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17 Rajasthan hotels to book for the festive season | Condé Nast Traveller India | India


Rajasthan is an easy choice for having a grand time, whether it’s being pampered and living a fairy-tale in a former palace or snuggling into a luxury tent under starry skies. Whether you prefer old-school courtesies or a more buttoned-down hospitality, a city suite or jungle villa, a holiday gathering or a getaway for one, some of Rajasthan’s finest keys are on this list.

17 Rajasthan hotels to book

Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

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Rajasthan hotels to book - jaipur hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan
Rambagh Palace
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Erstwhile home to royals Sawai Man Singh II and Gayatri Devi, Taj Hotels’ Rambagh Palace is a beautifully restored palace with 78 lavish rooms and suites on a 47-acre property. The hotel’s dining options include a royal Indian menu at Suvarna Mahal, which was the original palace dining room; afternoon tea at Verandah Cafe; and single malts and cocktails at the aptly named Polo Bar — the Rambagh Polo Ground is adjacent. Slot in billiards or tennis or take an evening ride in the vintage horse-drawn buggy. This is just the setting for a fancy do, with event spaces including the former durbar hall with crystal chandeliers, arches framing hand-painted silk panelling, an antique mirror ceiling and adjoining gardens. Doubles from Rs29,500 per night for the Palace Room Garden View or Courtyard View. Website.

The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur

Rajasthan hotels to book - udaipur hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan
Kohinoor Suite at The Oberoi Udaivilas. Photo: Oberoi Hotels & Resorts
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With a dreamy setting on the banks of Lake Pichola amid 30 acres of gardens, The Oberoi Udaivilas is a longstanding romantic favourite. It is within an hour’s drive from Udaipur airport. The elegant rooms and suites come with Mewar-inspired motifs, marble bathrooms and marvellous views of the lake or the pool and gardens. Enjoy Indian and international fare at the all-day diner Suryamahal or out on the adjoining Chandni terrace that overlooks the lake and City Palace. Alcoholic coffees and frozen cocktails await at The Bar and come dinner, savour regional delicacies and live music at the lakefront Udaimahal. The Unforgettable Holidays offer begins at Rs24,500 per night for a minimum stay of two nights, for two adults; an additional room for two kids aged under 12 can be booked at 50% of the parents’ room rate, until 30 November 2020; more details here. For longer stays, check out the Unforgettable Getaways offer here, with all meals included, and valid until 31 March 2021. Website.

Samode Haveli, Jaipur 

Rajasthan hotels to book - jaipur hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan
The courtyard at Samode Haveli.
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Built nearly 200 years ago as the palatial residence of the rulers of Samode, the family opened out their palatial residence to guests as the heritage boutique hotel Samode Haveli. Located in the heart of Jaipur, Samode Haveli is one of four properties. Four-poster beds, exquisite fabrics and rolltop baths plump up the 39 luminous rooms and suites, which overlook the pools, fountains and gardens. Hand-painted murals adorn the restaurant that serves traditional Rajasthani and international fare. Unwind with afternoon tea in the verandah lounge and lounge poolside over cocktails. Samode Haveli arranges traditional puppetry or music performances, as well as city tours and leopard safaris. Doubles from Rs7,000 per night. Website.

Mundota Fort & Palace near Jaipur

Rajasthan hotels to book - jaipur hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan
Mundota Fort & Palace
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Located a half-hour from Jaipur, the 450-year-old Mundota Palace is a heritage polo resort that offers a sumptuous stay. Each of its 38 rooms and suites features beautiful frescoes and exquisitely carved four-poster beds. The palace, spread over 10 acres, encompasses gardens with peacocks, sand dunes, terraces and pavilions, and is well-suited for hosting intimate and large-scale events. The cherry on the top is the recent opening of Mundota Hilltop War Fort, a five-suite hideaway on the property that is especially suited for an exclusive gathering. The fort stay comes with private plunge pools and jacuzzis and 360-degree views of the surrounding Aravallis. There’s plenty to do, from paramotoring to heritage walks, rural excursions and puppet theatre. Guests can also enjoy a private polo match, riding lessons or even at picnic at the Mundota Polo Grounds, which stables over 50 horses. Per night, doubles from Rs11,000 at Mundota Palace, and from Rs23,000 at Mundota Hilltop War Fort. Booking the entire five-suite fort starts at Rs99,000 per night. Website.

