5 Palatial Getaways That Are Wrapped In Timeless Traditions And Gracious Indian Hospitality
- 13 Oct '22
- 6:39 pm by Sneha Shah
After two of the most challenging years the tourism and hospitality industry has seen, travel is back; with reimagined classics opening their much-anticipated doors. Once viewed as ancient, these palaces and havelis of India have now emerged as luxurious heritage hotels that offer an unequivocal peek into the times of bygone royalty. In addition to their awe-inspiring architectural styles and grand interiors, these palace hotels exude the legacy of each erstwhile princely region through rich cuisines, culture, and art. We’ve put together a curated list of the most stunning palaces-turned-heritage hotels that haven’t sacrificed an ounce of splendour and promise an enriching experience –
1. Villa Palladio, Jaipur
Villa Palladio Jaipur is a gracious country estate inspired by the traditions of the hotels of the past. Conceived as a retreat, this palatial stay introduces the culminating philosophy of Palladio Jaipur’s imaginative understanding of what XXI Century Hospitality should represent – the grand simplicity rooted in the guests’ individual experiences of delight. The recreation of this Rajasthani haveli is courtesy Barbara Miolini and Marie-Anne Oudejans, the duo behind Bar Palladio.
Categorized into three types of rooms and suites, each bedroom is a decadent escape with soaring ceilings, inlaid marble floors and hand-painted interiors with bold colours and striking patterns. The spacious bathrooms offer a free-standing bathtub with hand-carved marble jalis as partitions. This nine-room property is more inward-looking than oriented toward a view.
2. Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace, Hampi
Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace, by Earthitects, is an elegant hotel built with fort-like entrances, stone-paved boulevards, arched hallways and regal chambers. Set amidst a jungle landscape, the subdued colours of this sweeping structure are a tribute to the architectural styles of the Vijayanagar ruins that lie nearby. The sparse theme is intentional – rough granite flooring, self-coloured vine inlays and wooden furniture inset with brass, highlighting the courtly style of architecture of the period. The water features across the spatial expanse are surrounded by lily ponds and endless nature. Overall, the hotel offers 37 rooms across three categories and nine suites.
The Jal Mahal Suites, inspired by the Water Palace in the Zenana Enclosure, are expansive spaces with separate living, dining, sleeping areas and courtyard bathrooms. An annexe building that draws inspiration from the Lotus Mahal, houses the spa, reading lounge and restaurants. The resort has also charted four trails, each covering an important set of monuments and natural sights around.
3. Karan Mahal, Srinagar
Situated at the confluence of the Zabarwan mountains and Shankaracharya hillocks, this magnificent European-style villa, Karan Mahal, is a charming retreat. It has been recently restored by the royal family of Jammu & Kashmir and houses seven luxurious guest rooms including three lavish suites, all with private balconies and sprawling gardens.
The interiors of Karan Mahal including the elegant drawing room and the imperial dining room, are adorned with many heritage elements including handwoven vintage Kashmiri carpets, handcrafted wooden ceilings, crystal chandeliers, art deco furniture and exquisite artefacts. The art of handcrafted wooden ceilings, called Khatamband, enriches every space within the property. The food here is home-cooked, drawing from the royal family’s influences which is a fusion of Dogra, Kashmiri, Nepalese and Pan Asian. It is a residents-only property which implies that it is not open to the general public.
4. Hyatt Regency Mansarovar, Jaipur
Located in the scenic surroundings of Mansarovar in Jaipur, the opening of this palatial property marks the second Hyatt hotel in one of India’s most sought-after tourist destinations. Hyatt Regency Jaipur Mansarovar is the perfect combination of classic architecture and contemporary décor style to create a bespoke experience for the guests. Spread across two wings – the Royal Wing and the Tower Wing, the property boasts 245 rooms including 34 suites.
The spacious rooms come with traditional projecting stone windows known as ‘Jharokhas’, that overlook the well-landscaped gardens. Defining the grandeur and flamboyance of Rajasthani culture, the hotel also offers a multitude of signature dining experiences, extensive leisure facilities and a host of rejuvenating recreational facilities.
5. Six Senses Fort Barwara, Sawai Madhopur
Six Senses Fort Barwara has fast become one of the most sought-after properties in India. It is located 2.5 hours by car from Jaipur airport and 30 minutes by car from Sawai Madhopur train station. This historic 14th-century fort has been sensitively converted into a sanctuary of well-being comprising 48 suites, 3 restaurants, and a sprawling 30,000 square feet spa amongst other amenities. It has been restored to its previous glory by Prithviraj Singh from the noble family in tandem with Panika, under the leadership of late Nimish Patel and Parul Zaveri for architectural design.
Every suite at the resort has been designed in a contemporary Rajasthani style to tie into the overarching historic backdrop of the fort, complete with private rooftop terraces and state-of-the-art in-room technology. The landscape is dotted with a rich mix of traditional gardens, striking water features, and local flora and fauna.
Sustainability has been a key consideration throughout the conservation process. Compelling spiral structures across the resort are a nod to the age-old water harvesting techniques that have been modernized, serving as an interesting addition to the landscape. The safari to Ranthambore National Park, an absolute must-do for those that visit the property.