With each new day breaching the highest-yet daily tally of COVID-19 infections so far in 2021, March has again brought back eerie memories. However, Holi is here, and despite several states banning public gatherings and celebrations, we’ve brought you special experiences crafted keeping the festival in mind. There’s still time before Holi, so get a COVID-19 test done, drive down and get yourself and your loved ones some long weekend thrills.
The golden sands of western Rajasthan promise a heady cocktail of colours, celebration and great local cuisine. Suryagarh Jaisalmer offers a great opportunity to make the most of the brief drop in temperatures in northern India before the summer hits us. Under their two-night staycation package Desert Holi in the Thar (March 28-29), the luxury hotel is offering their pavilion and heritage rooms and signature suites along with daily breakfast at their all-day diner Nosh, sundowners on March 28. The final day will see Holi celebrations along with a special poolside brunch.
Holi along with an enriching tour of history, anyone? Well then, jump aboard and sign up for Holi on a remote island. The Europe on the Ganges cruise is based around the colourful Radha-Krishna-style celebration of Holi, and will include traditional elements such as organic gulaal, scented water for pichkaaris, and marigolds for the guests. This cruise will be undertaken aboard the Ganges Voyager II with limited operational suites to ensure social distancing and stringent health protocols. The cruise is priced at Rs 25,000 per person per night (all-inclusive). Check here for details.
The beautiful heritage hotel of Lakshman Sagar, formerly a hunting lodge for colonial emissaries and nobles is as scenic as sight as any for a Holi getaway. The grand resort is offering 2N/3D and 3N/4D packages for its luxury cottages for an immersive experience that comprises the best of local cuisine, special moonlit walks, daytime dips in the private pool, sessions with local musicians, plenty of Holi -themed snacks and beverages (prices range between Rs 50,000 and Rs 76,000).
If you’ve always associated Holi with Barsana, Vrindavan and Bharatpur, wait till you experience the splash of colours high up in the hills. Himachal’s received a bit of snowfall lately but the benevolent daytime sunshine is a great prospect for Holi celebrations. Araiya Palampur in Himachal’s lush Kangra valley is offering a Holi staycation like no other. The package includes a bonfire night with indie music, day-long celebrations with sprightly cocktails and organic colours, and fun takes on food (ras malai gateaux, jalebi caviars with rabri and thandais with brahmi, aloe vera juice, beetroot—we are surely drooling).
With a mandatory COVID-19 test upon arrival ruled out for now, it’s worth doing that long-due Goa trip on the Holi weekend. Reason: DoubleTree by Hilton Goa, Panaji, is offering a something-for-everyone staycation. The package offers daily breakfast and dinner at Comida, their restaurant (2 pax), complimentary stay and breakfast for a maximum of two children under 12, a getaway to Divar island or a culinary masterclass. Sunday, March 28, will see guests enjoying a special Holi brunch at the hotel.
An 8-hour drive from Delhi provided you leave in time, Narendra Bhawan Bikaner is preparing to enchant visitors with a fun, COVID-safe celebration that is perfect for couples, pals and families. In a throwback to regal Rajputana legacy, the boutique hotel is offering a package that includes accommodation in the Residence Room, sundowners at the Darbari, a special, poolside Holi brunch and buffet breakfast at Rs 7,500 per person.
For Delhiites who want to stay where they are and soak into indulgence on the occasion of the festival of colours, The Imperial has a east-meets-west theme for its Holi and Easter staycation. The offer includes early check-ins (10am) and late check-outs (4pm), buffet breakfast at 1911, the diner and a 15% on hotel services. Situated in the heart of Delhi, the hotel promises relaxation and luxury to the fullest, and the offer is on from March 27 to April 4.