Live like a King: A Guide to Palace Hotels in India
The stories we read during our childhood about the Maharajas and the Palaces they lived in, can now be lived without being born as a prince of a royal family. India has had a vast history of with several rulers and royalties living luxuriously in their grand palaces.
The Maharajas really had their way in the most royal fashion, with grand lifestyles and royal places to live in. India is a diverse country with rich cultural heritage.
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Experiencing India in great luxury is possible by staying in extravagant hotels which have everything to offer. There are several lavish hotels available to cater your needs and and some things beyond that.
With diverse themes and exuberant packages, hotels have completed revamped their identity today. Palace hotels, fort hotels, mansion hotels and grand hotels are just the kind of luxuries you can enjoy, to name a few.
As per tradition, Maharajas passed on their wealth and possessions to their heirs. However, their successors re-structured their assets and converted some of their prized possessions like castles into palace hotels.
Palace Hotels in India offer you the best of Indian cuisines, no matter where you visit. Such royalty and grand lifestyle can be best experienced in these majestic palace hotels. Here is a guide through all castle hotels in India.
We start our regal journey with Rajasthan holiday, a state that is defined by intricately designed palaces and fort hotels in India. The rulers of Rajasthan adorned the state with the most beautiful palaces in the country.
Though these palaces have now been converted to heritage or castle hotels, the charm and grandeur continues to remain the same. Besides, Rajasthan, palace/fort hotels are located in other parts of the country like Delhi, Kashmir etc. Read on to catch a glimpse of some of the most famous palace hotels of the country.
A Guide through various Royal Hotels in India
1. Raj Palace Hotel, Jaipur
Named ‘The World’s best heritage hotel’, Raj Palace Hotel has some of best facilities and services apart from offering relaxing spa experiences to even Kalari massage, live barbeques, gym, multimedia and restaurants that offer a large variety of cuisines including some authentic Rajasthani food like dal bati churma, kadi, kachori, etc.
[Discover various beautiful villages of Rajasthan with on an extended trip of the Golden Triangle]
The Raj Palace is also called the jewel box for the sheer amount of art on display. Regular guests in the lobby of this grandeur include the Sheikhs from Middle East and celebrities from Hollywood and Bollywood as well.
2. Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur
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The word ‘palace’ would suffice to fill in the gap there isn’t a necessity to elaborate here. The Jai Mahal is in the middle of the 18 acres of the Mughal Gardens so wherever your neck turns, your eye will only catch the greenery in the scene. Besides offering world class facilities, the Jai Mahal Palace is one of the best places for weddings, get together etc.
[Explore the beautiful architecture of the Jaipur City Palace on our tours in Jaipur]
The garden itself can accommodate up to 2000 people and then banquet and conference halls inside for other gatherings. Life size chess board is a popular attraction here along with other amenities like Badminton and Tennis Court, Pool table, Table Tennis etc.
3. Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
If you want to know how it feels like to take a stroll in one of the most ancient palaces of India, then Rambagh Palace is your destination. Here, you will catch a glimpse of grand furniture, ornamental gardens and rooms that were once the chambers of kings who ruled the state.
The legendary peacock suite gives a view of the Mughal terrace and garden where Holi was celebrated with great pomp and splendour. There is a lot this palace hotel offers.
[Discover the rich heritage of Rajasthan on our Golden Triangle Heritage Tour]
There are 79 rooms beautifully decorated with satin and silk drapes that make you feel like a king or queen. Guide to palace hotels in India would say that has struck a balance between traditional and modern aesthetics.
4. Samode Palace, Jaipur
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Another beautiful palace hotel that brightly reflects the likes of the Indo-Saracenic architecture, Samode Palace in Jaipur is a perfect combination of Indian and Mughal architecture. This palace hotel will be your glimpse to the past as it 475 years old and is still going strong.
The Bougainvillea covered courtyards capture your breath while the narrow staircase by the garden will take you through the lounges that reflect the beauty of the culture with its intricately designed arches, mirror work and decorated walls. The beauty of the place is doubled with the royal suites that go through the courtyard where each of them have their own distinct decor and design.
5. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
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Another blast from the past, the Umaid Bhawan Palace was built between 1928 and 1943. This is a sandstone monument that is slightly yellow and therefore stands out among the rest of the royal hotels of the country.
Located in the desert capital of Jodhpur, our guide to palace hotels in India says that this palace is rich in history and tradition. Umaid Bhawan Palace is a huge 347 room palace that took 15 years to complete.
