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Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur 

Goner Road
Tel: 91 141 268 0101
view web site ›'s insider take:

The 71-room Rajvilas was the first of India's newly built modern luxury hotels, and it was so revolutionary when it opened in 1997 that less than a year later, it was featured on the cover of Architectural Digest. Although it has 13 very popular air-conditioned tents spread among its 32 walled acres, the focus of its style might best be called postmodern Rajasthani fort. The use of traditional materials and building techniques creates the appearance of a pink-walled citadel, yet one incorporating decidedly contemporary touches such as glass-walled bathrooms that look out onto private gardens. The rooms, all with four-poster beds and sunken white tubs, are in clusters of four to six around serene courtyards. Rajvilas is just five miles outside of Jaipur, close enough that you can easily dip into the anarchy of the city, perhaps to shop for gems or to see the Palace of Winds. But the sanctuarylike setting mostly encourages happy, slow hours among the gardens, decorative pools, and fountains. Take a novel to the main pool, preferably one large enough to cover your face while you nap. Or dine alfresco in the courtyard of the resort's Surya Mahal restaurant, perhaps on vegetarian kebabs as penance for indulging in the far-too-available Indian sweets. Or wander to the spa and give yourself over to an ayurvedic massage treatment. Chances are, none will disappoint.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
"It's like a dream" at this hotel amid purple jacaranda and yellow Gulmohar trees. Built in the traditional Rajasthani fort style, the lobby has antique wood statues. Accommodations are clustered in buildings or in tents that are "too beautiful for words," with teak floors and walled gardens. Live folk dancing accompanies alfresco dining in the courtyard at Surya Mahal. "Overall, it's nothing short of fantastic." Children can take kite-making lessons.

(71 rooms)
—2011 Gold List
Overall Score: 95.8
  • Design: 99.2
  • Food: 92.6
  • Location: 89.4
  • Rooms: 99.2
  • Service: 98.4

Also appeared in the Gold List in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

Amenities: Pool, Spa, Tennis

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