The royal families of Rajasthan led a lavish life indeed. With magnanimous forts, colourful jewellery and stories of valour, the Rajputana were one of the most prominent ruling clans of the world. The colours and culture of the Rajputana empire still endures in post-Independence era, albeit in a different way. The princely states of Rajasthan were assimilated into Independent India and most of their riches taken away. With families becoming nuclear, many of their living quarters were falling into disuse. So, a decision to convert these forts and palaces to hotels was taken. A decision that has allowed us to experience the royalty and listen to the stories of yore. The walls of these hotels are deeply steeped in history, taking you back ages when the Maharajas stayed in lavish splendour. There are also some who have incorporated these components of history and culture into fort structures built recently. We tell you about a few of the majestic hotels in Jaipur that should be on your bucket list.
The flagship property of FRHI hotels in India, The Fairmont Jaipur is a fort which amalgamates the best of Mughal and Rajputana architecture. With 199 rooms inclusive of 3 massive suites, you can lie back and enjoy the touch of royalty. Be it the super soft mattresses with the four poster beds, the wooden floors or a marble floored walk in bathroom with a separate Hammam bath, the Fairmont attends to each and every one of your luxuries. The Parrot, which is the official insignia of the property shows up repeatedly in wall hangings, lamps and doorways.
Zoya, the all-day dining restaurant at Fairmont Jaipur features five different dining experiences from the luxury tent to a lily pond dining outside. Every evening the jaali doors of Aza open to reveal a regal library bar. Reminiscent of an emperor’s hunting lodge there are leather bound chairs, dim lighting, soft music along with tapestries all over along with some plush carpets and old world oak cabinets. With a seating capacity of 36, the bar boasts an interesting collection of books that includes mythology, literature and history.
Where: 2, Riico Kukas, Jaipur, Rajasthan 303101
Step into a 270-year-old Indo-Saracenic architectural masterpiece set amidst landscaped Mughal gardens at Taj Jai Mahal Palace in Jaipur. The 94 rooms and six suites offer you spectacular views of the Pink city and palace gardens. The architecture pays tribute to the two of the dominant kingdoms of North India. There are two restaurants in the hotel. Cinnamon serves some contemporary Indian food from the princely states that comprised Rajasthan. Giardini on the other hand serves out some authentic Italian food. The Mughal gardens are one of the romantic in the country. The Banjot Private Dining is a throwback to a luxurious meal which was the staple of the royalty which resided here.
Where: Jacob Road, Civil Lines, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302006
ITC Hotels has a range of experential hotels for the discerning traveler and why should Rajasthan be left behind. ITC Rajputana at Jaipur pays homage to the Rajputana haveli architecture. Colours of gold and crimson line the rooms as we relaxed on the signature Sweet Sleeper bed. Under the Responsible Luxury ethos of ITC group, the hotel preserves the original cuisine of the Rajputana. Their speciality restaurant, Peshawri and Jaipur pavilion offers some finger licking food from the western part of the Indian subcontinent. The Kaya Kalp Spa with it’s ornate design and soothing ambience provides for the perfect rejuvenation.
Where: Palace Road, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302006
Maharaja Madhogarh Singh’s 400 year old fort is situated about 40 kms outside of Jaipur. Restored by Thakur Bhawani Singh, this is one of rarer forts which still has some rusted armaments lying around. The hotel is quite small, only 13 rooms. But where it lacks in number, it makes up in rustic quality. The thick walls and the original bathrooms offers you a peek into the lives of the royalty. We had our breakfast on the ramparts of the Fort which affords a 360 degree of view of the grounds below. The village safari and walks provide you with a peek into the rural life of India. Traditional weavers, potters and carpenters will enthrall you with the rich cultural heritage that Rajasthan possesses.
Where: Tehsil Bassi, District Jaipur, Madhogarh, Rajasthan 303301
Alila Fort Bishangarh
Opening in April 2017, Alila Fort Bishangarh is a 230 year old heritage fortress. The original fort has been left intact. Another warrior fort which has withstood the test of time, it’s simplicity underlies it’s grandeur. The Bishan garh fort is a classic example of amalgamation of Jaipur architecture with that of Britishers and Mughals. The escarpments have 2 metre thick walls around which the newer parts of the fort have been built. The 59 suite hotel offers a plethora of views through the large windows.
The Alila spa is enclosed in the dungeon within the Fort and is cut from granite rocks while Madhuveni, a hotel’s bar has a cigar and cognac turret. Part of the sustainable tourism motto of the Alila group, they offer bespoke experiences with their Leisure Concierge. The famed Alila Experience comprises five themes covering Cultural Learning (love of history & artisanship), Conscious Living (wellness, environs & community), Active Spirits (outdoor sporting pursuits), Culinary Arts (Cooking School & Food Trails) and Couple Celebration. One of the hotels to look out this coming year.
Where: Off NH-8 at Manoharpur, Bishangarh Village, Jaipur, Bishangarh, Rajasthan 303103:
Nahargarh Fort Palace
The Nahargarh Fort Palace is located adjacent to the Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary and is a perfect place to base your visit there. Once a hunting lodge of the Maharajas, it is perfectly lodged in the foothills of the Aravalli ranges. What sets this hotel apart from the others is the plethora of gardens it has. Set against the white facade of the fort, the greenery offers a stark contrast. The gardens and surrounding areas are teeming with birds and small animals. The 68 ultra luxurious rooms offers you a peaceful retreat away from the maddening daze of the city life.
Where: Ranthambhore Road, Village Khilchipur, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan 322001
Google Maps has come out with a new feature where they people to create a list. A list of all the places that you can put in one place and share with your friends and family. Although Google earlier used to save certain places and see them later, lists allows you to categorize into specific lists. It is pretty easy and can be added just by going to Your Places on the left side menu and add the places you love the most. I am sharing my list of Fort Hotels of Jaipur with you.
So, next time you feel the need to experience the lap of luxury, check out these exuberant fort hotels of Jaipur and wake up in luxury. Tell us which one you liked the most in the comments below. This article first appeared in Go Getter(in flight magazine of Go Air).