Umaid Mahal Hotel in Jaipur, India

by Santorini Dave • Updated: June 20, 2019

Review of Umaid Mahal in Jaipur, India.

Umaid Mahal – Personable and peaceful, featuring a lavish design and historical grace.

Little sister to the nearby palace-style hotel, Umaid Bhawan (also reviewed), the lavishness is evident at the gold-plated dungeon-style front door. The extravagance continues from the marble lobby to the incredibly ornate corridors linking the rooms and the inner courtyards which are adorned with chandeliers and paintings of Rajasthan. Rooms are admirably spacious and lovingly filled with antiques and old-style prints, but views are somewhat limited. With its Rajput design and expansive panoramas, the rooftop café is considerably more appealing than those at similar guesthouses, and the colonial-style lounge bar is also particularly inviting. The lovely pool is undersized, but the location along a quiet suburban street is a definite bonus.

Umaid Mahal – The Location

  • Address: C-20 B-2 Bihari Marg (road) in the inner-city suburb of Bani Park. 100m from the main road, Sawai Jai Singh Highway. Look for the turnoff at the KP Motors showroom.
  • Area: Nicely located along a quiet suburban street of middle-class housing.
  • How to Get There: From the airport (13km, 30-minute drive), take a pre-paid taxi or walk outside for an auto-rickshaw. From other important places: train terminal (1.2km, 14-minute walk), main bus station (2.1km, 10-minute drive), and nearest metro station (1.9km, 7-minute drive).

Umaid Mahal – The Basics

  • Guests: Mostly older couples who enjoy the quiet setting and historical ambience.
  • Views: With many rooms packed into a tight area, views are limited. Rooms facing the front overlook the quiet streets, while others face neighboring buildings. A handful offer balconies which are so small that they’re hardly worthwhile.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Certainly not expected – or provided – at this sort of inner-city guesthouse in Jaipur.
  • Extras: Daily newspaper delivered to each room. Free pickup from the train or bus stations.
  • Wi-Fi: Available free throughout for all guests.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)141 220 1952
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: umaidmahal.com

Umaid Mahal – Amenities

  • Pool: Like many similar guesthouses, the pool is undersized and could get crowded very easily, but the setting is lovely and similar in style to a Turkish bath.
  • Spa & Fitness Center: None. Probably because there’s simply no space.
  • Other Facilities: Same-day laundry. Business Center. Travel advice/bookings.

Umaid Mahal – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bar: The rooftop café with its terrace, intimate tables, and old-style design is very appealing. The opulent Taikhana restaurant in the basement lacks natural light – perhaps, best for breakfast only. Attached to the Taikhana, the Restro Bar, with its plush lounges and portraits of nobility, is reminiscent of British India.
  • Breakfast: Buffet breakfast is included in all rates.
  • Room Service: Limited and available from 7 am to 9 pm.

Umaid Mahal – Rooms

  • Room Types: Royal Deluxe Rooms.
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms or public areas, but permitted elsewhere.
  • Best Room: With only one category, rooms are fairly similar. The best are those furthest away from the lobby and pool areas.
  • For Families: Some rooms are sold as ‘triples’, while others can easily accommodate families of 4.

Umaid Mahal – Local Transport

  • Walking: The streets around the hotel are comparatively quiet, clean, and safe. The main road (only 100m from the hotel), along which are some limited facilities, is less attractive.
  • 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, Jaipur Metro Station, is 1.9km away (7-minute drive), and is attached to the train 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.

Umaid Mahal – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    Not a great choice within the immediate vicinity.

  • Shahpura House +91 (0)141 408 9100 – Lovely guesthouse 150m away on Devi Marg road. Offers the Sapphire Restaurant (stylish and airy, with bar attached and facing the lawns) and Rasa (fine dining and heavenly setting, but dinner only). 2-minute walk.

Otherwise, head southeast along the main road for 600m to the chaotic Collectorate Circle roundabout. Nearby are several options.

