Disclaimer: Top 10 Lists are created keeping in mind only our opinion. Rest assured that IH Aviation and Travel is not biased whatsoever.
Rajasthan is located in the north-west of India. Jaw-dropping forts & havelis; commendable folk music; myriad tales of chivalry and mouth-watering food welcome you to the culturally wealthy state of Rajasthan. The land of turbans, moustache, ghoonghat and camels, Rajasthan is an unparalleled tourist destination when it comes to culture and heritage tourism in India. The main attraction for travellers is the vast Thar Desert and one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, the Aravallis. One of the most visited tourist state in India, Rajasthan has some of the most beautiful hotels in the country and so many of them that it was very hard to create a Top 10 list of. Nevertheless, here are the best 5 star hotels the state has to offer.
10. Fairmont, Jaipur
Fairmont Jaipur lies in the Kukas region of Jaipur district, away from the hustle & clamour of the city and gleaming under the watchful eyes of the Aravali Hills. The hotel has been built in the tradition of region’s grand Mughal palaces. The 245 Guest Rooms including 7 imperial suites at Fairmont Jaipur are bespoke residences that exude classic heritage influences. Dining options include Zoya, an all-day dining restaurant with international and Rajasthani cuisines, Zarin that serves royal cuisines of India. Guests can enjoy drinks at Aza, an award-winning library bar and tea at Anjum with a local twist. Ruhab Spa offers customised therapies for the twelve Zodiac signs. Other facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, 90,000 square feet of convention space and a fitness centre are present at the hotel.
Hotel Website: Fairmont, Jaipur
9. Umaid Bhavan Palace, Jodhpur
Umaid Bhavan Palace Jodhpur, built between 1928 and 1943, was the home of the erstwhile Jodhpur royal family and currently the world’s sixth-largest private residence. This Taj property, set amidst 26 acres of lush gardens, with dancing peacocks and a subterranean Zodiac Pool, the hotel features 70 art-deco style rooms and suites. Risala serves Continental and Indian fusion cuisine, while Pillars serves Rajasthani meals. Drinks can be enjoyed at The Trophy Bar. Facilities include 2 swimming pools, Jiva Grande Spa that offers Indian beauty therapies, as well as hot tubs and steam rooms, a yoga studio, gym and tennis courts. The unique Champagne Museum Walk invites guests to admire the fine collection of Victorian and Edwardian antiques with a glass of champagne in hand.
Hotel Website: Umaid Bhavan Palace, Jodhpur
8. Suján Jawai – Relais & Chateaux, Jawai Bandh, Pali
Suján Jawai – Relais & Chateaux is set amongst spellbinding, billion-year old granite formations, where leopards roam wild and free, coexisting comfortably with the characteristic communities. The property consists of just 10 tents, including Family and Royal suites, redefining responsible luxury in the wilderness. The hotel’s stylish dining tent offers sweeping views of the hills. Guests can enjoy delicious meals cooked right in front of them in the live kitchen. The hotel offers wilderness drives, Rabari tribe walk, Temple Trail, a spa, an outdoor swimming pool, a shared lounge, cycling tours, community visits, a bar and hiking tours.
Hotel Website: Suján Jawai, Jawai Bandh, Pali
7. The Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort, Ranthambore
The Oberoi Vanyavilas is a jungle resort located at the border of Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. The spacious tents are inspired by the royal tents in travelling caravans from a bygone era and feature a garden that is framed by handmade traditional walls for maximum privacy. The Dining Room – an all-day dining restaurant offers authentic Rajasthani specialities, pan-Indian and continental dishes while The Bar offers the perfect setting to enjoy a single malt, a cognac, a glass of fine wine or an expertly mixed cocktail. The hotel offers Jungle Drive in a jeep, The Oberoi Spa, an outdoor swimming pool that is heated in winter for guests’ convenience, a billiards room, yoga sessions, a fitness centre and a Pool Bar.
Hotel Website: The Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort, Ranthambore
6. The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur
The Oberoi Rajvilas, spread over 32 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, with traditional architecture, flaming mashaal torches and reflection pools, is located on Goner Road. The 71 guest rooms, suites and villas offer garden views and some feature private pools also. Available for all-day dining, Surya Mahal & Courtyard serves international dishes and fine wines. Rajmahal restaurant offers Indian specialities for dinner, while wines and spirits are available at Rajwada Library Bar. Facilities include a gym, The Oberoi Spa with authentic, pink lime plaster walls and traditional Rajasthani design features, salon, an outdoor swimming pool and a tour desk are present at the hotel.
Hotel Website: The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur
5. Amanbagh, Ajabgarh
Amanbagh is a verdant oasis of mature palm, fruit and eucalyptus trees lying within a walled compound, once the staging area for royal hunts. Set within a walled oasis, the resort echoes the region’s Moghul architecture and provides the opportunity to witness first hand the traditions and culture of rural India. Amanbagh sits in isolation amidst the arid Aravalli Hills near Alwar in northern India. All the 39 suites and pavilions are light-filled sanctuaries that come with either a private terrace or courtyard and evoking the palatial elegance of the Moghul era. Amanbagh has only one restaurant that serves delicious food with a choice of signature Indian dishes and Western cuisine, all of which can be tailored to suit individual tastes. This dining room is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hotel also offers other dining experiences like the ‘Chhatri Dinner’. One of Amanbagh’s most impressive features is its central 33 m (108 ft) swimming pool. A spa, library, cycling and trekking, horseback, donkey and camelback rides, sunset elephant rides to the nearby Madar Baba Ki Chattri for spectacular 360-degree views of the surrounding area and boating are offered by the hotel.
