size and non-intrusive hospitably of the staff. Given the serene privacy o Sapphire’s second-floor private terrace, occupants may never want to venture beyond the room and its own outside space! The window reading nook in Spinel encourages daydreaming and napping, while the soaking tub in the Moonstone suite likewise offers the ultimate in relaxation. 

With its modern amenities, 28 Kothi is about the present and future—but also honors the past with locally sourced creations along with antique accompaniments. 28 Kothi, says Conde Nast Traveller, “avoids the easy design cliches in favor of calming, low-key minimalism.” Along with the old-world charm are necessities for today’s travelers: Rooms are fully air-conditioned and heated, there’s room service, complimentary wifi, car service, airport transfers and laundry. If other amenities are desired, the visitor need just ask. 

After a long day of sight-seeing, the hotel has a wellness spa that uses products native to the Himalayas. Yoga sessions are offered, and furthering the wellness theme, the in-house cafe and room service are vegetarian, dedicated to seasonal farm-fresh local produce. While the city may beckon, one never need leave the sun-drenched terraces, cozy reading corners and a lush gardens of 28 Kothi., especially the library, with historic books and comfy mattresses that encourage reading and relaxing in simplisticluxury. 

The hotel opened in January 2016 and has been welcoming thrilled visitors since. It is a purpose-built property, which gives 28 Kothi its particular charm. It was created for the late jewelery designer Munnu Kasliwal of Gem Palace as a haven to house the collaborators and clients who traveled to Jaipur to work with him. (The Kasliwal family served as the crown jewelers to country’s Maharaja since the mid-18th century.) In 2001, Kasliwal created a collection for Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York that showcased intricate pieces based on those crafted and revered during the Mughal Empire. For 28 Kothi, French architect Georges Floret and by Jaipur-based Lebanese designer Nur Kaoukji made sure Kasliwal’s vision was translated within and without the walls of the sumptuous guest house.

Kasliwal was known as “the jeweler of connoisseurs,” and that aesthetic is what gives 28 Kothi its personalized elegance. Following his untimely death, eldest son Siddharth Kasliwal carried on his father’s work, and partnered with hospitality veteran Abhishek Honawar to ensure that 28 Kothi had the highest standards of hospitality. 

It’s a hotel for those who have an eye for beauty and tranquility; designers, writers and entrepreneurs use 28 Kothi as a base for both quiet comfort, while it’s also an ideal respite for the explorer on the search for adventure. The guest house’s simple charm, painted and decorated in calming earth tones, is welcoming to all.   

The two-story hotel is at once romantic, and thoughtful. As one review stated: “it seems to exist for no reason other than to bring a little bit of gratuitous beauty into the world. … It’s nothing if not cosmopolitan. And though its luxuries border on the extravagant, the low cost of lodging in Jaipur means this fantasy can be had for a relative pittance.” Indeed, guests find it difficult to leave 28 Kothi’s lovely lodgings, as one, who had “fallen in love with this place” put it. In his review, he wrote lyrically about the jewel box of a hotel: “one can stay and enjoy in every manner that he wants; every room has its own melody.”

To find out more about the hotel 28 Kothi go to www.28Kothi.com or find them on Instagram @28kothi and Twitter @28kothi

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