Dotted with breathtaking lakes, princely hills, and historical forts, the royal state of Rajasthan has a million stories to tell from the centuries gone by. Always thronging with travellers from across the country and the world, the Land of Mewars has many opulent palace hotels. Here are a few where you can sit back, enjoy a plate of steaming hot Mirchi Vada along with some chai, and allow yourself to be taken back in time.
A gateway to the Thar Desert, Suryagarh Jaisalmer is the epitome of elegance and royalty. Soak in the sights and sounds of a culture shrouded in myths and legends as you walk through its various courtyards and sculptured gardens. As you try to spot an oasis in the majestic Thar, don’t forget to experience an oasis of calm at their spa Rait, named after the sea of sand on which the property is located.
Address: Kahala Phata, Sam Road, Jaisalmer
Narendra Bhawan, Bikaner
A grand residence that housed the last reigning Maharajah of Bikaner – Narendra Singhji, Narendra Bhawan is a heritage property where guests can truly experience Rajasthani royalty at its best. The private palace residence of Narendra Singhji is a perfect blend of timeless venues and avant-garde outdoor spaces and is reflective of his travel memoirs from places near and far. When you are here, dine at the elegant Pearls & Chiffons which pays tribute to the lady of the house clad in a classy chiffon sari and her favourite string of pearls. Also, take a dip in the deep blue infinity pool that reflects the bright blue skies of Bikaner and offers a breathtaking view of the city.
Address: Samvit Shikshan Sansthan, Gandhi Colony, Samta Nagar, Bikaner
The Leela Palace Udaipur
Inspired by the rich culture and traditions of the Land of Mewars, The Leela Palace is a modern palace that offers breathtaking views of the City of Lakes – Udaipur. Through the use of traditional artisanal crafts and exquisite embellishments, it pays an ode to the unparalleled grandeur of Rajasthan. Dig into dishes enjoyed by royalty under a sky full of stars at the Sheesh Mahal, the fine dining restaurant that overlooks the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola or spend a day in the lap of nature at the picturesque Guava Garden.
Address: Lake Pichola, PO Box No 125, Udaipur
The Leela Palace Jaipur
Set against the scenic backdrop of the princely Aravalli Range, The Leela Palace Jaipur boasts of over eight acres of landscaped gardens and offers you a taste of quintessential Indian luxury. The palatial beauty shines bright with traditional ‘thikri’ craft, inlaid mirrors, Shekhawati paintings, and silver foiled domes. From relishing authentic Rajasthani delicacies at Sukh Mahal to taking a walk across its sprawling gardens overlooking the lake, guests here can truly get a feel of royalty.
Address: Jaipur-Delhi Highway, NH 11, Kukas, Jaipur – 302028
Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
Built in 1835, Rambagh Palace has undergone many royal transitions and stood the test of time. From being the home of the queen’s favourite handmaiden to a royal guesthouse and hunting lodge, Rambagh Palace also served as the residence of the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and his queen, Maharani Gayatri Devi. Located near Hawa Mahal, it is resplendent with hand-carved marble jalis or latticework, sandstone balustrades, cupolas and chattris or cenotaphs, and elaborate Mughal Gardens, and offers 78 stunningly restored grand luxury rooms and suites which were once the chambers of the former Maharaja.
Address: VRX5+66Q, Bhawani Singh Rd, Rambagh Jaipur
Jai Mahal Palace, Udaipur
Set amidst 18 acres of landscaped Mughal gardens, the Jai Mahal Palace was built in 1745 and is a great example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The luxurious hotel has 94 rooms and six suites and is situated in a prime location close to the main shopping areas and historical sites such as Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal, and City Palace. As you soak in the infectious energy of the Pink City when you are here, unwind at Jiva Spa with rejuvenating treatments, yoga and meditation or entertain business clients at the palace boardrooms, Silver Oak and Sterling, and banquet hall, Durbar Hall.
Address: Jacob Road, Civil Lines, Jaipur
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
Just like its golden-yellow sandstone structure, the distinguished Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur is a golden crown when it comes to Rajput hospitality. Set amidst 26 acres of lush gardens, the palace hotel houses a private museum, two restaurants and a bar, a neo-classical ballroom, a well-stocked library, indoor subterranean pool, and unique marbled squash courts. With a blend of eastern and western architectural influences, the hotel was built between 1928 and 1943 for HH Maharaja Umaid Singhji, grandfather of the present maharaja.
Address: Circuit House Rd, Cantt Area, Jodhpur
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
Floating with elegance on the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola with a spectacular view of the Aravalli Hills is the Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur. With 65 luxurious rooms and 18 grand suites, Taj Lake Palace is a very recognisable spot, with TV shows and movies like ‘The Jewel In The Crown’ and ‘Octopussy’ having been shot here. Relish an authentic Rajasthani meal at Neel Kamal or some European delicacies at the seasonally open-air Bhairo. In the evenings, indulge in signature martinis, cocktails, and a grand collection of premium international spirits at the bar, Amrit Sagar.
Address: P.O Box No. 5, Lake Pichola, Udaipur
Taj Fateh Prakash Palace, Udaipur
A sunbathed vision on the eastern banks of Lake Pichola, Taj Fateh Prakash Palace in Udaipur is part of the iconic City Palace complex. It was built in the 20th century by Maharana Fateh Singh as a venue for royal events and has always maintained the grandeur of the past. From miniature paintings and armoury to royal heirlooms and furniture straight off toshakhanas (royal storerooms), this palace hotel is alive with stories of Rajput valour and adventure.
Address: Taj Fateh Prakash Palace, Lake Pichola, The City Palace Complex, City Palace Road, Udaipur
Palace Hotel, Mount Abu
A tiny jewel in the crown of Rajasthan, the pristine hill station Mount Abu was the go-to place of many royal families in the summers to beat the heat. Built by Maharaja Ganga Singhji of Bikaner in 1893, Bikaner House was the summer residence of the Royal Family of Bikaner and was converted into a hotel in 1962. Now known as Palace Hotel, it is a heritage hotel that offers its guests a sublime taste of royalty and Rajasthani culture.
Address: Palace Hotel, Bikaner House, Delwara Road, Mount Abu
The Lalit Laxmi Nivas Palace, Udaipur
Overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake with the spectacular Aravalli Hills in the backdrop, The Lalit Laxmi Nivas Palace was built by Maharana Fateh Singh in 1911. Known as one of the finest luxury hotels in Udaipur, it features 55 spacious rooms and suites all of which offer captivating views of the lake or the valley. Relax at the spa Rejuve that overlooks the Fateh Sagar Lake, or savour Asian delicacies at their award-winning restaurant OKO, and experience luxury at its best.
Address: Fateh Sagar Rd, Near Zinc, Fateh Sagar Lake, Udaipur