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How To Use The Instagram Algorithm To Your Advantage

Are the changing algorithms of Instagram cumbersome? What next?

These changes can be upsetting because I’m sure, like me, you would have noticed a downward spiral in likes and comments. But rather than being upset about the changes that keep arising and wasting your precious time complaining, why not play by the rules? Give a skip to what you cannot control {what goes on behind-the-scenes} and concentrate on what you can control.

And yes, let this be proof that you need your own platform {i.e. a blog} for people to hear you, know you, and see you ~ because no matter how many times a platform changes, you will always have this personal space that is owned AND controlled exclusively by ~ you, just you! That being said, you still need Instagram and Facebook for engagement, exposure, and promotion because that’s where everyone’s at!

If you’re looking to use the Instagram algorithm to your advantage, here are some tips that will help you handle the changing algorithm the right way or should I say, in a better way:

Followers and Interactions ~

From going to algorithm in 2016 from chronological, Instagram has kept its originality intact and has not shied away from authentic and meaningful interactions. If you haven’t yet started interacting with your followers, especially those who take time to comment on your posts, it’s high time you initiated thoughtful conversations in a way that stimulates a response.

This could be achieved in the manner you present your posts, your caption and your visuals, and your response to a comment should be more than a heart emoji or a one/two word response. A good idea would be to visit the pages of those who have left a comment and return their gesture. Doing this will also allow you to get to know your followers and audience, and your response will more likely provide better exposure to your content.

On Serenading Pictures that Speak to the Viewers ~

I am not too caught up with the changes on Instagram because my work is not influenced by it or limited to it. So whenever there are changes on Instagram, I try to see how this magical new version can help me bring in changes in my postings so that they garner a better viewership. I would recommend you give all the new features a try, such as the carousel or IGTV content and keep in mind that it is not always about posting a beautiful picture, but a striking caption is what stands out most of the time and pulls in readers to your Instagram handle.

On Using Your Analytics Properly

The ability to see insights on every post is a welcome change because it helps to gauge the ‘reaching out’ of your content. While I would encourage you not to obsess over the analytics on every post, it is good once in a while to have a check on your top performing posts in comparison to the ones that didn’t fare as well and see where you need to make some changes. Saves are another KPI to gauge whether the content you’ve posted is working or not.

On Stories and Storytelling~

Storytelling is an art by itself that has always captivated the listeners and audience and I like the idea here of pulling your readers into it and making their opinion matter through polls via Instagram stories. I find polls so fun, interactive, and if used correctly, your audiences’ answers to your questions will let you decide on what the next course of action should be or on what topic your next story should be based {i.e. workout videos or healthy recipes}. Stories are also an entertaining way to keep your audience posted on your day’s activities and that way you will slowly get to know their pulse and have a drift of their attentiveness.

Yes, Hashtags Work, so Hashtag Away ~

I like the idea of using hashtags because it allows you to open up your imaginative minds to create new hashtags {different from the ones you usually use} that will enable you to look at your posts with a new eye each time you view them, while also allowing others to follow your journey. To reiterate, I am a proponent of research and knitting in your own hashtags, not only because of the infamous shadow ban, but also so that your postings and stories do not go unnoticed.

Another piece of advice: if you only have 10k followers, for example, you don’t want to use hashtags with 5 million posts. Stick with those under the 1 million mark and be sure that it’s been used recently.

Has the algorithm change been frustrating for you? If you have any interesting suggestions that work, be sure to share them below!

The post How To Use The Instagram Algorithm To Your Advantage appeared first on Urban Diaries.

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Customizing My Uniform To Suit Each Season

Summer is upon us and I cannot be happier for the longer days and warmer temperature! To me summertime also means splashes of wardrobe colour in addition to the happier and brighter days of the year! Thus the beginning of a new season is a beginning of a revamped wardrobe ~ turning a whole three hundred and sixty degrees around from classic cold-weather style to a bright, bohemian beach-inspired aesthetic that I want to be able to execute right from the get go!

Although immensely fun, the transition of my wardrobe feels a little haphazard at the beginning, growing into its element over time. So as we take our first steps into summer 2019, I’m looking to an old concept, to mould my summer fashion standards ~

The Uniform

Now don’t mistake my reference to the pinafores and skirts we wore back in school, paired with {tasteless} blazers ~ where we standardized ourselves to fit into the crowd. Quite the contrary, actually!

Yes, the uniform dressing I’d like to talk about does not refer to a repetitive outfit {that sounds like a complete snooze}, but a dress code as a safety net {open to interpretation}, which is both comfortable and fashionable encapsulating your personal style. For me, it is an artistic way of knitting up functionality, aesthetic, and lifestyle which grows to become my identity.

Gone are the days of adhering to standard lost-in-the-crowd apparel ~ express your persona to set yourself apart!

Uniform in the Making

Putting together your uniform is not a daunting or harrowing process, rather a fun way of exploring your comfort levels, your personality, your preferences and your concept of fashion. It’s a simple game you play by putting your outfit together, piece by piece, much like a jigsaw puzzle.

You could choose to pick some interesting looks from the internet, but having a unique code put together from scratch has an appeal which is simply unparalleled. To break it down ~ you begin by identifying 3-4 basic elements that make an outfit ~ tops, bottoms, shoes and an outer layer if need be.

It’s now time to personalize your uniform by asking yourself ~

  • What tops are my favourite kind? (colourful, neutral, fitted, oversized, etc.)
  • What is my preference for bottoms? (skinny leg, wide leg, high rise, low rise, etc)
  • What kind of shoes do I reach for first? (flats, heels, wedges, etc)

~ and so on.

