Month: December 2015

Swimming to Infinity: India’s 10 Breathtaking Infinity Pools

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Swimming in outdoor pool is what most of us die for. But, nothing can beat the surreal experience of swimming in an infinity pool, a water body that merges effortlessly into surrounding natural landscapes without clear cut edges. Here, the visual effect of the water reaching out to horizon and vanishing to infinity is a sight to behold forever. Infinity pools are set either in the midst of mountains or rainforest or right in front of a beach or harbour. They are dreamlike, they are fulfilling, they are absolutely pristine, they lead to an outright surreal experience. Many luxury hotels have adopted the concept of infinity pools, just to render a sweet refreshing touch to vacation. Goibibo has crafted a list of 10 breathtaking infinity pools in India, just for you. Take a look!

The Leela Palace, New Delhi

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Infinity pool at The Leela Palace Hotel, Delhi | Photo Credit: theleela.com/locations/new-delhi/hotel-information/hotel-information-photos-and-videos

Needless to stay, the hotel boasts of a plush ambience, and its uniquely designed rooftop infinity pool is its sole element that help keep yourself away from the hustle bustle of the city. Submerge in the temperature controlled water of the pool and lose yourself to the spectacular vistas of the bustling city below.

The unique feature: This is the capital’s only temperature controlled rooftop infinity pool. Come, dip, breathe and rejuvenate!

Leela Kovalam, Kerala

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Soak into the sublime beauty of the infinity pool at Leela Kovalam | Photo Credit: http://www.theleela.com/locations/kovalam/hotel-information/hotel-information-photos-and-videos

Two infinity swimming pools and flawless radiant views of the long swathe of Arabian Sea’s coastline are much awaited visual treats. The pool in the central activity area of the Beach-View wing is encapsulated by a series of coconut grooves. The club house infinity pool perched atop the sea-view wing lets you bask in soothing waters and soak in the spectacular sunset views. Flanked by two wonderful beaches, Leela Kovalam makes way for an intensified swimming experience.

The unique feature: There are two infinity pools, so be prepared to double your experience.

Taj Malabar, Kochi

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The stunning infinity pool of Taj Malabar, Kochi | Photo Credit: http://www.vivantabytaj.com/malabar-cochin/photo-gallery.html

The hotel stares right at the wondrous backwaters of Kochi. The waters of its infinity pool, Aquarius, seem to merge with blue prismatic waters of Kochi harbour, thereby lending a highly striking view. The magnificent illusion it creates is one of lifetime experiences. Be it morning or evening, view from Aquarius is always spellbound.

The unique feature: Specially arranged candle-light dinner on the lawns of the pool. Sigh!!

Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kerala

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Placid waters of the infinity pool of Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kerala | Photo Credit: http://www.kumarakomlakeresort.in/kumarakom_photos.html

Enamoured by tall palm trees, Kumarakom Lake Resort on the banks of Vembanad Lake is bestowed with a gorgeous artificial element, the infinity pool. While you unwind at the pool, the impressive views of blue-and-green expanse will come their way to hold you back for hours. The memory is bound to get etched in your mind forever.

The unique feature: An inviting jacuzzi by the poolside doubles the experience of relaxing under open sky.

Alila Diwa, Goa

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Infinity pool of Alila Diwa overlooking the green paddies | Photo Credit: http://www.alilahotels.com/photo-gallery/alila-diwagoa-gallery

Unwind yourself just like the infinity pool of the resort stretches itself into lush green paddy fields of Goa. It gives an exclusive chance to discover the beauty of Goa beyond beaches. The resort is an enclave of exclusivity and its endless infinity pool is one that steals your heart away. Swim, breathe and get lost in paradise.

The unique feature: The comfort of distinguished floating lounge chairs, which falls short of words to be described.

Wildernest Country Resort, Goa

How can the stunning beauty of the infinity pool of Wildernest Country Resort be left out? The pool melts gradually into the surrounding landscape of hills and valleys and lend the setting for a perfect date with the horizon. Be it dawn or dusk, it encapsulates you with myriad vistas formed as a melange of man and nature.

The unique feature: The sweet fragrance of medicinal plants that enamours you while bathing.

Swissotel, Kolkata

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Rooftop infinity pool at Swissotel, Kolkata | Photo Credit: http://www.swissotel.com/hotels/kolkata/spa-fitness/infinity-pool/

The 5 star property in the heart of Kolkata boasts of rooftop infinity pool that stretches to the horizon limitlessly. The pool is dramatic and while swimming, you can immerse in the captivating views of the city that extends up to the airport. Grasp the feel of being in a rooftop oasis in the midst of an otherwise thriving city.

