The jewel in India’s crown, Rajasthan conquers fairy-tale palaces and epic forts. Beyond the Indian icons penned in the Golden Triangle – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur – there is a majesty that permeates the vaster surrounds.

Awash with shades of emerald green, canary yellow and ruby red, from Jaipur to Deogarh and Jodphur, the technicolour swirl that is Rajasthan never fails to delight. In this romantic vision, we’ve shortlisted eight of the most beautiful hotels in India’s northern state.

Amanbagh

In a parched corner of the Rajasthani desert among the rolling Aravalli Hills, you’ll find Amanbagh. A present-day palace, this quiet boutique hotel is just on the outskirts of Jaipur. With a name that means “peaceful garden”, the second Aman resort to open in Rajasthan retrains the Aman brief of understated elegance blending seamlessly into the surroundings. On the doorstep of majestic forts and the jungle of Sariska National Park, there is a regality that permeates here. Reimagined by architect Ed Tuttle, the interiors take a similarly royal view, comprising of rose-tinted walls, marbled floors, domed cupolas and shaded courtyards echoing the majesty of the Mughal era. All suites come with king-size beds and private terraces.

Umaid Bhawan Palace

While there is no shortage of palatial hotels in India, a portion of this one actually remains the home to the Jodhpur royal family. The rest has been restored into a 65-room showstopper, set amid 26 acres of lush gardens. The residence was designed by British-Edwardian architect Henry Launchester and is a less in art deco. Perched on Chittar Hill – the highest point in Jodhpur – Umaid Bhawan Palace boasts exotic views of the historical Blue City (plus couple of pools, a spa and handful of dining options). Soak in the history of a fascinating bygone era before soaking in your oversized marble tub.

  • +91 291 251 0101
  • Go to Website
  • Circuit House Road
    Cantt Area
    Jodhpur

RAAS Jodhpur

Overlooking the magnificent 1740 built stepwell with views of Jodhpur’s imposing Mehrangarh Fort, RAAS Jodhpur is insurpasable in its scenic surroundings. Located within the old city, the hotel is a modernised 18th-century haveli composed in the region’s local red sandstone. Combining scalloped arches, terrazzo flooring and contemporary pendant lighting, the atmosphere here is one of sultriness. Each room has a view of the fort, but the best spot to enjoy it is from Darikhana, the first-floor al fresco restaurant. The hotel’s most lavishly decorated suites are the three heritage suites, located in the original 18th-century Rajput residence.

Aman-i-Khas

Resting on the edge of Rajasthan’s Ranthambore National Park, Aman-i-Kas is a secluded haven of just ten luxury air-conditioned white tents. With the Aravali Hills as its backdrop, accommodations are fit for travelling Mughal royalty, complete with sleek safari chairs, writing desks and deep sandstone soaking tubs. The ideal base for tiger-spotting jaunts to the park, this is luxury camping taken to new heights; there’s also beautiful spa tent, incredible pool and a library tent. The dining salon serves up both Indian cuisine and Western dishes created from the camp’s organic vegetable and herb gardens.

  • +91 746 225 2052
  • Go to Website
  • Sherpur
    Khiljipur
    Near Ranthambore National Park

SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace

The former abode of the maharaja of Jaipur, the 250-year-old Rajmahal Palace has hosted members of the British royal family, Lord and Lady Mountbatten, Jackie Kennedy and the Shah of Iran. Situated in an amber-coloured fort, the palace was restored in recent by designer Adil Ahmad. Inspired by the stone carvings that embellish the forts, palaces and havelis in the region, interiors combine exotically painted wallpaper, gold furniture and retro lighting. Breakfast in 51 Shades of Pink, a vivacious room inspired by the Pink City, is worth of an early rise.

Alila Fort Bishangarh

An hour’s drive southwest of Jaipur, you’ll find the Alila Fort Bishangarh hotel perched atop a granite hill. Built inside the 230-year-old Fort Bishangarh, this heritage hotel has been preserved to the highest level, retaining many of the fort’s original portals, arches and turrets. The understated grandeur of the place is perhaps the hotels greatest sell. Surveying the rolling hills below, evocative views are best experienced from Nazaara, the terrace lounge, where meats are cooked in sandpits and on barbecues and served from the outdoor kitchen.

  • +91 142 227 6500
  • Go to Website
  • Off NH-8 at Manoharpur
    Bishangarh Village

Rawla Narlai Hotel

Tucked away in Rajasthan’s Aravalli Hills, this renovated 17th-century royal hunting lodge in the foothills of Elephant Hill is an oasis of expert restoration. Surrounded by cave temples and vast plains, Rawla Narlai eludes to the grandeur of Rajasthan’s rich heritage while retaining the lodge’s original rustic charm. Replete with vintage furnishings and frescoed walls, each of the 32 bedrooms are filled with characterful designs. With a stone pool, serene spa and manicured gardens, there’s ample reason to stay put.

Chhatra Sagar Tents

Devised by nobleman Thakur Chhatra Singh of Nimaj who dammed a stream flowing through his estate in the 19th century, today this lush green oasis is home to 11 mobile mini palaces in the form of Chhatra Sagar Tents Boutique Camp. Hand-crafted using colourful Rajasthani textiles, a stay Chhatra Sagar doesn’t translate to sacrificing home comforts. Rustle up a Rajasthani feast in a cooking class which teaches generations-old family recipes or organise a day-trip into an off-the-beaten-path village, ending your day in an opulent setting watching the sun melt over the horizon.

  • +91 941 412 3118
  • Go to Website
  • Chhatra Sagar
    District Pali-Marwar
    306 303

Amanbagh

Umaid Bhawan Palace

RAAS Jodhpur

Aman-i-Khas

SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace

Alila Fort Bishangarh

Rawla Narlai Hotel

Chhatra Sagar Tents

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