Suryagarh, Jaisalmer 

Rajasthan hotels to book - jaisalmer hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan
Jaisalmer grills and curries by the lakeside at Suryagarh
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An opulent immersion awaits at heritage-inspired hotel Suryagarh, a five-hour drive from Jodhpur airport and sister property to MRS Group’s design hotel Narendra Bhawan. The Thar haveli looks out over infinity pools and the scrub desert, while rich local textures and traditional accents embellish the suites and rooms. Lingering over meals is encouraged at the 24-hour restaurant Nosh, which is accompanied by the bar, Draksh and specialty restaurant, Legends of Marwar that serves up the fabled fare of medieval hunting expeditions and royal kitchens. The hotel arranges for lots of fun experiences at the property, from a lakeside night of kebabs and biryani to sessions in archery and Sivananda yoga, and even more to do around, including mountain biking, ghost trails, birdwatching and temple-hopping. Doubles from Rs13,000 per night. Website.

ITC Rajputana, Jaipur

Rajasthan hotels to book - jaipur hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan
Rajputana Royale at the ITC Rajputana
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Centrally located in the Pink City, ITC Rajputana is set on the former estate of the prime minister of Jaipur. Its regal-influenced design includes restaurants styled after havelis. Dine at tandoori restaurant, Peshawri and tap along to the band playing at the shiny happy bar, Sheesh Mahal. The 218-key property is about a half-hour drive from the airport. A business hotel, ITC Rajputana is kitted out to host events with an open-air venue called Hawa Mahal, two meeting rooms and three banquet halls. Allow the concierge to arrange for sightseeing tours, and food trails with a hotel chef. Doubles from Rs5,000. Website.

Mountbatten Lodge, Ranakpur

Rajasthan hotels to book - ranakpur hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan
Mountbatten Lodge
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Four plush suites, each designed with marble bathrooms, spacious courtyards and a private pool, form this boutique property nestled in Ranakpur Valley. Mountbatten Lodge is a two-hour drive from Udaipur airport, and is close to the historic Kumbhalgarh Fort and the Ranakpur Jain temples. It is quite the sylvan escape for city-dwellers and makes for a snug stopover on an itinerary that includes Udaipur or Jodhpur. Delight in sundowners looking out at the majestic Aravallis; lunch is served under a 300-year-old banyan tree, while dinner is by candlelight in the tented dining room. Head outdoors for horse trekking through the jungle, village explorations and leopard safaristhe Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is nearby. Doubles from Rs30,000 per night, inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Website.

Fairmont Jaipur 

Rajasthan hotels to book - jaipur hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan
Fairmont Jaipur
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Set in the Aravalli hills, and done up with timber doors, soaking tubs and vaulted ceilings, the 245-key Fairmont Jaipur is a fine choice for a weekend or business trip, or a festive gathering. The property is a 45-minute drive from the airport. There’s a grand ballroom, seven meeting rooms and outdoor space. Zoya specialises in regional cuisine while Zarin rustles up recipes from the royal kitchens of India; there’s also a tea lounge, a cigar lounge and a library bar. Go exploring on hill treks and hot-air balloon rides. The Diwali package starts at Rs15,000 per night for stay, breakfast, and either lunch or dinner, for two adults, and is bookable until 20 November 2020; Christmas and New Year’s Eve packages to be announced shortly. Website.

