#DesiGirlTraveler Goes to Spain: 24 Reasons YOU Need to Try 24K Living. Viva Valencia!

MissMalini , 18 Sep 2014
MissMalini
MissMalini

I’m guessing you might have noticed from my many Instagram photos that we just spent a few days over in Spain courtesy Kolte Patil – one of the leading real estate developers based in Pune – and more specifically, their 24K series of award-winning luxury properties. Fancy much? Oh you have NO idea!

One of their upcoming projects is “24K Province” – a luxury residential destination in Pune that will literally leave no tile unturned to make you feel utterly opulent. And since Kolte Patil is collaborating with the Porcelanosa Group for their entry into the ​Asian market, we hopped on a flight to visit Castellon & Valencia in – wait for it – ESPANA!

*insert happy dance*

Now unlike most press “FAM” (aka familiarisation) trips that are usually packed full of hectic-ness, this one involved an absolutely fabulous opportunity to soak in the Spanish sunshine and experience the luxury of time and space in the most delightful way. So I’ve decided to share our collective experiences in this blog by asking my fellow journos (and hosts) to share their most memorable memories of the trip (along with mine) so you know what made it truly 24K terrific! :) xoxo

1. The view from the plane.

I mean who wouldn’t be excited to land here, right?!

view from the plane
view from the plane

Plus I got to rock my retro Tweety bird for a “landed in Valencia” tweet, #saaaweet!

MissMalini in Valencia
MissMalini in Valencia

2. The Porcelanosa Headquarters. 

The trip to the Porcelanosa HQ near Valencia, Spain was pretty fantastic. I mean very rarely do you step into an “office” space that looks like George Clooney‘s penthouse, with exquisite tiles to match. ‘Nuff said.

MissMalini
MissMalini

PS. I promise, the day I get a kitchen that looks like this I will learn to cook a 7 course meal all by myself! :) #pinkyswear

MissMalini
MissMalini

Oh, and just in case you thought I was kidding about Clooney…!

MissMalini and George Clooney
MissMalini and George Clooney

3. Be the King of your castle!

The Porcelanosa Grupo ambassadors include George Clooney, Nicole Kidman and HRH Prince of Wales. In fact, since Prince Charles chose Porcelanosa products for his own home, the royal coat of arms is proudly displayed at the Porcelanosa HQ. This is something only those with royal endorsement can ever do! #Fact

Nirmal Kolte and MissMalini
Nirmal Kolte and MissMalini

(Psst! Stay tuned for our interview with the handsome 25-year-old heir to the biz, Nirmal Kolte coming soon to MissMalini’s World on TLC India! Sorry ladies, he’s spoken for!)

4. Va Va Valencia!

After a night in Castellon we headed off to explore the city of Valencia #DesiGirlTraveler style!

MissMalini
MissMalini

In fact I even made the #MMWorld crew Tanmay Bahulekar and Nowshad Rizwanullah play antakshari in the back seat of the bus! You better believe it.

Tanmay, Nowshad and MissMalini
Tanmay, Nowshad and MissMalini

And voila, before you know it you’re in beautiful Valencia!

Valencia
Valencia
Tanmay and MissMalini
Tanmay and MissMalini

5. The city of Arts & Sciences.

“The City of Arts and Sciences is an entertainment-based cultural and architectural complex in the city of Valencia, Spain. It is the most important modern tourist destination in the city of Valencia.” So says Wikipedia and I believe it!

MissMalini
MissMalini

Plus its breathtakingly beautiful…

The City of Arts & Sciences
The City of Arts & Sciences

…even though up close one of the buildings looks kinda like an Angry Bird! LOL.

The City of Arts & Sciences
The City of Arts & Sciences

Turns out, if you walk across the bride you’ll clearly see that its just part of a giant fish!

The City of Arts & Sciences
The City of Arts & Sciences

6. Berkeley Babe.

While we were out for a scenic stroll we chanced upon a girl called Amy Israels who was signing LIVE at the city. She had the most stunning voice and even sang us a song for #MMWorld!

Amy Israels
Amy Israels

This is what she sounds like…

Stunning, right?!

Karishma Rajani, Digital Copy Editor, Noblesse.in loved the local nightlife!

