When Shah evaluates a destination, she goes beyond simply checking out hotels and restaurants. She dives into historical context and cultural background. She is especially drawn to experiences that connect travelers with locals. In India, for example, she asks her favorite designers and craftspeople to open up their houses and studios and show guests the artistic process behind their textiles, clothes, and jewelry. Her clients have also taken part in temple ceremonies and learned to play traditional musical instruments.
Trend watch: Shah is seeing more boutique hotels in remote regions of India. One of her favorites is Jawai, a tented camp where travelers can go on game drives to see Rajasthan’s leopards. At the fortlike Mihir Garh, located in a scrub desert outside of Jodhpur, ground-floor suites have plunge pools and private courtyards, while first-floor suites have jacuzzis and private terraces. And close to the medieval town of Jaisalmer, the Serai has 21 tents and a pool modeled after a Rajasthani stepwell.
Pallavi Shah is a Super Agent and specializes in India.