The really great part about being in a country that had more kings and queens than we can remember is that most of their palaces have now thrown open their doors to commoners like us. With some of the finest palaces in the country being run as five star heritage hotels, you can now have a taste of royalty for a small price. We pick five of our favorite palaces around the country that’ll make you feel like a prince (or a princess) for the duration of your stay.
1. Gulab Bhavan, Srinagar
Home to a Chinar tree that was once the site of a meeting between Mahatma Gandhi and Maharaja Hari Singh, the Gulab Bhavan palace that was built in 1910 has been restored to its original glory and turned into a hotel. Overlooking the picturesque Dal lake, the palace that has been taken over by the Lalit Group (and is now called The Lalit Grand Palace) is surrounded by the Himalayan ranges offering spectacular views to all its residents.
2. Laxmi Niwas Palace, Bikaner
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Bikaner, the Laxmi Niwas Palace built in red sandstone was designed in 1896 and completed in 1902. Extending into the Lalgarh palace, Laxmi Niwas has now been converted into a hotel that boasts of gold plated paintings in each room.
3. Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
Former residence to the Maharaja of Jaipur, the Rambagh Palace is perhaps the brightest jewel in the crown of the Taj Group. Converted into a hotel in 1957, the palace has majestic marbled corridors and lush, manicured gardens that will take you back in time and almost never let you leave. If your pockets are deep enough, book the Peacock suite that overlooks the Mughal terrace where the Maharaja use to play Holi.
4. Umaid Bhavan Palace, Jodhpur
Completed in 1944, the Umaid Bhavan palace is one of the last built great palaces in India. Taking almost 15 years to be completed, the yellow sandstone palace has a 105 ft high cupola that has become one of its main attractions. With 347 rooms, a part of the palace is run by the Taj Hotels and has two unique marble squash courts.
5. Devi Garh Palace, Udaipur
Residence of the rulers of the Delwara till the 20th century, the Devi Garh palace is definitely one worth your years savings. Nestled in the Aravali hills, the luxurious suites decorated in semi precious stones, marble and swimming pools run by the Lebua group of hotels, will ensure that you never have to leave the room. Yet, despite all the modern facilities the palace offers, there is still a rustic charm to it.
So, where will you go this winter?