Heritage hotels are often the best hotels to stay in given their lavish splendour and the royal treatment served to guests.
The long weekend following Holi calls for an extra special celebration. What better than to get away from the city? Take a look at some of the most luxurious heritage hotels in India for a last-minute royal fun-filled getaway.
Built in 1734, Nahargarh is a robust fortress-like palace turned hotel that recreates the regal charm of Rajasthani royalty. The highlight of the hotel is the Char Bagh, also called the Mughal garden which hosts a massive swimming pool lit by a hundred dimly lit lamps. The hotel was formerly a hunting palace, due to its proximity to the Ranthambore National Park. Expect more than just wild cats and monkeys, leopard, caracal, hyena, jackal, wild boar, deer and several different species of birds. Add to that a trip to the thousand year old Ranthambore fort, which is a must for all travellers.
Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
A prominent heritage hotel in the pink city of India, Rambagh Palace was originally built in 1835 and home to Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II, who turned it into a lavish hotel in the 1950s. Although redesigned, the hotel continues to replicate the palace’s regal past with extravagant marble work, silk curtains, period furniture and vintage decor. Relish a royal Indian feast at Suvarna Mahal, the former palace ballroom built in the 18th-century French style with huge crystal chandeliers, or grab a meal in the Polo Bar, decorated with trophies and memorabilia of the Jaipur polo team. Enjoy signature treatments from experts at the Jiva Grande Spa or spend the evening touring the beautiful city of Jaipur.
Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad
Perched 2,000 ft above the city, the Taj Falaknuma Palace was built in 1894. Back then it belonged to the Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan, who at the time was rumoured to be the richest man in the world. Touted as one of the most luxurious heritage hotels in India, Falaknuma showcases true Nizam royalty with opulent marble interiors that extend towards the hotel’s lavishly designed suites decorated with vintage paintings and murals, rich tapestry, oak wood floors, and crystal chandeliers. Get a royal treatment as a horse-drawn carriage takes you to the main property, where you are greeted by the most hospitable staff.
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
Constructed in the mid-1740s by Maharana Jagat Singh II, the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur is a wonder. A jewel floating in the middle of Lake Pichola, the hotel is made entirely out of locally sourced marble with picturesque interiors. Interestingly, the Taj Lake Palace is also where the James Bond film Octopussy was filmed. The hotel’s unique location gives is what gives it an edge, each rooms opening up to a mesmerising view of the Aravalli and Machla Magra Hills. Aside from its unique location, the hotel’s biggest highlight is a Royal Historic Boat Dinner serving delicious, authentic Marwari cuisine.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
Perched on Chittar Hill, the highest point in Jodhpur, Umaid Bhawan Palace is the sixth-largest residence in the world. Built between 1928 and 1943, the hotel was once home to the erstwhile royal family of Jodhpur. Designed by renowned architect, Henry Lanchester, the hotel seamlessly blends eastern and western architectural styles with its use of palm court marble, the same which was used in the construction of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Out of the 347 rooms, 70 were converted in to lavish suites, while a section of the property was turned into a family museum.
WelcomHeritage Fernhills Royale Palace, Ooty
Built by Captain F. Cotton in 1844, Ferrnhills Royale Palace fell through several hands before being bought by His Highness Chamarajendra Wadiyar X in 1873. The palace resembles a Swiss chalet standing tall against the beautiful Nilgiri Hills, enveloped with tea gardens and cardamom plantations. While most of the hotel was redesigned, it continued to maintain its colonial English charm with bold colours, teak furniture and several artifacts and paintings of the past. The luxury hotel has much to offer In terms of the leisure, with activities like horse-riding, fishing, cricket lawns, billiard rooms and organised treks and cycle tours.
Welcomhotel by ITC Hotels, The Savoy, Mussoorie
Welcomhotel The Savoy Mussoorie is an elegant and historic hotel, built by an Irishman named Cecil D. Lincoln around the year 1895. The hotel presents an old world charm with a mix of English Gothic architecture and with contemporary décor. The spacious rooms fixed with contemporary décor provide spectacular views of the snow-capped Himalayas. The Savoy suite take luxury up a notch with enhanced privacy, spacious rooms, and a private patio. The hotel’s Grand Dining Room is a colonial sight to behold. Decorated with hardwood floors and wooden ceiling, the Grand Dining Room serves some of the most delicious cuisine in all of Mussoorie.