What better way to gain a sense of what life must have been like for the inhabitants of Rajasthan’s ancient forts and magnificent palaces than to spend a night or two in one?
Immerse yourself in India’s rich cultural heritage without even leaving your hotel. You’ll find more historic places to stay here than in almost any other country, ranging from colonial tea bungalows and mud-walled farmhouses in the country to maharaja’s palaces close to historic cities. There are even one or two in Bhutan and Nepal.
Their perfect locations buoy the most weary of travellers. A former defensive look-out becomes your viewpoint over a stunning landscape, a summer escape from the heat your hill walking base, and a tax collector’s treasury your gateway to a melting pot of cultures on a former trade route.
Rammed full of character and charm, your place for the night is often a destination in itself. It’s a showcase of local art, history and culture – more living museum than hotel. But wherever you stay, you’ll be warmly welcomed with traditional hospitality.
Aren’t they a bit crumbly and old-fashioned?
The honest answer is some are, some aren’t. Some ancestral piles have been painstakingly restored to their original over-the top splendour, with contemporary five-star facilities added in. Others are still being renovated by their owners as funds allow. Whether simple or luxurious, we only suggest places that we know are well run and offer a great experience.
Which part of India should I visit for heritage hotels?
In Rajasthan we can plan your trip so that you stay almost entirely in heritage hotels. In the towns there are huge palaces like the 347-room Umaid Bhawan in Jodhpur, half of it turned into a hotel and the other half still occupied by the Maharaja. Head down the road less travelled and you’ll find former hunting lodges, country retreats and little forts. The decor is invariably stunning with walls decorated with murals of peacocks and gods and hung with paintings and sepia photographs of maharajas in their full regalia. Fortunately the elephant foot umbrella stands and tiger hunting trophies that glared down from dining room walls have usually been discretely relocated to private apartments or storerooms.