Rajasthan is known for its beautifully converted heritage hotels, many of which are former Rajput palaces and forts. Quite often, the original ruling family are your hosts, and they will be able to offer an unforgettable insight into the surrounding area. Why stay in a standard, international style of hotel when all this history and character can await you every night?
10) Ramathra Fort
Located between Agra and Ranthambore National Park, Ramathra allows you to get completely off-the-beaten track and is perfect if you are embarking on a Golden Triangle itinerary with Ranthambore and want a night away from it all. The fort overlooks the surrounding countryside, and the nearby village is a delight to walk around. A picnic beside the nearby lake is something you won’t forget!
9) Rawla Narlai
Rawla Narlai is located between Jodhpur and Udaipur (although you can reach it from Jaipur), and makes for another wonderful Rajasthani rural retreat. The old heritage rooms are divine, and the chance to head out to the local step-well for dinner is incredible. Set out on a jeep drive through local villages, spot leopard, or explore the nearby Ranakpur Temples.
Ranvas is located to the north of Jodhpur in the small town of Nagaur, and dates from the 18th century. Very few people who go on holiday to Rajasthan ever reach Nagaur, partly due to time constraints. It makes for a wonderful second-time trip, taking in Jaisalmer, Nagaur, maybe Bikaner and Mandawa.
7) Raj Mahal Palace
Located in Jaipur, Raj Mahal was the official residence of the British Resident Political Officer to Rajputana and later became the official residence for the Maharaja. The Rajmahal Palace has been lovingly restored, and now is one of the most opulent hotels in India, with its lavish decoration and fantastic service.
6) Samode Palace
Samode Palace is an old favourite, located about 45 minutes north of Jaipur, giving to a chance to see the city by day, but return to somewhere utterly special at night. It is a former grand palace, yet has been upgraded with swimming pools, a spa and wonderful bedrooms and suites, retaining the sense of history and character, yet with oodles of comfort and style.
5) Rambagh Palace
The Rambagh Palace is located in Jaipur, and was once a former hunting lodge of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Grand, opulent and exquisite in every way, you truly feel like royalty when staying here. It is one of India’s grand ‘palace’ hotels, alongside the Falaknuma, Umaid Bhawan and Lake Palace.
4) Samode Haveli
Located right in the heart of Jaipur, Samode Haveli is the place to stay if you want a characterful boutique hotel in the city. Samode Haveli acts like a wonderful oasis, blending character and history with comfort and style in equal measure.
3) Shahpura Bagh
Located between Jaipur and Udaipur or Jodhpur, Shahpura Bagh is a must for those who may not have a rural stop in their itinerary to Rajasthan. Shahpura is still run by the local ruling family, who has a wonderful reputation in the area for helping the surrounding community. Head off to the local farm, visit rural villages and end your day with a private al fresco dinner in their ancestral fort.
2) Lake Palace
It goes without saying that the Lake Palace Hotel is one of the most iconic hotels in India. Almost floating above Lake Pichola, the Lake Palace offers a fantastic place to stay if you want if you want a fitting finale to a tour of Rajasthan. The rooms and suites offer views over the lake (the best ones overlook the the ghats of Udaipur and the City Palace). Fit or a Maharaja, the Lake Palace never disappoints.
1) Devi Garh
Devi Garh Fort Palace dates from the 18th century and is about 45 minutes north of Udaipur, allowing you to stay in the rural village of Delwara, yet explore the city by day. It’s a great place to send three or more nights, giving you the chance for some well deserved R&R after exploring India. Inside, you find chic, minimalist interiors, retaining a sense of place and character yet offering everything you would expect from a luxury boutique hotel.