From former grand palaces to opulent tents, and quaint havelis perched within the bustle of the city to peaceful retreats on the outskirts; each of our 30 Favourite Hotels in Rajasthan for 2021 promises a memorable and genuinely distinct stay.
Spread across the region, from the picturesque lakes of Udaipur to the Thar Desert in Jaisalmer, these carefully selected hotels in Rajasthan are as adept at pampering as they are at immersing their guests into the colourful local environment. We love a luxury property, and most of our picks are amongst the best in the region, though we also enjoy mixing things up with a simple haveli or two; especially when the sense of location, or the view, makes it unforgettable (Killa Bhawan, we’re looking at you!). To inspire your bespoke tour of Rajasthan with us, here – in alphabetical order – are our 30 Favourite Hotels in Rajasthan for 2021.
1. Alila Fort, Bishangarh
Alila Fort, Bishangarh dates back over 230 years when it was a warrior fort. Today, it’s been transformed into a place of peace and wellbeing. Perched proudly atop a mighty hill, with panoramic views of the Rajasthani landscape, it’s an architectural masterpiece. Step inside and look forward to an overwhelming sense of calm as you relax in one of the 57 spacious suites, dine in royal splendour at Amarsar, and rejuvenate at the Alila Spa.
Luxury hotel or a historic fortress? Alila Fort is neither one nor the other – but both. A place where turrets, cellars and secret passages and bars are now lounges and fumoirs; where the spa is carved out of the granite rocks of the dungeon; where an organic garden, fruit orchard and greenhouse find their place amid ravines. Beautifully balanced in every regard, the 57 rooms and suites at Alila Fort Bishangarh are spacious yet cosy; contemporary yet indigenous; vibrant yet subtle.
2. Amanbagh, Alwar
One of the most opulent hotels in Rajasthan, Amanbagh evokes the grandeur of Mughul architecture with its domed roofs and inner courtyards. Fruit trees, mature palms and eucalyptus create a contemporary oasis which pays homage to India’s golden age. The sandstone and pink marble palace come with every possible modern comfort in mind.
The generously-sized suites are of the most excellent standard and are divided into four categories. Beyond the main building and set in landscaped gardens stretches the enormous swimming pool, informal dining area, and wading pool.
3. Bujera Fort, Udaipur
Nestled on the outskirts of Udaipur, Bujera Fort is an impressive fortress in Rajasthan’s Aravali hills, on the west side of Lake Pichola. Although it’s newly built, there is a feeling about the property that it has been around for years.
Over six years, Bujera Fort’s British owners (Trish McFarlane and Richard Hanlon) created a charming and sophisticated retreat steeped in character, conveniently only 15 minutes from the sights. Although new, the property is embellished with salvaged vintage window frames and doors, giving it an old-world charm. Bujera Fort has a welcoming, home-from-home atmosphere, fusing the feel of an English country house with Indian fabrics and antiques.
4. Dera Amer Wilderness Camp, Jaipur
Tucked away amongst the foothills of the Aravalli mountains, Dera Amer is a quiet hideaway just half an hour or so from Jaipur.
Owner Udaijit Singh was inspired to transform his family’s 160-acre estate into a wilderness camp, thanks to his love of nature and wildlife. Elephants and camels now call this lovely spot home, and interacting with these remarkable creatures is what makes a stay at Dera Amer so unique. The neighbourhood is rich in flora and fauna and peppered with villages and crumbling monuments.
The intimate camp offers four spacious tents, each with an en-suite bathroom and all the comforts one would expect while at the same time, allowing guests to reconnect with nature. During a stay at Dera Amer, you can spend quality time with the elephants by helping to feed and bathe them, while chatting to the mahouts who can tell you about their unique personalities, and anything you ever wanted to know about this majestic animals.
5. Dev Shree, Deogarh
A gorgeous haveli in rural Rajasthan, Dev Shree offers the opportunity to stay with the royal family of Deogarh at their home. Expect elegant courtyards and beautiful gardens, verandas overlooking the lake and fort, bright pops of jewel-like Rajasthani colour, sun-warmed marble floors and a cosy dining room glittering with chandeliers. The friendly owners – Shatrunjai and Bhavna – want their guests to feel at home, so they include all meals.
