List of Top Heritage Hotels in Rajasthan
Live life Maharaja style: spend a few days at a heritage hotel! Rajasthan’s past is a tapestry of much-admired warrior clans, of wealthy rulers and equally (if not more!) prosperous merchants, and of a style of living in which everything was larger than life. Imposing fortresses spreading over a dozen levels, replete with courtyards and fountain-filled gardens, with frescoes chambers and vast mirrored halls hung with embroidered drapes: such was life in days gone by. Much of the luxury of Rajasthan’s colorful past went out with the abolition of the privy purses, but much endures — in the form of the state’s mind-boggling array of heritage hotels.
Heritage hotels are not a rarity in India; many states have them. But Rajasthan has more than its fair share of heritage hotels, for almost every haven, every fort and every palace here has been converted into a heritage hotel. In most cases, what the traveler will find is a beguiling blends of old and new.
An air-conditioned bedroom with Victorian furniture and beautiful block-printed Jaipuri quilts will probably have a minibar and a television, besides (of course!) an attached bathroom with hot and cold running water. A terrace with chhatris and painted jharokhas may look out onto a swimming pool; and a beautiful mural-painted chamber may house a gym. Whatever may be the case, of one thing you may be sure: the experience of being treated like royalty will be one to cherish for the rest of your life!
Rajasthan Tour Packages from Delhi organized by Swan Tours ensures that itineraries are designed in a manner that the best of heritage hotels are visited during the stay.
Heritage hotels abound in Rajasthan, and anybody traveling through the state will literally stumble over one every few kilometers. However, just for the sake of convenience, we provide an insight into what some of Rajasthan’s best, most well-known heritage properties have to offer. Here, however, is a glimpse of the attractions, the history and some of the little-known facts of a few of Rajasthan’s foremost heritage hotels. Take a peek!
Here is List of Top 17 Heritage Hotels in Rajasthan:-
#1. Neemrana Fort Palace, Neemrana
Neemrana Fort Palace, Neemrana: 122 km from. Delhi, the Neemrana Fort Palace is India’s oldest heritage property, and sprawls over ten levels, spread across 25 acres. Renovated in 1986, Neemrana actually dates back to the 15th century, and is a maze of terraces, gardens, courtyards, and rooms furnished with a blend of traditional Rajasthani and colonial furniture. Quiet, relaxing and very addictive!
#2. Hill Fort, Kesroli
Hill Fort, Kesroli: Situated near the Sariska Tiger Reserve, the Hill Fort at Kesroli is more than six centuries old, and was built by the Yaduvanshi Rajputs. The Yaduvanshis, interestingly enough, traced their ancestry to Lord Krishna himself, but went on to convert to Islam in the mid-14th century, after which they came to be known as the Khanzadas. The fort switched hands a number of times, tossed between the Rajputs, the Jats and the Mughals in turn until it finally reverted to the Rajputs in 1775. Kesroli is within close proximity to not just Sariska, but also Bharatpur, Deeg, Kankwadi, Tijara, Viratnagar, Govindgarh and Mathura – which makes it just perfect as a base for exploring the area.
#3. Karni Fort, Bambora – One of the best Heritage Hotel in Rajasthan
Karni Fort, Bambora: Located in Udaipur district, the Karni Fort at Bambora rates as one of Rajasthan’s most likeable heritage hotels. Restored with the help of the aristocratic family that owns the hotel -Thakur Sunder Singh and his wife Thakurani Chanda Kanwar of Sodawas (Marwar-Jodhpur) – the Karni Fort is today part of the WelcomHeritage group. It offers a delightful blend of true blue Rajput hospitality, excellent local cuisine (straight off a maharaja’s table!) and regal surroundings that are bound to work their magic on the most jaded of souls.
#4. Devi Garh
Devi Garh: 28 km from the city of Udaipur, the all-suite boutique heritage hotel of Devi Garh has won accolades for its exquisitely elegant, minimalist decor. Centred around a series of five courtyards, the sprawling palace complex is a unique combination of old and new, East and West. Each suite extends over all of 700 sq ft, embellished with white marble, lapis lazuli, cornelian and other semi-precious stones. A gym, sauna, swimming pool, dining room and tented accommodation are part of the ensemble, which is even more attractive because of Devi Garh’s closeness to a number of important tourist sites in the vicinity, including the temples of Eklingji, Nagda and Nathdwara.
