This hotel evokes the spirit of Rajasthan through the use of riotous colour, mural paintings, excellent Indian cuisine, and folk music every evening. The rooms with jewellery motifs, outdoor swimming pool and the pomegranate-themed spa offer respite from the desert heat.
The soaring lobby with its Makrana marble floors, pink upholstery (a nod to the ‘pink city’ of Jaipur), white walls with floral and paisley designs in relief, and lotus-shaped fountain incorporates pretty much every design element in Rajasthan. The golden ‘jaali’, or perforated lattice-worked screen behind the reception counters has a ‘tree of life’ motif. An original wall mural painted freehand by the late great artist Kripal Singh Shekhawat adorns either side of the lobby bar. The chandeliers look like ‘ghungroos’, or the anklet-bells worn by Indian dancers. The red-brick façade, reminiscent of the traditional homes of Jaipur, could use some updating.
The doorman welcomes guests with a little trumpet solo. Higher category rooms are assigned butlers who serve as a brilliant interfacebetween guest and hotel, mimicking the valets of yore. There is a small spa, business centre and travel desk. Sundowners by the swimming pool are accompanied by folk dancing. The shopping arcade includes well priced jewellery, fashion outlets and a book store. The hotel is en route to becoming a zero-carbon property with rainwater harvesting, recycling and solar roofs.
The ITC group is known for its food and this one does not disappoint.
But for me, one of the most beautiful things about the hotel is the lobby and the live musician who plays there
Even the base category rooms are a nice size. The bed has a black headboard, while an adjacent day bed is bright red. A glass writing table, safe, minibar, and television give the space functionality but not necessarily charm. Fresh oriental lilies scent the room, and wall hangings with framed anklets are a nice touch. There is Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and telephone lines, but none of the newer amenities such as docking stations or Nespresso machines.
Bathrooms include separate rain showers and tubs. For a hotel chain that is so proudly Indian, the Italian-branded toiletries are humdrum. Corridors have natural ventilation, which is good for the environment but tough on guests during the scorching summers.
Double rooms from 4,750 Indian Rupees (£58) in low season; and from 12,900 Indian Rupees (£157) in high. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Yes, with adapted rooms, ramps and lifts.
Besides baby cots and interconnecting rooms, extra beds are available for a nominal charge. There are children’s menus at every restaurant. The staff goes out of its way to pamper younger guests with board games, puppets, toys and books. The hotel organizes trips to local museums—the Jawahar Kala Kendra, for instance, and Amber Fort, which has a sound and light show at night, for families. That said, the Rajputana is predominantly a business hotel, and does not have a kids’ club.
Shoba Narayan is an author, journalist and columnist. Besides writing, she is interested in nature, wine, gadgets and Sanskrit. Her lifelong mission is to get fit without exercising and lose weight without dieting.