The end of another year approaches, and with it the festive season; a time to relax, reflect and celebrate with family and friends. The best time of year to visit India and Sri Lanka – when summer’s heat has waned, and the monsoon rains have ceased – Aman guests are spoilt for choice with four Aman destinations in which to pass the season’s sun-kissed days and balmy nights. In both these countries, locals of all creeds celebrate the festive season with joyous colour and a generosity of spirit that warms the heart. Pair this with extraordinary Aman-curated festive programmes and you have the perfect balance of ingredients for making this festive season your most memorable yet.
Tucked into Rajasthan’s Aravalli Hills on a lush garden estate, Amanbagh’s festive season traditions include Babu the camel replacing Rudolph on Christmas Day, a spirited game of camel polo on New Year’s Day, and intricate rangoli patterns decorating courtyards throughout the season. Local jewellers make crimson lac bangles, gifting these to Aman guests, and mehndi artists decorate hands, faces and feet with delicate temporary henna artwork.
On Christmas Eve the resort will glow with light as local musicians perform and Amanbagh’s chefs prepare multi-course Western and Indian gala dinners. New Year’s Eve will be celebrated as a traditional Rajasthani fair, offering a glimpse into the future with fortune tellers, exciting entertainment in the form of fire dancers and qawaali singers, and a Western or Indian banquet fit for a maharajah.
An exclusive wilderness camp with just 10 luxurious Mughal-inspired guest tents, Aman-i-Khás offers guests twice-daily guided safaris into Ranthambore National Park to spot India’s magnificent Bengal tigers. This year, an extensive festive schedule promises a range of activities including fine dining, talks by local experts, and cultural activities including bangle making, henna art and block printing.
On 18 December, take your turn at mixing the camp’s Christmas cake, then help decorate the Lounge Tent’s Christmas tree on the 22nd during a festive Masala Chai tea party. Christmas Eve’s celebrations will begin with a puppet show at the firepit, followed by a gourmet dinner accompanied by local musicians. Savour a delicious picnic barbeque lunch on Christmas Day and see in the New Year with a celebratory banquet after traditional Turban and Chunri scarf tying.
Claiming its own crescent beach on a picture-perfect bay, Amanwella is the ideal seaside destination for a festive family holiday. The resort’s Juniors’ festive programme offers daily activities including painting wooden masks, festive card making, beach badminton, sandcastle competitions, scavenger hunts and more, while adults are spoilt for choice with a range of gourmet events.
Christmas celebrations will begin with canapés, arrack cocktails and live entertainment in the Bar Lounge on the 24th, followed by a traditional five-course Christmas set menu. New Year’s Eve will be celebrated with a full orchestra serenading guests at the Restaurant while they dine on a six-course gala dinner. Other culinary highlights will be the Traditional Sri Lankan Curry Night on 27 December, and the Beach Champagne Dinner on 29 December.
For a gracious, old-world festive season, Amangalla is the perfect setting, resting within the ramparts of the 17th-century Galle Fort on Sri Lanka’s south coast. On Christmas Eve, the All Saints Church Choir will perform carols in the Great Hall, followed by live piano music as a traditional festive dinner is served by candlelight.
A classic turkey lunch with all the trimmings will be on offer on the 25th, a poolside Sri Lankan Curry Night with Kandyan dance performances on the 27th, and an Indian Street Food Feast with traditional tabla music on the 29th. New Year’s Eve will begin poolside with cocktails, canapés and fire dances, after which a four-course Chef’s signature menu will be served in the Dining Room. As the clock strikes midnight, champagne will flow to welcome 2022 in sparkling style.
As the festive season fast approaches, and with Rooms and Suites in high demand, please contact us to ensure your stay in India & Sri Lanka. We look forward to welcoming you.