#5. Khimsar Fort
Khimsar Fort: The Khimsar Fort Palace at Nagaur lies on the fringes of the forbidding Thar Desert, a medieval citadel with imposing turrets and battle-scarred walls. The Khimsar fort is a medieval fortress, the construction of which began in 1523, although its royal residents eventually moved in only about two hundred years later. A major portion of the fort – in particular the ladies’ wing (the zenana, with its delicate stone grills and pleasing architecture) was constructed in the mid 1700s. Classified as a ‘Grand Heritage’ property by the Government of India in 1997-98, the Khimsar Fort today ranks as one of Rajasthan’s most impressive heritage hotels – and part of it is still occupied by the royal family!
#6. Gajner Palace
Gajner Palace: Situated just short of Bikaner, the Gajner Palace sits atop an embankment beside the Gajner Lake and Wildlife Sanctuary, a stretch of wilderness that is home to a range of local fauna, including the imperial sandgrouse, blackbuck, blue bull and chinkara gazelle. The palace itself, which was built by Maharaja Ganga Singhji of Bikaner, is a beautifully constructed edifice of red sandstone much of it intricately carved. The palace hotel offers a spectrum of facilities, including barbecues, traditional `shikari’ cuisine (authentic game recipes adapted to poultry or mutton), and cultural programmers in the evening.
#7. Samode Palace and Samode Bagh
Samode Palace and Samode Bagh: One of Rajasthan’s loveliest small hotels, the Samode Palace is officially known as the Hotel Narayan Niwas Palace. Surrounded by mango orchards and landscaped gardens, the 28-room hotel is more than 4.5 centuries old, and is best-known for its beautifully frescoed interiors. This exquisite hotel lies north of Jaipur, virtually on the edge of the famed Shekhavati area, and has attractions by the dozen. Best of all are the stained glass windows of the dining room; the painted ceilings, carved walls and chandeliers of the Durbar Hall, and the murals decorating the Sultan Mahal.
4 km from Samode Palace, spreading out over an area of 20 acres, is Samode Bagh, where a series of luxurious tents set amidst a pretty garden form a hotel with a difference. Samode Bagh has all it takes for a quiet holiday: fountains, flowers, and well-furnished tents that recreate a welcoming 16th century camp.
#8. Umaid Bhawan Palace
Umaid Bhawan Palace: For those who’ve always equated Rajasthan’s heritage hotels with towering forts and pretty jharokhas, Jodhpur’s Umaid Bhawan can come as a surprise- for this unusual building of pink stone is billed as the world’s largest art deco building! Sweeping marble staircases, an in-house cinema hall, a museum, a library, and rooms with fantastic fixtures (including, in one case, a huge bathtub of pink marble) are some of Umaid Bhawan’s many attractions. The palace was constructed as part of a famine relief project, and besides its colourful history and interesting decor, offers an excellent taste of local hospitality.
#9. Udai Bilas Palace
Udai Bilas Palace: The Udai Bilas Palace in Dungarpur (120 km from Udaipur) was built in the mid 19`” century beside the Gaibsagar Lake by Maharawal Udai Singhji. Later enlarged and added to, the palace has much to recommend it: the lake nearby attracts a vast number of birds (especially in winter); the palace’s rooms are luxuriously furnished; the banquet hall, with its glittering chandeliers and hunting trophies, is worth a look; and last but not least, the structure’s architecture is amazing. Carved pillars, balconies, balustrades, brackets and more make this an architectural delight, and perfect for a peek into history!
Fateh Prakash Palace: One of Udaipur’s foremost palace hotels, the Fateh Prakash Palace lies beside the scenic Pichola Lake and is part of the City Palace complex. The palace was built in the early 20″ century, during the reign of Maharana Fateh Singhji, and offers guests a dazzling view of life the way the royalty knew it. The Durbar Hall and Crystal Gallery are well worth a visit; and the rooms themselves have fine miniature paintings, life-size portraits and well-preserved furniture that is owned by the royal family itself.