My best advice would be to keep the answers open-ended and general, giving yourself more flexibility in your style statement. Say, I choose tunics, palazzos, and wedges as my uniform. This way, I have given myself a style statement that now people will identify me with, and I’ve also put it together based on my level of comfort and personal expression, regardless of the season.

On days I cannot make up my mind about my day’s outfit, this code is a life saviour which really brings out my emotions and my personality in a unique way.

My Uniform

So here’s why my current uniform works in this specific case:

1 | Flowy Palazzos | I love to cut a dramatic silhouette in a striking pair of palazzos, but it’s got to be comfortable. So, these wide legged, flowy, high waist palazzos with a glorious elastic waist have become my go-to for summer.

2 | Chanderi Tunic | A cotton-silk kurta may be a summer wardrobe staple, but when it’s an asymmetric Chanderi silk kurta with a Shantoon slip featuring Warli embroidery like this one, it becomes a little statement all on its own.

3 | Wedges | My neutral style can feel a little bit predictable at times, so I’m switching things up with a muted golden sandal. It’s interesting, yet subtle, and I love it so much more than I expected! Going to be wearing these a lot this summer.

Yes, having a uniform, gives me the freedom to pick and choose a style statement of my own liking rather than what is popularly dictated.

Why have a uniform?

Well, simply put, I’d like to think of this year as one to radiate my uniqueness ~ in any and every form! And the concept of a ‘Personal Uniform’ really breaks the shackles of what forms the crux of fashion fads and seasonal trends. Atypical apart, a uniform oozes confidence, individuality, and personality and works as a quick fashion formula when you are too confused to pick one. Yes, it gives you a generic framework to work within, all the while keeping your look fresh and uniquely you!

Having a uniform {or several uniforms for different occasions} makes streamlining and shopping days more fun {than stressful} too. I.e. you’re sure about your style, you have a financially savvy lifestyle, and you additionally save sartorial time and effort every single day. I can safely say that it feels so good to just go with the flow!

I would like to leave you with my last thought as to why I think a well thought out code is beneficial. Well, because it is a representation of who you are. It is the epitome of chic and effortless personal style. It is a big step towards a conscious & smart lifestyle.

A uniform to fit you, not the other way round.

Let me know your thoughts on summer style and having a uniform. Would you prefer having the simplicity of a self made code or would you rather keep a whimsical open ending to your outfits? I’d love to continue the conversation in the comments below.

The post Customizing My Uniform To Suit Each Season appeared first on Urban Diaries.

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The Best Places to See in and Around Bhopal

A potion mixed with a hint of history, a pinch of culture and a spoonful of depth is what I seek ~

To describe it best, Bhopal is a city whose Mughal heritage and charm will keep you coming back for more! A city that filled my experience with many joyous moments, the magic of Bhopal goes far beyond its regal reputation of Nawabs & Begams, voluminous lakes, vintage jeeps and delicious rezalas. Yes, what used to be a royal image in my mind too, Bhopal is now the city that has given me the taste of what I crave every now and then in my life in Bangalore!

Beating at the heart of Incredible India, Bhopal is divided by a pair of lakes, each part exuding power and energy so different yet so captivating! One side of the city is dominated by a traditional aesthetic of bazaars, havelis and mosques, while the other bustles with shopping markets, resorts and the Arera & Shamla Hills. Vikram and I were fortunate enough to bask the beauty of this City of Lakes recently, courtesy Jehan Numa Retreat

A Walk To Remember

Up before the sun, Vikram and I chose to leave the comfort of our luxurious bed at our Premium Cottage at the Retreat and join the Bhopal Heritage and Culture Tour organised by the Jehan Numa Group, guided by storyteller and young historian, Sikandar Malik ~ and it was a great decision indeed!

The tour spun us a historic tale of the city, enlightening us about the Mughal reign. We got to admire the recently renamed Bhojtal, the oldest man-made lake in India, truly a sight for sore eyes! And as the morning progressed, we got to explore gems like Kamlapati Mahal, Gauhar Mahal, Shaukat Mahal, Sadar Manzil and Taj-Ul-Masajid ~ the largest mosque in Asia and the third largest in the world. Every step deeper into the tour was a step closer to falling deeper in love with this city!

As our tour went on, the beauty and serenity of the sights unfolding in front of us got me thinking about the mere existence of man and how different every aspect is due to evolution. I remember my childhood in Benaras, where I was exposed to the rich culture, heritage and architecture of the region, visiting historical sites during school holidays. At that age, I never truly understood why my mum was keen to have me experience that, but now as I stood through this tour, I understood exactly why. I’ve grow up into this person who jumps at every opportunity to experience places packed with history, art and culture, and there is nothing about crumbling, old sites that does not fascinate me now!

The more we unravelled the city and the more I found the past glory of Bhopal illustrious, the more was I eager to explore the remarkable episodes written by history and folklore in the forms of stupas, caves, and temples around Bhopal, which was made possible the next day thanks to Jehan Numa Retreat. So here’s taking you on my journey souvenirs ~

Bhojeshwar Temple: A Tale Left Untold

Located 32 km from Bhopal is Bhojeshwar Temple, nestled comfortably on a mountain in a small town called Bhojpur. It is popular by the name, “Somnath of the East”, and houses one of the largest monolithic Shivalingas in its sanctorum. As you enter the temple, wafts within the air is a sense of mystery, most of which is credited to the fact that its construction was abruptly halted and left undone halfway. The culture and architecture of the medieval times is still prominent with the carvings, leaving an open platform for your mind to strategise tales for this gem.

Visiting hours: The temple is open to the public on all days of the week from Sunrise to Sunset ~ 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Entrance fee: INR 10 for Indians and INR 100 for foreigners.

