11 giugno 2012

Where luxury is the first resort

Hindustan Times oggi ha pubblicato un lungo interessante articolo dedicato ad uno degli hotel più lussuosi del mondo: il Villa d'Este sul lago di Como. L'autore ne approfitta per delineare le differenze fra l'ospitalità alberghiera orientale e occidentale. Leggiamo: '(...) there is a Western tradition that we never seem to have reproduced in Asia: the grand hotel in a resort. (...) These hotels were not designed for businessmen travelling on work. The idea was to offer a resort experience for people who wanted a scenic holiday for a week or two (...). I have never worked out why, but there have never been many such hotels in Asia. Even in India, where the Raj left behind such great properties as Calcutta's The Grand, Madras's Connemara and Bangalore's West End, resort hotels were always slightly second-rate. When people went on holiday, they preferred to stay at clubs or in bungalows. There were few memorable hotels at Indian hill stations (the Savoy in Ooty, perhaps, is an exception) and in any case, most of them are now rundown. The closest we have come to capturing the grand hotel-in-a-holiday-area is in our conversions of palaces. The Lake Palace in Udaipur must be one of the most beautiful hotels in the world and Umaid Bhavan is an extraordinary jazz-age palace that makes for an unusual hotel'.