The Rambagh Palace, of all of Micato’s stellar collection of Indian hotels, is quite possibly the one you’ll want to immediately rave about to friends and family and whoever’ll lend you an ear. It’s a true palace, the home of Jaipur’s last maharajah, Sawai Man Singh II and his wife Maharani Gayatri Devi, an international beauty, author, and politician. Now part of the tradition-minded, service-oriented Taj Group, the Rambagh enchants royals and commoners equally: the Queen Mother of Bhutan’s “heart is full of joy with the [hotel’s] beauty” and Oprah Winfrey—not exactly a commoner, but still pretty down-home—is thankful for “the kindness and graciousness of every single member” of the Rambagh’s staff.
All of Rambagh Palace’s 33 suites and 45 rooms are decorated in what we think of as High Imperial Style, with brocade drapes and finely wrought rugs, marble bathrooms, period photographs, and original art. Each looks out to the elegant inner courtyard or the palace’s elaborate Mughal Gardens, and each—another Taj tradition—is fully e-connected and up-to-the-minute in its amenities.
Just wandering in the palace, soaking up its lattice-work and carved marble splendour, is a treat (and for a more-in depth appreciation, the Rambagh conducts story-filled Heritage Walks). The palace’s former ballroom, glittering with the light of huge crystal chandeliers, is now the Suvarna Mahal restaurant, specializing in gourmet Indian cuisine.
Other dining options include the all-day Rajput Room; Mediterranean offerings at Steam, the lounge bar; or snacks in the Polo Bar, whose many evocative photographs evoke the days when the maharajahs of Jaipur excelled at polo and unabashed, world-astounding extravagance.
It’s wonderfully true of India entire, but, for many of us it’s especially true that the Pink City of Jaipur is a great place to experience what Mark Twain called “India in motion, always a streaming flood of people clothed in smouchings from the rainbow, a tossing and moiling flood, happy, noisy, charming.” Our Micato Travel Director is a deft navigator of that charming flood of humanity, and he’ll introduce us to Jaipur’s Rube Goldbergian Observatory (younger travellers might find it a bit Hogswartian); the fanciful Palace of the Winds; and the vast and engrossing Amber Fort. We’ll likely have a nicely quiet lunch at brilliant Samode Palace, a ways out of town, and visit a private estate’s lovingly-tended elephants. And, as always in India, retiring after an active day to a soothing place like the Rambagh Palace is a delight.