Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
An eye of calm nearly at the center of the whirlwind that is the city of Jaipur, this 172-year-old palace was the first in Rajasthan to be converted (in 1957) to a heritage hotel. While the family of the Maharaja of Jaipur still owns it (the Queen Mother lives in private quarters in a separate property at the back), the Taj Group has managed the 85-room hotel since 1972. A variety of room styles reflect its long history of continuing renovations. The best rooms, on the second floor, feature high ceilings and wood floors, with views of the gardens, but even the more ordinary rooms are palatial in size, at more than 500 square feet. Bathrooms are a bit decadent, with black marble, chrome, and glass in some rooms—they may be too discordantly modern for some tastes, however. In a former palace, you want your decadence to have a more historical feel, as it does in the Prince's Suite, where two long-legged metal birds daintily drink from a tiled fountain in the living room. The public areas are satisfying grand, especially the ballroom-size lobby (don't try any dance steps on the slippery marble floor…) and the expanse of green lawn one can admire while sipping afternoon tea. Oh, and in that photo in the Polo Bar, of a couple of ladies having a laugh at Jaipur's royal polo grounds? That's Mrs. Jackie Kennedy.
From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
2011 Gold List
Overall Score: 90.3
- Design: 92.0
- Food: 91.7
- Location: 88.0
- Rooms: 92.0
- Service: 88.0
Also appeared in the Gold List in 2009, 2007
Amenities: Golf, Pool, SpaSubscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler ›
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