6. Jagat Niwas Palace, Udaipur
Jagat Niwas Palace is a simple yet characterful hotel with an unbeatable location, right on the banks of Udaipur’s Lake Pichola. Reflecting the local architectural style, Jagat Niwas Palace evokes a regal feel and boasts stunning views of the lake and surrounding palaces. Rooms are clean and simple with a boutique touch. Don’t miss the rooftop restaurant, which offers an unforgettable panorama.
7. Killa Bhawan, Jaisalmer
One of the more unusual of our favourite hotels in Rajasthan, Killa Bhawan is a quirky bed and breakfast set high within the watchtowers of the Jaisalmer Fort. It boasts beautiful views over the royal palace, the parade grounds and the town surrounding the fort. They’ve furnished the five rooms beautifully and traditionally. The highlight, however, is the delightful roof terrace with sensational views of this magical place.
8. Narendra Bhawan, Bikaner
Picture, if you can, how a modern prince in a far-flung corner of Rajasthan would decorate the interiors of his palace. Well, designer Ayush Kasiwal and host Karan Singh have done it for you in the form of Narendra Bhawan. Their vividly re-imagined abode of the late Maharaja Narendra Singh – polymath, card player, dog lover extraordinaire – brings his enigmatic character back to life. You’ll find an eclectic mix of ‘Indian déco’ and curios collected from his world travels, while ornate gilded mirrors and old family portraits adorn the intensely chromatic walls.
9. RAAS Chhatrasagar, Nimaj
The newest of our favourite hotels in Rajasthan for 2021, RAAS Chhatrasagar is a supremely peaceful and elegant camp. It’s hidden away between Jaipur and Jodhpur, along the banks of a century-old dam. It was initially a hunting lodge for the Nimaj Estate. The family have since teamed up with RAAS Hotels to create this stunning camp. A night or two here is a lovely contrast to the throng of the bustling cities. Soak up an authentic slice of rural Rajasthan in comfort and style. The peaceful spa, open dining pavilion, and generously-sized swimming pool are all perfect spots for soaking up the unforgettable view.
10. RAAS Devigarh, Udaipur
RAAS Devigarh is a hill-top palace drenched in romance, tucked away in the heart of the countryside just outside Udaipur (about 40 minutes away). The palace dates back over 250 years and has more recently been sensitively transformed into a luxurious boutique hotel. Interiors are subtle and modern, peppered with original pieces that have been allowed to take centre stage. The dramatic rural setting is unforgettable: soak it all in from your balcony, or one of the many little nooks around the palace perfect for hiding away with a good book from a library.
11. RAAS, Jodhpur
One of our all-time favourite hotels in Rajasthan, RAAS is a glorious little place at the foot of the mighty Mehrangarh Fort, in the heart of Jodhpur’s Walled City. It is the only luxury hotel in the old town, and the views of the fort looming above are quite spectacular. Strolling away from the excitement and the hustle and bustle of the old city and walking under RAAS’ imposing gateway is like entering a blissfully peaceful, hidden oasis. The hotel comprises of four beautiful old and restored red sandstone buildings juxtaposed with slick, modern structures.
12. Raj Palace, Jaipur
Raj Palace is a fabulous heritage property dating back to 1727 in central Jaipur. With its grand entrance, manicured gardens and vast corridors lined with portraits and antiques, you won’t fail to be impressed by this hotel. The palace has 40 rooms and suites, each uniquely decorated and with en-suite facilities, excellent communal areas and a majestic dining area, as well as an outdoor pool.
13. Ranvas, Nagaur
Ranvas has only recently opened, but we would be wrong to call it new. The property occupies the former women’s quarter of Ahichhatragarh Fort. Once a pleasure palace of the Maharaja of Jodhpur, it was lovingly restored to its present state. The rooms are all within the fort itself, and one has the feeling of being part of the history and pomp of yesteryear. Tourists less frequent the area as compared with other Rajasthani cities, so a night or two here is well worth it.
14. Rawla Narlai, Narlai
The lovely Rawla Narlai lies hidden away in a small village deep in the heart of the Aravali Hills at the foot of a rock. Surrounded by forested hills and rugged outcrops, it is one of the most beautiful parts of the state. Once a hunting lodge of the Jodhpur royal family, it retains the dark wood carved doors, jaalis (stone latticework screens) and sepia portraits of ancestors.
