May 11, 2018
Despite being located almost next to the airport and not far from the KGA golf course, this ornate, 19th-century Colonial-themed lounge inside the Leela Palace hotel feels transported from another time and place. Intricately carved dark wood cabinets and moulding, low lighting and moulded plaster columns give the air of a private officers club inside the Maharaja’s own palace. Overstuffed leather sofas and silk pillows are placed throughout the candle-lit space for decadent lounging. The vibe is posh, relaxing and Old World elite, and the darkened interiors contrast starkly with the sunny elegance of the rest of the hotel, but the friendly staff are impeccable and accommodating. Settle into a martini before dinner, or savour one of the best collections of French Armagnacs and single malt Scotch whiskies in the region. You might be swinging in here before or after dining, or consider reserving a table here, and nosh on expertly made chicken tikka, samosas or thin-crust pizza. Unlike similarly decadent hideaways, the space is open for lunch. Reservations rarely needed except on Saturdays. Appropriate attire (“smart casuals”) recommended.