Waking up in the morning in a large beautiful room. A servant standing right there, with your morning cup of coffee. As soon as you take a sip of your coffee you get your senses back. And you realize that you are living in a beautiful palace. But soon the alarm rings and your royal dream is broken. Isn’t it a beautiful dream? In one way or another, we all want to live a luxurious and royal life. And while dreaming of it, we wish that we can have that experience just for one single day.
India:A Royal Country
India has been a royal country since ages. From Prithviraj Chauhan to Maharana Pratap and many other Kings and Princes. We have a long history of royal families. Forts and Palaces are part of the rich culture and heritage of India. If the available data is to be believed, India has approximately 1000 forts. Be it India’s largest Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan, Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, Amer Fort in Amer, or Red Fort in Delhi and Agra. All of them had been a royal residence. And nowadays, they top the list of popular places among tourists in India.
Heritage Hotels in India
India has a large number of forts, palaces and Havelis that have now been converted into a hotel. Be it in the royal state of Rajasthan or the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh. These heritage hotels make you experience the royal life. They are known for their interiors and hospitality. And what can be more fun than living in a royal palace, just like a king or queen does? Here are some of the heritage hotels in India that are run by royal families:
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
Umaid Bhawan Palace was built in 1943 by Budhmal Rai and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob. It was the residence of the Jaipur Royal family. At that time, it was considered as World’s largest residence. It is named after Maharaja Umaid Singh. He is the grandfather of the present owner Gaj Singh. In the year 1971, he decided to convert a part of this palace into a hotel. The palace consisting of 347 rooms is divided into three parts. First, a royal residence. Second, as a museum. And third, as a luxury hotel. The hotel is run by the Taj Group of Hotels. It is a complete blend of royalty and luxury. It has 64 rooms. They are divided into four categories- Grand Royal Suite, Historical Suite, Maharaja Suite, and Maharani Suite. It has a squash court where you can enjoy your leisure time. You can also have a ride in a vintage car. Bollywood celebrity Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas tied the knot in The Umaid Bhawan Palace in 2018. Mehrangarh Fort, Bishnoi Village, and Jain Mahavira Temple are some places you can visit nearby.
Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
Rambagh palace was built in 1835 by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob. Kesar Badaran, handmaiden of Maharani Gayatri Devi lived here. It was renamed as ‘Rambagh Palace’ after Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II. It became the permanent residence of Maharaja of Jaipur in 1925. After independence, it became Raj Bhavan (Government House). It was in 1957 that this palace was converted into a hotel. It was managed by the Royal family of Jaipur till 1972. After that, it is managed by the Taj Group of Hotels. It is known as ‘Jewel of Jaipur’ It has 79 rooms that are categorized as Luxury and Palace Suite, Historical Suite, Royal Suite, Grand Royal Suite and Grand Presidential Suites. For dining, it has three options. Suvarna Mahal, where you can enjoy Indian cuisine. The Rajput Room, a multi-cuisine restaurant and The Verandah. It also has a mini-golf course inside it. You can visit BM Birla Auditorium and Moti Dungari while staying here.
Lake Palace, Udaipur
Lake Palace in Udaipur is spread in an area of 4 acres. It is located on an island in the middle of Pichola lake. Maharaja Jagat Singh II built this palace in 1746. It has majestic architecture. It has 83 rooms categorized as Luxury rooms, Palace rooms, Royal suites, Grand Royal Suites, and Shambhu Prakash suites. They provide you three dining options. Jharokha, for informal dining offering multi cuisines. Neel Kamal for fine dining offering Rajasthani cuisine. And Amrit Sagar, a stylish bar serving vintage wine and cigar. They arrange puppet shows and cultural performances for you. You can visit City Palace, Bagore ki haveli, Dharohar and bada Mahal while staying here.
Ahilya Fort, Madhya Pradesh
Ahilya Fort is a 250 years old fort. It is built on a hill and gives an amazing view of ghats. It was the residence of Ahilya Bai Holkar. Currently, it is managed by Prince Shivaji Rao Holkar. He is the son of the last ruler of Indore. It has 13 spacious rooms with antique décor. You can have breakfast at Mandap terrace, Lunch at Leafy Badam courtyard, and Dinner at poolside. They also have a library. You can also enjoy boating in the Narmada.