15. Royal Heritage Haveli, Jaipur
Royal Heritage Haveli is set in an 18th-century hunting lodge and today offers a serene sanctuary amongst the bustle of India’s Pink City (Jaipur). This family-run property has a welcoming feel; with croquet on the lawns, local cuisine made with home-grown vegetables, and friendly hosts. A great spa, pool and stylish cocktail bar tops it all off. The suites are uniquely decorated in a traditional style, with bright frescoes, sweeping archways, and intricate tilework.
16. Samode Haveli, Jaipur
Samode Haveli was initially a city house for the rulers of nearby Samode. Today, it’s a charming boutique hotel that retains all the lavish touches of its royal past. Rooms and suites are scattered around traditional courtyards and gardens, each uniquely themed and reflecting the rich history of Jaipur. Antique furniture and beautiful Indian fabrics provide plenty of local flair. The elegant restaurant is adorned with hand-painted murals and illuminated by enormous crystal chandeliers.
17. Samode Palace, Samode
Combining traditional opulence with modern comforts, Samode Palace is one of the most exquisite heritage hotels in Rajasthan. It was initially a fortified stronghold, and it wasn’t until the 19th century that a distinguished statesman began to transform the palace into the lavish establishment that exists today. 43 rooms and suites are dressed in traditional furniture, with jewel-like Rajasthani colours, textiles and mosaics adding a magical feel. Every room is different; all are fit for a maharaja, generously-sized, and light and airy. There are two swimming pools, and both enjoy beautiful views of the countryside and surrounding hills. Don’t miss the Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors); the gorgeous, intricate detailing will blow you away.
18. Samsara, Dechu
Located seemingly in the middle of nowhere, Samsara is a luxurious haven lying in the vastness of the barren Thar Desert.
19. Sher Bagh, Ranthambhore
The family who owns and runs Sher Bagh have played an active role in Ranthambhore’s conservation efforts for over forty years. The result is a luxurious camp blending sustainability with style, remindful of colonial-era safaris.
Authentic and intimate, a handful of luxury tents are pitched amongst indigenous trees and plants. They’re each fitted with teak campaign-style furniture, en-suite bathrooms and comfortable four-poster beds. The thoughtfully-designed menus offer light, European lunches, and traditional Indian dinners; all prepared with ingredients grown locally onsite. The campfire is a lovely place to unwind on an evening with a G&T as you discuss sightings with staff and other guests, but for an extra special evening under the stars, Sher Bagh can serve your meal in a more secluded area.
20. SUJÁN Jawai, Jawai Bandh
The newest addition to the luxurious SUJÁN brand, Jawai Leopard Camp is a peaceful camp in rural Rajasthan. It’s seemingly far away from the hustle and the bustle, but still, just a few hours drive from either Jodhpur or Udaipur.
There are nine luxury tents and one royal suite. They’re all super stylish, spacious and thoughtfully designed, making this camp a unique wilderness retreat. The area is a wildlife hot spot, known for its population of leopards and the peaceful coexistence of these majestic cats with the local villagers and Rabari herdsmen. Aside from guided game drives around the area to spot local leopards, there are also a wealth of UNESCO sites and cultural experiences to explore nearby; whether you’re challenging the local children to a cricket match, hiking to a temple to catch the sunrise, or cycling through the picturesque villages.
21. SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace, Jaipur
SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace is one of our favourite hotels in Rajasthan and the best boutique property in Jaipur. Situated in the city’s oldest royal palace, this property boasts a rich and colourful history. It was initially constructed in the early 1700s as a residence for the Jaipur royal family; later, it briefly served as the British Residence, before being revamped in an art deco style in the 1930s. After independence, the Maharaja and Maharani of Jaipur resided here. Today, the vibrantly-renovated interiors are the work of a leading Indian designer, and the result is exquisite. Bold colours, bespoke furniture, old family photographs, and 46 types of tailor-made wallpaper have come together to create this jewel of a hotel.
22. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
Perhaps the most famous of our 30 Favourite Hotels in Rajasthan for 2021, the gorgeous Taj Lake Palace is one of the most iconic and romantic hotels in India, if not the world. You know the one, serenely poised in the middle of Lake Pichola. It was initially built by a young prince almost 275 years ago: today, it’s been carefully restored to showcase its former glory. This dazzling white marble palace offers 66 rooms and 17 suites, each reflecting a different mood and period from the palace’s rich history. Most provide stunning vistas across the lake. The rooftop restaurant, Bhairo, is the perfect spot the enjoy this spectacular setting in all its panoramic glory.
23. Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
Once home to the Maharaja of Jaipur, the light and airy Taj Rambagh Palace is relaxing and wistfully romantic; from the peacocks strutting across the lawns to the Indian classical musicians playing on cool verandahs. Close to the city centre, the palace sprawls over 47 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. It has recently undergone extensive refurbishment and now has some of the most lavish bedrooms of any hotel in the area. The art deco swimming pool is unique, plus the stylish outdoor pool and jacuzzi. Spa treatments are offered in a beautiful tent, tucked away in a quiet corner of the garden. There are two restaurants to try as well as the delightful Polo Bar.
24. Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
With a commanding view of the ‘Blue City’, this Art Deco palace is still home to the Maharaja of Jodhpur. It used to be one of the largest private residences in the world but is now divided into the Maharaja’s private residence, a beautiful museum and the deluxe Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace hotel. Built in the 1930s and carefully maintained ever since the style combines Art Deco and Eastern influences. The style and ambience are grand from the moment you arrive in the reception area with its cupola a staggering 105 feet above you.
Don’t miss the indoor swimming pool – the original mosaics are stunning. We suggest trying tea overlooking the lawns – or a drink in the bar complete with hunting trophies – to imagine you have stepped back in time.
25. The Leela Palace, Udaipur
Located on the edge of Lake Pichola, overlooking the Aravalli Hills and the beautiful Lake Palace, The Leela Palace is one of our top hotels in Rajasthan. With a panorama that is difficult to beat, all of their rooms, the spa and Sheesh Mahal restaurant face the lake so you can enjoy the vista throughout your stay.
The Leela took 14 years in total to complete, and this is reflected in the incredible detail that has gone into the artwork throughout the hotel and the intricate murals in the courtyards. The rooms come with traditional Rajasthani items and gadgets for the tech-savvy.
26. The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra
Situated only 600 metres from the Taj Mahal, The Oberoi Amarvilas is renowned for its luxury and style. All bedrooms have uninterrupted views of the Taj Mahal, and the stunning pool and manicured gardens make this an ideal hotel to rest and relax. Traditional Persian and Moorish influences combine with modern Indian interior design; this fusion exhibits to a spectacular effect in the cobalt blue and gold-domed entrance hall, whose windows frame an unforgettable view of the Taj Mahal.
27. The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur
The first Oberoi ‘Vilas’ property to be built, this luxury resort is steeped in the romance of Jaipur’s rich heritage. Placed in the tranquil countryside on 32 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, The Oberoi Rajvilas is in the style of a Rajput Fort, and there’s a small temple in the gardens. With incredible service and outstanding facilities, including a fully equipped spa, there is undoubtedly a no better place in Jaipur to be completely indulged.
28. The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
Built on the shores of Lake Pichola overlooking the Lake Palace and the City Palace, The Oberoi Udaivilas evokes a Marwari Palace. Domes, turrets, fountains and reflection pools regularly feature throughout the hotel, and the beautifully bright and airy bedrooms are amongst the most comfortable in the country. To complete this experience in pampered luxury, visit the stunning spa, with views over the lake.
29. The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore
Nestling in the natural beauty of the wilds, The Oberoi Vanyavilas is an opulent jungle resort built to emulate the grandeur of the maharajas hunting camps. It is situated on the edge of the Ranthambhore tiger reserve and is the perfect base from which to explore the territory of the majestic tiger. Vibrant frescoes and richly detailed interiors create the ambience of a royal hunting palace.
The resort setting is picture-perfect with a dramatic water-course, refreshing swimming pool and fantastic spa. The luxury tents with finely embroidered canopies, luxurious bathrooms and private walled gardens are in perfect contrast to the ruggedness of the jungle.
30. The Serai, Jaisalmer
The Serai truly is an oasis in the desert. Located just half an hour from Jaisalmer, this luxurious desert camp offers a truly unique experience in Rajasthan. There are only 21 tents with facilities one would expect at a hotel rather than a tent, each having a private veranda, a drawing room and en suite shower room. Using traditional products, such as Jaisalmer stone floor and tribal dhurries (rugs) combined with state-of-the-art technology and silent air conditioning, The Serai offers contemporary luxuries while remaining at home in the desert environment.
If you’d like to stay at one or more of our favourite hotels in Rajasthan (only available as part of a tailor-made itinerary), please get in touch. As specialists in private, bespoke journeys through this very region, we’d be an ideal match to assist with your travel arrangements. For further inspiration, you may like to browse through our sample itineraries.0