In the enchanting realm of Jaipur, where the echoes of history dance with the vibrancy of the present, two distinct jewels stand as exemplars of architectural brilliance and immersive hospitality – The Johri and 28 Kothi. Crafted under the discerning vision of Abhishek Honawar, these spaces transcend the conventional boundaries of hospitality, each embodying a distinct narrative and design ethos that immerses guests in a sensory journey through the rich tapestry of Indian culture.
The Johri, situated in the pulsating heart of the old city, unfolds as a traveller’s delight, a homage to the cultural explosion that defines India. The inspiration behind The Johri lies in providing guests with an opportunity to be steeped in the effervescent ambience of the Jaipur bazaar. Abhishek Honawar articulates The Johri as a cultural expression, a celebration of India’s artistic and traditional heritage. The design of The Johri is a meticulous dance between old and new, paying homage to the city’s legacy while seamlessly incorporating contemporary relevance. Local artisans, the heartbeat of Jaipur’s craftsmanship, take centre stage, weaving intricate details such as cane work, woodwork, jolly work, and hand-painted murals into the very fabric of the property.
The property is not merely a physical space but a living canvas, celebrating the essence of India through every design choice. From traditional techniques like lime plaster and the vibrant hues of block printing, The Johri encapsulates the spirit of Jaipur’s arts and crafts. Privacy and wellness become integral elements of The Johri experience, with conscious cooking and a focus on seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients contributing to the overall sense of tranquility. The property features a small spa program, providing a sanctuary for guests to unwind and rejuvenate amid the cultural vibrancy that surrounds them.
On the contrasting palette of creativity, 28 Kothi emerges as a haven for the artistic soul. Initially conceived as a personal abode for friends by the late jeweller Mr. Munnu Kasliwall, the property evolved into a collaborative effort between Siddharth, his son, and Abhishek Honawar. 28 Kothi, positioned as a creative person’s home away from home, unfolds as a contemporary masterpiece, a harmonious interplay between minimalism and the celebration of creative expression. The design is clean and contemporary and provides a neutral yet inspiring backdrop for creative individuals.
The selection of marble, the design of jharokha, and every other element are meticulously curated by local artisans, contributing to the authenticity of the space. A deliberate focus on comfort is evident in the touchpoints chosen for the property. The aesthetics, a blank canvas, allow guests to absorb and process their day’s experiences, fostering mental space and creative contemplation. Holistic food and beverage offerings, tailored to the needs of creative individuals, transform the property into a sanctuary, fostering a sense of belonging and inspiration.
Abhishek Honawar’s entrepreneurial journey in the realm of hospitality is not merely a business venture; it’s a passionate commitment to celebrating people and ideas. The properties he has curated are not just accommodations; they are living stories, a manifestation of a relentless pursuit of narratives that resonate with the audience. The Johri and 28 Kothi unfold as architectural symphonies where each element tells a story of tradition, craftsmanship, and contemporary elegance. From the moment one steps through the entrance, the properties become immersive experiences, captivating the senses and transporting guests into a realm where the past seamlessly intertwines with the present. The limestone yellow hues of The Johri, inspired by the city’s traditional elements, create a soothing backdrop for the celebration of India’s culture, art, and design.
The journey continues through the properties, where elements like the jollies and marbles are carefully chosen to reflect the authenticity of local craftsmanship. The synergy between natural and artificial lighting creates a nuanced ambience that adapts to the varying moods of the day and the diverse clientele these properties attract. The landscape design, with a small green patch reminiscent of local homes, connects guests to the rooted aesthetics of Jaipur. The properties are not just physical spaces; they are immersive experiences that embody the soul of Jaipur’s cultural vibrancy.
In the heart of Jaipur, where history and modernity coalesce in a vibrant dance, two extraordinary properties, The Johri and 28 Kothi, stand as epitomes of timeless elegance and contemporary sophistication. Each establishment, with its unique narrative, invites guests to embark on a journey that transcends the ordinary, offering an immersive experience that seamlessly weaves the tapestry of Jaipur’s rich cultural heritage and its ever-evolving present. The Johri, formerly known as Lal Haveli, is a resplendent 19th-century home that has been lovingly restored to capture the grandeur of a bygone era. This labour of love, spanning nearly a decade, is the brainchild of Abhishek Honawar, the owner of the Honar Group, and Siddharth Kasliwal of The Gem Palace. The ancestral haveli, once owned by Fauzdar Dhanna Lal Ji Kasliwal in the 19th century, has undergone a meticulous restoration process led by Mr. Sudhanshu Kasliwal. The result is a boutique haven, an oasis in the old city of Jaipur.
