The Raj Palace Hotel in Jaipur, India

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Updated: October 9, 2019

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Review of The Raj Palace in Jaipur, India.

The Raj Palace – Old-world charm and convenient position, offering indescribable luxury and grandeur.

The Raj Palace offers the quintessential palace-style hotel: whitewashed walls, billiard-table lawns with croquet pitch, expansive terraces of checkered tiles, and restaurants and bars showcasing class and history. Within a 300-year-old former palace which was only converted to a hotel in the late 1990s, its rooms are fit for royalty. Even the lowest category rooms are extraordinary. The pool, gym, and spa are undersized, but this is expected of a hotel built as a palace, not a resort. And the location is faultless: just outside the walls of the Old City and a few minutes by auto-rickshaw from the City Palace.

The Raj Palace – The Location

  • Address: Amer Road. About 300m from the Jorawar (Zorawar) Singh Gate, the main northern entrance to the Old City. The hotel gates are 50m from the road, and rooms are even further back.
  • Area: Busy and crowded streets, with facilities more suited to local residents than foreign tourists.
  • How to Get There: From the airport (14km, 35-minute drive), take a pre-paid taxi or walk outside for an auto-rickshaw. Other important places like the train terminal (6km, 25-minute drive), main bus station (5km, 25-minute drive), and nearest metro station (4km, 17-minute drive) are not too far.
  • Handy to: Old City.

The Raj Palace – The Basics

  • Guests: Many guests are on packaged tours that include 1-2 nights in a genuine palace hotel.
  • Views: All rooms and suites are on higher levels overlooking the lawn, while a few face a quiet internal courtyard.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: One of the Presidential Suites features a rooftop jacuzzi and pool.
  • Wi-Fi: Should be free throughout, but double-check when booking.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)141 263 4077
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: rajpalace.com

The Raj Palace – Amenities

  • Pool: Since it’s a 300-year-old palace which has not been ruthlessly modernized while being converted to a hotel, the pool is undersized, but the courtyard setting is still very attractive.
  • Spa: Similarly, the Prakriti Spa near the pool is tiny and only offers massages.
  • Fitness Center: Suits the layout of an ancient royal palace rather than a modern resort hotel.

The Raj Palace – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants: The Royal Lounge – Coffee shop is as regal as imagined. Perfect for afternoon tea. Sit inside or along the terrace. • Swapna Mahal – Featuring majestic furniture, crystal chandeliers, and elegantly-dressed staff. Even a crockery museum. A la carte and buffets, as well as thalis (set meals in steel plates) fit for a king. • Kebab Shop – The terrace outside the Swapna Mahal converts to kebab stalls during the evenings.
  • Bar: Shikarbadi Bar – So reminiscent of the British Raj era with plush leather seats, paintings of hunting expeditions, and colonial antiques. Serves imported beers and spirits.
  • Breakfast: Not included.
  • Room Service: Available 24/7.

The Raj Palace – Rooms

  • Room Types: Heritage Rooms • Premier Rooms • Historical Rooms • Prestige Suites • Palace Suites • Presidential Suites
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms or public areas, but permitted elsewhere.
  • Best Room: The Presidential Suites are indescribably elegant with 2 or 4 bedrooms, ornately painted walls, and gold-plated bathroom fittings. One suite even features a museum, library, and rooftop pool with jacuzzi. These suites are among the most extraordinary anywhere in India.
  • For Families: Not that interested in families, but there’s space in the rooms for 1 extra single bed and for 2 singles in the suites. One Presidential Suite has 2 bedrooms; the other has 4.

The Raj Palace – Local Transport

  • Walking: The front gates are about 50m from a major road, which is noisy and crowded. Disappointingly, little of interest to guests in the immediate area.
  • 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, Chandpole, is too far away (4km, 17-minute drive) to be of any use.
  • 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.

The Raj Palace – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    These 2 are the best of a limited choice within a short walk north up the road, but they’re more for locals than foreign tourists.

  • Pink City Kings – With a family section and vast menu (vegetarian only). 3-minute walk (260m).
  • Madhav Restaurant +91 (0)141 267 2875 – In the Hotel Madhav Palace for authentic Indian food at local prices. 4-minute walk (300m).

Otherwise, jump into an auto-rickshaw and head to the Pearl Palace Hotel (6km, 20-minute ride). The restaurant at this hotel, and 2 others directly opposite (listed below), offer rooftop settings with vast views, intimate lighting, competitive prices, and live music on most nights. All are open from about 7 am to 11 pm.

  • The Peacock Rooftop Restaurant – In the Pearl Palace Hotel. Remarkably extensive menu also features pizza, pasta, salad, and Chinese. Can get overcrowded at times, affecting service. Bookings recommended.
  • Chitrakatha – Quiet and laidback. More tempting selection of Indian cuisine than the other 2.
  • Kalyan Rooftop Restaurant – The cheapest and least crowded, with TV sports and comfortable furniture. Also, a lovely restaurant inside with a delightful wooden Rajasthani design.