How to reach: If you are planning on visiting the temple, which I highly recommend, you could have an early start to the day and catch a private bus from Bhopal towards Mandideep, getting off at the diversion to the Bhojpur temple. And from there you may find your way into a shared auto to the temple.

Where to eat: We sipped on some chai and enjoyed snacks right outside the temple, so anyone looking for places to eat here, this is for you.

Remarks: Although abandoned before its completion, the Bhojpur temple has set itself up on a pedestal of mystery and grace, spreading its wings of culture.

Bhojeshwar Mandir 1 Bhojeshwar Mandir 2

Bhimbetka Rock Shelters: A Prehistoric Painting Come To Life

Sitting at the foot of the Vindhyan Mountains, Bhimbetka was discovered by Dr. Vishnu Sridhar Wakenkar in 1957, and is located at a distance of 45 km from Bhopal. This archaeological site is renowned for its whopping 750 rock shelters; spread over 10km of land, adorned with interesting paintings and inscriptions in mineral colours varying from green, red, ochre and white. The Auditorium cave and its quartzite towers is the most picturesque of them!

Bhimbetka or ‘Bhimbaithak’ which means ‘The sitting place of Bhima’, hints at the early existence of man, evolving from hunters-gatherers to cultivators to spiritual beings.

Visiting hours: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days of the week.

Entrance fee: INR 10 for Indians and INR 100 for foreigners.

How to reach: Bhimbedka is a long journey you should prepare yourself well for. If in a group of people, I would suggest you hire a taxi from Bhopal. In case you’re a budget traveller, here’s my suggestion ~
You first will have to catch a bus from Bhopal going towards Hoshangbad and hop out at the T-Junction of Bhimbetka. Mind you, this is a painfully slow journey and will take you at least 2 hours to reach your stop, from which you still have a while to reach the rock shelters, approximately 4 km on foot.

Where to eat: There is a guest house and restaurant at the T-junction which is run by Madhya Pradesh State Tourism, where I would highly recommend stopping by to rest your feet and get a good stretch in before your embark on your journey towards the site. This is also a good place to purchase water rather than at the roadside dhabas you will encounter on your way.

Remarks: Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Bhimbetka captures colours of history, changing and adapting with the wind and weather! This is must-see for those looking to quench their thirst for picturesque monuments!

En route Bhimbetka 1 En route Bhimbetka 2 En route Bhimbetka 3 Bhimbetka Rock Shelters 1 Bhimbetka Rock Shelters 2 Bhimbetka Rock Shelters 3 Bhimbetka Rock Shelters 4 Bhimbetka Rock Shelters 5 Bhimbetka Rock Shelters 6

The Great Stupa Of Sanchi: A Buddhist Magnificence

A world renowned complex of Buddhist relics, Sanchi town is at a distance of 49 kms from Bhopal, and is for those of you looking to experience the Mauryan pride and magnificence! With beautiful artisanship, The Great Stupa takes you on a visual journey of Mauryan art and architecture, all of what was the brainchild of Emperor Ashoka.

The site is truly a tale that captures you in all its natural beauty, culture and history, and if you get to stay until sunset, gear up for one of the most mesmerizing moments of your life!

Visiting hours:  8:30 AM to 5:30 PM on all days of the week, except Fridays.

Entrance fee: INR 10 for Indians and SAARC Nationals, and INR 250 for tourists from other countries.

How to reach: It is a relatively easier journey to Sanchi if you catch a private bus going towards Vidisha or simply catch a train to Bhopal or Vidisha, but the latter are not as frequent so remember to plan ahead.

Where to eat: As a UNESCO World Heritage site, The Sanchi Stupa attracts tourists from all over the world, and hence has cultivated into a travel friendly area bustling with restaurants and food chains. I would personally recommend grabbing a bite at Sanchi itself, rather than at the roadside dhabas.

Remarks: Rightly chosen by Emperor Ashoka, Vedisagiri Hill makes the perfect location for this Buddhist establishment, as one can benefit from a quaint and solitary experience. Lose yourself to the beauty and spirituality of what is the calm in an ever bustling city of Vidisha!

The Great Stupa Of Sanchi 1 The Great Stupa Of Sanchi 2 The Great Stupa Of Sanchi 3 The Great Stupa Of Sanchi 4

Udayagiri Caves In Vidisha: A Gupta Manifesto

Next on our tour, was the easy choice of the Udayagiri Caves ~ a site with twenty magnificent rock-cut structures, adorned with Hindu and Jain sculptures. At a distance of 57 km from Bhopal, these Sunrise Mountain Caves are considered to be one of the most important archaeological sites of India.

Reflecting the art, architecture and culture of the Gupta period, these caves made me feel like I had been teleported in time! An illustrious and exquisite representation of the local ‘Art’ form, the Udayagiri cave sanctuaries are in such a stark difference with Sanchi Stupa and as I stood there watching the beauty of the figurines carved into the stone, I thought to myself ~ this truly represents an archaeological masterpiece of India!

Visiting hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 AM

Entrance fee: INR 10 for Indians and INR 200 for foreigners.

How to reach: Visiting the Udayagiri caves is a good choice, paired up with a trip to Sanchi. About 9 km away from Sanchi Stupa, it is rare to find direct commute to these caves, so a stop at Vidisha or Sanchi, is the smartest choice.

Where to eat: Sanchi, Vidisha.

Remarks: Keep another day of your trip aside for Sanchi and the Udayagiri caves; because they both tell you a different story ~ each leaving you enthralled! With contrasting landscapes and cultural influence, the caves are a must-see for all those looking to soak in the historic remnants of India’s rich past.

