The Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur is one of the oldest palaces in India to enjoy actual royal company. This grand yellow sandstone palace (the same sandstone used in the Taj Mahal) is set over 26 acres of lush gardens. Built in between 1928 and 1943, this palace is the youngest marvel of its kind in India. It was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh of the Rathore Dynasty. The royal home, a source of significant pride for the desert city of Jodhpur is placed upon a hillock overlooking the Blue City of India. The heritage and hospitality of the palace is now kept alive by the Taj Group of Hotels, one of the biggest luxury hotel chains in the country holding quite a reputation among nationals and foreigners alike. However, only a part of the palace is held by Taj. Maharaja Gaj Singh, a direct descendent of Maharaja Umaid Singh still resides in the palace.
The stunning edifice is part palace, part hotel and part museum. The museum is open to all. It houses some truly unique artefacts and specimens, most of which are quite priceless. The sandstone monument consists of two distinct wings, one of which is entirely dedicated as the residence to the descendants of the Rathore Dynasty. They pursue their indulgent, lavish and imperial lifestyle away from prying eyes. The second is of course the hotel.
THE GRANDEST OF THE GRAND
The Taj Group of Hotels and Resorts with their admirable reputation and justly acknowledged legacy in hospitality took over the hotel operations of the palace in January 2005. In subsequent years the hotel has seen thousands of visitors, all of which have marvelled at the stunning architecture and mystical grandeur unique to the Umaid Bhawan Palace.
THE TROPHY BAR
This is undoubtedly one of the most unique experiences this property has on offer. A drink in the Trophy Bar surrounded by ancient achievements and wildlife trophies is distinctively arranged in a tastefully themed sports setting. Relishing a wide range of finger foods, alcohols and Cuban cigars is an exquisite privilege enjoyed by the few fortunate enough to experience the Trophy Bar.
64 guest rooms including the Maharaja and Maharani suites.
The pool which is a part of the spa is simply put, mystically magnificent. The heated indoor pool is decorated with murals painted by Norbin. This pool used to be the royal sanctuary of the women of the royal family. There is also an outdoor swimming pool which is just as good.
The Jiva spa has its own treatment suites. The masterfully curated treatments and signature experiences, which contain a combination of yoga, massage and Ayurveda, are bound to strike a chord or two within you, whether you’re a wellness lover or not.
WHAT WE LOVE
You can ask for absolutely anything…anything! Each guest is treated like a personal guest of the Great Maharaja himself and there are butlers all over the palace, ever so happy to help you not lift a finger.
The dining experience can be individually tailored to be really unique, ending up to be something right out of a fairy tale, everything from the ambience to the food.
The palace can very rightly be put in a league of its own. Apart from housing the descendants of the erstwhile royal family of Jodhpur, the guests are made to feel every bit as royal. The architecture and rich history of the place is such that which very few hotels can only dream to boast of.
The museum is very unique, it’s akin to a thoughtful gift bundled along with your stay. The palace houses it with its ever so deceiving simplicity, making it ever so extraordinarily glorious. It houses plenty of curiosity-piquing artefacts and displays.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
The location is pretty isolated. The hotel is quite far from the centre, this means more travel time but you can always find cheap taxis right outside the hotel.
Anti-mosquito sprays and creams are recommended. Although not notorious, there’s enough mosquitos to hurt the ambience of your stay.
The internet is choppy at best, connectivity is definitely a problem due to the distance from the city and you’d probably be better off carrying a local data-enabled SIM.
TRAVEL IN STYLE
The palace is furnished with heritage furniture and has a very antique ambience to it. Dress accordingly to match the scene.
WHEN YOU SHOULD GO
During the winter months, from early November through February. The other months are highly unsuitable for tourists and see quite intense weather to say the least.
The Palace room starts at US$900 per night including taxes.
The Historical one bedroom suite starts at US$1,300 including taxes.
The top of the line Royal one bedroom suite starts at US$3,000 per night including taxes.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
Circuit House Rd, Rajasthan
Tel: +91 291 6607000