Gajner Palace, Bikaner
Gajner Palace is spread in 6000 acres. It was the Summer Palace of Sir Ganga Singhji. He was one of the Maharajas who ruled Bikaner in the first half of the 20th century. Later it became a hunting resort for Britishers. Prince of Wales, Governor-General Lord Elgin, Lord Ervin and, Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten has also stayed in this hotel. In 1922 it was connected to rail. It has 13 Historic suites and 32 Deluxe rooms. It is divided into four wings. Dungar Niwas, containing all the suites. Mandir Chowk, it has the reception area. Gulab Niwas having all the deluxe rooms. And Champa Niwas, a recent addition. It has rooms with courtyards. You can dine-in at The Mirage Restaurant and enjoy drinks in the desert-themed Mrigtrishna Bar. You can play billiards and tennis here. You can also enjoy nature walks, cycling, and horse riding.
Rajmahal Palace, Jaipur
It is the finest heritage hotel in Jaipur. It belongs to Maharaja H.H Sawai Jai Singh II. He built this palace for his wife, Chandra Kanwar Ranawat. In 1821, it became the official residence of British Resident Political Officer of Rajputana. In 1958, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II made it his private residence. VIPs like Queen Elizabeth II, Duke of Edinburgh, Jackie Kannedy, prince of Wales, Princess Diana, and many others. It has 23 rooms categorized as Ram Niwas, Royal Suites, Palace Suite, and Palace rooms. You can dine at The Colonnade, 51 Shades of Pink, The Orient-Occident, and The Polo Bar. You can also have the Afternoon Tea at the Terrace.
Balsamand Lake Palace, Jodhpur
Balsamand Lake Palace was built in the 17th century by Maharaja Jaswant Singh I of Jodhpur. It is spread in an area of 60 acres. It has traditional Rajputana architecture. It is located near an artificial lake. This lake was built in the 13th to provide drinking water to the residents of the area. It is also known as the Monsoon Palace. It has 26 Garden Rooms, 9 Regal Suite, and 1 Maharani suite facing the lake. It gives you five dining options- Garden restaurant, Kebab corner, Bar Lounge, Lake View restaurant, Theme dinner (on request). You can do cycling, Royal horse Buggy riding, Horse riding, Horse safari, and Village Safari.
Devigarh Palace, Udaipur
Devigarh Palace is built at the Aravalli hills in the 18th century. Rajrana Sajja Singh and his brother Ajja Singh were awarded this Palace for their bravery and loyalty in the Battle of Haldighati. In 1999, it was restored and reopened as a heritage hotel. It has 23 rooms. They are categorized as Garden Suite, Palace Suite, Aravalli Suite, and Devigarh Suite. For dining, it has a restaurant, Darbar Courtyards, Hawa Gokra, Janana Courtyard, Phool Bagh, Sheesh Mahal, and Silver Lounge. You can enjoy camel safari and play table tennis, pool and croquet here.
Laxmi Niwas Palace, Bikaner
Laxmi Niwas Palace is located in the Lallgarh Palace Complex. It is preferred by the tourists for its luxurious stay. It has 42 rooms in total. They are categorized as Royal deluxe rooms, The Palace Rooms, Historical Suite, and Royal Suites. You can dine at Swarna Mahal restaurant or Hari Mahal restaurant and enjoy your drinks at Trophy Bar. You can play tennis and table tennis. You can also enjoy cultural programs and sightseeing.
Neemrana Fort Palace, Neemrana
Neemrana fort palace is a popular heritage hotel located on the Delhi-Jaipur highway. It was constructed in 1464 A.D. It is spread in 26 acres of land. It is a ten-storeyed palace. It has 50 rooms in total with 7 normal suites, 7 luxury suites, 19 grand rooms, and 17 standard rooms. It has a restaurant for dining and a bar for enjoying drinks. You can go for a camel ride or a vintage car ride around the Neemrana fort.
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Author: Anjali Datt
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