7. Cosy Castellon.

“What I loved about this trip? Well, certainly my first night at Castellon – mostly because it surprised in more ways that one. A quaint city with winding lanes, heritage buildings and vintage boutiques, Castellon is just as charming by day as it is in the moonlight. After a formal dinner, we headed out into the own in search of a local watering hole. In the absence of proper transport, we made our trip on foot – high heels, red lipstick, et all.

photo courtesy: Karishma Rajani
photo courtesy: Karishma Rajani

Wallaby’s, the only place open at that hour, turned out to be a fun, unassuming place filled with students from the universities in the neighbourhood. We danced the night away and managed to make friends with a few locals – who enlightened us on the local culture and bookmarked important places to visit the next day. We make our way back to our hotel in high spirits. The walk back was just as fun. Let’s just say we were a little homesick, so we decided to burst into a coordinated dance in the middle of the street. Well you can’t take the Bollywood out of us, can you?”

Omar Gull (Head of marketing – Luxury products and emerging markets at Kolte Patil Developers Ltd.) our tireless host (and I mean supernaturally so!) shared some of his favourite things with me… 

8. The Porcelanosa factory and showroom at Castellon.

The Porcelanosa Factory (photo courtesy: Omar Gull)
The Porcelanosa Factory (photo courtesy: Omar Gull)

Simply exquisite Omar, I couldn’t agree more!

The Porcelanosa Showroom (photo courtesy: Omar Gull)
The Porcelanosa Showroom (photo courtesy: Omar Gull)

9. Oceanographic.

Europe’s largest salt water aquarium at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Valencia.

Wow. Right?

Oceanographic (photo courtesy: Omar Gull)
Oceanographic (photo courtesy: Omar Gull)

This happened to be Umesh Jivnani, DNA columnist’s favourite thing too!

“I loved visiting the Valencia Oceanarium most. the undersea life was unreal… the huge whales and sharks were magnificent… also seeing the dolphin show made me feel like a child…. totally loved the experience!”

*Note to self: must visit the aquarium on my next trip!

photo courtesy: Diksha Jhanji
photo courtesy: Diksha Jhanji

10. Sand art on the beaches of Valencia.

*And now for some reason the Game of Thrones soundtrack is playing in my head*

Sand Art in Valencia (photo courtesy: Omar Gull)
Sand Art in Valencia (photo courtesy: Omar Gull)

11. Partying in Bombay at a club in Valencia!

How cool is that?

Bombay in Valencia (photo courtesy: Omar Gull)
Bombay in Valencia (photo courtesy: Omar Gull)

More proof that wherever you may roam; you’ll always find a little piece of home!

12. Spanish Street Style.

I was most thrilled that I got to rock me some BandraRoad on the streets of Valencia! Do you approve?

MissMalini, BandraRoad
MissMalini, BandraRoad

Also, my favourite street find was this rainbow sling bag at a kiosk in Valencia.

MissMalini, BandraRoad
MissMalini, BandraRoad

It’s so cute, functional and goes with everything!

MissMalini, BandraRoad
MissMalini, BandraRoad

Malavika Sangghvi, columnist and sunshine lady had this to say… :)

MissMalini and Malavika Sangghvi
MissMalini and Malavika Sangghvi

13. Park here.

“What I liked most about Valencia was its languid leisurely pace. In the park behind our hotel, nestled in the old quarter, I saw parents playing with their children, people walking  their dogs and the city’s senior citizens watching the world go by in each others company. The park itself was so beautiful, with exquisite benches made of traditional ceramic tiles which were emblematic of the country’s artistic heritage. In this picture I am stealing a few quiet moments by myself, which I so cherish, wherever I go.”

photo courtesy: Diksha Jhanji
photo courtesy: Diksha Jhanji

14. Picture Perfect.

My favourite tourist find was this fountain near the cathedral. For some reason whenever I picture the perfect holiday, I think of sitting by a fountain in the sunshine… :)

MissMalini
MissMalini

And then I found some more, yippee!

MissMalini
MissMalini
MissMalini
MissMalini

Nowshad likes fountains too, but for slightly different “funny photo opp” reasons!

Nowshad
Nowshad

15. Love.

We saw SO many beautiful brides as we walked around Valencia. It must be “the fall” for love season :)

Valencia weddings
Valencia weddings

And they all drove up and away in these gorgeous vintage Rolls-Royces!

Valencia weddings
Valencia weddings

16. Orange trees.

Valencia is full of them. Which explains why the fresh juice at breakfast is so yummy!

Nowshad
Nowshad

17. Did Somebody Say Food Market?

Nowshad & Tanmay’s favourite thing was the food market because of the variety of fresh products and because he loves markets – and food!

