Staying at a boutique hotel, a mud house with a private pool and sleeping in a room where the coronation of a king once took place, these unique hotels offer an unmatched experience. They provide a refreshing change from the sparkling glass and chrome of city five star hotels and the time spent here is often combined with a history lesson that lets you soak in the culture and heritage of this rich state.
If you have ever wondered what it is like to stay at an art hotel, then check into Gaj Kesari. The owner, Sunil Rampuriya, is not only an art collector but has a workshop where artisans who specialise in Usta craftsmanship (a local art form of Bikaner) make stunning pieces for the hotel. Their work extends even to the exquisite hand painted walls in the rooms that they like to call ‘art rooms.’ There is a lovely courtyard in the centre where you can sip drinks in the evening while listening to a local live band. Do not be surprised to know that this is a vegetarian hotel–but the traditional fare you will eat here is really well made. Luxuries are not missing–there is a swimming pool, gym, spa and boutique shop as well.
Make reservations: +91 9829919829
Built in the 16th century, this former fortress and palace of Maharana Pratap whispers tales from the past in every nook and corner–after all this is where he left for the famous Haldi Ghati battle. History buffs do not think twice before checking into Raaj Tilak Suite–the exact same place where he was crowned as king. The massive suite with a low entrance (to ensure a deferential entrance) has typical Rajasthani murals on the walls, hand carved woodwork, two bedrooms and terraces with sweeping views of the town and the Aravallis, a living area, and a jacuzzi. All the other rooms also have a touch of royalty in this boutique hotel. Do not miss the Rajasthani thali at the Heritage Quarter restaurant. And did you know that the swimming pool is at the same spot where a step well used to be. It’s history combined with luxury.
Make reservations: +91 11 66617837
Camel safaris, negotiating sand dunes in a jeep, a picnic lunch in the desert, spotting blackbucks–a couple of nights in the Osian desert is an experience you can’t miss in this state. Located on the Jodhpur-Jaisalmer Highway, this camp, with a fort-like entry, gives you the option of staying in Swiss tents. While the day can be spent in safaris, the evenings promise not to be boring with Rajasthani folk dance and music. The food is traditional Rajasthani with a mix of continental.
Make reservations: +91 9650536699
Staying here is like stepping back in time or like being part of a painting. This 150-year old haveli still retains the art and architecture of the region and is dotted with frescoes and stunning paintings that go back in time to the Marwari people. Seeing the entrance (the massive brasswork doorway), you know that this is no ordinary hotel, but a heritage that has been painstakingly preserved. Take the property tour to understand what it is all about and we are sure you will be surprised with its history. There is also library, spa, bar, and a swimming pool.
Make reservations: +91 9811276231
Located next to a lake, this hotel is a former hunting lodge and has 12 mud and stone cottages, each with a private plunge pool. Cut into a rock, the main swimming pool is stunning and makes it one of the most exclusive boutique hotel stay options in the area. The mud cottages appear to be straight out of a village home, but of course they are lavish. Done up in bright colours, a lot of local artefacts have been used to give them that distinct touch. They believe in the concept of slow cooking and fresh food so they do not have a menu, you choose whatever you want and it will be freshly prepared from local ingredients. And when it comes to experiences you can go for goat herding, nature walks and taste some local liquor.
Make reservations: +91 11 40844551