At a Glance
Rambagh Palace glows with the sun’s reflection by day and thoughtfully placed spotlights and candlelight by night. Guests of these centuries-old Taj Grand Palaces in Rajasthan, which also include Umaid Bhawan Palace and Taj Lake Palace, quite literally walk, dine and sleep like royalty, because they are in the homes of the maharajas. The palaces have been restored, but retain their cathedral ceilings, scalloped archways, latticework, colonnades, inlaid marble floors, intricate craftsmanship, opulent furnishings and soaring domes.
The Standout: The 47-acre grounds, including formal Mughal gardens, that offer a lush oasis in the midst of the bustling city Don’t Miss: A private tour of the serene Sukh Niwas Blue Room in the City Palace
- The textured wood-paneled walls, brocades and Persian rugs of the Maharani Suite
- Cocktails at the Polo Bar, its walls lined with trophies and memorabilia
- Visiting the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing to learn about wood-block printing and the community who are still engaged in the art
Tempted to sleep in a former maharani’s bedroom? It’s possible at this historic luxury hotel, which was for many years the residence of Jaipur’s most recent ruling family. The late and legendary Maharani Gayatri Devi, who was the third Maharani of Jaipur from 1930 to 1970, lived at adjacent property until her passing a few years ago. (A stunning portrait of her hangs in the dining room). Maharani Gayatri Devi, who was once featured in Vogue magazine, was known for entertaining and inviting stylish friends from around the world. Jackie Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth, and lords and ladies of the British Raj all visited in the days when the maharani was one of the world’s great beauties and the maharaja was a champion polo player. The hotel, which mixes Moghul and Rajput designs, features intricately carved pillars, flamboyant domes and cupolas, and authentic colonial furnishings, all surrounded by 47 acres of gardens.
As might be expected in a palace, the rooms vary greatly in size and style. Rooms on the ground floor can sometimes be a bit dark (we would recommend those with terraces), while others have no view. Among the best ones are those facing the interior garden, but all have quite ornate furnishings so this is not the right choice for minimalists. Among the rituals that guests can quickly become accustomed to are the generous breakfast spread on the verandah, with peacocks preening and strutting nearby; the exquisite spa with tented treatment rooms and a large, lovely indoor swimming pool; and the incredibly attentive staff who make you feel like cherished visitors even after a day.
Who Should Stay
The history of the property and impeccable service makes it a must-visit for all, though couples and families will both be comfortable here
Who Should Not Stay
Minimalists or those who want the newest possible surroundings— Diane Dorrans Saeks
Written by Indagare