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“Generally good, but some areas for improvement” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Castle Kanota

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Castle Kanota
Village Kanota, Jaipur 302012, India   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #144 of 333 Jaipur B&B and Inns
Singapore, Singapore
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Generally good, but some areas for improvement”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012 via mobile

I only stayed for a night on the way out of Jaipur having always wanted to stay at a palace hotel.

The property itself is fabulous, although the village that sits immediately in front of it is rather squalid. Upon arrival, one doesn't really know where to go. It isn't immediately obvious. Actually, the check in takes place on the rather grand verandah. All rather splendid. After that, guests are whisked off to their rooms which are rather magnificent I have to say.

The evenings were rather cool and the rooms could have used a little heat before arrival.... Just a tip for the managers. The room was quite cold.

There was no hot water on first arrival, although it was piping hot the next day.

The rather grand claw foot bath is next to a window which has film over it. There is no curtain. I don't know for sure, but it might be possible for silhouettes to be viewed from the courtyard immediately in front. Watch out for that.

Food was 100% Indian, locally sourced and well prepared. It was delicious I have to say. And the dining room, on the upper level, is fabulous.

The owners of the hotel make a real effort to chat to their guests which is a very nice touch. I also appreciated the opportunity to sit on a polo pony in the morning.

The car service provided by the hotel was excellent. Really excellent. Driver very knowledgeable.

My only complaint during the stay was that some of the staff, one in particular, were socially 'awkward' and didn't know when to stop talking to us or following us around the property. I totally understand the desire to be friendly and welcoming and all that... But there is only so much one can take before it starts to become intrusive and impacts the quality of the guest's experience. My advice to the management would be to train the team on this.

The museum is a real gem of a place. Marvellous actually. I enjoyed a couple of extremely pleasant hours there!

Many thanks to the team..... I would certainly return.

Stayed December 2012
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13 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Zaragoza, Spain
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

I wanted to write a critic on the restaurant, but I've been able to find out only the hotel (where we weren't hosted). We went there to have a dinner because of the 'Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' movie. That was the reason, and it was an absolute flaw. Far from Jaipur (40 m.), we were taken there by our driver (even he had difficulties to find it out). Nice precinct, very nice building (as in the movie). That's all. We had a very basic indian dinner (standard chicken curry and soup), in a small dining-room shared with only another table ocuppied by some hotel guests. Our feeling about the ambiance was really sad. Very expensive for what we got and how we got it. On the other hand, when waiting for our driver to get us back to our hotel in Jaipur, the owners came and switched-on the lights for sightseeing and photography, and also explained us the history, the try they were doing for making this a real business. I wish the best to them in this challenge, there is a lot of improvement room. Other's movie will not make their business succesful.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Hastings, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2012

Wonderful to see this fine hotel making a 'guest appearance' as the exclusive club setting in the recent 'Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' with Dame Judy Dench and co., where Madge (Celia Imrie) hunts another husband, Norman (Ronald Pickup) and hiariously attempts to assume she is Princess Margaret. Please do not confuse this hotel with the shabbier main location hotel of the film.

As other reviewers have suggested, this hotel does not attempt to pass itself off as a 4/5 star international chain hotel. But if you wanted that, my guess is you wouldn't be truly enjoying the adventure of travelling in India anyway.

My memories include: being driven into the enclosed courtyard and seeing the palace and gardens for the first time; being shown to my huge room off the terrace and the exquisite furnishings and paintings; cocktails in the evening on the terrace enjoying the company and storytelling of fellow guests; the unfailing attention of the waiters at dinner; the morning stroll around the gardens and the enclosed farm; being shown the wonderful library by our friendly hosts and the fascinating family history associated with the palace.

Thank you for such wonderful times.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2012

I was in Castle Kanota this January in a group of 7 and had an amazing experience. Being a heritage hotel it is not for the five star traveller ( which is what I WAS ) as there are NOT modern conveniences such as TV in the room, telephone, etc., but how wonderful to get away from that and find the true Rajasthan. It was very cold at that period and we were supplied old-fashioned one bar electric heaters-dangerously wired- for the room which I thought not up to standard - not too difficult to find more modern and efficient heaters. Extra blankets were available. Walk-in shower was fabulous but towels could be whiter and newer.. The food was FABULOUS and we had different dishes each lunch and dinner for 10 days ! The owners went out of their way to make sure that we were comfortable and had everything we wanted. I would say that the staff need training - they want to be helpful and in the true Indian style do everything they can to attend to guests needs, but really are not efficent. Sometimes this can be very frustrating, but I think they do not understand English as well as they make out. I would reccommend this hotel for a real taste of the India which is disappearing before my eyes and if the owner Sandleya is around any visitor is in for a treat. She a is charming, delightful lady who is a pleasure to be with.
I will definitely go again.

