Feel at home – and live the spirit of a Haveli 

 

Indian style - a stay in a haveli
Indian style – a stay in a haveli

I have never met more interesting people in such a short time than during my stay at a  Haveli in Ahmedabad. A Haveli originally was a rich merchants house and you can see many of them in Guajarat and Rajastan. Unfortunately, many of them have lost during the last 100 years their extraordinary splendor, but nowadays often rich Indian people buy and renovate them. Even the one I stay in is the property of an Indian living in London and he buys these buildings to make them alternative tourist stays.

Lovely guest rooms
Lovely guest rooms

The Haveli is nothing comparable to a four or five star accommodation, no hotel reception desk where the stuff is waiting, the elevator takes you up and in the room and everything is technology based: the door opener, the Tv and fridge and all these modern things…

The  French haveli in Ahmedabad
The French haveli in Ahmedabad

My Haveli is much simpler, steep stairs, with five, six guest rooms only, some small rooms with the bathroom on the floor, but it is unique: it makes you feel at home – right from a very first moment. It’s really amazing.  The doors are mostly open or just shut via a lock bar, there is one guest table for all to have breakfast. The construction is unique. Due to the very warm temperatures there are not a lot of windows where light come in, but in the middle the light comes from the top and flushes the whole house.

If you are doing behavioral studies on how a surrounding can influence people’s behavior, you should come here and see.

Breakfast table and meeting point

 It is the right place in the right part of the old city. Lovely, full of life and telling in all angles human stories of the past, the present and the future. Like the “harveli keeper” who right from the beginning shows you proudly the welcome area, climbs up the steep stairs to the first floor, and then to the second – just to tell you that from here you can see the daily life in the small old city of Ahmedabad –  if you want he prepares you a terrace breakfast, you can work, meet with friends and business colleagues. All is very cost, “Indian style”. In some nice Indian furnitures you find books, gifts left here by guests for the next visitors and it is astonishing what kind of books these are.

Enjoying breakfast at the terrace
Enjoying breakfast at the terrace

Additionally to the Haveli itself it might be the city, the cultural offer, especially for designers and architects and the openness and friendliness of Indian people who invite you to feel at home.

The housekeeper is like a good friend. At the arrival he shows you the nicest places in the Haveli, the top terrace, the sofa under the window where you can sit and relax and whenever you want he prepares you a tea, orders some meals, or just has time for a chat…

In the few days here I meet incredible people: Paul, who works partly for the WHO in India and partly as a nurse in a hospital in Switzerland, his wife, interested in the special architecture of harvelis, a book writer, an old but interesting couple of professors who do human behavioral studies and the young Japanese, a crazy guy, somehow a philosopher, somehow a world traveler …

I already know whenever possible I will come back here. It is simply amazing.

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