Jai Niwas Hotel in Jaipur, India

by Santorini Dave • Updated: June 19, 2019

Review of Jai Niwas in Jaipur, India.

Jai Niwas – Quiet, budget-priced, and family-friendly, but feels a little isolated.

Sister to the nearby Arya Niwas guesthouse, the eco-friendly Jai Niwas is hidden along a tranquil alley with a big gate – not that the area is unsafe. Rooms are budget-standard and accordingly priced, but still set within a pleasant colonial-era setting of whitewashed walls, terraces with wicker chairs, and lawns dotted with wrought-iron tables. Rooms are simple, but certainly cozy, and offer superior views (of the garden) than most similar guesthouses. (More rooms and a new restaurant were being built in early 2019.) Unusually, it also caters for families with special rooms, while the associated backpacker hostel next door also offers rooms with 4 bunk beds. There is an inexpensive café on-site, and the staff is very helpful about travel arrangements. However, it is a tad isolated, with auto-rickshaws often a necessity.

Jai Niwas – The Location

  • Address: 3 Jalupura Scheme, a dead-end street, about 100m from Gopinath Marg (road).
  • Area: The main gates are along the surprisingly busy Gopinath Road in an inner-city suburb, but 100m+ from traffic noise. Very little of interest in the area for tourists, but safe and interesting enough.
  • How to Get There: From the airport (13km, 31-minute drive), take a pre-paid taxi or walk outside for an auto-rickshaw. The train terminal (2.1km, 11-minute drive), main bus station (900m, 11-minute walk), and nearest metro station (1km, 12-minute walk) are also close by.

Jai Niwas – The Basics

  • Guests: Most are budget-minded people who still want a slice of old-world Jaipur-style charm.
  • Views: Set within a garden and distant from other buildings, views of the garden and/or lawns are more notable than those at most guesthouses in Jaipur.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Certainly not expected – or provided – at this sort of inner-city guesthouse in Jaipur.
  • Wi-Fi: Free throughout for all guests.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)141 236 3964
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: aryaniwas.com

Jai Niwas – Amenities

  • Pool, Spa, & Fitness Center: Not expected or provided.
  • 
For Families: The associated backpacker hostel next door has, strangely enough, a family-friendly vibe, with a few toys and colorful cushions in the corridors.
  • Other Facilities: Money-changing. Same-day laundry. Book exchange.

Jai Niwas – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant: The small café with open-plan kitchen provides a limited range of Indian (vegetarian) food, with claims of using ‘less oil and chilies’. Homemade cakes and bread are a feature. A larger restaurant was being built in early 2019. No alcohol is sold in the guesthouse.
  • Breakfast: Included in all rates.
  • Room Service: Limited service available during restaurant hours – 7 am to 8 pm.

Jai Niwas – Rooms

  • Room Types: Value Rooms • Superior Rooms • Deluxe Cottages (really still rooms) • Family Deluxe Rooms
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms or public areas, but permitted elsewhere.
  • Best Room: The décor and furnishings in all the rooms are very similar; the main difference being the size. A room on the upper floor, more distant from the lobby area, might be preferred.
  • For Families: Each Family Deluxe Room features a queen bed and 2 singles, with a tiny partitioned living area. Or book a room in the backpacker hostel next door with 4 bunk beds.

Jai Niwas – Local Transport

  • Walking: Nothing much of interest around the streets just outside, but nice enough to walk around.
  • 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 Sindhi Camp, about 1km away (12-minute walk) and attached to the bus station.
  • 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.

Jai Niwas – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants

  • Ask directions to the sister guesthouse, Arya Niwas (reviewed). It offers the low-key but very likable Chitra Cafeteria. Big thalis (set meals in steel plates) are a specialty, which can also be enjoyed on the terrace or lovely lawns. Vegetarian meals only. 3-minute walk (250m).

Otherwise, near the Arya Niwas are:

  • Trattoria – Rooftop setting between Arya Niwas and Jai Niwas. Wood-fired pizzas, but menu is more limited. About halfway between the Jai Niwas and Arya Niwas. 2-minute walk (130m).
  • The Bella Italia – Almost identical to Trattoria. Better selection than just pizza and pasta, with crepes and Chinese also available. Open for breakfast. 3-minute walk (230m).
  • 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. About 500m towards the Old City. 7-minute walk.
  • Hotel Mangal +91 (0)141 237 5126 – Along the main road, just opposite the turnoff to Arya Niwas. Dreary indoor setting but excellent vegetarian food at low prices. 8-minute walk (600m).

