Bargain Mumbai

For centuries the British have been borrowing the “Indian look” for their own interiors. This is even more true now, as subcontinental design moves rapidly ahead
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Rajasthan’s 18th century Devi Garh fort is one of the world’s leading hotels, and who wouldn’t want to take home its “floating beds” on marble plinths, its contemporary cushions, cutting-edge sequin-sewn fabric “ceilings”, walls “papered” with fish-scale-shaped slivers of silver and glass, and its vast Maharajah sofas.

But you don’t have to have a palace to recreate this look.

At Devi Garh you will find traditional Indian cot beds - still found in local villages - scattered with silk cushions and bolsters, and used as sofas. Then there are silver-clad chairs with bright silk cushions and beaten-silver-clad coffee tables that look as if they have been fashioned from silver planks, while marble baths look out of picture windows.

Local craftsmen and artisans were commissioned to make most of these pieces, and will be an inspiration on any shopping trip to Mumbai. Or you could hire Rajiv Saini, the architect who designed Devi Garh’s interiors. “I’d happily do an English house,” he says.

A style just waiting to be transported to cooler climes, perhaps?

Stunning interiors at the Devi Garh hotel
Stunning interiors at the Devi Garh hotel

Staying at Devi Garh

Suites in this luxury hotel at Udaipur cost from about £200. For more information, call Mahout on 01295 758150, or email

You can also visit, or email

Queen of shopping

Mumbai – as Bombay is now known – may not be the first place that comes to mind when planning a shopping spree in search of homeware. But for about £1,000, you can take a long weekend in the Indian business capital and come home laden with home goodies. Travel takes about the same time as flying to New York.

Shopping with personal shopper Monica Vazirelli costs from £999 per person, based on two people travelling together and staying in the same room, for three nights, with return air fares and a day’s shopping expedition included, with an air-conditioned car and a driver all day.

Available through Greaves Tours (020 7487 9111;

Passage to India

ITC Grand Central Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Mumbai: Rooms from about £200, plus local taxes.

Call 00 91 22 2410 1010, email, or visit the website at


Etihad Airways flies return from Heathrow to Mumbai (via Abu Dhabi) for £475.20 (Coral service) and £1,235.20 (Pearl). Call 0870 241 7121, or visit

To get to Devi Garh from Mumbai, you need to take an internal flight to Udaipur. Jet Airways (0808 101 1199; flies a regular service there from £125 return.

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