Alila Fort Bishangarh near Jaipur

Rajasthan hotels to book - jaipur hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan
Alila Fort Bishangarh
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Built in a 230-year-old hilltop fort amid the Aravalli range, Alila Fort Bishangarh was in the making for nearly a decade. The hotel lies about an hour and a half from Jaipur airport. Its one-of-a-kind rooms and suites come with valley views, block-printed textiles, thikri mirrorwork and large bathtubs. Families will appreciate the kids club, and the specialty restaurants offer a range of choices for every meal. Amarsar restaurant has a menu inspired by the Silk Route while the Mediterranean influences poolside restaurant Haveli. Nazaara offers dining under the stars with Shekhawat and Bishangarh food, or Rajput hunter cuisine with live sandpit and firepit cooking. Savour whisky blends and smoked delicacies at bar and restaurant Madhuveni (named for the Bishangarh village river), which also has a cigar lounge. Or hit the Champagne bar Kachchawa, which also proffers coffee, tea and cake. Add a wellness focus with yoga classes, meet the local artisans skilled in making jewellery and weaving carpets, go exploring on horseback, and take culinary classes. The warrior fort also makes an impressive backdrop for events, with its banquet halls, conference room, lawns and terraces. The Heart of Bishangarh package, bookable until 31 October 2020 for stays until 31 March 2021, starts at Rs29,500 per room per night for a minimum two-night stay, inclusive of breakfast and a major meal. Website.

The Rohet House, Jodhpur

Rajasthan hotels to book - jodhpur hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan

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It is easy to lounge in the tub of the chandelier-lit marble bathroom in your suite at Jodhpur’s The Rohet House, and forget that you are in a bustling city. Six suites and two rooms fill out this discreet stay, open only to residents including kids over the age of 14. It is tastefully done up with Rajasthani murals and pretty rugs by the House of Rohet’s Siddharth and Rashmi Singh, who combined their keen aesthetic sense with the cosy comfort of a family home. Make sure to try the Rajasthani thali and the eggplant roulade at the in-house restaurant, which serves up Indian and continental fare. Doubles from Rs20,000 per night. Website.

RAAS Devigarh near Udaipur

Rajasthan hotels to book - udaipur hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan
RAAS Devigarh
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Less than an hour’s drive from Udaipur airport, RAAS Devigarh is an 18th-century palace turned into an all-suite hotel, with lots of period touches and romantic nooks that make it a perfect couple’s getaway. Original wall paintings from the palace hang at the restaurant, which overlook the gardens and hills. Dine at sunset on the pool deck, by candlelight in the Silver Lounge, amid hand-decorated mirrors at Sheesh Mahal, on a private terrace under the stars at the rooftop, or out in the Janana Courtyard that used to be the palace women’s quarters. If the outdoors are calling, explore the nearby village of Delwara, go temple-hopping and take a day tour to the City of Lakes. Or hit reset with a wellness retreat, which blends Ayurvedic health consultations with private treatments and sessions; more here. Doubles from Rs18,400 per night. Website.

DoubleTree by Hilton Jaipur Amer

Rajasthan hotels to book - jaipur hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan
DoubleTree Hilton Jaipur Amer
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Within an hour’s drive from Jaipur airport and close to the city centre, the DoubleTree by Hilton Jaipur Amer offers both convenience for the urban traveller and picturesque views of the Aravallis. The DoubleTree’s signature warm cookie is your first taste at this newly opened property, while the 151 rooms and suites offer all mod cons. Begin the day at the all-day, multi-cuisine restaurant The Amber Kitchen before working your way to drinks at the open-air Garden Bar and the rooftop Aravalli Bar and Grill. If hosting a business or intimate event is on your mind, there are ample open-air venues and indoor spaces, from spacious lawns to a ballroom and boardrooms. And if you feel like going out exploring, the concierge can arrange for excursions from city tours to a hot-air balloon ride or an ATV drive. The ongoing Great Small Breaks package offers doubles from Rs4,499 per night with inclusions such as complimentary breakfast and dinner, a gourmet masterclass and free stay and food for kids up to 12 years of age. Website.

