Royalty is a heritage, that one could acquire by conquering lands those days or by being born in such a dynasty. Nowadays, all that one can hope for is to earn enough and be treated like one. Amongst the obvious perks of the royals, luxury is what differentiates their lives with the ordinary. Their abodes termed palaces can span acres featuring expansive bedrooms, courtyard gardens, ballrooms, and added extra spaces like reading rooms, game rooms, etc.
While one can hope to born again in their family line, you can experience their uber-luxury right now. Post-independence, most of these royal heritage palaces have been converted into hotels open to the public if one can afford it. Some famous palaces in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Rajasthan, Mysore have been converted into luxury hotels
Here we brought to you, the top 10 Palaces turned Luxury hotels in India:
1. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
The most luxurious royal hospitality experience that you can ever find in India is at the Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur. Named after the previous king of Jodhpur Maharaja Umaid Singh, it is the epitome of size, splendor and luxury of all the heritage palace hotels not only in India but recently titled so as World’s best by TripAdvisor itself. Featuring a capacity of 347 rooms, the residence of the royal family and a museum displaying pieces of the royal heritage. You can see and experience much more like the throne room, Durbar Hall, the main Dome, vaulted banquet halls, painted ceilings and much much more. You can choose from a wide range of rooms and suites that feature periodic decor, breathtaking views of the courtyard or the Mehrangarh fort to the Presidential and the Royal Suites. Living like a king is an expression that you can relate to while trying the different cuisines and indulgences on offer.
2. Lake Palace, Udaipur
If living it up means at a lake with gorgeous views of the Sunrise and Sunset then the Lake Palace in Udaipur is the most Royal and luxurious of such experiences that India has to offer. Built as a palace for the prince Maharana Jagat Singh it overlooks the main city palace along with natural scenic spots like the Aravalli hills on one side and the Machala Magra hills with the Jag Mandir on the other. It caught the eye of the international tourists when it was featured in a Bond Movie. Jodhpur itself is a world-famous city filled with palaces and water bodies in unison such that it is known as the Venice of the East with the Lake palace being it’s Crown jewel. Enjoy exemplary dining experiences with an open restaurant overlooking the lake. Enjoy the charm of the city with nearby tourist spots and nature all being chauffeured in vintage cars. Go experience this one of a kind Lake Palace accommodation.
3. Usha Kiran Palace, Gwalior
Ever felt the need to transport yourself back in a time when normal needs like electricity, elevators, solar power were fairly new concepts reserved only for the royals and riches to see how they were treated. Well, the Usha Kiran Palace in the Royal city of Gwalior is one such time capsule though historic is a Royal indulgent experience. Adorned in the shade of white and yellow, the palace was built in the 1880s by Maharaj Jayaji Rao Scindia beside the Jai Vilas Palace. Surrounded by opulent features such as long tapestries, stone carvings, glass chandeliers, Venetian mirrors to mother of pearl mosaics and other period real furnishings. Some of the unique things in the palace include a Rosewood elevator and two spoked fans which were how they were initially designed those days. Enjoy the accommodation with luxury, history and wonderful Rajasthani cuisine to savor your taste buds just like a Royal.
4. Samode Palace, Samode
Visiting the Pink city of India Jaipur to sightsee famous palaces and wish to stay in one amongst all that luxury of marbles, pillars, art and decor then the Samode Palace will be the best choice for such a want. Located fairly nearby Jaipur near the small town of Samode is the palace surrounded by a vast garden called the Samode Bagh with lush greenery featuring tents, fountains to a 150-year-old pavilion. The palace is designed with a blend of Indian and Mughal architectural styles with Marbled floors, pillars ornamented by precious stones adorned with paintings and other art to keep you looking around throughout your visit there. Unique chambers include the Shesh Mahal which is the wall of mirrors and ancient halls which were the Durbar Hall and the Sultan Mahal known to be more than 250 years old. The rooms to stay are each different from the other termed to have a personality of their own featuring flowers, exquisite curtains, plush carpets and cosy rich furniture to make your stay luxuriously royal. With a choice of infinity or the mosaic swimming pool and therapeutic Spas on offer, your time there will be surely cherished.
5. Rambagh Palace Jaipur
Imagine spending the whole day and night at an erstwhile residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur itself, one of the most prolific kings of Rajasthan. The Rambagh Palace in Jaipur was one of the official residences of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II which started as a humble garden house to a hunting lodge for its location surrounded by a forest to the grand palace it was built in to in 1837. It is surrounded by Mughal styled gardens while the insides feature intricate hand-carved marble latticework, balustrades made of sandstone to cupolas and grand cenotaphs. With multiple cafes and restaurants based on various cuisines on offer, you can indulge in all your cravings while reminiscing the grandeur of the palace. Also on offer are their ancient signature Spa and Yoga treatments that will soothe you in the grand surroundings. Find Rooms that suite your need for Luxury and space from Garden View Palace Rooms, Royal Suites to Grand Presidential Suites to choose from. Make yours once in a lifetime events or a long due vacation all the more indulgent here.
6. Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad
Owned by the once richest man in the world, the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Falaknuma Palace termed as a jewel among the clouds is a structure that exhibits luxury and opulence. Situated at a secluded from Hyderabad, it provided one of the biggest luxuries that once can desire – privacy and seclusion from everything. Designed to resemble the anatomic structure of a scorpion, this white-walled palace built-in 1894 even today is too western in its presence than most palaces in the country. The entire experience is period-specific in terms of royalty from a horse-driven carriage ride to reach the entrance to the climbing the grand staircase once footed by kings and royals alike you get the feeling of being a guest of the Nizan rather than a visitor needing accommodation. This fact is highlighted further with no presence of a reception desk or lobby as typical hotels but you are rather escorted directly to your room or suite on entering. Experience royal luxury by overlooking beautifully painted frescoes to a huge ballroom with a still-functioning one of a kind 2 ton Organ. With all the rooms featuring artifacts owned by the Nizam itself which includes paintings, books, precious jade collection to exotic Venetian chandeliers. It also houses the Nizam’s library with the roof carved out of Walnut wood shavings thousands of antique books resembling the Windsor Castle in the UK. Rooms having Garden or City view located at the different wings of the palace with oak wood floors to choose from with the main suite called the Nizam suite offers all the luxury with the service of a personal butler too. Come stay in a western-styled royal abode here in India itself.
7. The Laxmi Vilas Palace, Udaipur
Built-in style and grandeur in the Royal city of Udaipur are the Laxmi Vilas Palace which is fairly close to the City Palace of Udaipur itself overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake. Thereby it is a wonderful choice for those who enjoy a grand Lakeview while not wanting to be completely isolated from the historic city. Built by the Maharaja Maharana Fateh Singh, the palace is spread over a hilltop giving you breathtaking views all around the city. You are spoilt for choice in the palace between the cultural welcome, the music, dance to royal pampering of the Rejuve Spa, personal butler topping of with helicopter service that can take anywhere within minutes. Stay in Royal suites and rooms that showcase opulence with grand furnishing all fit for a king. Relish rich and exotic food options with an all-day restaurant that features a live kitchen to your fancy. Experience the Maharana experience here when you visit Udaipur.
8. Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur
Up until Jaipur and Rajasthan were in control of the Royals, the princely states had a form of governance with the Prime minister carrying out its affairs. The Jai Mahal Palace of Jaipur was home to three such prime ministers who usually were from the Royal family itself and hence the Palace too was full of grandeur and splendor. Designed in the style of India Saracenic architecture, it sits right in the midst of the Mughal gardens. Situated in the nerve center of the city, your stay here will give you quick and easy access to other famous destinations in Jaipur from its markets, the latest malls to other Royal heritage sites like the Amber Fort to the City Palace. The palace features an almost to scale Chess court, private dining areas, reviving Spas to Halls for having your special moments with others. Book Rooms or Suites that overlook the lush gardens or the pink city while relishing on unique and one of a kind dishes in their choice of multiple restaurants. Feel your senses subdued and enchanted by the intricate works of art you are surrounded within the Jai Mahal Palace.
9. Lalit Mahal Palace Hotel, Mysore
Ever thought that a cathedral can inspire the design of a Palace that too here in India, well the Lalit Mahal Palace Hotel in Mysore is one such structure. Said to be built in line with the design of St Paul’s Cathedral, it was commissioned by the then king of Mysore Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV exclusively to home the Viceroy of India. Built fairly close to the Mysore Maharaja’s Palace at the foothills of Chamundi hills the palace shines bright with its Enamel white paint. The featured dome also has a spherical Italian marble staircase that winds up to give a breathtaking view. Some of the luxury facilities offered include a Gold course, unlike other heritage hotels. Another awestruck experience one can indulge is dining in the open terrace restaurant that offers a great view of the city from afar. Other facilities include various spaces to hold your special events and a chance to even come across movie shooting. There are various dining experiences to choose from such as authentic Indian, Lounge n Bar or in-room private dining. One of the most accessible of heritage hotels, choose from a wide range of Rooms and Suites offering different royal experiences. Make a day out of your trip to Mysore for some Royal indulgence here.
10. Nahargarh, Ranthambhore
The last in our top 10 list is a palace hotel right in the midst of the Ranthambore Tiger and Wildlife Sanctuary is the Nahargarh. The vast expanse of the wild around the Nahargarh shines in ivory white like a gem offering the unique combination of Royalty in tranquillity. Built-in the opulent Rajasthani architectural mahal style, it features very uniquely interesting spaces starting with the Hathi Kund which is basically a water tank completely adorned in white marble. Eat delicacies to your heart’s content at the Grand Dining Hall or a pint at the old fashioned Lancer’s Bar. Unwind taking a swim or at the Spa. Situated close to the Ranthambore fort which you can view in detail on one side, the other side is the Chambal river that is home to exotic freshwater Dolphins and Crocodiles. Pick from a range of Rooms and Suites based on the scenic preference all adorned with Royal amenities. Experience the wild and the Tiger with Royalty taking their Safari or various activities in store for you. Live like the old Maharajas when they hunted in the wild in Royalty.
honorable mentions Also include:
- The Udaivilas Palace Hotel, Udaipur
- Rajmahal Palace Jaipur
- Ranvas, Rajasthan
- Raj Palace, Jaipur
- Neemrana Fort Palace, Rajasthan
- Bal Samand Lake Palace, Jodhpur
- Ajit Bhawan, Jodhpur
- Fort Chanwa Luni, Jodhpur
- Fateh Prakash Palace, Udaipur
- Shiv Niwas Palace, Udaipur
- Brijrama Palace