A charming and funny film about a rather cantankerous group of seniors (played by Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and others) who relocate to Jaipur to live out their twilight years, opened Friday. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel feels a bit like a beautiful photo book, bursting with richly colored photographs from India. A convincing argument to visit.
The retirees in question move into The Marigold Hotel, an establishment run by an affable young Indian man (Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionare) eager to please despite the failures of his surroundings. The hotel itself is played by the beautiful and tranquil Samode Haveli. Located in Old Jaipur, this heritage property — once home to the royal family — has managed to retain its traditional character and warmth without sacrificing any modern comforts.
I recognized Samode Haveli immediately in the trailer for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel because I stayed there recently while taking family on a whirlwind trip around India – and I had to laugh because I wanted to move in as soon as I checked in! I immediately required about longstays (can be arranged) and daydreamed about one day living in my own haveli while I lay by their ice blue pool, sipping delicious fresh-squeezed orange juice and soaking in the desert sun.
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