Think Rajasthan and it conjures up images of majestic forts and magnificent palaces, brave Rajput warriors and beautiful queens. And what better way to experience the royal heritage of Rajasthan than staying in one of the magnificent palace hotels. Become a Maharaja and enjoy the opulent luxuries fit for a king. Here is a list of five heritage hotels which are the last word in luxury.
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The 347-room palace in Jodhpur , Umaid Bhawan Palace, is one of the most preferred venues for weddings and is an absolute favorite with the Hollywood and Indian celebrities. Its Maharaja and Maharani suites are over five times larger than average flats in Delhi and Mumbai. Don’t believe? Check this out: The Maharani suite is spread over a sprawling 4850 sq ft. Phew!
Taking a milk bath in pink Italian marble tub designed by Polish artist Stefan Norblin, sinking in sofas designed by Emile Jacques Ruhlmann and pampering yourself with Molton Brown toiletries are also part of the Umaid Bhawan experience. The palace experience also involves being looked after by direct descendants of the palace retainers. Discreetly and unobtrusively, the palace retainers will guide you through the pleasures that lie within the palace walls.
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2. Udaipur Lake Palace
Located on Jag Niwas island in Lake Pichola, Udaipur Lake Palace, has 83 suites and rooms. The stay at the luxury hotel involves candlelight dinners overlooking Udaipur’s palaces, being driven around in vintage cars, a ride on ceremonial regal barge across the Pichola. The story behind the Lake Palace in Udaipur is very interesting. Centuries ago, a prince from the House of Mewar used the Jag Mandir as his pleasure pad for picnics with the ladies of the Zenana. When the King came to know, the parties were banned. Undeterred by parental warning, the young prince built a new palace – the Jag Niwas – on a different island in Lake Pichola. While the palace continues to be synonymous for opulence, luxury and elegance, the decadence has been replaced by romance. The Lake Palace is considered to be the most romantic hotel in India.
3. Laxmi Vilas Palace
Laxmi Vilas Palace located in Bharatpur is one of the famous heritage hotels of the country. From Viceroys looking for shikar to royals like the Shah of Iran and Shah of Afghanistan, the hotel has played host to all. Though the palace was converted into a heritage hotel in 1994, a part of the majestic building continues to be the residence of the erstwhile royal family. The royal character of the building is evident in each of the palace’s rooms. The furniture, furnishings, photographs and paintings are reminders of the days of the Raj.
4. Samode Palace
Located in Jaipur, the 475-year-old palace is the epitome of regal Indo-Saracenic architecture. Samode Palace is known for its contemporary luxury and its signature service. The palace is adorned with stunning mirror works and charming arches, painted walls and ceilings. The royal suits have its own Jacuzzi and a private garden. Each room is a combination of traditional opulence and modern luxury.
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5. Sariska Palace
Built by the Maharaja of Alwar as a royal hunting lodge, the Sariska Palace is a perfect blend of French and Indian palace architecture. Sariska is the perfect setting to relive the luxury and magic of regal charisma. For a price, you can live in the fully renovated and restored royal chambers that were used by Maharani and Maharaja. Each of the suits boast of modern amenities and royal appeal.
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