After the Midnight Supper at the City Palace, the next thing that was on everyone’s minds was the highlight of the St. Regis brand launch event series. The St. Regis Polo Cup, which is inspired by the “Family Traditions at St. Regis” program. This was an exhibition game featuring St. Regis Connoisseur Nacho Figueras and his son Hilario, against Maharaj Narendra Singh and his son HH Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur.
Jaipur did not disappoint. Beautiful winter Sun with minimum haze.
People and things set out from the ITC Rajputana hotel for the Jaipur Polo Club grounds. As a photographer, I love being part of the team that is early on the scene. I get to photograph the details and preparations that lend beautiful context to the day’s activities.
Above, the canopies for the High Tea, which is part of a series of St. Regis Rituals.
This was the first time that St. Regis Hotels & Resorts has partnered with the Rajasthan Polo Club, Jaipur, to sponsor the Maharaja Bhawani Singh St. Regis Cup 2015.
Below left, the seating area for guests and at right Maharaj Narendra Singh headed to the Players’ Pavilion to get his gear on.
The colours and traditions of Jaipur on display. Elephants and camels and dancers dressed in Rajasthani finery.
Nacho Figueras and his family in a horse-drawn carriage below.
Below, Syed Shamsher Ali aka “Chhamma” who is the highest handicap holding Polo player in India.
Below, Paul James, the Global Brand Leader for Starwood Group of Hotels’ The Luxury Collection chain of hotels including St. Regis, signing the Polo ball.
Many street children had gathered to watch Nacho play. They had been interacting with him during practice play on previous days. “Nacho” in Hindi means “dance” and there was nothing to stop the children from not only chanting Nacho’s name but they also managed to teach him a few moves! At the end of the game, Nacho went to shake hands with them and share a round of gesture-banter.
After the final game of Polo, there were a few performances of daredevilry by the soldiers of the Armed Forces battalion that co-manages the Polo Club.
The setup for the prize distribution and trophy ceremony was done surrounded by many local Jaipur Polo enthusiasts.
Below, Delfina and Hilario.
Below, Nacho doing a bit of “nacho” for the children who have not stopped chanting his name.
Below, Paul James sabering a bottle of champagne in keeping with the St. Regis Ritual that has been followed since the days of the Astors of New York. It was delightful to watch him and even more delightful getting the timing right on the photograph!
It had been a great day and it was time for the evening tea, for which guests now moved to the canopies.
Meanwhile the toddlers and children of the guests had been well taken care of in the special Kids Lawn that had been created in keeping with the Family Traditions St. Regis program that the brand is diligent about and dedicated to.
Guests moved from the Polo Umbrellas to the beautiful white canopied area just off the Polo field and were welcomed with wine, champagne and the ubiquitous Bloody Mary, which is a signature cocktail that was introduced by St. Regis originally.
A live Jazz performance set the tone for the setting sun and an even more glamorous evening that had been planned at the Jaigarh Fort the same day.
Previously, Midnight Supper at the City Palace