When it comes to romance, Noor Mahal seems to get it right even before you enter: the softly lit façade studded with jharokhas and topped with gumbads (domes)glowing against a star spangled sky sets the tone for a dreamy stay. This ethereal quality defines every detail at Noor Mahal, a family dream that materialized in the early 2010 and is still run with great passion and precision by the Choudhary clan.
Built in the Mughal and Rajputana style of architecture this 125-room luxury property is soaked in old world charm – hand painted ceiling, sumptuous marble courtyards, soaring columns,crystal chandeliers,swings…you get the drift. The rooms are just as stunning, furnished with exquisitely carved furniture, gilded mirrors, silk upholstery and bathtubs. If you're really looking to live like a queen (or a king) splurge on the Kwabgah, one of the most luxuriest and art filled suites in the country. The sheer expansiveness of the suite will make you feel as if you are living in your own private palace. There is a dazzling living room, two equally stunning bedrooms, a bar, and two generous bathrooms complete with bathtubs and Jacuzzi.
Do take some time to look around - the beds are accessorized with intricately carved headboards, the blue bar in the suite is actually a balcony salvaged from an old house in Amritsar, the dining table fashioned from a door picked up from a Rajasthani haveli and the chairs are windows of forts.The amount of art strewn around the room is astounding. Khawbgah is serviced by its own set of staff. The private terrace here with its divine sunset views makes for an unforgettable date night. If you manage to drag yourself from your well-appointed suite there are live musical acts and folk performances to catch in the courtyards.
Apart from art and luxury the other big draw at Noor Mahal is Frontier Mail a restaurant modeled after the 87 years old train that operated between Mumbai and Peshawar (now in Pakistan) during pre-independence. Before you step on to the train do take a look at the picture gallery that hosts rare images from theNational Museum of Railwaysin Delhi. The menu showcases some of the popular dishes from the states the train passed through.Don’t miss the kababs - beautifully chargrilled and smoky, the kind that puts the ‘ooh’ in umami. The stuffed mushroom are another highlight – lightly seasoned and oozing with cheese. For mains there is an excellent pulao made with the best long grained rice (Karnal is known as the rice bowl of India) and studded with pearls of cottage cheese. Reserve the rabdi for the finale.
If you want to glam up on your holiday there is also a salon by celebrity hair artist Tarun Kapoor. But for those who want to smooth out the knots a massage at the spa is the way to go. At dusk, take some wine to your terrace to catch the sunset and later, a sky full of stars.
'Beautiful' only begins to describe it.