The first things that come to our mind with the mention of Rajasthan are the desert and palaces. The palaces of Rajasthan are the reminders of the elegant royalty and chivalrous kings. Today, many of them have been transformed into heritage hotels that are luxury beyond imagination. Here is a list of 10 best palace hotels of Rajasthan.
1. Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
Commissioned by King Sawai Man Singh, this palace was designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, a reputed British architect. Post independence, the royal family transformed it into a star hotel and is currently managed by Taj group. The hotel has opulent rooms with marble hallways, landscaped gardens and is rated as the best heritage hotel in India.
2. Samode Haveli, Jaipur
This heritage hotel is more of a mansion than a palace. It belonged to Rawal Singh of the Samode clan. The palace is a good example of restorative architecture. The staff at this heritage hotel deserves special mention as they are known for their hospitality par excellence.
3. Lake Palace, Udaipur
Probably the most popular among the palaces of Rajasthan is the Lake palace. It is a hub of high profile weddings and foreign tourists ever since it opened to public. Located on an island on Lake Pichola, this palace was built in 1746 by Maharana Jagat Singh II and turned into a romantic hotel by his predecessor Maharana Bhagwat Singh. The beauty of the lake, the grandeur of the palace and the hospitality of Taj make this the best heritage hotels of India.
4. Shiv Niwas Palace, Udaipur
Originally built to entertain royal guests of Maharana Fateh Singh of Mewar, this palace has suites that befit a king. The architecture and interiors of the palace is so elegant that each and every room is designed to provide a panoramic view of the city of Udaipur. It is the most romantic destinations of Udaipur.
5. Rajwada fort, Jaisalmer
Coming from the city of forts, this palace hotel is nestled in the midst of the famous Jaisalmer fort. Spread over 6 acres of immaculate gardens, the 450 year old architecture is the finest and probably the best fort palace one can hope to experience in India. The stone carved jalis (perforated screens) which are a trademark of the Marwad craftsmen have been restored and maintained with utmost care. The uniqueness of this palace is that it is made of yellow sandstone which glows in a golden color when sun’s rays fall on it.
6. Jawahar Niwas Palace, Jaisalmer
This is another heritage structure designed by Sir Swinton Jacob. The palace is a good example of the stone craftsmanship of Jaisalmer. The chiseled windows (jharokas) and umbrella shaped sunshades (chattris) are trademarks of Rajput architecture. It is owned and maintained by Maharawal Brijraj Singh.
7. Ajit Bhawan, Jodhpur
Set in the backdrop of the desert, this magnificent palace is a jewel of the Blue city. The Palace was the first one in the country to be converted to a heritage hotel. Thus it is a pioneer of the heritage hotel movement in India.
8. Balsamand Lake palace, Jodhpur
Built on the banks of the artificial lake, this palace is made of red sandstone and reminiscent of the Rajput architecture of the 13th century. Its lush green lands, terrace gardens and a gorgeous lake view make this the perfect getaway from the crowded city life.
9. Lalgarh palace, Bikaner
Another fine example of the red sandstone architecture by Sir Swinton, Lalgarh palace is an elegant combination of European, Rajput and Mughal styles. The interiors are in occidental style and the décor is completely vintage full with hunting trophies and old photographs of the royal clan.
10. Basant Vihar Palace, Bikaner
Built in a secluded area in Bikaner, this palace caters to those looking for a tranquil and laid back stay in Rajasthan as opposed to the hurried tourist destinations. Care has been taken to make the hotel a place of pleasure with a touch of royalty in everything.