Rajasthan’s state capital is a compelling blend of huge hillside forts, extravagant palaces, bustling bazaars, memorable heritage hotels and almost comically thronged streets.
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Jaipur, Rajasthan, India|www.tajhotels.com|
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Situated just south of the city centre in a notably leafy enclave, Rambagh started in the 1830s as a relatively modest home of the queen’s handmaiden and evolved into a royal guesthouse and hunting lodge.
By the 1920s it was the main residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur with cenotaphs, formal Mughal-style gardens and a chandelier-hung ballroom. It’s a splendid monument to the taste and style of one of royal Rajasthan’s pre-eminent dynasties. Still wowing the great and the good, it remains one of the city’s most famous hotels.
Rooms and suites all boast an opulent heritage-style feel, with retro furniture and décor. The fanciest Royal Suites were once the royal family’s personal chambers.
Each evening, hotel butlers conduct guided walks through the property offering a colourful mix of history and anecdote, and guests can take horse-and-carriage rides through the grounds. The baradari experience comprises private musical performances in a garden pavilion, and there are several fine-dining options.
Although broad and generally busy boulevards ring much of the property, its walls and gardens ensure it remains a haven of tranquility. Despite being fairly central, Jaipur’s size and traffic means you may not wish to walk to the main areas of interest such as the Old City and City Palace, but there are always taxis or tuk-tuks available.
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India’s cultural essence combined with its most iconic sights and greatest bucket list experiences, all distilled into one compact, diverse and vibrant region.