The Samode Haveli hotel in Jaipur is much loved by us and our guests, frequently appearing on our itineraries as an ideal base for exploring the Pink City. At Indian Excursions, it is important to us that we regularly experience (and re-experience!) the hotels and experiences we recommend, and so a recent revisit to Samode Haveli was in order and here’s how we got on.
A majestic old mansion tucked away in the heart of Jaipur’s old city, Samode Haveli was originally the ‘city residence’ of the royal family of Samode (their main digs, Samode Palace, is an hour out of town in the quaint village of Samode). It dates back over 200 years and is one of the city’s more spectacular examples of a haveli. What is a haveli? It refers to a mansion, usually with a number of rooms placed around an open courtyard and richly adorned with frescos and murals. Think The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, upgraded (you’ll not find any leaky taps here, rather beautiful rooms and suites with a gorgeous leafy garden!). Walking through Samode Haveli’s gates is like entering a blissfully peaceful oasis and it’s hard to believe really that you’re actually amongst the bustling streets of the old city.
39 rooms and suites are scattered between what would have originally been the mardana (men’s area) of the haveli, and the zenana (women’s area). A rather labyrinthine-like warren of winding passageways connects them and its quite easy to get lost amongst the impressive interiors (as I did on a number of occasions, though I would describe myself as directionally-challenged at the best of times! – Madeleine Hann, Co-Founder). Since Samode Haveli wasn’t originally built to be a hotel, all its rooms and suites are a little different, though all are beautifully adorned with local touches, from pops of jewel-like colour amongst the fabrics to original alcoves and antiques.
The starting category and the smallest of the four room types is the Deluxe Room, overlooking the courtyard. Next up is the Deluxe Suite, followed by the Haveli Suite (these are the biggest of the room types, boasting their own lounge areas and private garden sit-out) and the jewel in Samode Haveli’s crown; the Sheesh Mahal suite. The two opulent Sheesh Mahal suites are quite stunning, covered in original frescos and mirror-work. However, they do not afford a lot of natural light and some may find the floor-to-ceiling mosaic a little claustrophobic.
All rooms and suites at Samode Haveli have spacious en-suite bathrooms with separate shower cubicles and bathtubs.
The whole place embodies the rich character of Jaipur and, best of all, Samode Haveli doesn’t allow groups, so you’ll find that a sense of peace and intimacy prevails.
Excellent food only adds to the charm of this classic hotel. Meals are typically served either on the sun-dappled terrace or in what was originally the family’s private dining quarters, where you’ll find royal-looking portraits of ancestors and an enormous chandelier. The morning’s breakfast buffet offers everything you’d expect – eggs to order, freshly baked pastries, fruits, cereals and yoghurts – whilst lunch and dinner offer Rajasthani specialities like lal maans (a fiery, slow-cooked lamb dish) to more familiar dishes such as risottos, pasta and salads. If you’d like to dine out, however, you’re within easy reach of a number of wonderful restaurants and we’d recommend Baradari, an easy 15-minute walk away and majestically located within the City Palace.
Overall, Samode Haveli is an excellent choice for anyone who’s seeking an authentic Rajasthani experience for their hotel in Jaipur, and equally for those who enjoy being amongst the heart of the action. However, Samode Haveli’s narrow staircases mean it is not the best fit for those not so firm on their feet. Light sleepers may struggle here as early morning calls-to-prayer from the nearby mosque are audible.
During the winter season (from October 2019 – March 2020), Deluxe Rooms start from approximately INR 23,040 (USD 329; GBP 255; EUR 295) inclusive of breakfast and taxes. Prices rise significantly over the peak Christmas and New Year period and drop even more so in the low season from April to September. Samode Haveli is often busy, especially during the peak winter season, so planning your itinerary a good few months in advance would be recommended.
If you’d like to experience a stay at Samode Haveli (as part of a planned itinerary) on your upcoming trip to Rajasthan, please do get in touch. As specialists in private, tailor-made tours of the Rajasthan region, we’d be an ideal match to assist with your arrangements. Our suggested Luxury Golden Triangle tour would be a great place to start and features a stay at Samode Haveli.
For more inspiration on things to do in Jaipur and places to stay:
- 72 Hours in Jaipur
- Jaipur morning market walk
- An evening with elephants at Dera Amer
- Bagru block printing workshop
- Discovering the private rooms at the City Palace, Jaipur
- Places to visit from the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
- Top 10 Heritage Hotels in Jaipur
- Live the life of a Maharaja at the SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace
- A glimpse inside the Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur