There are some stunning properties in and around Jaipur.
Samode Palace Hotel: Rather than stay in busy Jaipur we stayed in the exquisite Samode Palace Hotel which was a 25 mile drive north of town. We were met upon arrival with a spectacular “royal welcome” with men on camels, women throwing flower petals and fireworks overhead. The 475 year-old palace had Indian and Mughal style architecture. There are bougainvillea covered courtyards, narrow staircases, charming arches, stunning mirror work, and wonderfully painted walls and ceilings. I loved my room that had a small fountain in the middle of the sitting area. We had a special evening with dancers and a banquet in a beautiful hall of the old palace with great painted ceilings.
I explored the nearby countryside in a camel cart and had lunch at the hotel’s facility in the countryside under a nice tent with musicians and a private bazaar with women selling local crafts and making a local yogurt drink and naan. There was a nice spa at the hotel that offered traditional ayurvedic treatments. The hotel is also in the book 1000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz.
The Rambagh Palace: This former palace is now a wonderful Taj hotel. I enjoyed a perfect Thanksgiving dinner on the lovely palace grounds with our group. We were welcomed by two men on elephants and by women throwing flower petals. The hotel and grounds are beautiful.
If you want contemporary, The Peppermint Hotel in Jaipur gets good reviews for its design. The Fairmont has also received good press. The Rajmahal Palace is a renovated palace from 1720, included on Wallpaper* Magazine’s list of Best Urban Hotels.