Amanbagh, Rajasthan, India

Amanbagh, Rajasthan, India

Hidden in the serene hillside of Rajasthan, this rose-hewn palace effortlessly blends local Indian rituals with luxurious flourishes.

This article appears in Volume 30:
The Health Issue

can’t help but feel a little guilty as the neon pink, orange,
lime and purple powder liberally speckles the immaculate,
pale-peach sandstone of my pavilion (a mere “room” being far too
pedestrian a term for my palatial surrounds). However, I have a
free pass – it’s Holi, the Hindu festival that signifies the
arrival of spring, and I’ve just joined the other guests and staff
in shrilly chucking about handfuls of paint on the sweeping front

It’s an uncharacteristically noisy intervention in the otherwise
peaceful Aravalli Hills where Amanbagh sits, yet the effortless
integration of local rituals into this luxurious retreat is a
cornerstone of its philosophy. Driving from Delhi
Airport, the choked highways give way to winding roads through
tiny, colourful villages and finally this former maharajah’s
hunting grounds, now a 40-room oasis designed by architect Ed

The accommodations spool out from the grand, mirror-flat main
pool, where a local musician plays the bansuri flute and birds and
monkeys chatter from the surrounding eucalyptus, frangipani and
hibiscus trees. My Private Pool Pavilion is a temple-like abode
that includes a sunken bath in Udaipur emerald marble and its own
miniature pool, from which I watch the fat moon crawl above the
forested hills.

In addition to morning yoga and an outstanding spa, the
wellbeing offering runs to an Ayurvedic doctor who takes my pulse,
quizzes me about my lifestyle and diagnoses me as a fiery Kapha
Vata, recommending two vegan days a week, vigorous exercise and
sectional breathing. Ayurvedic immersions of up to 21 days are
available, with your diet tailored to your specific needs.

My most treasured moments occur on excursions outside the hotel
walls: cycling past inquisitive water buffalo and women in
jewel-bright saris carrying bales of grass en route to breakfast in
a nearby gwara (village). Passing beneath the gaze of monkeys in
the vine-strewn ruins of the haunted Bhangarh Fort. Pulling my best
downward dog on a crumbling platform amid the fields as the sun
rises. On my last night, I’m taken to eat in a nearby chhattri
(pavilion) veiled in ruby fabric that glitters under the marigold
moon – a final suffusion of romance and utter peace.

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