Shops

  • No shops along the streets outside the guesthouse of any interest to tourists, so head to the Old City (see below).

Attractions

  • 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, Chandpole Gate, is about 1km (8-minute drive) from the guesthouse, while the City Palace is 2.7km (14-minute drive). Both are best accessed 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. 14-minute drive (2.8km).
  • 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. 19-minute drive (3.5km).
  • 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. 35-minute drive (11km).
  • Nahargarh Fort – Historic defense fort overlooking Jaipur. Houses the Jaipur Wax Museum by the entrance, and features a second, updated Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace). 50-minute drive (17km).

Jai Niwas – The Hotel

The guesthouse is located at a distance from the busy road.

The guesthouse, which was being renovated in early 2019, is set within a garden, distant from the busy road.

The reception resembles a backpacker hostel.

The reception resembles a backpacker hostel, and the staff is very happy to help with travel arrangements for guests.

The seating on the lawn is very appealing.

Chairs and tables on the immaculate lawn provide the sort of quiet garden setting usually expected at a guesthouse costing far more.

The lawn at the front is very shady and inviting.

The front lawn is particularly shady and inviting.

The on-site cafe offers basic India food at cheap prices.

The guesthouse café offers basic Indian food at rock-bottom prices, but will be replaced by a new restaurant being built in early 2019.

Rooms open up to a terrace/corridor line with wicker chairs.

All rooms face the garden and/or lawn from a corridor or terrace, often lined with wicker chairs.

The guesthouse design provides a rate colonial-era vibe.

The terraces and whitewashed walls provide a colonial-era vibe rarely seen at a guesthouse in this price range.

Family Deluxe Rooms can sleep up to 4 guests.

The Family Deluxe Rooms are spacious enough for 4.

Family Deluxe Rooms come with small living areas.

The family rooms feature tiny living areas alongside full-length windows facing the lawn.

The spacious rooms offer garden views.

All rooms are comfortable and spacious, and offer garden views rarely seen at similar guesthouses.

The associated backpacker hostel is in a lovely old building next door.

Next to the Jai Niwas, the associated backpacker hostel is in a lovely old building.

Backpacker Hostel offers family-friendly rooms with 4 bunk beds.

The backpacker hostel next door offers rooms with 4 bunk beds, which are ideal for families.

Backpacker Hostel offers toys and games for kids.

Perhaps a little strangely, the backpacker hostel offers a few toys and other things for children.

The guesthouse is located at the end of a quiet dead-end street.

Not that the area is unsafe, but the guesthouse is located behind a gate and at the end of a quiet dead-end street.

The guesthouse is located over 100m away from the busy street.

The street outside the main gate is busy, but rooms are more than 100m away from traffic noise.

Chitra Cafeteria at the sister guesthouse is the closest place to eat.

With nowhere to eat along the street outside the main gates, ask directions to the sister guesthouse, Arya Niwas, which offers the delightful Chitra Cafeteria.

Chitra Cafeteria offers meals on the lawn.

Meals at the Chitra Cafeteria can also be enjoyed on the lawn.

Arya Niwas's lounge-cum-library is amazing.

The lounge-cum-library at the sister guesthouse, Arya Niwas, only 250m away, is the sort found in much more expensive hotels.

Hotel Mangal near Arya Niwas serves delicious vegetarian food.

Along the main road 150m from Arya Niwas, Hotel Mangal offers superb vegetarian food.

Trattoria Italian restaurant is between the sister hotels.

About halfway between the Jai Niwas and Arya Niwas guesthouses is the Trattoria Italian restaurant.

The Bella Italia is a rooftop bistro similar to the Trattoria.

Very similar to the Trattoria, and alongside Arya Niwas, The Bella Italia is another rooftop bistro offering Italian food.

Alsisar Haveli hotel's restaurant offers exquisite decor and superb food.

With an exquisite décor and superb food, the finest restaurant in the area is in the Alsisar Haveli hotel, 300m towards the Old City from Arya Niwas.

The Old City's nearest entrance is about 1km away.

The closest entrance to the Old City is about 1km from Jai Niwas.

The Old City offers a lot to see and explore.

There is so much to see and explore around the Old City.

The Old City markets are busy after dark.

The markets in the Old City are fascinating, especially after dusk.

Auto-rickshaws are the best way to explore the Old City.

Because of the crowds and traffic, the best way to reach and get around the Old City is by auto-rickshaw.

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