The unique feature: An added dash of oomph is the romantic open air dining. Your 1st date is about to happen? Book a table by the pool side.

Wildflower Hall, Shimla

Perched atop almost 8,250 feet, swimming in the infinity pool of Wildflower Hall gives an otherworldly experience of swimming amid mountains. While the never-ending stretch of cedar and pine trees delight the eyes, the view of snowy Himalayas at a distance is equally ravishing.

The unique feature: To add on to your comfort and healthy vacation, the outdoor pool is connected to a heated indoor pool.

Orange County Resort, Kabini

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Relax in the infinity pool of Orange County Resort, Kabini | Photo Credit: http://www.orangecounty.in/kabini-resorts/facilities/infinity-pool/

The azure waters of the infinity pool create an illusion of merging with the placid lake at Nagarhole. For a relaxed course on timelessness and to soak in an enchanting atmosphere, take gentle dips in the prismatic waters. Simply relax and get transferred to a world where time knows no limits. The golden morning sky or the russet sunset, all lend to the most memorable experience of swimming in an infinity pool.

The unique feature: Mixed experience contributed by the resort’s rustic look and its contemporary style pool.

Kurumba Village Resort, Coonoor

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Infinity pool of Kurumba Village Resort placed amid thick greenery | Photo Credit: natureresorts.in/kurumba

Situated amid the alluring Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu, Kurumba Village Resort is blessed with a spellbound infinity pool that stretches to the lush green valley of the region. A fascinating mesh of natural and artificial marvels, the pool is just perfect to swim, rejuvenate and go deep into the wonders of nature.

The unique feature: Though the resort is spread over huge landscape, it makes sure that the pool is just a walk away from all suites and cottages.

Forget tanning, just bask in the pool waters right under the blue dazzling sky, and let your tiredness melt away. Go, experience and share your story with us!

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GoNews: Special Maharajas’ Express Launched for New Year Travel

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More royalty added to your Rajasthan travels. Now, travel like a king to the desert state with the service of Maharajas’ Express launched specially for New Year!

Maharajas' Express
The luxury Rang Mahal Restaurant of Maharajas’ Express | Photo Credit: http://www.maharajas-express-india.com/photogallery.html

IRCTC has decided to operate its premier luxury train Maharajas’ Express on a special trip from Delhi to Rajasthan. During the course of its journey on New Year’s eve, the train will follow the Delhi-Agra-Ranthambore-Jaipur-Delhi route. The trip called ‘”Gems of India” has been scheduled for 30th December, 2015. Maharajas’ Express will take travellers for a 3-night/4-day tour across various architectural and natural marvels of India, namely, Agra’s Taj Mahal, Ranthambore National Park and many beautiful forts and palaces of Jaipur.

This is for the very first time that IRCTC has introduced such a special service of its premium train. This is an initiative of the company to enable luxury travellers celebrate New Year in India with grandeur and royalty. Tickets of the trip can be booked directly from Maharajas’ Express’ official website through online payment. The cost ranging between INR 2,54,215 and INR 1,565,631 is expected to include facilities like meals, house wines, spirits, sightseeing and experienced guides.

Maharajas' Express
Live like a king in the presidential suite of Maharajas’ Express | Photo Credit: http://www.maharajas-express-india.com/photogallery.html

There is an icing on the cake too. While booking on twin-sharing basis, a traveller has to purchase only one ticket and his companion can travel along in the same cabin free of cost. If you are still undecided on your New Year travel plan, then book this luxury train ride to get an extravagant feel of ‘Incredible India’.

Maharajas' Express
Unfeigned luxury stay in the deluxe suite of Maharajas’ Express | Photo Credit: http://www.maharajas-express-india.com

Follow blog.goibibo.com for more #GoNews.

Stay tuned!

8 Must-Do Road Trips in 2016

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Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”

                                                                                               ― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Travelling solo on a bike or with a gang of BFFs/families in a car, road trips are getting trendier day by day. It is only because nothing can replace the excitement and the real adventure feel that comes with it! Read on as we bring to you top 8 road trips that you must take in 2016!