  • Hotel Jaipur Ashok +91 (0)141 220 4491 – Decent restaurant in the uniquely-designed hotel, but the setting is a bit dreary. Facing the roundabout. 9-minute walk (700m).
  • 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. 10-minute walk (800m).
  • Glocal Tadka – Basement-level vegetarian restaurant in Crystal Mall, 500m down M.I. Road from the roundabout. 11-minute walk (900m).
  • Icekraft Jaipur Banipark – Finest in the region by a mile for western meals such as burgers, waffles, and tacos. Ground floor of Crystal Mall, past Café Coffee Day. 11-minute walk (900m).

Shops

  • No shops along the street in front, but a few on the main road about 100m away. Otherwise, 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 3km (10-minute drive) from the guesthouse, while the City Palace is about 5km (20-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. 21-minute drive (5km).
  • 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. 22-minute drive (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 (12km).
  • 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 (18km).

Umaid Mahal – The Hotel

The front door has been meticulously crafted.

Even the front door has been expertly crafted to retain the overall theme.

The lobby is lavishly decorated.

As expected, after entering the front door, the lobby area is also sumptuous.

Marble corridors and terraces lead to the rooms.

The design of the hotel is quite extraordinary. Access to rooms is along narrow corridors and terraces of marble which are lined with royal portraits.

The hotel is packed with exquisite paintings.

Courtyards and alcoves within the hotel are packed with paintings of old India and other exquisite reminders of the country’s past.

The beautifully renovated restaurant is located on the rooftop.

The restaurant on the hotel rooftop has also been beautifully renovated.

The rooftop offers vast suburban views.

The rooftop offers vast views of the suburban streets.

The luxurious Restro Bar features several royal portraits.

The plush Restro Bar in the hotel is also lined with portraits of former nobility.

The basement-level Taikhana restaurant houses the Restro Bar.

The Restro Bar is attached to the Taikhana restaurant in the hotel basement.

The opulent Taikhana restaurant serves breakfast and other meals.

Breakfast and other meals are served in the Taikhana restaurant. It is opulent but a little dark because it’s in the basement.

The smallish pool is like a Turkish bath.

The undersized pool is squeezed into a limited space, but it does boast an enticing setting reminiscent of a Turkish bath.

The rooms are all surprisingly spacious.

Considering the limited space throughout the hotel, rooms are surprisingly spacious.

Room walls are lines with fascinating old photos and prints.

Walls in every room are lined with fascinating prints and photos of old India.

Views from rooms are unremarkable despite the full-length windows.

All rooms feature full-length windows, but given the limited space and inner-city location, views are unremarkable.

Rooms come with old-fashioned furnishings and usual mod cons.

The furnishings in all rooms are suitably old-fashioned, but all the usual mod cons are also included.

Some rooms feature small balconies.

Some rooms feature balconies which are standing-room only and provide limited views.

The bright and airy Sapphire Restaurant is close by.

Only 150m from the Umaid Mahal is the bright and airy Sapphire Restaurant in the elegant Shahpura House hotel.

Hotel Jaipur Ashok is about half a kilometer from the hotel.

At the Collectorate Circle roundabout, some 600m from Umaid Mahal, is the restaurant in the Hotel Jaipur Ashok.

Café Coffee Day serves lights meals, coffee, and drinks.

Not far from the roundabout, Café Coffee Day is great for a drink or light meal.

Glocal Tadka restaurant is located in the Crystal Mall.

In Crystal Mall, 300m from the roundabout, is the vegetarian Glocal Tadka restaurant.

Icekraft serves tasty western food at Crystal Mall.

The most tempting place to eat in the area is Icekraft, also at Crystal Mall.

The Old City's outer gates are about 3km away.

The guesthouse is about 3km from the outer walls of the Old City.

The City Palace area offers the finest shopping.

The finest shopping is around the City Palace area.

The Old City markets are busy after dark.

The markets in the Old City are particularly robust after dark.

Jaipur features electric auto-rickshaws.

Unlike most cities in India, some auto-rickshaws in Jaipur are electric.

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