Udayagiri Caves 1 Udayagiri Caves 2 Udayagiri Caves 3

Tropic of Cancer in Bhopal

We ended our day outing in Bhopal with a visit to the ‘Tropic of Cancer’ that is located where one of Earth’s integral latitude passes through. This can be found on the Bhopal-Vidisha Highway ~ about 30 km from the city centre of Bhopal.

End note: Bhopal is a city that quenches the thirst of every traveller, no matter what their ideal vacation is! Encapturing the tone of being the heart of India, the city successfully pumps the country with everything and more! Bursting with art, architecture, history, culture, nature and luxury, Bhopal is the “It Place” that needs to climb its way on your travel expeditions NOW! An underrated destination, this city has skyrocket my expectations for my next travel adventure!

The post The Best Places to See in and Around Bhopal appeared first on Urban Diaries.

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Jehan Numa Retreat, Bhopal

The air was sombre and luminous at the same time. A deep breath of the crisp air was all it took to switch up my entire sense of reality, belonging and meaning ~

Finding a quaint and satisfying experience is always a winner as opposed to the one coursing with greed and soullessness. Jehan Numa Group is a brand that blankets this feeling of satiation; creating spaces which echo their spirit and soul. Take a walk through my experience at Jehan Numa Retreat as I revisit the Nature Resort through my words!

The retreat steals you away from the busy urban life, engulfing your senses with purity and quietude ~

Our flight into Bhopal was rather early in the morning, but we could not fathom a single complaint. The morning sun played peek-a-boo through the trees, painting the streets with colours of mischief. As the road wound along Bada Talab, the Upper Lake of Bhopal, the chilly wind blew past us, singing a sweet song for the sunlight to play along to!

Approaching our destination in Madhya Pradesh’s capital city, Vikram and I were piqued by the whereabouts of the resort we were going to call home for the next few days. A painting that came to life, the resort was surrounded by the lush green landscapes of the Van Vihar National Park, with all the fauna you could imagine. The chirping birds took over our senses, which was a pleasant change from the loud city traffic we are used to.

Ascending the steps to the reception area, soothing shades of brown and beige came into view ~ a paradise embodied by the resort, the tranquil destination was a fine balance of luxury and comfort, with some of the best nature has to offer. A gem nestled in Central India, this resort is where you should plan your next holiday, to enjoy unparalleled beauty whilst resting yourselves in the hands of luxury and leisure.

Feel yourself becoming one with all that nature has to offer you, coaxing you gently on a personal voyage of discovery ~

Jehan Numa Retreat is a 12 acre landscape that is everything you want in a retreat, and more. We had the pleasure of spending 5 days at this luxury property surrounded by natural beauty, and a touch of lavishness. Welcomed with true Indian reverence, we were greeted with an aarti thaali and vermilion by the affable Vincent Marques, the General Manager and his team, as we began a blessed journey along with them.

A seamless check in, was followed with refreshing cups of lemongrass and mint tea, perfect to get us rejuvenated! We strolled through a piece of heaven as we toured the grandeur tree lined estate, in the company of many playful butterflies, making it more surreal than ever. An art piece come to life, the brainchild of landscape artist, Revati Kamath has culminated into one of the most beautiful Nature Resorts with fountain grass and banyan trees nestling themselves perfectly as dividers.

An ode to sustainability, the cottages are for those seeking nature, culture and luxury, all in one ~

The Jehan Numa Retreat has 28 premium cottages divided into 6 clusters, each named after local birds of the region, namely Kingfisher, Jacana, Heron, Hornbill, Lapwing and Francolin. Portraying the fine tune of nature and leisure, the rustic aesthetic of the cottages complements the earthy feel and look of the wooden furniture and ethnic décor. This stay embodies relaxation and rejuvenation for any traveller looking to kick back and find solace.

We were residing in one of the Premium Cottages at a quiet end of the property, ventilated with fresh air and warm sunshine, all due to the smart Mozaic design approach the architect, Dean D’Cruz had flawlessly integrated. We stepped out of our cottage only to be greeted with the picturesque view of the lush landscapes that included flora such as millingtonia, karanja, shisham, babool and baheda, to name just a few. I can describe this view as nothing short of the Eden!

The outdoor deck was without a doubt, Vikram and my favourite spot throughout our stay. Sipping on some flavoursome Sulaimani chai, whilst indulging in some deep conversations and the best breakfasts we have eaten ~ is a winner in my eyes! It was perfect to enjoy each other’s presence while spotting birds and in complete silence while we read our respective books. Light breezes grazing our skin and, the soft rustle of leaves and the beautiful fuzzy purple fountain grass, came together in harmony to really bless our senses!

A feature that was really the pièce de résistance was the outdoor shower. The resort’s successful attempt at bringing its guests closer to nature, this bathing experience creates a sense of intimacy with nature. Dusk was my favourite time to take a bath with Mother Nature, with the sun bidding farewell and the moon sneaking its way up to the sky.

Indulge in the fine culinary spread at the Retreat, where the cuisine is beaten just by the stunning settings of its eateries ~

My knowledge and experience with Bhopali cuisine was previously limited to just pohe, jalebi and chai, but was I in for a treat I would never anticipate! With a strong Mughal influence on the culture, I was aware that there were meats used in Bhopali cuisine but that was the extent of my information. The retreat and its talented chefs, have now led me through the path of unique flavours, I may never get over!

Maintaining the natural aesthetic, the signature restaurant, “Under the Jamun Tree” had a central tree adorned with hanging lights, surrounded beautifully by wooden furniture that faced an open garden. This restaurant captured perfectly, the feeling of ‘at one with nature’, with its easy breeze, soft movement of the leaves and the sunlight engulfing the property.

