Tara Niwas Hotel in Jaipur, India

by Santorini Dave • Updated: June 20, 2019

Review of Tara Niwas in Jaipur, India.

Tara Niwas – Quaint, friendly, and terrific value, with more serenity and tranquility than most.

One in a bunch of associated guesthouses renovated from mansions in Jaipur, the Tara Niwas is along a peaceful suburban street and far from the chaos elsewhere. Rooms could be updated a little, but are still spacious, with the added bonus of windows on the back offering more light than those facing the corridor/terrace. Other reasons to stay here are the useful amenities for travelers, e.g. inexpensive café on-site, book exchange, free computer use, same-day laundry, money-changing at realistic rates, and travel advice and bookings. There’s also a petite garden with rabbits, and unlike rival guesthouses, a few places to eat, drink, and shop are within a short walk.

Tara Niwas – The Location

  • Address: 22/B Shiv Marg road, which runs off the major Collectorate Circle roundabout. In the inner-city area of Bani Park.
  • Area: Along a comparatively pleasant street in a suburb of middle-class housing. Some facilities near the chaotic roundabout, 200m to the southwest.
  • How to Get There: From the airport (14km, 35-minute drive), take a pre-paid taxi or walk outside for an auto-rickshaw. The train terminal (2km, 8-minute drive), main bus station (1.6km, 7-minute drive), and nearest metro station (1.5km, 6-minute drive) are all close by.

Tara Niwas – The Basics

  • Guests: Caters to all sorts of travelers, including families, but most seem to be independent foreign tourists looking for a quiet mid-range guesthouse.
  • Views: Like most inner-city guesthouses, views are hit-and-miss. While most rooms face the corridor/terrace, they also (unlike others) have windows at the back which look out to nearby buildings.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Certainly not expected – or provided – at this sort of inner-city guesthouse in Jaipur.
  • Extras: Daily newspaper delivered to each room.
  • Wi-Fi: Free throughout for all guests, but slower further from the lobby.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)141 220 6823
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: aryaniwas.com

Tara Niwas – Amenities

  • Pool, Spa, & Fitness Center: Not expected or provided.
  • Other Facilities: Computer station. Same-day laundry. Fixed-price souvenir counter. Money-changing. Travel desk. Book exchange.

Tara Niwas – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant: Quaint café at ground level. Limited but changing menu of vegetarian meals, with hearty serves at low prices. Try the thalis (set meals in steel plates). A few western choices too, and home-baked cakes and breads. No bar.
  • Breakfast: Not included, but only a minimal extra cost.
  • Room Service: Limited service available from 6.30 am to 11 pm.

Tara Niwas – Rooms

  • Room Types: Economy Rooms • Superior Rooms • Deluxe Rooms • Family Deluxe Rooms
  • Smoking Rooms: May be permitted in some rooms, so check with the management.
  • Best Room: Rooms are fairly similar, with the size being the major difference. The Deluxe Rooms are slightly larger and more likely to be quieter.
  • For Families: An extra single bed can be placed in most rooms, while the Family Deluxe Rooms can comfortably accommodate groups of 4.

Tara Niwas – Local Transport

  • Walking: Not much of interest within walking distance, except near the Collectorate Circle roundabout, about 200m down the road. The backstreets are pleasant; not so, the Collectorate Circle with its chaotic traffic.
  • 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, 1.5km away (6-minute drive), and is 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.

Tara Niwas – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

  • Restaurant Cinnamon – In the Hamston Park Golden Manor hotel next door. Classy Indian dinner buffets and a la carte all day. 1-minute walk (90m).
  • Hitchki Bar & Kitchen – Dingy bar in a basement below the Hamston Park hotel (see above), but decent meals and cheap beer. 1-minute walk (90m).
  • Hotel Jaipur Ashok +91 (0)141 220 4491 – Decent restaurant in the uniquely-designed hotel, but the setting is a bit dreary. At Collectorate Circle roundabout 200m down the street. 3-minute walk (230m).
  • Café Coffee Day – One in a countrywide chain of cheerful cafés serving drinks and light meals. In a colorful office block, 200m down M.I. Road from the roundabout. 6-minute walk (500m).
  • Glocal Tadka – Basement-level vegetarian restaurant in Crystal Mall, 500m down M.I. Road from the roundabout. 9-minute walk (700m).
  • Icekraft Jaipur Banipark – Best in the area by a mile for western meals such as burgers, waffles, and tacos. Ground floor of Crystal Mall. 9-minute walk (700m).

