As India welcomes the British royals, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Insider Journeys – Australia’s leading Asia travel specialist – shares former and current royal residences in India’s royal heartland, Rajasthan, where travellers can experience their own accommodation befitting a king and queen.
Insider Journeys’ list of the top six ‘royal palace’ stays in Rajasthan for sampling a lifestyle of opulence are:
- Taj Lake Palace: Built for the Udaipur royal Family in 1746, this gleaming white castle seems to float on Lake Pichola in Udaipur. With opulent guestrooms, ornate courtyard gardens and breathtaking views, it has gained a reputation as the most romantic hotel in the world.
- Shahpura Bagh: Originally the summer residence of local royal family, the equivalent of a duke or earl, this heritage gem hidden amongst lush greenery on a historic estate. An ideal midway stop between Jaipur and Udaipur, it’s an unhurried oasis amid neighbouring forts, legends and landscapes of safari and wetlands.
- Nimaj Palace: One of the oldest heritage hotels in India, the Nimaj Palace relives a medieval period with rich furnishings in this modest palace. Beyond the towering gates of the distinctive red sandstone, guests past the traditional Dalwans (country kin’s sitouts) to the glamorous courtyard and the warm ambiance of the palace.
- Rambagh Palace: Once the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur, this opulently-restored palace built 1835 sits amongst 47 landscaped acres and is extravagantly decorated with intricate marble latticework, balustrades, cupolas and cenotaphs.
- Umaid Bhawan Palace: One of the grandest palace hotels in India, the Jodhpur royal family still live in the palace, making this the sixth largest private residence in the world. Overlooking the blue city of Jodhpur, the palace includes a family museum, lush gardens and a subterranean pool.
- Samode Palace: The intricate palace at Samode is nearly 500 years old, an excellent example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The rooftop infinity pool looks out over the lush Aravali hills. Elegant rooms are luxuriously decorated with four-poster beds and carved couches with a traditional flower motif throughout.
Travellers can enjoy royal comforts on Insider Journeys’ 8 day ‘Rajasthan’s Hidden Heritage and Lake Palace Experience’ private tour package from $2,142 per person twin share. This India special stays offer* includes 7 nights’ accommodation in unique heritage hotels, including the Taj Lake Palace, Shahpura Bagh, Nimaj Palace or Chhatra Sagar^ luxury tented camp, local English-speaking guides, breakfast daily, transport in air-conditioned vehicles, entrance fees (camera fees not included) and return airport transfers.
The itinerary includes Jaipur, Nimaj, Shahpura, Ranakpur and Udaipur. Add a few more days and indulge in the luxuries of the Rambagh, Umaid Bhawan and Samode Palaces.