Filed under: boutique hotel, Chapslee, featuredarticle, India
A night at the Chapslee
Whether you’re soaking in the sulphur springs at Tattapani, playing a round of golf at Naldera or hiking from Kufri to Fagu in view of the snow-capped Kinner Kailash range, if you’re looking for a place to base yourself in Shimla, state capital of Himachel Pradesh in the Indian Himalayas, look no further than the Raj-era Chapslee.
A boutique hotel run by descendants of royalty, a stay here is like taking a step back in time. Chapslee was acquired by Lord Auckland, governor general of the East India Company, in 1835. It was here that the declaration of the first war against Afghanistan, called The Afghan Manifesto, was signed in 1838.
In 1938, Chapslee became the summer residence of Raja Charanjit Singh of Kapurthala, and today it serves as a residence and boutique hotel run by the Raja’s grandson Kumar Ratanjit Singh and his wife, the Assmese princess Pronoti Devi, who started the Chapslee School for Girls next door.
With teak paneling and fading Gobelin tapestries, Chapslee is like a living museum with heirlooms such as cabinetry from the Doge’s palace in Venice, chandeliers from Murano, blue pottery jardinières from Multan, Persian carpets and Indian object d’arts. And the food is some of the best you’ll find in India – cuisine from the palaces of the Maharajas and Nawabs.
As you leave Chapslee and head toward Lakaar Bazaar, you may be startled to see a sign for “Apple Authorized Reseller” and remember it’s actually 2010.
Rates vary between Rs9,500 to Rs12,500 (about US$230 to US$300), which includes meals, taxes and tips.
Photo Copyright @ 2010 VH Media