Shops

  • A few shops along M.I. Road, such as the Crystal Mall, which is 700m from the guesthouse, via the Collectorate Circle roundabout. 9-minute walk.

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 2km (6-minute drive) from the guesthouse, while the City Palace is about 4km (15-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. 16-minute drive (4km).
  • 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. 17-minute drive (4.5km).
  • 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. 32-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). 45-minute drive (17km).

Tara Niwas – The Hotel

The guesthouse is located in a middle-class suburb.

The guesthouse is along a quiet suburban street of middle-class housing in the inner city.

The owners sell bonsai plants on the property.

The converted mansion features likable touches throughout, such as a stall selling bonsai plants set up by the owners.

The small garden has a rabbit hutch.

Between the street and reception area is a small garden.

The on-site cafe serves large servings of vegetarian food.

The café on the ground floor serves hearty portions of vegetarian food (Indian and Western) at low prices.

The cafe serves delicious thalis.

The thalis are particularly filling and delicious at the guesthouse café.

The guesthouse even has a decent souvenir counter.

A small counter at the Tara Niwas offers quality souvenirs at admirably competitive prices.

The corridors feature lots of traditional arts and crafts.

The guesthouse corridors are lined with traditional arts and crafts.

The guesthouse is decorated nicely with traditional works.

There are numerous appealing decorations along the corridors and terraces.

Rooms feature windows in the front and the back.

Most rooms feature windows facing the corridor/terrace, but unlike rivals, rooms also have 1 or 2 windows at the back. This provides more light and even some breeze.

Each level has a relaxation area for guests.

An area at the front on each level provides a charming place for any guest to relax.

The spacious rooms are colorfully decorated.

Rooms are reasonably spacious, with a bright décor and colorful prints on the walls.

All rooms come with small sitting areas.

Each room features a small sitting area.

The street in front is quiet, clean, and safe.

The street in front of the guesthouse is comparatively quiet, clean, and safe.

The classy Restaurant Cinnamon serves an Indian menu.

In the Hamston Park Golden Manor hotel next to the guesthouse, the classy Restaurant Cinnamon serves Indian cuisine, including dinner buffets. The Hitchki Bar & Kitchen is in a basement below.

Hotel Jaipur Ashok's restaurant serves Indian food.

Another option for mostly Indian food is the restaurant at Hotel Jaipur Ashok at the Collectorate Circle roundabout, just 200m from the guesthouse.

M.I. Road has a few shopping options.

M.I. Road, which branches out from Collectorate Circle, has a few shopping areas.

Café Coffee Day serves light meals and drinks.

Within the colorful building in the previous photo, Café Coffee Day serves drinks and light meals all day and late into the evening.

Crystal Mall is the main shopping center within walking distance of the guesthouse.

Crystal Mall, the main (but still modest) shopping center along this part of M.I. Road, is about 700m from the guesthouse.

Glocal Tadka restaurant is located in the Crystal Mall.

In a basement level of Crystal Mall is the Glocal Tadka vegetarian restaurant.

Icekraft serves tasty western food at Crystal Mall.

On the ground floor of Crystal Mall, Icekraft offers a range of tasty western food.

The Old City's walls are about 2km away.

The walls of the Old City are about 2km by auto-rickshaw from the guesthouse.

The Old City is very vast and chaotic.

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

The Old City has several markets.

There are several markets within the Old City.

Auto-rickshaws are the optimum mode to explore the Old City.

The most convenient way to reach and travel around the Old City is by auto-rickshaw.

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