Jumping right into the splendid food, prepare for some stomach grumbles because the thought of it has definitely sent me into a frenzy of hunger! Meat lovers, brace yourself for one of the best Galouti Kebabs to melt in your mouth and treat your taste buds to the succulent Murg Bhopali Rizzala. The textures and flavours leave you wanting more and more with every bite!

One can also enjoy a fun Sunday brunch at the alfresco dining of “Under the Jamun Tree”, truly the best in Bhopal. Sip on a lovely drink while you take in the beautiful nature that wraps you immediately. The resort pampers your palette to all organic ingredients they source from their orchards and herb gardens, imbibing the aesthetic of the resort, in your plate!

The Coriander Leaf is an all day dining, which is a slight shift into a more grandeur dining experience. You can enjoy the greenery through the large glass windows and then you can start your day off with the breakfast spread served here. Vikram and I however preferred to start our day either in bed or in the outdoor deck of our room, sipping English tea and enjoying local delicacies, while also enjoying the view.

Allow the Retreat to reconnect the body, mind and soul with the luxurious gifts of nature ~

Other than taking in the beauty of nature, the resort offers you a spectrum of activities including yoga sessions, golf ranges, kite flying, sapling planting, and nature walks, amongst many more they like to call Special Experiences.

If you’re looking for some downtime of absolute relaxation, find your way down to the Chakra Spa to enjoy a holistic blend of therapeutic and rejuvenating treatments such massage therapies, exfoliating scrubs, pedicure, manicure and different varieties of facials.

Verdict: Camouflaged by the touch of nature, the luxury and elegance of the Jehan Numa Retreat is an experience not to be missed. The emphasis on a natural experience balanced with the warm and courteous hospitality of the staff made our stay as unique and unforgettable as it can get. Enjoy a slice of Mother Nature, all while soaking up the luxuries life has to offer!

Vikram and I strive for a life filled with travel and experiences where we get to meet different individuals and experience different cultures. This experience was one where people and culture came our way instead, and all that we saw, felt, learned and experienced is something we cannot begin to describe. We sure hope to visit the Jehan Numa Retreat again and recommend anyone and everyone looking for a perfect place of tranquillity and comfort, to stop looking further! Visit Bhopal and experience the beauty of Central India at its finest!

Jehan Numa Retreat - YouTube

Did you love Jehan Numa Retreat as much as we did? Do let me know in the comment section below.

*Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from Jehan Numa Group. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review.

The post Jehan Numa Retreat, Bhopal appeared first on Urban Diaries.

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Sensimar Samui ~ Your Vacation In Paradise

Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa ~ Review

A paradise I like to call Koh Samui, has won me over, heart and soul. The epitome of Thai beauty and culture, every aspect of this island had my senses tingling throughout our travels. From above, Vikram and I spotted the vast stretches of golden beaches and pristine waters with no signs of an end. And as we came into land we were captured by not just the scenic beauty, but the warm feeling of meeting the locals who engulf your senses with happy smiles and fragrant food!

Driving around was definitely a picturesque moment, and a tourist destination as it rightfully is, I was simply mesmerized by the generous hospitality on offer. Koh Samui is easily my top recommendation for those looking to get away for a few days or weeks, to recharge and rejuvenate!

Now what makes a vacation exemplary, is finding just the right hotel. Like its beauty, Koh Samui has many gems one can stay at to have the best vacation and read further, to know this specific gem I personally recommend for your next holiday!

About Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa

Inaugurated in 2016, Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa is the love child of a team of professionals that have been in the hospitality and resort industry for years. Their expertise reflects in their top notch service and their ability to make each guest feel instantly at home, making our R&R in Koh Samui quite memorable for us both.

With its ideal location on Maenam Beach, the resort is within ten kilometres of Samui airport and just four kilometres from all the local attractions and nightlife Thailand has to offer. A fine concoction of culture and luxury, Sensimar Samui has left no stone unturned in terms of facilities, dining and accommodation; this is one tropical paradise you won’t want to leave!

First Impressions

If you’re looking to enjoy the Thai island of Koh Samui whilst keeping away from the noise and hustle of the backpackers, this is undoubtedly, your best pick to kick back. A boutique resort through and through, it captures the “Adults Only” vibe with its luxurious yet minimal aesthetic. Spacious with natural tones, high ceilings and great views encapsulates the resort best. I found the light colours and calming silence of Sensimar Samui to be a great space for those seeking to party less and relax more.

A couple’s dream come true, you can enjoy the delectable traditional Thai cuisine while admiring the beautiful sunset from either the poolside or the beach itself. I must impress that the pool area has really captured the romantic aesthetic with a sparkling 40-metre infinity pool, flanked by bright red sun-beds and umbrellas that overlook stretches of the island.

What enthralled me more about the resort was not just the beauty the resort had to offer as a whole, but that every room flaunts a private balcony so you can admire the lush tropical gardens scattered across the property and/or panoramic ocean views! Yes, the privacy and tranquillity it offers is beyond compare.

A Zen experience for those seeking to relax and unwind, close to the pristine ocean and surrounded by natural beauty.

Our Beachfront Pool Villa

Beginning our journey on a sweet note, the resort arranged for our airport transfer and welcomed us with some refreshing drinks while wrapping up our check-in seamlessly! The ever charming Marketing Manager of the Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa, Eddy accompanied and guided us to the Beachfront Pool Villa that we called home for the next 5 days!