#10. Shiv Niwas Palace
Shiv Niwas Palace: Also beside the Pichola Lake in Udaipur, the Shiv Niwas Palace is a crescent-shaped building originally constructed by Maharana Fateh Singhji to be his private residence. The palace was later turned into a guesthouse for visiting dignitaries, and is today one of Udaipur’s loveliest heritage hotels. Like many of its counterparts across the state, the Shiv Niwas Palace too offers modern amenities in a medieval setting- it has, among other facilities, a bar, billiards and squash room, swimming pool and multi-cuisine restaurant.
#11. Sardar Samand Palace
Sardar Samand Palace: The Sardar Samand Palace, a lakeside hunting lodge built in 1933 by Maharaja Umaid Singh at Pali is a well-preserved art deco structure with a delightfully old world charm about it. It is today a heritage hotel, and offers a level of luxury close to that enjoyed by the royalty itself. The vast grounds of the hotel offer plenty of opportunity for relaxing strolls- and, of course, the chance to do some bird-watching, for the lake has its fair share of birdlife, including flamingos, pelicans, ducks, geese, kingfishers and cranes.
#12. Jawahar Niwas Palace
Jawahar Niwas Palace: Jaisalmer’s Jawahar Niwas Palace is a stunning palace of golden sandstone, carved into elegant chhatris and jharokhas which add to the all-pervasive charm of Jaisalmer. The palace, which was built by Maharawal Shri Shalivahan Singhji in the early 20th century, has now been renovated, with every room being a cosy yet opulent reminder of the past. Of particular note is the hotel’s multicuisine restaurant, the walls of which still bear exquisite ornamentation.
#13. Lalgarh Palace
Lalgarh Palace: Lalgarh Palace, in Bikaner, is a 38-room heritage hotel operated by WelcomHeritage. Although the palace’s rooms have all it takes to make you aware of the fact that this is the 20th century (hot and cold running water, bathtubs, air-conditioning), the decor and the ambience are distinctly old world. Long corridors lined with hunting trophies, old prints and quaint etchings are all part of Lalgarh’s undisputed charm. Worth a visit if one is in the neighbourhood.
#14. Palace Hotel
Palace Hotel: Also known as Bikaner House, Mount Abu’s Palace Hotel was once the summer residence of the royal family of Bikaner. Designed by the famous Sir Swinton Jacob, the palace was built during the minority of Maharaja Ganga Singhji. Today a heritage hotel, the property stands on prime location in Mount Abu, a pleasing blend of luxurious living and quiet, peaceful surroundings.
#15. Rambagh Palace
Rambagh Palace: The Rambagh Palace Hotel in the state capital, Jaipur, rates as one of Rajasthan’s most lavish heritage hotels. Spreading out over 47 acres of gardens, the palace was once the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur. Although the palace’s gardens – which have been rated by some as “the most beautiful gardens in the world”— are the piece de resistance of this property, the rooms themselves are no less. The hotel suites are decorated just as they were in regal days, and the public areas have delightful attractions: a fountain plays in the bar, the restaurant has a painted ceiling reminiscent of Versailles, and the experience is world class!
#16. Maharani Bagh Orchard Retreat
Maharani Bagh Orchard Retreat: Located at Ranakpur, the Maharani Bagh Orchard lies between Jodhpur, Udaipur and Mount Abu. Surrounded by the verdant Aravali Hills, the hotel lies amidst quiet fruit groves (as its name suggests) and was laid out in the late 19th century by the Maharani of Jodhpur. The retreat was, till its conversion into a hotel, a favourite destination for the royal family. Now a set of 18 cottages and a swimming pool set amidst fruit trees, it is one of Rajasthan’s most unusual — and endearing — heritage properties. The fact that the famous temples of Ranakpur are close by makes the hotel even more attractive.
#17. Bal Samand
Bal Samand: A magnificent example of Rajput architecture at its best, Bal Samand sits in the middle of 600 acres of lush green land near Jodhpur. The fort formed the erstwhile capital of the state of Marwar, and has all the works: beautifully furnished rooms, a 12th century lake, extensive gardens and some fine specimens of local carving — especially in red sandstone, which was the material used to build the citadel.
For more information on list of top heritage hotels in Rajasthan contact Swan Tours or call 01123415601.
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