by Santorini Dave • Updated: June 19, 2019
Dera Mandawa – Graceful, family-run, and serene, yet very convenient to the Old City.
Considerably nicer than a guesthouse, but not quite a palace hotel, the Dera Mandawa rightly bills itself as a ‘family-run boutique heritage guesthouse’. From the dusty street, an unassuming entrance leads to attractive buildings of whitewashed walls facing gardens packed with trees and birds. Even more impressive are the exquisite suites. Only 12, each is individually decorated with bright, alluring colors. Some also feature mezzanine levels with extra seating, study areas, or even second bedrooms, while those in the newer wing pleasingly still maintain an old-world charm. Adding enormously to the appeal are the effusive owner/manager, activities such as cooking classes, and proximity to the Old City. But note: this hotel is deliberately old-fashioned, so no pool, and no TVs in the rooms.
Dera Mandawa – The Location
- Address: Along Sansar Chandra Road in the inner city. Look for the signed gate opposite the Windsor Plaza office block.
- Area: Close to the Old City, but the streets outside are very dusty, noisy, and crowded.
- How to Get There: From the airport (13km, 30-minute drive), take a pre-paid taxi or walk outside for an auto-rickshaw. The train terminal (2.1km, 10-minute drive), main bus station (700m, 9-minute walk), and nearest metro station (250m, 3-minute walk) are also close by.
- Handy to: Old City.
Dera Mandawa – The Basics
- Guests: Most are older independent travelers who relish the setting and history.
- Views: Maintaining its old-fashioned design, windows in most suites are small and offer limited views of the internal courtyard and gardens.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Certainly not expected – or provided – at this sort of inner-city guesthouse in Jaipur.
- Wi-Fi: Available free throughout for all guests.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +91 (0)141 403 7377
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: deramandawa.com
Dera Mandawa – Amenities
- Pool: Maintaining the delightfully old-fashioned design and ambience, there is no pool.
- Spa & Fitness Center: Not expected or provided.
- Activities: Classes in kite-flying (including lessons in wearing saris and tying turbans) and in traditional cooking, with a visit to the markets in the Old City.
- Other Facilities: Board games. Free traditional puppet shows with music. Library. Lounge with TV.
Dera Mandawa – Food and Drink
- Restaurant & Bar: Lunch and dinner can be served in the courtyard or dining room, or delivered to the room or private patio area. Bit pricey and limited choice, but superb Indian food using organic ingredients.
- Breakfast: Substantial breakfast included in all rates. Served in the room or courtyard.
- Room Service: Informal service available from 8 am to 8 pm.
Dera Mandawa – Rooms
- Room Types: All rooms are called ‘suites’ and are individually designed and decorated.
- Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms or public areas, but permitted elsewhere.
- Best Room: Suites in the older wing are quieter, and some feature (for no extra cost) mezzanine levels which greatly add to the feeling of space.
- For Families: One of the suites with a mezzanine level features a second bedroom with 1 or 2 single beds. One single bed could also be added to the other suites.
Dera Mandawa – Local Transport
- Walking: Very little within walking distance of interest to guests. The road outside is very crowded, dirty, and noisy, with virtually no sidewalks.
- Public Transport: The Jaipur Metro is of limited use to tourists – at least until the 2 new stations in the Old City are completed in about 2021. The nearest station to the guesthouse is Chandpole, about 250m away (3-minute walk).
- Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: Taxis (unmetered) are poorly-marked and almost impossible to find without help from the hotel reception, and useless in the Old City anyway. Otherwise, Uber and Ola work effectively. However, just about anywhere, including the airport, is accessible by abundant auto-rickshaws. Some are electric and feature 2 small benches.
Dera Mandawa – What’s Nearby?
Restaurants & Bars
Unfortunately, not a great choice within walking distance.
- Alsisar Haveli – Gorgeous old guesthouse with a magnificent restaurant featuring chandeliers, mahogany tables, and traditionally-dressed waiters. Can also eat in the courtyard or along the poolside terrace. Bar attached. 3-minute walk (220m).
- Hotel Mangal +91 (0)141 237 5126 – Dreary indoor setting but excellent vegetarian food at low prices. 6-minute walk (500m).
- The Bella Italia – Rooftop setting next to the guesthouse. Better selection than just pizza and pasta, with crepes and Chinese also available. Open for breakfast. Almost opposite Hotel Mangal. 6-minute walk (500m).
- Chitra Cafeteria – In the Arya Niwas guesthouse, next to The Bella Italia. Big thalis (set meals in steel plates) are a specialty, enjoyed on the terrace or lawns. Vegetarian only. 7-minute walk (550m).
- The road in front of the guesthouse offers little of interest, so head to the Old City.
- A frenetic maze of shops, markets, traffic, and more traffic, the Old City is both fascinating and frustrating to wander about. In the center, the City Palace (open daily from 9 am to 5.30 pm) is a marvelous example of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture, and is packed with courtyards, gardens, and museums. The nearest entrance to the Old City is Chandpole Gate, an easy 350m walk (11 minutes) northeast up the road. The City Palace (2km, 13 minutes) is better reached by auto-rickshaw.
- Jantar Mantar – UNESCO World Heritage site featuring the world’s largest stone sundial and 18 other instruments. 1 of 5 astronomical observatories built in north India in the 18th-century by Maharaj Sawaii Jai Singh II. Right opposite the City Palace. 11-minute drive (2.1km).
- Hawa Mahal – This 18th-century sandstone summer palace features 953 windows which let in cool breezes during the summer, and allowed the Royalty to view the streets below without being seen. Visit early morning to watch the sun’s rays filter through the latticework. 15-minute drive (3km).
- Amber Palace – UNESCO World Heritage site, also known as Amer Fort among locals, featuring 4 must-see courtyards (Shila Devi Temple, public audience hall, private audience hall, and Mirror Palace), and sound and light shows in the evening. Open from 9 am to 5 pm daily. 30-minute drive (10km).
- Nahargarh Fort – Historic defense fort overlooking Jaipur. Houses the Jaipur Wax Museum by the entrance, and features a second, updated Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace). 45-minute drive (17km).
Dera Mandawa – The Hotel
- Alsisar Haveli – Review
- Arya Niwas – Review
- Atithi Guest House – Review
- Bissau Palace – Review
- Dera Rawatsar – Review
- Jai Niwas – Review
- Madhuban – Review
- Om Niwas – Review
- Pearl Palace Heritage Hotel – Review
- The Raj Palace – Review
- Shahpura House – Review
- Tara Niwas – Review
- Umaid Bhawan – Review
- Umaid Mahal – Review