A luxury resort designed for serenity, Sensimar Samui is nothing less than perfect for those looking to just kick their legs up and relax over their holidays. Secluded beachfront, lush green gardens, private pools, sundecks and modern rooms ~ this resort proved to be as good as any aphrodisiac, if not better! Imagine starting your day lazing around your private pool whilst basking in the scenic views of the beach from your sun-beds… This could just be the holiday Vikram and I had always wanted!

A perfect marriage between tranquillity and rejuvenation, Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa has nailed the tropical getaway dream to the T.

As ditzy as this may sound, one of the details that caught my eye was the number of charging outlets that were well distributed at the villa! You don’t know real happiness until you’ve been able to charge all your electronic appliances like your phones and cameras at the same time without having to unplug each of them in schedule, while nestled in a hotel room! After connecting all my appliances into charging outlets, a quick nap turned into a rather long one, once we retired to the king size bed and its plush cushions and blankets. A comfortable bed, a severe case of jet lag and the happy silence of our hidden villa was the perfect mix for a good snooze to start our R&R on the right track!

After plenty of rest, the next thing we treated ourselves to was a shower in our lavish bathroom, with its generous space for us to get comfortable and enjoy this villa’s luxury further. Nestled away from the hustle of the young hearts around the island, our villa made for a perfect detox, and of course the complimentary and top notch quality WiFi that kept us connected to the outside world was an added bonus! Yes, the resort wrapped us up in a blanket of warmth and instilled the feeling of home, just about instantly!

When you’re looking for the ultimate hidden retreat for your next getaway to Thailand, this resort & spa is your ideal choice.

420m

The Facilities

After a regal treatment in the comfort of your private beach-front villa, expect nothing less while you feast on a bounty of cuisines and cocktails, all the while admiring the beauty the Gulf of Thailand has to offer.

Start your day off with a hearty “Champion’s Breakfast” {rooms here include breakfast} personified at the elaborate international buffet {with a focus on both Mediterranean as well as Thai cuisine} that is a treat to the eyes, nose and mouth ~ and of course, try fitting a Sunday morning during your stay here to enjoy the resort’s Champagne Breakfast as you seat yourself at a beach-front table.

The fresh aroma of illy coffee will heighten your senses, the breakfast spread will leave you wanting more and the Champagne breakfast will leave you feeling bubbly on a Sunday morning!

The resort’s way to your heart is indeed ~ through your stomach, and they go to all lengths to keep that tummy satisfied yet wanting more with its decadent meals! Dinner setup begins in the afternoon itself, which entails elevating the beauty of the beachfront with colourful lights, lanterns, waterfront dining tables and secluded chill out spots.

While building up an appetite for a fabulous dinner spread, Vikram and I would enjoy our evenings indulging in their wide range of luxury spirits at their Lounge Bar, equipped with air conditioning, a pool table, some fun music and of course, the friendliest and most helpful staff! Remember to experiment with some of the cocktails and fruit shakes at this bar during your stay because take my word for this; they are worth every juicy sip!

The resort’s spa, Zense Spa, caught a lot of my attention during our stay. Offering you a range of facials, hair treatments, scrubs, nail treatments and massages, enter this space to feel the stress lift off your shoulders within seconds! Great treatment matched with an equally great environment, I felt Zen in the soothing environment of the spa. I cannot recommend this enough for those of my readers looking for a tranquil getaway to escape your stressors!

And yes, an infinity pool experience would be incomplete without immersing yourself into the comfort of the water, while you enjoy the ocean view below, sipping on a fresh and fruity cocktail!

Note: A phrase that describes the staff here best is “Happy to help!” From renting scooters to arranging short day trips, the staff will have it done for you almost immediately, with a pleasant smile that just brightens up your day!

Enjoy a classic beach holiday with a range of luxurious facilities to make your vacation, everything you expect and more!

How We Spent Our 5 Luxurious Days Here

We found this hidden gem in the middle of paradise, to be the perfect blend of luxury and seclusion.

On most mornings when Vikram and I pulled away from the comfort of our bed, we started our day by kayaking in the bay, followed by enjoying a hearty and well deserved breakfast at the resort’s beachfront restaurant. We’d then spend mid-morning lounging by the pool with one of the many lip smacking cocktails from their swim up bar ~ all while getting first class service at the click of our fingers. A nice siesta in the afternoon was followed by a late afternoon luxury spa treatment or a soak in our private plunge pool.

In the evenings, we would meander along as we pleased on the shore taking in the beauty of the beach, or catch the complimentary bus into Fisherman’s Village in town and skim through the local shops and restaurants for dinner options.

To end a picture perfect day we would enjoy a romantic dinner by the beach, watching the sunset before retiring for the day.

Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa packages luxury with comfort so amazingly, leaving you wanting more.

Why Stay at Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa?

A fairy tale setting come to life, there is little to no reason for you to not visit Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa for your next vacation. A beautiful beach-front villa surrounded by greenery, far away from the noise yet close to the soothing sounds of the ocean waves and the sensation of sinking your feet into the stunning white-sand beach that’s a few feet from your abode ~ this resort is the next “it” place!

My tag: Complimentary with the nature and luxury in no sense amiss!

Verdict: Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa ticks all the boxes to the perfect beach getaway. The luxury and service has you feeling pampered, the sights have you feeling closer to nature, and serenity has you feeling peaceful and romantic, all at once! Treat yourself to a cool dip in the pool, a stroll on the beach, a massage at the spa, a hearty meal or a bright cocktail at the Lounge Bar. A piece of advice, indulge in them all and leave feeling like absolute royalty, believe me!

Bonus Tips

  • Every room at Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa has been designed to its last intrinsic detail to maintain a minimalistic yet luxurious aesthetic, while maintaining eco friendly standards. Any accommodation you choose in this resort will leave you feeling like you’re in the best vacation mood you can ever be in. But my personal recommendation would be to pick a room with a sea view i.e. beach-front villa, to simply elevate your experience.

