Regal retreats in Rajasthan.
By Shradha Aswani
Palace-themed hotels in India are a modern interpretation of the country’s rich history and culture. Immersed in grandeur, they allow you to experience the opulence of a castle with the amenities of a five-star property, while treating your taste buds with delicacies that seem to come directly from a king’s kitchen.
With its glorious cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and the vastness of the Thar desert, Rajasthan provides an authentic backdrop for a luxurious and exotic vacation in a hotel like this. Especially if modern facilities are built into their traditional setting.
Masala brings you a list of the most iconic palace-themed hotels that have opened within the last two years in the state, and a rundown of what makes staying in them an experience worth cherishing.
HYATT REGENCY, JAIPUR MANSAROVAR
With 245 keys spread out over a 5-acre property, the all-new Hyatt Regency in Mansarovar, Jaipur is an ideal mix of palatial grandeur and contemporary comfort. The hotel is the ideal escape for people seeking a peaceful vacation a little away from the city centre, with 34 suite options to choose from, including a presidential suite. You could step out to enjoy the city’s main attractions, including the famed Hawa Mahal palace or Amer Fort, most of which are at located a short distance away. Alternatively, you could rejuvenate yourself by making an appointment at the hotel’s in-house spa, enjoy a refreshing walk in the property’s
many expansive gardens, or indulge in local and global delicacies.
SAWAI MAN MAHAL, JAIPUR
Crafted by the Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), India’s largest hospitality company, the Sawai Man Mahal pays homage to Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II, the last ruler of the princely state of Jaipur. Located near the
magnificent Rambagh Palace and a 20-minute drive from the airport, the inviting palace showcases the best of Rajputana heritage with 51 spacious rooms that all open into private courtyards filled with greenery; the Maharani Mahal, a ballroom adorned with gold accents that overlooks the sprawling Maharani Bagh; along with an outdoor pool; a fitness centre; and their Jiva Spa for rejuvenation. Influence of the Maharaja’s time as the first ambassador to Spain can be seen in the palace’s dining options, which are not to be missed. The
IHCL has highlighted India’s rich history with some of the nation’s most renowned palaces, and now boasts eight hotels in Jaipur with the addition of the Sawai Man Mahal.
SIX SENSES FORT RESORT, BARWARA
The Six Senses Fort Resort, Barwara, which opened in 2021 after a conservation effort that took over a decade, is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the Jaipur International Airport and 30 minutes away from Ranthambore
National Park. Created from two ancient palaces, the 14th Century fort has been painstakingly restored into a 48-suite resort, with five specialty suites. The resort’s signature offering is the Six Senses Spa and Fitness Spa,
that runs over 2800 meters, offering a variety of signature massages, Ayurvedic treatments, and personalised wellness programmes, all with a focus on mindful practices. The dining destinations showcase innovative, Rajasthani-inspired cuisine made with local produce from the resort’s organic garden, while the medieval
domes of the fort add a grand touch to any meal. The most important highlight of the hotel are its efforts towards sustainability, such as the operation of its own reverse osmosis plant to produce high-quality still and sparkling water, which is served to guests in reusable glass bottles.
THE LEELA PALACE, JAIPUR
Marking the entry of The Leela Palaces Hotels and Resorts group in the state’s capital, The Leela Palace Jaipur embodies the essence of true Indian luxury. Nestled into the beautiful Aravalli Hills on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, the hotel features 200 lavish rooms and suites, including 88 ultra-luxe villas with private plunge pools that are the largest in the city. With 50,000+ square feet of event spaces, including a magnificent ballroom and gorgeous lawns, it’s the perfect venue for weddings and other celebrations. It also offers a wealth of dining choices, including both traditional Indian cuisine and contemporary fine dining.
Spread over 21 acres and surrounded by the tranquil waters of Udai Sagar Lake, and framed by the captivating Aravalli Range, Raffles Udaipur, the first of the Raffles brand in India, is an island of its own. The way to the hotel is a pleasant 20-minute ride from the airport, followed by a beautiful boat ride. Once there, you can enjoy a five-star experience unlike any other in Udaipur, allowing you to experience bespoke and immersive hospitality that is quintessentially Raffles. The architecture is a unique blend of European and local styles, and their premium stays allow you to immerse yourself in luxury, spread out over 101 rooms. A spa, a fitness centre, and diverse dining options add to your holiday, while the property’s many event spaces, including a 9,000-square-foot ballroom, make it apt for celebrations.
Situated in the heart of the dessert city, Gobindgarh, Jaisalmer offers a unique holiday possibility, if you want to explore the landscape of Rajasthan outside of its obvious attractions. The hotel’s architecture preserves not just the design of a bygone era, but also its simplicity and warmth. You can choose from a range of minimalistic deluxe, executive, and suite rooms for your stay, or dip your toes into adventure in a luxury tent.
Along with a host of dining options and up-to-date amenities, the hotel also offers a range of concierge services, including guided dessert trips and spa experiences, to help guests make the most of their stay.
RAWLA SAGRUN, KUMBHALGARH
The newest feature in this list, Rawla Sargun, Kumbhalgarh has garnered amazing guest reviews despite having started operations just last month. Minutes away from the Mewar Fortress Kumbhalgarh Fort, the hotel promises tranquillity, comfort, and luxury, presented to you with opulence. The guest rooms and suites are spacious and elegantly appointed, with comfortable furnishings, lavish linens, and expansive windows offering a breathtaking view of the hills. Scenic courtyards and widespread indoor event spaces make it ideal
to hold intimate celebrations with close friends and family.