India, previously known as the land of Maharajas, boasts of some of the most spectacular royal palaces that the world has ever seen. The Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, aptly known as the Jewel of Jaipur, is one such example.
This glorious palace has seen many transitions over the years; each and every corner of it have a story to tell be it the elegant and stately rooms, the majestic marbled corridors or the grand gardens .Rambagh Palace is practically a living legend; it was first built in 1835 on a modest scale for the queen’s favourite handmaiden -Kesar Badaran. Under the reign of Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh, the garden house and the surroundings were modified and made into a royal hunting lodge as it was surrounded by thick forests at that time.
The task of converting the garden house into a guest house and a hunting lodge was given to Sir Swinton Jacob.
Marble halls, corridors and courtyards were added to the garden site.
More alterations and additions were made to the original structure drawing inspiration from the Mughal and Rajasthani styles of architecture when Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II (the Maharaja’s grandson) decided to make Rambagh Palace his main residence in 1925.
The pride of the palace was the sprawling garden that featured in Peter Coat’s “Most Beautiful Gardens of the World”.
The mansion was renamed Rambagh after the then reigning Maharaja Sawai Mansingh II.
“The thirties were undoubtedly the glorious golden years of Rambagh”, reminisces Rajmata Gayatri Devi, the Maharaja’s beautiful wife, named the most beautiful woman in the world by Vogue magazine in 1940. During those years, as the war loomed and many of the officers were called away on duty, she took over the running of the palace and entertained Viceroys, Lords, Ladies, and other top dignitaries and celebrities with her gracious and charming personality.
Rambagh remained the home of Jaipur’s royalty until 1957 when it was first converted into an upscale hotel. In 1972, the Taj Group of Hotels with its legacy of hospitality was conferred with the honour of carrying on the royal tradition of the luxurious Rambagh Palace.
In the finest tradition of Rajput hospitality, the Rambagh Palace offers its guests a taste of royal living- a luxury and extravagance that was once the privilege of kings.
As you enter the pristine white marble lobby you’ll be welcomed by life sized portraits of Jaipur’s royals.
You will also be greeted with a shower of rose petals, garlands and your personal butler standing at attention and ready at your service. Anything you desire will be tailor-made into a personalised guest experience.
Rambagh Palace has seventy-nine rooms and stunningly restored suites which were the chambers of the former Maharaja. The rooms also known as Luxury Rooms grace the top floor of the hotel and have all been designed in a traditional manner overlooking the gardens.
These rooms have been decorated with rich textures and colours and feature four-poster beds, walk-in wardrobes, spacious bathrooms and even a private bar.
The first type is the Historical Suite. These suites present a welcoming ambience with marble floors, exquisite Rajasthani artwork and sheer fabrics which enable natural light to enhance the beauty of each room.
Then there are the Royal Suites, some of which have been the personal chambers of the Maharaja of Jaipur. The beautiful architecture and opulent decor with embellishments such as Rajasthani motifs, delicate mirror and stone work, intricately carved pillars with marble inlay, rich silks and tall drapes create a magical experience.
The most famed Royal Suite is probably the Peacock Suite. Named for the two beautiful peacocks made in coloured glass on one of the walls of the suites, this suite is contemporary in styling and decor and has a large private sit-out overlooking the Mughal Terrace and beautiful gardens.
Among the Grand Royal Suites are the Maharani Suite and the Prince’s Suite. The Maharaja had got the Maharani Suite specially redecorated by his favourite designer, Hammonds of London, as a surprise gift to Maharani Gayatri Devi. This suite flaunts a very different look with delicate finishes and textured wood panels, besides traditional Rajasthani artwork, intricate mirror and stone work and rich furnishings. The Maharani Suite has a comfortable sitting area as well as a stately dining space and a spectacular oval four fixture mirrored bathroom. The palatial French windows open to a fabulous view of the Oriental gardens and the Panghat. The Prince’s suite, created for the Maharani’s son, Jagat Singh, is no less in opulence and style, with a spacious bedroom and bathroom featuring a Jacuzzi and a large lounge extending out onto a private terrace.
There’s more extravagance coming your way in the form of the Presidential Suites named as Suryavanshi Suite and Sukh Nivas Suite. These suites are sure to blow your mind away with their high ceilings, exquisite chandeliers, the green Udaipur stone arches and rich period furniture. The Sukh Nivas Suite is testimony to the fusion decor of contemporary design with royal flourishes. Rich textured drapes and fabrics, gold leaf frescoes, opulent furniture, magnificent stonework and embellishments create an ambience of sheer luxury. The suite features a glamorous bedroom with a unique circular bed and floor to ceiling gold hued drapes besides an intimate dining space, a grand sitting area and a sun deck. Large windows open out to the picturesque Royal Gardens and the spectacular Aravali Hills.
At the Rambagh Palace you can choose from various distinctive dining experiences that explore the nuances of the finest Indian and international cuisines. Besides in-room dining, you could opt for a Peacock Thali Rajasthani dinner with folk entertainment on the Rambagh lawns or lunch at the Royal Hunting Lodge. For a more conventional dining experience you could opt for any of the three restaurants at the hotel namely: Suvarna Mahal; The Rajput Room and The Verandah.
The Suvarna Mahal resonates with the rich heritage of the erstwhile rulers with its high ceiling, gilded mirrors, Florentine frescoes and a grand dining hall. Its menu is as lavish as its decor with an exotic array of carefully crafted dishes from all of the royal houses of India.
The Rajput Room is a more informal all-day dining restaurant. Overlooking the front lawns it offers a wonderful breakfast, light meals and a selection of signature French press coffees and freshly infused teas.
The Verandah is open and airy with panoramic views of the gardens and fountains.
For something stronger than pre-dinner cocktails, head to the Polo Bar where the glamour of the princely equestrian sport is masterfully captured in every little detail of the interiors. Adorned with trophies and polo memorabilia, the bar serves the finest rare whiskies, wines and liqueurs.
For those of you looking to unwind over conversation, snacks, drinks and a little drama —Steam, the lounge bar— is an ideal venue. A lounge bar quite unlike any other, this restored steam engine, complete with a Victorian style station, makes it quite the hot-spot. Along with a fine selection of liquors, the bar offers up delightful middle-eastern shawarmas and wood-fired Italian crust pizzas!
You must’ve heard of the phrase “When in Rome, do as the Romans”. Similarly, when you’re at a royal retreat such as the Rambagh Palace, you might as well indulge in some royal-style pampering at their Jiva Spa.
Just like everything else at the palace, even the spa suites are opulently decorated; wooden floors, glowing chandeliers, regal Indian love-swings and beautifully embellished accents help to create all the trappings of a magical, romantic era. Such appealing surroundings only make the Jiva Spa therapies all the more unparalleled and extraordinary.
The Rambagh Palace experience is your chance to step back in time and relive the royal past of Rajasthan.
Walking the grounds of Rambagh Palace gives you a true sense of its architectural ingenuity. The symmetrical design and pure perfection in all its details is really something to marvel at.
While there’s enough to see at this breathtaking palace hotel, guests can even travel in the palace’s royal vintage cars to the nearby attractions that the Pink City has to offer in terms of bazaars, prominent landmarks and so on.