The Johri stands as the second Jaipur property under the Honar Group’s umbrella, following the success of 28 Kothi, which graced the US Condé Nast Traveler’s Hot List 2017 and Gold List 2018. A testimony to their commitment to elevated hospitality and simple luxury, The Johri offers five sprawling suites, an award-winning restaurant, and an atmospheric cocktail bar. The interiors, a testament to the collaborative vision of Naina Shah, a New York-based designer, seamlessly blend contemporary and traditional aesthetics with understated elegance.
Each of The Johri’s unique suites, overlooking an enchanting inner courtyard, exudes a distinctive charm that harmoniously merges heritage, craftsmanship, and comfort. The common areas boast a carefully curated collection of antique and custom furniture, textiles, and art from Rajasthan, creating an environment of relaxed splendour. Naina Shah, also the director of a couture embroidery atelier based in New York and Mumbai, has whimsically infused each space with innovative patterns, textures, and artwork, capturing the spirit and romanticism of old-world Jaipur.
The culinary experience at The Johri is nothing short of exceptional. The restaurant, a recipient of Condé Nast Traveller’s Top Restaurant Awards 2023, serves an evolving menu of organic vegetarian Indian dishes, celebrating farm-fresh produce and inventive flavours that change with the seasons. The cocktail bar complements this gastronomic journey, offering creative drinks alongside long-standing favourites in an intimate setting. The rejuvenating Ayurvedic massages, daily ‘high-chai’ afternoon tea service, and complimentary yoga and meditation sessions further enhance the calming yet luxurious experience that has become a trademark of the founding team.
In the same realm of boutique luxury, 28 Kothi emerges as a tranquil gem, a sanctuary in the heart of Jaipur designed for legendary jewellery designer Munnu Kasliwal of The Gem Palace. Siddharth Kasliwal, Munnu’s eldest son, has collaborated with Abhishek Honawar, a hospitality veteran, and founder of the Honar Group, to ensure that 28 Kothi not only honours Munnu’s legacy but also becomes a destination in its own right.
Café Kothi, an integral part of 28 Kothi, is a treat for the senses, offering a curated selection of vegetarian farm-to-table recipes in a quiet and cosy ambience. The eclectic menu combines global flavours with comforting classics and evolved clean recipes, celebrating local ingredients. Whether it’s breakfast on the patio, a leisurely meal on the terrace, or a candlelit dinner in the garden, Café Kothi caters to every culinary mood, embodying the essence of this charming property. Surrounded by lush gardens and sun-drenched terraces, 28 Kothi welcomes a diverse array of guests – the artist and the designer, the writer and the entrepreneur, the traveller seeking quiet comfort, and the explorer in search of adventure. The meticulously designed communal spaces, a carefully curated library, and cosy corners invite guests to immerse themselves in the chic charm of the Kothi, inspiring creativity and recalibration.
The overarching mission of both The Johri and 28 Kothi is to showcase the incredible culture, craftsmanship, and design heritage of India. Siddharth Kasliwal, the owner of The Gem Palace, expresses the desire for travellers, both local and international, to experience and love Jaipur as deeply as they do. Through the meticulous restoration of heritage properties, the infusion of contemporary elements, and a commitment to showcasing India’s cultural and design heritage, these establishments create havens that transcend mere hospitality; they become immersive experiences.
As travellers traverse the corridors of The Johri and unwind in the serene spaces of 28 Kothi, they find themselves not only in the lap of luxury but also in the embrace of Jaipur’s art, culture, and design. The seamless blend of old-world charm with bold colours, innovative patterns, and thoughtful amenities captures the spirit and romanticism of Jaipur, making each stay a journey through time and a celebration of the city’s vibrant soul. The Johri and 28 Kothi stand as beacons, inviting discerning travellers to embark on a transcendent voyage where past and present converge in an exquisite dance of heritage and modernity.
In the kaleidoscope of insights shared by Abhishek Honawar, a tapestry of cultural celebration, creative sanctuaries, and timeless design emerges, embodying the essence of Jaipur. The conversation transcends the boundaries of conventional hospitality, inviting us to witness the alchemy where tradition meets modernity. The Johri and 28 Kothi stand not merely as hotels but as living stories, each brick and detail narrating the rich history of Jaipur. As our chat concludes, the lingering aura of cultural vibrancy and creative inspiration envelops us, leaving an indelible imprint of Jaipur’s soulful magnificence. The journey through these two sister properties becomes an odyssey of discovery, a celebration of heritage, and an ode to the timeless beauty curated by Abhishek Honawar