Hotel Website: Amanbagh
4. The Leela Palace, Jaipur
The Leela Palace Jaipur draws inspiration from Rajasthan’s royal heritage and is an elegant reflection of modern palatial grandeur and an epitome of true Indian luxury. Located amidst tranquil environs near the Amber fort on Delhi-Jaipur highway, the hotel is set on over 8 acres of landscaped gardens, against the majestic backdrop of the Aravalli range. The 200 guest rooms, suites and villas (some with private plunge pool) are tastefully appointed. Sukh Mahal is an all-day dining restaurant serving international and local cuisine with an interactive live kitchen concept to suit every palate. Architecturally inspired from the Sheesh Mahal at Amer Fort in Jaipur, Mohan Mahal is lit up only with candles and its mirror décor lends an atmosphere of refined elegance. Jharokha is a perfect combination of a lounge and bar offering array of coffees and cocktails. Overlooking the Aravalli Hills, Hawa Mahal, the rooftop restaurant offers a distinctive ‘Under the Stars’ dining experience. It is an ideal place to enjoy the weather and scrumptious grills along with your family and friends. Facilities include banquet venues spread over 50,000 square feet, a fitness centre, an outdoor temperature controlled swimming pool, a salon and a tour desk. Holistic Wellness Spa offers treatments that are tailored to your unique needs, and focus on delivering four distinctive benefits — Calm, Indulge, Invigorate and Renew.
Hotel Website: The Leela Palace, Jaipur
3. The Leela Palace, Udaipur
Located beside the tranquil Lake Pichola, The Leela Palace Udaipur is flanked by the rolling Aravalli mountain ranges. It is a modern palace hotel in Udaipur which evokes the grandeur and opulence of the Land of the Mewars. All of the 80 guest rooms and suites are stately lavishly appointed with exquisite embellishments and traditional artisan crafts inspired by the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan. Soft breezes and views of a starlit sky accompany fine Indian specialities at the Sheesh Mahal. For an international dining experience, guests can head to the Dining Room at The Leela Palace. The Library bar offers fine wines, single malts and time refined cognacs as well as an array of well-crafted cocktails and delicious starters. A exclusive spa, an outdoor swimming pool, a hot tub, a tour desk, a business centre, event spaces and a fitness centre are some of the facilities present at the hotel.
Hotel Website: The Leela Palace, Udaipur
2. Aman-i-Khás, Ranthambore
Open from October through May each year, the best season for wildlife spotting, Aman-i-Khás is a wilderness camp located in a rugged brushwood forest on the fringes of Ranthambore National Park. This intimate tented camp offers incomparable privacy and daily safaris seeking out the reserve’s wildlife. Aman-i-Khás is an sits on a sun-dappled landscape of dhok trees and brushwood. Aman-i-Khas’ ten Mughal-inspired tents overlook a ruggedly beautiful landscape that is home to abundant wildlife. Each one is filled with light and offers an expansive 108 square metres (1,162 square feet) of space, with a soaring bedroom, living area with daybed, dining area and bathroom with free-standing bathtub and shower. Elegantly furnished, the tents are positioned to ensure utmost privacy, each with their own sun deck, ideal for watching passing birdlife. Aman-i-Khas is the only Aman property that operates on an all-inclusive formula, with rates including all meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) that are served either in the dining tent or outdoors (weather permitting). A small swimming pool which is modeled after a ‘baori’ or ancient step-well, a spa and a library are present at the property. Aman-i-Khás offers 3.5 hour tiger safaris that take place twice daily, one early in the morning and another in the afternoon in open-top jeeps which seat a maximum of 6 guests.
Hotel Website: Aman-i-Khás, Ranthambore
1. The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
Often ranked as one of the best hotels in India, The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur is a premier 5 star hotel located on the banks of Lake Pichola and is spread across 30 acres of luxuriant gardens, with an intricate layout of interconnecting domes and corridors that reflect the layout of Udaipur itself. The property is built on 200-year old hunting grounds of the Maharana of Mewar. The 87 rooms and suites reflect a thoughtful harmony of Mewar inspired motifs, elegant furnishings and modern technologies and feature lake, pool or garden views. Udaimahal Restaurant specialises in traditional Indian food including Rajasthani and North Indian dishes. Order Western, Mediterranean and Thai food at Suryamahal or enjoy open-air dining with traditional music and dance evening performances at Chandni. Guests can enjoy a spa treatment at The Oberoi Spa, unwind by the two heated outdoor swimming pools, burn calories at the fitness centre, practice yoga, borrow movie and audio CDs, learn a Rajasthani Folk Dance, attend a cooking session with the in-house chef or relax in wooden boat ride with wine and canapé.
Hotel Website: The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
If you think that I have missed any of the hotels present in Rajasthan that you think should be included in the list, let us know in the comments section below.
Featured image by Aman-i–Khás