420n
  • The vibe of the resort is an “Adults Only” and therefore is not suitable for and furthermore, does not allow ~ children. Sensimar Samui is definitely more suited to and built for a romantic couple’s getaway or honeymoon rather than a family holiday.

420zb
  • Enjoy the abundant activities the resort has to offer you, most that come complimentary with your stay ~ these activities range from kayaking to snorkelling to cooking courses to yoga sessions and many more. Other than the resort activities, you can step out and enjoy a guided tour of Walking Street in Mae Nam that the resort offers once a week.
  • While the resort is all about rest and relaxation, I personally enjoyed venturing out of the resort equally as much ~ to get a taste of the local culture and authentic Thai cuisine. Mae Nam has some great streets filled with unpretentious restaurants and laid back bars for you to explore.

End note: Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa is worth every word of affirmation I shower in its direction because it was just the right place to lay back, relax and rejuvenate, before stepping right back into reality!

Have a great trip! If you have any tips for Koh Samui or other places in Thailand ~ let me hear them!

The post Sensimar Samui ~ Your Vacation In Paradise‎ appeared first on Urban Diaries.

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Sensimar Samui ~ Your Vacation In Paradise

Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa ~ Review

A paradise I like to call Koh Samui, has won me over, heart and soul. The epitome of Thai beauty and culture, every aspect of this island had my senses tingling throughout our travels. From above, Vikram and I spotted the vast stretches of golden beaches and pristine waters with no signs of an end. And as we came into land we were captured by not just the scenic beauty, but the warm feeling of meeting the locals who engulf your senses with happy smiles and fragrant food!

Driving around was definitely a picturesque moment, and a tourist destination as it rightfully is, I was simply mesmerized by the generous hospitality on offer. Koh Samui is easily my top recommendation for those looking to get away for a few days or weeks, to recharge and rejuvenate!

Now what makes a vacation exemplary, is finding just the right hotel. Like its beauty, Koh Samui has many gems one can stay at to have the best vacation and read further, to know this specific gem I personally recommend for your next holiday!

About Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa

Inaugurated in 2016, Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa is the love child of a team of professionals that have been in the hospitality and resort industry for years. Their expertise reflects in their top notch service and their ability to make each guest feel instantly at home, making our R&R in Koh Samui quite memorable for us both.

With its ideal location on Maenam Beach, the resort is within ten kilometres of Samui airport and just four kilometres from all the local attractions and nightlife Thailand has to offer. A fine concoction of culture and luxury, Sensimar Samui has left no stone unturned in terms of facilities, dining and accommodation; this is one tropical paradise you won’t want to leave!

First Impressions

If you’re looking to enjoy the Thai island of Koh Samui whilst keeping away from the noise and hustle of the backpackers, this is undoubtedly, your best pick to kick back. A boutique resort through and through, it captures the “Adults Only” vibe with its luxurious yet minimal aesthetic. Spacious with natural tones, high ceilings and great views encapsulates the resort best. I found the light colours and calming silence of Sensimar Samui to be a great space for those seeking to party less and relax more.

A couple’s dream come true, you can enjoy the delectable traditional Thai cuisine while admiring the beautiful sunset from either the poolside or the beach itself. I must impress that the pool area has really captured the romantic aesthetic with a sparkling 40-metre infinity pool, flanked by bright red sun-beds and umbrellas that overlook stretches of the island.

What enthralled me more about the resort was not just the beauty the resort had to offer as a whole, but that every room flaunts a private balcony so you can admire the lush tropical gardens scattered across the property and/or panoramic ocean views! Yes, the privacy and tranquillity it offers is beyond compare.

A Zen experience for those seeking to relax and unwind, close to the pristine ocean and surrounded by natural beauty.

Our Beachfront Pool Villa

Beginning our journey on a sweet note, the resort arranged for our airport transfer and welcomed us with some refreshing drinks while wrapping up our check-in seamlessly! The ever charming Marketing Manager of the Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa, Eddy accompanied and guided us to the Beachfront Pool Villa that we called home for the next 5 days!

A luxury resort designed for serenity, Sensimar Samui is nothing less than perfect for those looking to just kick their legs up and relax over their holidays. Secluded beachfront, lush green gardens, private pools, sundecks and modern rooms ~ this resort proved to be as good as any aphrodisiac, if not better! Imagine starting your day lazing around your private pool whilst basking in the scenic views of the beach from your sun-beds… This could just be the holiday Vikram and I had always wanted!

A perfect marriage between tranquillity and rejuvenation, Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa has nailed the tropical getaway dream to the T.

As ditzy as this may sound, one of the details that caught my eye was the number of charging outlets that were well distributed at the villa! You don’t know real happiness until you’ve been able to charge all your electronic appliances like your phones and cameras at the same time without having to unplug each of them in schedule, while nestled in a hotel room! After connecting all my appliances into charging outlets, a quick nap turned into a rather long one, once we retired to the king size bed and its plush cushions and blankets. A comfortable bed, a severe case of jet lag and the happy silence of our hidden villa was the perfect mix for a good snooze to start our R&R on the right track!

After plenty of rest, the next thing we treated ourselves to was a shower in our lavish bathroom, with its generous space for us to get comfortable and enjoy this villa’s luxury further. Nestled away from the hustle of the young hearts around the island, our villa made for a perfect detox, and of course the complimentary and top notch quality WiFi that kept us connected to the outside world was an added bonus! Yes, the resort wrapped us up in a blanket of warmth and instilled the feeling of home, just about instantly!