Nowshad
Nowshad

18. Ring My Bell!

While exploring the city we decided to find a vantage point from the cathedral in the square. Turns out that involved racing up 207 stairs to get there!

MissMalini
MissMalini

Once we did though the view was spectacular with a cool breeze to match and I was just glad I was in my super comfy bata kicks!

MissMalini and Tanmay
MissMalini and Tanmay

Meanwhile Namrata Zakaria, columnist with The Indian Express, found her shoe love in Valencia too!

 19. Exploring Espadrilles.

“THE big moment for me on this trip was venturing into a hitherto unknown territory — that of the wedge heel. The thing is, I have been a notorious stiletto lover. I refuse to wear anything that isn’t made of leather and doesn’t sit on a high heel. I am what you may call a shoe snob. Some of my friends have been urging me to try on a pair of wedges, especially since they look great with shorts (my all-time wardrobe). But each time I slip on a pair, it’s off within seconds.

But when I saw incredibly stylish Spanish women — with their gym toned bodies and sun kissed skin — wear espadrilles almost everywhere, I decided to get myself a pair from one of the local shoe stores.

photo courtesy: Namrata Zakaria
photo courtesy: Namrata Zakaria

An espadrille is a centuries old method of making shoes by hand with a grass or rope sole and canvas as the upper. It’s not something a shoe snob would enjoy, especially since it used to be considered shoes for peasants.

But the Spanish love to keep things casual, their charm lies in their insouciance. Like those who live in Los Angeles, their staples are itsy shorts and a sleeveless Tshirt. To think how much noise the French and Italians make over fashion, it’s actually the Spanish who own the high street. Zara, Mango, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Pull and Bear, Desigual and Decathlon are all retail giants of the everyday wardrobe.

photo courtesy: Namrata Zakaria
photo courtesy: Namrata Zakaria

I walked out of the shoe store wearing my espadrille wedges and spent the day getting lost in and discovering the Ciutat de Vellat, the Old City of Valencia. It was a big step for me. And a seriously enjoyable walk.”

20. Estade la Cerveza.

That literally means “stadium of beer” what’s not to love?! Turns out they have Oktoberfest on in September too and we popped in for some lager and German sing-a-long as our reward for climbing all those stairs!

Valencia
Valencia
Valencia
Valencia

Shraddha Jahagirdar-Saxena, executive editor at Verve, was herself reminded of charming Paris…

21. Food, Friends and Flashbacks.

“Loved it. The company was entertaining. Hugely.
Loved the food — the tapas and paellas.
And, of course, the quaint beauty of the old city. With its cafes and by-lanes that had an old-world charm and reminded me a bit about the Paris I had visited years ago.”

the streets of Valencia
the streets of Valencia

Arnesh Ghose, staff writer at Man’s World magazine had two favourites.

22. Sexy Spanish.

“Two things drove me nuts – and in a very good way. One, getting directions in a language I don’t understand. How does one find his way around a city when people guide you, confidently, with a string of words that sound like gibberish in a sexy accent? The fun lies in figuring it all out.

photo courtesy: Arnesh Ghose
photo courtesy: Arnesh Ghose

You use combinations of languages – you add a fake Spanish accent to your English, you try out all the Spanish words you have picked up from Banderas and Cruz films, you try a little French and – most effectively – you play a crazy game of charades.

23. Every Delish Dish.

“Two, the food. Paella, gazpacho, grilled cheese with shallots and savoury blueberry jam, mushroom risotto, beef cheek steaks, apple and walnut salad, doner kebaps… It was one big fat eating marathon.”

photo courtesy: Arnesh Ghose
photo courtesy: Arnesh Ghose

And finally Diksha JhanjiPR girl, finally got to put her feet up after we all left :)

24. Golden Sun, Golden Sand.

“#Tired but #happy feet :)

The beach in Valencia treated me very well ;) it was sheer bliss. I went early morning and spent 7 hours there doing pretty much nothing… staring at the beach, getting into the water, massage, sun bathing and of course how can I forget the absolutely gorgeous men! ;) Haha kidding.

photo courtesy: Diksha Jhanji
photo courtesy: Diksha Jhanji

All you needed to go with that view was this beer Diksha! I found this premixed “shandy” at the marina on Sunday afternoon, it was divine.

Marina shandy
Marina shandy

So clearly, if you’re looking for a little piece of magic, Valencia you must go. Or better yet, move to Pune and take it home with you :) xoxo

Check out behind the scenes photos of the MissMalini’s World photoshoot:

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