The palace is a perfect blend of the eastern and the western architectural influences. There is also a 105 foot high cupola which is influenced by Renaissance. There are other towers that follow the Rajput tradition. This is one of the few mansion hotels in the country that offers you an authentic royal Rajasthan experience.
6. Bal Samand Lake Palace, Jodhpur
The destination is Jodhpur again. The city that has been the capital of the Marwar dynasty and houses one of the most beautiful castle hotels in the country, the Bal Samand Lake Palace. Needless to say, this palace hotel is situated by the side of the Balsamand lake.
[Explore best of Jodhpur and the beautiful cities of Rajasthan on our Best of Rajasthan tour]
The Bal Samand lake palace is built on red sandstone in the authentic Rajput architectural style and it was the summer residence of the Maharajas of Jodhpur. The lake is artificial but it used for the garden landscape of the Palace Hotel. The Bal Samand Lake Palace houses all the modern amenities required to make your stay pleasant and peaceful.
7. Ajit Bhawan, Jodhpur
Rajputs have indeed laid the foundation for perfection with respect to architecture in the country. That is what makes us go back to Jodhpur yet again. Ajit Bhawan palace hotel is a true portrayal of the Rajput legacy and is the pride of the country today. The Ajit Bhawan Palace hotel is intricately developed in order to live up to the legacy of the Rajput era.
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The light of the Heritage always keeps burning in the restaurant and every room is decorated with the grandest of amenities. Some of the attractions of the Ajit Bhawan Palace Hotel include the café, Garden restaurant, a food banquet called ‘Dhani’ where food is served the authentic Rajasthani style, the Prince bar, etc. It occupies pride of places amongst guide to palace hotels in India.
8. Fort Chanwa Luni, Jodhpur
Fort Chanwa Luni is another luxury and heritage palace hotel located in the streets of Jodhpur. Though the rulers of the place left long back, the fort continues to keep the charm alive and bubbling. This is one of the few fort hotels that continues to live up to its glory and pride as it was owned by Maharaja Dalip Singh and Rani Madhu Devi.
[Live the desert life of Rajasthanis with our Rajasthan Desert Tour]
This place is a crowning glory on all the other royal hotels in Jodhpur. Like all other Fort hotels, Chanwa Luni is now a popular destination among tourists for its perfect blend of traditional and modern aesthetics.
9. Sardar Samand Palace, Pali
Another lake view awaits you at the Sardar Samand Palace. This was actually a hunting lodge built by the Maharajas of the 1930s. The architectural features of the palace have not been changed since the time it was constructed but the interiors have been carefully constructed. To sum it up, this is one of the best ways to relax and have fun.
[There is more to Rajasthan than grand palaces and the royalty. Why not go for a Rajasthan Wildlife Tour?]
The view from the palace is phenomenal. The breathtaking view of the lake has a soothing effect on all senses. The restaurant specialises in continental and Indian cuisines. You can laze around with your dinner plate by the lake or inside.
10. Devi Garh, Udaipur
Udaipur, a popular destination for royal hotels in the city, houses another remarkable architectural marvel, the Devi Garh Heritage hotel. A palace built in the 18th century, Devi Garh is located on a stunning hilltop and has been intricately carved into a house of luxury.
This is an all-suite luxury hotel with the best of facilities and consists of 39 grand suites with each of them being designed intricately. Every suite reflects the perfect blend of traditional aesthetics with contemporary mannerisms.
[Visit the famous palaces of Udaipur on our Golden Triangle Tour with Udaipur]
The whole palace hotel has a neat carpet of marble flooring with a 12-feet tall tower made blocks of uncut marble. The Devi Garh palace hotel is spread across a massive 1200 sq ft, with an enchanting swimming pool that has black marble flooring.
11. Fateh Prakash Palace, Udaipur
Revisiting the glorious past of ancient India with Fateh Prakash Palace in Udaipur. The place sheltered the Maharanas of Mewar who ruled the place from 1884 to 1930. The Fateh Prakash Palace shares it grounds with the banks of the Lake Pichola and it looks like the Palace has been constructed for a fairytale.
Everything here is regal, from interiors to beautiful display of armors and weapons. The Durbar Hall Sabah Nagar and Crystal Gallery reflects the wealthy state of the dynasty.
12. Lake Palace, Udaipur
Photo credit: Puneet Sharma - wikimedia
The thought of living in an island is quite exciting, isn’t it? Think of a palace rising nestled in an island. You will need to take a boat ride to the Lake Palace hotel that is surrounded by Aravalli hills while other palaces of the city serve as the backdrop. The palace has suites built in the Chandra Prakash style which literally means the ‘gleam of the moon’.