Khem Villas, Ranthambore

Rajasthan hotels to book - ranthambore hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan
Khem Villas
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Situated on the outskirts of Ranthambore, and about a three-hour drive from Jaipur airport, Khem Villas offers villas, tents, cottages and rooms that are both chic and environmentally sensitive. Soft fabrics and teak furniture plump up the interiors, while the forests call beyond the bay windows. The tents look into tiger territory (Khem Villas was set up by Govardhan Rathore, a major name in tiger conservation), the cottages come with private courtyards, and the villas offer open-air baths. The kitchen prepares all-vegetarian, Indian and International fare, mostly sourced from the property’s organic farm. There are twice-daily jungle rides run by the Forest Department, walks with nature guides in the surrounding wilderness, and herds of blackbuck to be spotted within an hour’s drive. Or venture into the property’s Age Veda Spa for the healing power of nature, with over 6km of walking tracks on its 30-acre spread of forest, water bodies and grasslands. Doubles from Rs16,000 for standard rooms and Rs35,000 for jungle villas per night. Website.

Narendra Bhawan, Bikaner

Rajasthan hotels to book - bikaner hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan
Narendra Bhawan
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Once the palace of the last reigning Maharaja of Bikaner, Narendra Bhawan is an 82-key design hotel that takes its cues from its regal past and the travels and life of its former ruler. It is located a half-hour’s drive from Bikaner airport. Portuguese tiles, Bikaner terrazzo floors and wall hangings by Rajasthani tribal artisans enliven the rooms while Bombay Art Deco motifs complement jaali-work railings procured from havelis and the Republic Suite is inspired by Le Corbusier’s clean lines and neutral palette. Eat local (via the royal kitchen menu) at all-day diner Pearls & Chiffon, indulge in coffee and dessert at Mad Hatter and have cocktails on the Verandah. The hotel arranges historical tours of Bikaner, as well as live grills by the infinity pool and sundowners in quiet oases. Doubles from Rs6,000 per night. Website.

RAAS Chhatrasagar near Jodhpur

Rajasthan hotels to book - jodhpur hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan
RAAS Chhatrasagar
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Soundproofed tents edge a reservoir at RAAS Chhatrasagar, located about 2.5 hours from much-loved sister property RAAS Jodhpur (doubles from Rs18,160). The all-day dining restaurant faces the lake, and serves Rajasthani, Indian and international fare that draws on the in-house organic veggie garden; expect herb-infused beverages at the bar. Jodhpur stone, teak furniture and sky-lights dress up the interiors, while aircon ensures the camp is open year-round. The property is visited by over 200 species of birds, so you can actually actively immerse yourself in nature without budging from the verandah or raising more than a glass. Though of course there’s plenty for the involved: chat over a blazing fire under the stars, accompany a naturalist, explore the farm, go temple-hopping, take a jeep-drive through the grasslands, meet the villagers or join the yoga retreat. Doubles from Rs25,600 per night. Website.

28 Kothi, Jaipur

Rajasthan hotels to book - jaipur hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan
28 Kothi
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Hand-painted murals and lattice windows embellish the five rooms at this stylish little city guesthouse dressed up by Lebanese designer Nur Kaoukji. (Choose the Moonstone room if you love a good bathtub.) 28 Kothi is centrally located, within 20 minutes of Jaipur airport and close to the city’s shopping and sightseeing gems. For quiet time, curl up with a book in the library or lounge in the terraces and gardens that screen out the urban bustle. The kitchen serves up vegetarian fare and yoga classes can be pre-booked. Doubles from Rs7,900 per night, with the full five-room house (two suites, two doubles, one single) for Rs30,000 per night. Website.

Mihir Garh near Jodhpur

Rajasthan hotels to book - jaipur hotels, weekend getaway in rajasthan

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The nine-suite, sumptuous Mihir Garh is quite the desert mirage, complete with plunge pools and fireplaces. An hour’s drive from Jodhpur, Mihir Garhand the family’s ancestral Rohet Garh (doubles from Rs8,000 per night)are the stuff of historical romance novels, with stables of gorgeous Marwari horses and expansive views of desert scrub and lake. Both properties by the House of Rohet have a spectacular, symmetrical beauty that drew Madonna for a family holiday and Wes Anderson to shoot The Darjeeling Limited. Thakurani Jayendra Kumari’s delicious traditional recipes from safed maas to ghevar dal grace the kitchens, and are well worth the culinary lesson that includes a takeaway copy of her cookbook. Doubles from Rs30,000 per night. Website.





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