North India and Rajasthan camps - Samode Palace
Set in the rugged Aravali Hills between Jaipur and Delhi, Samode Palace gives you a glimpse of rural Rajasthan while lavishing in the luxury of a restored 19th century palace.
Reached via a bumpy dusty road the palace is a magnificent example of Rajput-Mughal architecture – the grand country house of the Samode royal family whose Jaipur town house is Samode Haveli. Though popular with groups you can always find a quiet spot to escape to and Samode remains an atmospheric place to get lost while exploring the numerous wings, terraces and courtyards reached by twisting staircases. The public rooms are decorated with incredible frescoes, ornate ceilings and mirror-work while guest bedrooms (all different in shape and size but the deluxe suites are the ones to go for) are draped with block-printed fabrics and feature intricate marble and wood carvings. Breakfast is served al fresco in a courtyard and there are two restaurants serving local dishes or Asian and European cuisine. There’s a fabulous marble and mosaic swimming pool as well as a rooftop infinity pool with glorious views over the hills (perfect with a cocktail at sunset) and a spa offering a full range of massage therapies.
When you can find your way out of the maze you can ride a horse or camel into the surrounding countryside or scramble to the fort ruins above the palace. Candle-lit dinners can be arranged in the nearby sand dunes. The village is no longer untouched and its inhabitants are well-used to guests, but it’s still worth a visit to see the old step wells and look for local handicrafts.
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