Shops

  • A few shops just within the Old City walls about 300m away. Not much else within walking distance, however, so catch an auto-rickshaw to the area around the City Palace (see below).

Attractions

  • 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. 6-minute drive (2km).
  • 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, Jorawar (Zorawar) Singh Gate, is only 300m (4-minute walk) from the hotel, while the City Palace is about 2km (7-minute drive) away.
  • 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. 7-minute drive (2km).
  • 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. 12-minute drive (6km).
  • Nahargarh Fort – Historic defense fort overlooking Jaipur. Houses the Jaipur Wax Museum by the entrance, and features a second, updated Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace). 25-minute drive (13km).

The Raj Palace – The Hotel

The hotel is located at the northern edge of the Old City.

This 300-year-old former palace is on the northern edge of the Old City.

The hotel entrance exemplifies its history and grandeur.

The history and grandeur of this majestic hotel starts at the main door.

The royal palace was converted to a hotel in the late 1990s.

Although so old, the building was only converted to a hotel in the late 1990s, maintaining the glorious style reminiscent of royal dynasties.

Rooms offer views of the lawns or the inner courtyard.

Most rooms face the lawn, while some overlook an internal courtyard.

The swimming pool can be a little small.

Not originally designed as a hotel, some facilities – such as the swimming pool – are understandably a little small.

The Turkish bath style pool gets crowded easily.

In the style of a Turkish bath, the pool is inviting, but could become easily crowded.

The fitness center is a bit small as well.

Similarly, creating a larger fitness center would considerably change the design and layout of the hotel.

The small spa offers only massages.

Near the pool, the spa is also small, and only offers massages.

The Royal Lounge offers tea with a regal experience.

The regal experience can be greatly enhanced with tea at The Royal Lounge.

Swapna Mahal features imperial furniture, crystal chandeliers, and even a crockery museum.

The signature restaurant, Swapna Mahal, boasts imperial furniture, crystal chandeliers, and even a crockery museum.

Shikarbadi Bar features a colonial-era design.

The Shikarbadi Bar is reminiscent of the sort of place British rulers may have relaxed at during the colonial era.

Drinks can also be enjoyed by the lawn.

Guests can also enjoy a drink along the terrace facing the extended lawn.

The lawn also has a croquet pitch.

Most rooms face the lawn, which also features a croquet pitch.

The Presidential Suites are extremely majestic.

The Presidential Suites are indescribably majestic.

Presidential Suite bedrooms are extremely elegant.

Bedrooms in the Presidential Suites are as elegant as imagined.

The Presidential Suites bathrooms come with gold-plated fittings.

The massive bathrooms in the Presidential Suites feature gold-plated fittings.

Even the lowest category rooms are delightful.

Even the lowest category rooms are very sumptuous.

All room furnishings are appealing.

Furnishing in every room is so resplendent.

The hotel is located in a fairly busy area.

The Raj Palace is just outside the northern walls of the Old City, and within a fairly hectic area.

The neighborhood offers facilities mostly for locals.

Facilities along the main road outside the hotel are of little interest to foreign tourists.

Madhav Restaurant opposite the hotel is decent.

The Madhav Restaurant, on the other side of the road from the hotel gates, is one of few decent restaurants near the Raj.

Pink City Kings close by is a good place to eat, especially for families.

Another place to eat, especially good for families, is Pink City Kings, just up the road from the hotel (away from the Old City).

Peacock Rooftop Restaurant is a good place for dinner.

Options for an evening meal are limited, so take an auto-rickshaw to the popular Peacock Rooftop Restaurant (in the Pearl Palace Hotel).

The Chitrakatha hotel has a delightful rooftop cafe.

Opposite The Peacock, the Chitrakatha hotel offers another delightful rooftop café.

Hotel Kalyan next door has a rooftop cafe and another indoors.

A third in a cluster next to The Peacock and Chitrakatha, the Hotel Kalyan has a rooftop café and another inside with traditional wooden décor.

The Old City's main entrance is a short stroll away.

The hotel is only 300m from the Jorawar (Zorawar) Singh Gate, the main entrance to the northern part of the Old City.

The Old City has a few souvenir shops close to the hotel.

There are a few souvenir shops within the Old City walls only 300m from the hotel gates.

Jaipur features electric auto-rickshaws.

Plenty of auto-rickshaws whisk people around the Old City. Some are electric and have bench seats.

The chaotic Old City is vast and fascinating.

The Old City is chaotic and would take days to explore fully.

The Old City markets are busy after dark.

The several markets within the Old City are more energetic after dark.

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