[Discover the captivating past of Rajasthan on our Rajasthan Tour with Golden Triangle]
There are gilt moldings, marble columns with neat sculpted inscriptions and the softest of drapes that run through the Lake Palace hotel. There are 17 suites and 66 rooms all of which offer stunning and impeccable view and then all around you is a décor that engulfs you with a feeling of being royalty.
13. Shikarbadi, Udaipur
A visit to the dynasty of Mewar will treat your eyes to the view of Aravalli hills and animals from the wild like the spotted deer, the Nilgai, the wild boar and peacocks. The lake that surrounds the Shikarbadi Palace hotels brings birds here from their natural habitat.
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All the suites in Shikarbadi Palace face the deer park and you can see most of the sanctuaries and hills that surround the place. You will find yourself transported to a completely different era when the royalty and grandeur engulf you in this palace hotel in India
The attractions of the Shikarbadi Palace Hotel include a private airstrip, a farm that breeds the best of the Marwari horses and a cricket field. Doesn’t that include everything that is reminiscent of an ancient and modern era? Every moment becomes a memory at the Shikarbadi Palace.
14. Shiv Niwas Palace, Udaipur
The Shiv Niwas Palace that once housed the court meeting of the victorious king Maharana Fateh Singh can now be your holiday destination. This crescent shaped palace is a stricture from the 20th century which was once reserved only for visiting dignitaries and is now considered among the best heritage/royal hotels in the country.
[Rajasthan's culture is as rich as its heritage, experience it with our Rajasthan Cultural Tour]
The palace has some of the best suites to offer and each one is different from the other. The view from the suites offers a panoramic view of the beauty of Udaipur. The Shiv Niwas Palace is a popular venue for some of the biggest events of the country.
15. Gajner Palace, Bikaner
Gajner Palace hotel located in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan is beauty personified. The palace is filled with suites and rooms decorated with royalty and extravagance. The distinctive feature of the Gajner Palace are its terrace and balconies.
[Experience the royalty of Rajasthan on our Royal Rajasthan Tour]
The view from here will treat your eyes to the beauty of Thar Desert. Besides, the Gajner Palace offers some really special deals like nature walks, boat rides, sanctuary dinners and desert safaris.
16. Laxmi Niwas Palace, Bikaner
Bikaner houses one of the most palace hotels in the India, the Laxmi Niwas Palace. With its intricately sculpted walls, mesmerising marble flooring and domed rooftops; all you have to do is enjoy lavish experiences while your hosts cater to your needs round the clock. Apart from a spa, bookshop, two restaurants and a reading room, a beautiful swimming pool and a billiards room are also provided as a part of the services.
17. Bikaner House "The Palace Hotel", New Delhi
The heat of the deserts of Rajasthan could be balanced only with the chills of Mt. Abu. After all, that is where most of the rulers of the Rajasthan went for a holiday. The Bikaner House at Mt. Abu could be your ideal holiday destination. The Palace Hotel as it is was called earlier has now been classified as a Heritage Hotel.
The palace hotel is a treat to your eyes for the yellow pillars and sleek sculptures instill a sense of royalty. The Palace hotel consists of 33 rooms each one decorated with fervour and vibrancy. Traditional meals are served throughout the day.
18. Neemrana Fort Palace, Alwar
According our guide to palace hotels in India, Neemrana Palace is one of the most unique. Since aesthetics and beauty continue to remain a primary factor, Neemrana offers some of the most magical weekend gateways, celebrations, feasts, festivals and conferences.
[Explore the cultural state of India and its royalty on our Majestic Rajasthan Holiday tour]
The Neemrana is a seven wings palace which is built over 12 layers stretching across a vast 2.5 hectares of lush green gardens. To make the experience better, there are hanging gardens, two swimming pools, an ayurvedic massage and India’s first zip line.
19. Udai Bilas Palace, Udaipur
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Udai Bilas Palace is nestled in the blue waters of the Gain Sagar lake on one side and on the other is a cove of the private forest reserve. This is a living paradise that has tinges of royal charm in it.
The melodious chirping of birds, verdant surroundings and exquisite architecture make this place one of the most sought after places in India. This palace has nothing but beauty entwined in rich culture and tradition.
There are many other Royal Palace hotels in India like Fernhills Palace, Kasmanda Palace, Wildflower Hall, Deogarh Mahal, Chandra Mahal Haveli, Lalitha Mahal Palace, Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mansion Hotels like the one in Kashmir and the Ajit Mansion, Jodhpur to name a few.