When you’re looking for the ultimate hidden retreat for your next getaway to Thailand, this resort & spa is your ideal choice.

420m

The Facilities

After a regal treatment in the comfort of your private beach-front villa, expect nothing less while you feast on a bounty of cuisines and cocktails, all the while admiring the beauty the Gulf of Thailand has to offer.

Start your day off with a hearty “Champion’s Breakfast” {rooms here include breakfast} personified at the elaborate international buffet {with a focus on both Mediterranean as well as Thai cuisine} that is a treat to the eyes, nose and mouth ~ and of course, try fitting a Sunday morning during your stay here to enjoy the resort’s Champagne Breakfast as you seat yourself at a beach-front table.

The fresh aroma of illy coffee will heighten your senses, the breakfast spread will leave you wanting more and the Champagne breakfast will leave you feeling bubbly on a Sunday morning!

The resort’s way to your heart is indeed ~ through your stomach, and they go to all lengths to keep that tummy satisfied yet wanting more with its decadent meals! Dinner setup begins in the afternoon itself, which entails elevating the beauty of the beachfront with colourful lights, lanterns, waterfront dining tables and secluded chill out spots.

While building up an appetite for a fabulous dinner spread, Vikram and I would enjoy our evenings indulging in their wide range of luxury spirits at their Lounge Bar, equipped with air conditioning, a pool table, some fun music and of course, the friendliest and most helpful staff! Remember to experiment with some of the cocktails and fruit shakes at this bar during your stay because take my word for this; they are worth every juicy sip!

The resort’s spa, Zense Spa, caught a lot of my attention during our stay. Offering you a range of facials, hair treatments, scrubs, nail treatments and massages, enter this space to feel the stress lift off your shoulders within seconds! Great treatment matched with an equally great environment, I felt Zen in the soothing environment of the spa. I cannot recommend this enough for those of my readers looking for a tranquil getaway to escape your stressors!

And yes, an infinity pool experience would be incomplete without immersing yourself into the comfort of the water, while you enjoy the ocean view below, sipping on a fresh and fruity cocktail!

Note: A phrase that describes the staff here best is “Happy to help!” From renting scooters to arranging short day trips, the staff will have it done for you almost immediately, with a pleasant smile that just brightens up your day!

Enjoy a classic beach holiday with a range of luxurious facilities to make your vacation, everything you expect and more!

How We Spent Our 5 Luxurious Days Here

We found this hidden gem in the middle of paradise, to be the perfect blend of luxury and seclusion.

On most mornings when Vikram and I pulled away from the comfort of our bed, we started our day by kayaking in the bay, followed by enjoying a hearty and well deserved breakfast at the resort’s beachfront restaurant. We’d then spend mid-morning lounging by the pool with one of the many lip smacking cocktails from their swim up bar ~ all while getting first class service at the click of our fingers. A nice siesta in the afternoon was followed by a late afternoon luxury spa treatment or a soak in our private plunge pool.

In the evenings, we would meander along as we pleased on the shore taking in the beauty of the beach, or catch the complimentary bus into Fisherman’s Village in town and skim through the local shops and restaurants for dinner options.

To end a picture perfect day we would enjoy a romantic dinner by the beach, watching the sunset before retiring for the day.

Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa packages luxury with comfort so amazingly, leaving you wanting more.

Why Stay at Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa?

A fairy tale setting come to life, there is little to no reason for you to not visit Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa for your next vacation. A beautiful beach-front villa surrounded by greenery, far away from the noise yet close to the soothing sounds of the ocean waves and the sensation of sinking your feet into the stunning white-sand beach that’s a few feet from your abode ~ this resort is the next “it” place!

My tag: Complimentary with the nature and luxury in no sense amiss!

Verdict: Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa ticks all the boxes to the perfect beach getaway. The luxury and service has you feeling pampered, the sights have you feeling closer to nature, and serenity has you feeling peaceful and romantic, all at once! Treat yourself to a cool dip in the pool, a stroll on the beach, a massage at the spa, a hearty meal or a bright cocktail at the Lounge Bar. A piece of advice, indulge in them all and leave feeling like absolute royalty, believe me!

Bonus Tips

  • Every room at Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa has been designed to its last intrinsic detail to maintain a minimalistic yet luxurious aesthetic, while maintaining eco friendly standards. Any accommodation you choose in this resort will leave you feeling like you’re in the best vacation mood you can ever be in. But my personal recommendation would be to pick a room with a sea view i.e. beach-front villa, to simply elevate your experience.

420n
  • The vibe of the resort is an “Adults Only” and therefore is not suitable for and furthermore, does not allow ~ children. Sensimar Samui is definitely more suited to and built for a romantic couple’s getaway or honeymoon rather than a family holiday.

420zb
  • Enjoy the abundant activities the resort has to offer you, most that come complimentary with your stay ~ these activities range from kayaking to snorkelling to cooking courses to yoga sessions and many more. Other than the resort activities, you can step out and enjoy a guided tour of Walking Street in Mae Nam that the resort offers once a week.
  • While the resort is all about rest and relaxation, I personally enjoyed venturing out of the resort equally as much ~ to get a taste of the local culture and authentic Thai cuisine. Mae Nam has some great streets filled with unpretentious restaurants and laid back bars for you to explore.

End note: Sensimar Koh Samui Resort & Spa is worth every word of affirmation I shower in its direction because it was just the right place to lay back, relax and rejuvenate, before stepping right back into reality!

Have a great trip! If you have any tips for Koh Samui or other places in Thailand ~ let me hear them!

The post Sensimar Samui ~ Your Vacation In Paradise‎ appeared first on Urban Diaries.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
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