Road Trips
On the way to Bandipur Forest, Karnataka | Photo Credit: Anant Mehrotra

1. Gangtok to Nathula Pass via Lake Tsomgo

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Gangtok to Nathula Pass | Photo Credit: Rakesh Ghosh

Offering heavenly views across its surroundings, the Gangtok to Nathula Pass road via Lake Tsomgo is one of the best road trips of North East India. A must for the adventure junkies, this trip is challenging because of hilly terrain and twisted roads. This trip introduces you to the magical beauty of Sikkim and its lesser explored natural marvels, and ends in the Indo-China border of Nathula.

Distance: 55 km

Duration: 3 hours

2. Bangalore to Bandipur Forest

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Bangalore to Bandipur Forest | Photo Credit: Anant Mehrotra

What can be more exciting than taking a road trip along a dense forest? The Bangalore to Bandipur Forest route offers you this opportunity where you can admire verdant greenery all around and may also spot a deer crossing the road. There are a number of stopovers and eating options along the route viz. McDonald’s and Café Coffee Day that will take care of your hunger.

Distance: 235 km

Duration: 5 hours

3. Kolkata to Digha

Driving through green patches and picturesque landscapes, this route will finally take you to the seaside resort town of Digha. The roads are smooth, so driving is safe and comfortable. As there are plenty of dhabas on the route, you don’t need to carry food from home.

Distance: 180 km

Duration: 3 to 4 hours

4. Delhi to Manali

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Delhi to Manali | Photo Credit: Jatin Behl

This route is ideal for all those who love peaceful valleys and snow-covered mountains. A bike ride or drive by car along the Beas River to Manali promises to reward you with surreal vistas of nature. As Manali is famous for its adventure sports, you can try paragliding, trekking, rafting or skiing to explore your daring side.

Distance: 570 km

Duration: 12-14 hours

5. Guwahati to Tawang

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Guwahati to Tawang | Photo Credit: Aamir Alam

The ultimate road trip for bikers, this route features snow-clad mountains, the Indian Army camp, colourful Buddhist flags and beautiful monasteries. Its stopovers include places such as Cherrapunjee, Imphal and Kaziranga. As the roads are bumpy, narrow at times and terrains are steep, driving to Tawang requires skill and experience. The best time to take this road trip is between March and October.

Distance: 480 km

Duration: 9 hours

6. India-Myanmar-Thailand Route

The Trilateral Highway that connects three countries viz. India, Myanmar and Thailand, will be completed by 2016. So you must not miss this one! The highway begins from Moreh, a border town situated in Manipur and ends at Mae Sot in Thailand. Starting from New Delhi, you’ll drive through Agra, Lucknow, Guwahati, Shillong, Bagan, Mandalay, Naypyidaw and Yangon before arriving in Bangkok- the final destination.

Distance: 4500 km

Duration: 14 days

7. Jaipur to Jaisalmer

From the Pink City of Jaipur to the Golden City of Jaisalmer, this road trip lets you experience the vibrant culture and royal heritage of Rajasthan. The roads on this route are in excellent condition, promising you a smooth ride. Driving through an array of different villages and towns, with Jodhpur as a nice stopover, you’ll finally reach the stunning city of Jaisalmer.

Distance: 555 km

Duration: 9 hours

8. Mumbai to Mount Abu

This pleasant trip takes you to the only hill station of Rajasthan, Mount Abu. The journey will take you through urban towns, villages and then up the hills, letting you witness the transition from heavily populated Mumbai to scantily occupied Mount Abu.

Distance: 758 km

Duration: 12 hours

Now that you know about the top 8 road trips, do tell us which one of these you would love to try in 2016.

Goibibo Wins Best Website of The Year 2015 Award in Leisure and Travel

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Yet again Goibibo has bagged the ‘Best Website of the Year 2015‘ in Leisure and Travel category by Website of the Year Awards 2015. This is the second time in a row that Goibibo has received the honour in its category. This is the result of attaining the highest average score on content, ease of navigation, design and recommendation intention, all of which were taken care of while selecting the winner. Various other Leisure and Travel websites were competing for the coveted spot.

goibibo award

Not just this, Goibbio has also been awarded as the Economic Times Best Tech Brand 2015 in the online travel category. This initiative by ET recognizes Goibibo for its significant industry innovations and technological acumen across the online travel and tech space. Goibibo is the number one mobile app under travel category on Android Store. The awards were based on a survey conducted by MRSS and ET across 268 tech brands by taking feedback from almost 2500 people across eight selected cities, with an objective to recognize the best service providing companies in the B2B technology space.

