Like most erstwhile palaces, the hotel is located in the Civil Lines area where government officials, including the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, live. This means that the streets are safe and quiet. It also means that a car is needed to access many of the sights. The Albert Hall museum, for instance, is half an hour away, as are the bazaars of the Old City. That said, a few lovely boutiques inhabit the old bungalow down the street from the hotel. Be sure to head to the Thahryamal Balchand boutique, which has lovely block-printed bedsheets, as does the Fabindia next door. Guests may find that they won’t want to leave the property, given the extensive facilities offered in-house.
This refurbished Indo-Saracenic palace tones down its palatial proportions through the warmth of its staff. Guests are welcomed with roses, jasmine and sandalwood. Corridors are scented via air-conditioning ducts. Geometric marble floors, stencilled floral drawings on the ceiling and royal portraits are everywhere. The hotel is perfect for honeymooners, and for small groups.
Service & facilities
The grounds are vast enough for a polo match – princes once played the sport here, though weddings now take their place. Staff appear when you need them but leave you alone if you so desire. A running track borders the property. Morning yoga lessons occur near the outdoor swimming pool. Relax in a hammock near the pool and watch gray hornbills flit from fig to mango tree. Large groups of rock pigeons make aerial sorties, while peacocks walk about as if they own the place. The fitness centre has weights, bicycles and treadmills.
The all-organic Jiva spa offers ayurvedic treatments and aromatherapy massages. Try the shirodhara, which can put an insomniac to sleep. In the evening, a historian, palmist, folk musicians and dancers provide lively entertainment.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
- Steam room/hammam
- Tennis court
The spacious rooms have pastel blue and white floral stencils on the ceilings and block-printed bedspreads, plus amenities such as a safe, minibar and coffee/tea makers. Choose rooms that are far away from the main lobby for verdant views of the pool and grounds. Bathrooms are well appointed with grapefruit-scented toiletries, a separate rain shower, a bathtub and hair dryer.
Food & drink
Six dining outlets include a pastry shop, poolside restaurant, all-day restaurant and al fresco Italian. Try the stuffed paranthas (flatbreads), or the masala egg omelettes at Marble Arch, at the all-day dining restaurant. Dinner on the patio here includes a folk dance, at the end of which guests are invited to participate. Cinnamon serves excellent Indian food including marinated meats, a signature dal and vegetarian thalis (a variety of dishes on a round plate). Chefs talk to diners, finessing dishes to individual tastes. Marigold bar serves well constructed cocktails—try the Jaipur martini.
Value for money
Double rooms from INR 8000 (£120) in low season (March to September); and from INR 9500 (£132) in high (October to February), exclusive of taxes (28 per cent). Breakfast is usually included. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Adapted rooms are available, which include lower beds, an emergency bell, special lights and handrails within the bathroom. There are ramps everywhere, including the lawns.
Baby cots and extra beds are available for a nominal charge. An outdoor playground, buggy rides and an indoor gaming area occupy the kids, while magicians, puppeteers and potters come during high season to teach them local tricks. Babysitters are available. A carved outdoor movable chess set is fun.
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