Room Tip: All rooms are individually painted and designed, some larger than others but all very comfortable
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2012

Do not be misled by the nice look of the place! They call themselves a "heritage hotel" and think that gives them an excuse for the lack of conveniences. There were no phones in the room so anytime you needed something, you had to step out to the main reception and hope you meet someone. The hotel is situated more than 10km outside of Jaipur and the roads leading to the hotel were through some rather seedy areas - definitely not advisable to venture out at night! Despite this, the hotel did not think to provide some form of entertainment - no tv's in the room and the internet did not work on my Mac! (Despite what the hotel staff said, there was nothing wrong with my computer set up as it was working well in other hotels before and after Castle Kanota!). Since there was nothing else to do, I tried to read a book but the lights kept going out for minutes at a time - I counted 4 times in 2 hrs before I gave up on reading!

The bedside table lamp did not work and had to be replaced, the other one was literally broken with the lamp shade hanging by a wire! The room and bathroom was very spacious and beautifully decorated in the old style; however, the handheld shower did not work at all and neither did the bidet.

But at least the small heater was working and they provided extra blankets.

To access the restaurant, you had to climb up 3 flights of narrow steps to reach the rooftop (again, it is a heritage hotel so no modern conveniences). The hotel staff were so busy with the large group that arrived after me that they forgot about me, a solo guest. The next morning for breakfast, I was shown to a different room which was a distance from the buffet table. It was cold and when I asked for the heater to be turned on, they turned on the ceiling fan instead! The heater never got turned on and I had to have my breakfast in this cold and lonely room. A horrible experience and I couldn't wait to get away!

All in all, I would NOT recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Far from Jaipur and not in a good area. Nothing else to do at night.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Gaithersburg, MD
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2010

Jaipur was once one of India's most delightful cities. Although the city is now the victim of its growth, an oasis of calm can be found in Kanota Castle. Although the road from Jaipur is no longer the sleepy rural drive it once was, as soon as you exit the Jaipur-Agra highway into the Kanota grounds, the noise, dust and traffic are soon forgotten.
We first came to know Kanota House during the 1970s when it served as a Peace Corps training site. Converted into a luxury hotel, the house and grounds have been refurbished -- but in a way that is wholly compatible with the historical home of the Kanota Thakurs.
The rooms remain decorated and furnished in the traditional manner and are very comfortable. The visitor can sit on the veranda or the lawns and enjoy a serenity that echoes more than a century of Jaipur's history. In the mornings, the crow of the peacock greets you. You can stroll through the lovely gardens both inside and just beyond the castle walls.
The food is traditional and well-prepared in a modern kitchen. And there is always more than enough to eat.
The staff is solicitous of the guest, perhaps overly so. But it is only a reflection of the traditional Rajasthani hospitality.
One note: Kanota is not for the five-star hotel tourist who wants a swimming pool, air conditioning and American motel interiors. It is the perfect place for someone who would like to discover the grace, elegance and hospitality of what Rajasthan once was.
Tom and Ramola Carter

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
156 reviews 156 reviews
69 hotel reviews
Reviews in 91 cities Reviews in 91 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2010

Was here for a two night stay and used as a rather out of town base for visiting Jaipur. The building is a wonderful historic mansion and the rooms are spacious and comfortable. The bathrooms are huge, nearly as big as the rooms with walk in showers.

The big let down was service. The guy running it was keen and helpful, but clearly some fairly heavy staff training is required as everyone around him let him down. It all started with the slow luggage unload. Our rep enquired as to why the other couple of lads around could not help but was told they were untouchables so could not handle our luggage! Gin ran out early - tragic for an English touring party! - and no more was available for next day. Service in the restaurant and otherwise was hit and miss.

Food was a buffet in the evening and was frankly poor. Their idea of meat is to serve up bones. Breakfast was OK. Watch your bills on the way out and keep track as you go along. Four of us had 6 beers between us first night and on check out these had been charged to each couples bill. I was dubious about other drinks charges but did not challenge them. Always ask for a large measure as you will certainly be charged for large regardless.

So, a 5 Star for the infrastructure and frankly 1 Star for Service and implementation. But this place could be really stunning with some decent management.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Castle Kanota

Address: Village Kanota, Jaipur 302012, India
Location: India > Rajasthan > Jaipur
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #144 of 333 B&Bs / Inns in Jaipur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
15 km from Jaipur. Same ownership as Narain Niwas in Jaipur, but a different location and ambiance. Newly renovated and re-opened. ... more   less 
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