Jaipur, otherwise known as The Pink City is the gateway to Rajasthan’s fortified imperial cities and an essential destination on a visit to India. The best places to stay in Jaipur if you like luxury, authenticity, character and top service……
- Live like a former Maharajah at the luxurious Rambagh Palace Hotel with palatial rooms, comfortable beds (often they are not in India), lavish bathrooms and sensational service by your own butler. Surrounded by lush gardens with peacocks roaming free, this is your oasis in a city of chaos.
- The Sujan Rajmahal is a beautiful hotel that is part of the Relais and Chateaux chain with accordingly high standards. Houses the restaurant 51 Shades of Pink(below).
- The other alternative is The Samode Haveli, a former private home and traditional Indian mansion, converted into a luxury hotel. Another oasis in the walled city of Jaipur. Craving a more intimate experience then Samode Haveli is your best bet but the food is not the best in Jaipur so venture out to eat.
- We haven’t stayed here but we’ve heard great things about a newish boutique hotel 28Kothi – check it out.
TIP – UNKNOWN GEM
- 30 KMS outside of Jaipur is an incredible experience waiting for you. Style tick, historic tick, architecture tick, food tick, things to do tick. Khas Bagh . We love safaris (usually of the African kind) but this homestay offers horse and elephant safaris through the countryside. You can even take polo lessons at the Rajastahn Polo club with the owner an accomplished polo player. Incredible India.
One of the best things about Jaipur and indeed the whole of India is the food. There have been times where we have eaten so much the scales have tipped in the wrong direction and we end up wishing for a bit Delhi Belly. Well, not really. The reason being at every turn there is the most incredible food being cooked , down alley ways, in the gutter, on the footpath at the back of clothes shops and of course fine dining in Palaces. Here are our best bets in Jaipur for some spectacular Indian food.
- The Rambagh Palace, Verandah Terrace for dinner
- 51 Shades of Pink if only for the hot pink decor. In the stunning Sujan Rajmahal Hotel, worth a visit if not just a stop for a drink.
- The Kitchen at The Jaipur Modern for lunch. Have the thin crust pizza if you just need something other than Indian.
- Street food if you are game. As long as you stay away from the meat on the streets (although I’ve travelled with those that even eat the meat and drink from those dubiously rinsed glasses to have a lassi, and have not fallen ill ) you will be fine. Don’t eat the salad as it could have been washed with dirty water. With that in mind try everything else
- Buy reknown chef Christine Manfield’s book and use it as your bible for where to eat especially regarding the street food.
- You will have seen it all over Instagram. Bar Palladio is a visual feast(cover shot of this post) and nirvana for lovers of blue and white, located in the historic Narain Niwas Palace serving Italian food . The women behind Tocca perfume was asked to design the bar. Now wonder it exudes effortless chic, with a combination of Indian and Italian sensibilities.
- Another fab place for a drink or indeed dinner is the cool rooftop bar at Mosaic’s Guesthouse near the Amber Fort.
- Block Prints – You must not leave Jaipur without buying some of their hand block printed textiles. You can choose your favourite print and get it printed on the cloth you wish to buy. Some popular places to go are the Hand Block Printing Factory opposite the Jal mahal, or the Sakshi Block Printing Factory opposite Jal Mahal, Amer Road too and the Gauatri Hand Block Printing Factory opposite Nagpal Petrol Pump. Or you can simply shop online as we’ve already done all the work for you.
- Jaipur Gems – Apart from block print textiles, Jaipur is famous for it’s gemstones. Go to The Gem Palace . It’s a must-do in Jaipur. It’s the ultimate Indian Jewellery shop and you won’t walk away empty fingered. If you don’t buy anything there you can always shop online and pick your favourite semi-precious stone drop earrings from our boutique selection.
- Aashka was started by the Princess of Udaipur and is a boutique shop in the character filled boutique hotel Narain Niwes Haveli. Worth going just to see the Princess’s taste.
- Markets – the Johari Bazaar(the jewellers market) and food market , we could spend all day there. Put your bargaining cap on and off you go. So many satisfying curious finds you will not come home empty handed.
YOU’D FEEL GUILTY IF YOU MISSED
- The City Palace, a wonderful museum of the city’s heritage and the royal family.
- Get a car and driver and drive the 40 minutes to The Amber Fort. It’s a former Rajput palace and spectacular building. This is also an excuse to go to the Anokhi Museum which displays it’s beautiful handcrafted textiles and block printed fabrics. The Anokhi retail shop is another favourite.
- Wander around the Jantaar Mantar Observatory with enormous sundial built by a Maharajah.
- Wander past and snap the photogenic Jawa Mahal or the Wind Palace, the pink facade that has come to symbolize the city’s facade. Pink perfection, the Palace made of pink sandstone was designed in the form of the crown of the Hindu God Krishna by the Maharaja in 1799 and the windows were built in such a way that the women who were not able to have their faces seen, could look out.
AND ONE DAY WE WILL GET TO THE JAIPUR LITERATURE FESTIVAL
- In the third week of January The Jaipur Literature Festival is held at the Diggi Palace. Often described as the best literary festival there is with an impressive array of noted writers from India and globally. Interesting, stimulating and learning in the setting of Jaipur. Can’t wait to experience this.