Website of the Year award is the country’s most important people’s choice award for websites, which singles out the most popular and best websites in 21 different categories. Goibibo was amongst the 252 websites that were nominated under the Leisure and Travel category. The total number of votes received across categories was a whopping 1,86,347.

Goibibo extends heartfelt thanks to its loving customers and everyone else for their votes and support. And most importantly, for believing in us! We assure you that we will continue to serve you with the best of our services.

Happy Travelling!

Team Goibibo

India-Sri Lanka Road Trip? An Upcoming Sea Bridge Can Make it Happen

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Good bye long airport queues and sky-touching fares!

If Sri Lanka is your next travel destination, then hold on! The neighbouring country is soon going to get connected to India by road. Though India is not as popular as Europe and USA for cross-country road trips, yet things look like changing as the country prepares to construct an estimated Rs 24,000 crore bridge and tunnel to link itself with the island nation of Sri Lanka. Road trip lovers, get prepared for an epic journey that passes through a majestic and astonishing sea bridge and underwater tunnel.

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India to Sri Lanka by road | Photo Credit: google.co.in/maps

Well, the plan of this massive project was announced by the Indian Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari last week. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) also accepted to be the financial partner of this bridge-building project connecting Rameshwaram to Sri Lanka. The decision is a strong one, which aims to promote connectivity, seamless road transportation and closer regional economic cooperation with South Asian region.

Despite sharing a tumultuous past, India and Sri Lanka are two incredible nations rich in history, culture and natural beauty. Presently, there are only two ways of travelling from India to Sri Lanka – an estimated 1 hour flight from Tamil Nadu or an estimated 3.5 hours ferry ride from Rameshwaram. With the inauguration of this new route, I am sure cross-country road trip is going to fetch you mind-blowing experiences and memories.

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Pamban Bridge | Photo Credit: wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Ravichandar84

In the meantime, find out the top 5 things to do in Sri Lanka:

  • Drive your way either by car or cycle through the official colonial retreat of Nuwara Eliya, home to Sri Lanka’s oldest tea estates.
  • Make friends with playful Sri Lankan elephants at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. For a unique experience, bottle feed the baby elephants, serve them lunch and watch them bathe.
  • Skip the crowd, laze over sunbath, romance under twilight and lose yourself to the bewitching beauty of palm fringed beaches and azure waters of Bentota, Mirissa and Unawatuna.
  • Explore Sri Lanka by its timeless colonial trains. The historic route chugs through tea plantations, hidden waterfalls and aromatic spice gardens, as you get to voyage back to the ‘Golden Age of Train Travel’.
  • Walk through the well-restored colonial town of Kandy. It is the home to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist pilgrimage centre.

Of curries sweet and spicy, Sri Lanka emerged as a food-lovers paradise too. A trip to this peace-loving island nation begins and ends with its capital, Colombo, a city that holds an irresistible collision of time and culture.

As we wait for the route to be operational soon, you start preparing your checklist for the India-Sri Lanka road trip.

Top Indian Bakeries to Try Exotic Christmas Cakes

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The chill is here, season of merry making has arrived and the ‘party mood’ is totally on. And if winter comes to India with Christmas knocking at the door, how can the delectable aroma and finger-licking taste of Christmas cakes be kept behind? Among all oomph and glitters, trees and stars, carols and colourful bells, there is the sweetmeat called ‘plum cake’ that hypnotises us all. If you are unsure which Indian cites offer the best Christmas cakes, take a look at the list we exclusively carved for you.

Kolkata

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Flurys, Kolkata | Photo Credit: http://www.facebook.com/Flurys/photos

From British invasion to settlement of Anglo Indian community, Christmas seems to have an epic relationship with Kolkata. As the Christmas bells ring, Kolkata’s flagship bakeries like Nahoums and Sons (New Market), Flurys (Park Street), Barua Cake Shop (Bow Barracks), Kathleen and Kookie Jar (have multiple branches) bring forth their Christmas special plum cakes, fruit cakes and rum cakes. The 113 years old Nahoums and the 1927 founded Flury’s having Jewish, British and European influences tantalize taste buds of city-goers with their rich buttery spongy bars filled with nuts, fruits and cookies.

