Amanbagh, Ajabgarh $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
The 40-room Amanbagh resort serves as an excellent example that hotels other than Oberoi can do "new palace" architecture well. One of two Amanresorts properties in the region (the other is Aman-i-Khás), it oozes excellence. Good luck finding stand-alone bathtubs carved from single blocks of dark-green Udaipur marble anywhere else—standard in all of Amanbagh's rooms. The indulgence extends to the North Indian–inspired cuisine—you'll gorge on yogurt and sesame seed–crusted kebabs, perhaps, or murg kalongi, chicken with ginger and onion seeds. Still, our favorite thing might just be its rural location, allowing for a chance to see the "real India." Two hours by car north of Jaipur, Amanbagh sits in a narrow, fertile valley, ideal for organized forays into the countryside and nearby villages. Smart guests will head out in the late afternoon, at "cow dust" hour, when locals are herding livestock on farm roads yet are not so busy that they can't smile, and wave, and perhaps even invite you to stop in for a cup of tea.
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:Two hours outside Jaipur, this new Amanresort is a stunning modern palace of the palest pink sandstone. Amanbagh's landscape guru, American Bill Dalton, deserves special praise for coaxing a lush oasis from this exquisite but parched corner of the Rajasthani desert. At 915 square feet, even standard courtyard rooms are suitelike. Yoga sessions are held at the two sprawling pools to the tune of a bansi flute. (The flutist also creates the colorful rangolis, or painted geometric designs, in the dining courtyard.) While Jaipur's sparkling storefronts are too far away for all but the most dedicated shoppers, jewelry and fine frocks fill the chic boutique so guests can drape themselves silly without leaving the lavish sanctuary. 2006 Hot List
When to go: Days are sunny and cool from November through March, though nights call for a Rajasthani wrap.
Which room to book: Decadent Pool Pavilions make you feel like a maharaja (doubles, $550–$750).
Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, Gym, Pool, SpaSubscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›