While in Lucknow, India with my sister this this past October, I stayed at the Vivante Hotel, the Taj’s number two brand, after The Taj and followed by the Gateway and the Ginger hotels. The Vivante Lucknow is only 12 years old and built to look like the British Colonial Residency. To best describe the excellent service we received there, let me tell you a quick story about Swati, an on-duty service manager we got to know.
My sister Bonnie had purchased a sari from designer Ruschika Modi, who had a popup store in the hotel, with the idea that she would wear it to a gala the following night. Amazingly, Bonnie was able to make up her mind pretty quick about which sari to get. Check out the pictures, the array of beautiful hand woven Benares silks just freaked me out!
The next day we got back to the hotel with an hour to get ready for the gala and Bonnie said she couldn’t wear the sari because she didn’t have a matching petticoat. This is the drawstring underskirt, necessary because you have to wrap and accordion tuck the sari fabric into it. No way was I going to let Bonnie go to this gala not in Ruschika’s sari. I called Swati.
I told Swati not only did we need a petticoat, but also she had to come back to put the sari on because I didn’t know how to do it. She said she needed the sari to match the fabric of the petticoat and that once she had it in hand, she would bring both back to the room. With 45 minutes left, I had my doubts that we would pull the sari mission off. It’s India, the traffic and craziness outside the hotel can only be described as a colorful hot mess. Not only did Swati arrive in time to put the sari on, but the petticoat was the absolute perfect match to the sari fabric.
Swati, we loved you then and still do!