Delhi

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Divin-e-licious, Delhi | Photo Credit: http://www.facebook.com/Divin.e.licious.cupcakes/photos/

Christmas in Delhi is all about oldest and legendary bakeries like Wengers (Connaught Place) and Supreme Bakery (R.K. Puram). Apart from assorted pastries, their melt-in-mouth plum cakes and rum balls available at pocket-friendly prices are best food to cherish on Christmas eve. Others like Divin-e-licious and Elma’s Bakery are also known for their traditional plum cake without icing. Shammi Kebab at Wengers can make Christmas a bit spicy and tangy too!

Goa

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Daily Bread, Goa| Photo Credit: http://www.dailybread.co.in/bouquet-de-chocolate-2

Christmas is when Goan homes and bakeries make traditional rum cakes, plum cakes and coconut balls. If you are here during Christmas, don’t skip Confeitaria 31 de Janeiro (Panaji), Goa’s one of the oldest bakeries. Its home made assorted Christmas cakes are all time favourite amongst Indian and western travellers. Other legendary names like Daily Bread (Panjim), Royal Foods (Margao) and German Bakery (Anjuna) get attention for freshly baked decorative Christmas cakes. White Christmas cakes drowned in whipped cream frostings of Canape Snax ‘n Sips (Ozari) gives a heavenly gourmet experience.

Pondicherry

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Baker Street, Pondicherry | Photo Credit: Arunima Mitra Dhar

The fascinating ‘Little France of India’ gears up for fun, food, decoration and merry- making during Christmas. It is when the city’s very old Auroville bakery prepares delicious Christmas cakes topped with fruits and nuts. Other sweetmeats like Choco nuttie and Apple crumble add more fervour to Christmas mood. Buche de Noel, a French sweet dish and one of the traditional cakes baked during Christmas at Baker Street (Bussy Street) is a must try. Daily Bread (Thanthai Periyar Nagar) and Choco-La (Mission St) serve the best rum cakes, cupcakes and tarts in Pondicherry.

Mumbai

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Oven Fresh, Mumbai | Photo Credit: http://www.ovenfresh.in/cakes/desire3-1kg.html

Christmas in the financial capital centres around the old world charms of Irani café, Kyani & Co. (Marine Lines). Rum plum cakes, egg-less cakes along with keema and chicken patties of this 1904 founded bakery instigate the epicure in you during Christmas. Lose yourself to the luscious Christmas special cookies, chocolate pudding and fruit cakes of Yazdani Bakery, Theobroma (Bandra West) and Oven Fresh (Dadar West). Even a non-cake lover should try American Express Bakery’s (Byculla) Stollen bread, a sugar coated dried fruit and marzipan made fruit cake.

Cochin

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Pandhal Cake Shop, Cochin | Photo Credit: http://pandhalcakeshop.com/product/black-white-torte/

Mince pies, plum cakes, tarts, conical trees, bells and carols create a fantastic milieu for Christmas celebration at the Portuguese town. Since its humble beginning in 1939, Cochin Bakery till date is known for making the best plum and fudge cakes of the festive season. Christmas special mousse cups at Bake My Day (Jawahar Nagar), fudge tart at Pandhal Cake Shop (Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road), rum n’ raisin and plum cakes at Ann’s House of Sweets (Kadavanthra) make a memorable Christmas feast. For a change try carrot cake at Best Bakery (Maradu).

To make your Christmas celebration exotic, tempting and gastronomic, we looked for the best Christmas cake shops across India. Try out some or all of these (if time permits), and thank us later for an unbelievably sweet savouring Christmas.

GoAir Introduces Special Flights to Goa to Meet Festive Rush

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More good news for people travelling to Goa this Christmas and New Year. Budget carrier GoAir is all set to operate special flights to Goa from key Indian cities to avoid holiday rush. These additional flights will fly from December 18 and continue till January 5, 2016, as reported by the airline. The additional flights will operate from Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Kolkata.

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Photo Credit: facebook.com/GoAir

GoAir stated that the flights during this period will be operated with the help of state-of-the-art Airbus A320 aircraft fleet. The first special flight from Mumbai (G81375), will depart for Goa at an expected 11:00 pm on December 18. On the other hand, the last special flight from Goa to Mumbai (G81376) will depart on January 5, 2016 at an expected 1:45 am. However, this special flight service will not be available on December 31st and January 1st.

Tickets have already started selling like hot cakes, so leave your worries of high airfares behind and avoid the last minute rush or unavailability. GoAir has introduced the special flight operation keeping in mind the holiday rush in Goa during Christmas and New Year. And Sunburn too is about to happen at that time. Hope this initiative will not dishearten you from getting sun-burnt.