We had of course seen photos of the Umaid Bhawan but I don't think anything prepared us for the long drive up and then the first glimpse of the Palace - it is Huge!
This is another outstanding Taj Hotel and they do it perfectly. From the rose petal welcome to the walk into the foyer and then view up into that huge dome we knew we were in for a wonderful stay. We only wish we could have stayed longer than 2 nights. That is the trouble when you stay in a place of such grandeur - you wonder how you will have the time to enjoy it all and also see the sights of Jodphur!
We booked a Palace Room which was very large with a small separate sitting area that opened onto a balcony with views over the grounds. From the bedroom we walked through a separate dressing room into a very large marble bathroom with 2 vanities, seating and a bath. The toilet and shower were each separately enclosed. Our king size bed was very comfortable and the room itself was very quiet.
We had breakfast on the verandah of the Pillars restaurant that looks out across the lawn to where Liz Hurley got married. We also had a superb dinner in the same spot. The night was quite chilly but gas heating is on offer if you are lucky enough to score one of those tables - we were not.
We managed to spend a couple of hours by the outdoor pool that is towards the back of the gardens and found the staff there extremely attentive with juices, water and fruit sticks. One pool boy even rushed across with my towel when I got out of the water - I like to think it wasn't just to cover my fat body up from public view. We also planned to have night swim in the beautiful indoor pool but ran out of time as one can tend to do when drinking on a private balcony.
The Umaid Bhawan is one of those unique hotels in the world that should be put on every lucky traveller's lists of places to stay at least once. I hope I am lucky enough to go back for another visit. Now that I have seen Jodphur I won't feel the need to leave the front door - which can be hard to find in such a huge circular foyer.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One of the largest royal residences in the world, the golden-yellow sandstone Umaid Bhawan Palace is a monument to Jodhpur’s gallantry and romance. Guests get a taste of what it was like to live like kings. From rooms once occupied by the Maharaja. From regal pastimes like polo or croquet. From magnificent views of the palace gardens and the spectacular Mehrangarh Fort. From unique themed dinners that flaunt all the pomp-and-splendour of the desert kingdom. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur Hotel Jodhpur
- Jodhpur Umaid Bhawan Palace