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“A Royal Residence!”

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Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur
Ranked #1 of 96 Hotels in Jodhpur
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 25, 2008

This palace is truly magnificent. On arrival you are greeted with fresh flowers and fresh orange juice, and check in formalities are begun in the foyer (which has an incredible domed ceiling, and is opulently furnished) but completed in your room. I almost spoiled the experience for myself by arriving whilst on my phone, and walking straight past the staff waiting to greet us – be aware that you will be greeted with a drink every time you enter the palace, even once you have checked in.
A palace tour can be organised on arrival (after having some time to settle in) – and I would highly recommend you ask for one, as it was an interesting introduction to the property, and is taken with a complementary glass of champagne. We stayed in an original palace room (?), which turned out to be one of the furthest rooms from the main common areas. The room was very large – larger than the other internal facing rooms appeared to be - and was very well appointed in deco style, but had no significant windows (the small windows are up towards the ceiling and had no view), which made us feel a bit ‘closed in’ despite the size of the room. The bathroom had a fantastic shower and the Molton Brown toiletries were excellent. On the tour we saw some of the larger rooms, which are significantly more expensive, but are truly enormous with views of the grounds. The underground pool, which has beautiful hand painted walls and mosaic tiles, is a sight to see. There is complementary use of the steam room/sauna or private jacuzzi. The terrace restaurant is very pretty at night as the grounds are lit up with candles, and there is live traditional music. The food was not as good as I expected it to be, but I admit my expectations were extremely high, and the meal was still very good. Word of advice, book a room with breakfast package – breakfast is extraordinarily overpriced (though once again very good). There is always this sense of being in a functioning royal residence, and the entire hotel is extremely formal. Whilst this is fascinating and very beautiful, it can make it difficult to let go and relax if that is your goal.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank WGee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 21, 2008

This is a very unique and spectacular hotel palace. I would say that this is a tourist attraction in of itself. Service at the hotel is of a high standard. We received a private champagne tour of the palace including a look at the presidential and maharani suites. All quite impressive. We really appreciated the hotel's tour guide when we went to the fort; he was very informative and made the fort tour memorable. Food was quite good, but as other reviewers have noted, the wine prices are exorbitant. I would not recommend ordering any wine at this hotel until they lower their prices.

  • Stayed: April 2008
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Thank norm5Seattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2008

Our family of four (including two teenage children aged 18 and 15) stayed at the Umaid Bhawan Palace for two nights. The hotel is stunning visually and is certainly worth visiting for a tour. We were quite disappointed, however, by our experiences there. The rooms are quite large and beautifully decorated (we had one royal suite and a lesser room category for our kids), but rather dark, formal and not especially inviting or cosy. The service, particularly in the restaurants (where we had 3 meals) was really sub-standard and frustrating. It was difficult to communicate with the waiters, who could not quite seem to get our food orders right. We either had people fussing over the table constantly or impossible to find. The biggest issue, however, is that the food was the worst we experienced in India as well as the highest price. We had stayed at the Vilas properties in Agra and Ranthambore, as well as The Imperial in Delhi and Devi Garh in Udaipur, and in general the food was superb. Some of the dishes here were literally inedible. To be fair, there were 1-2 exceptional dishes, but overall, we were very disappointed and really felt a bit ripped off (and literally left hungry) by the experience. As mentioned in other reviews, the wine prices are insane, so this only exacerbated the irritation over the food.

One other irritation was that we asked for a one hour late check-out (checking out at 1:00 pm instead of noon). You would have thought this was a hugely unusual and unnatural request given their reaction. At first they had to check with management to determine if this was even possible, then they came back and said we could only have the smaller room for the extra hour, and then after more pushing from me, they begrudgingly said we could have the other room until 1:00 pm, but "we absolutely needed to be out by 1:00 pm." What should have been a simple opportunity to be gracious turned into another minor irritation, especially since the day before, we didn't have our rooms serviced until 4:00 pm.

Overall, I would recommend taking a tour of this place but stay and eat elsewhere.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank goldeneye3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2008

Nothing prepares you fore the sheer size and grandeur of this palace. It is a landmark for miles around on top of the hill with its huge dome dominating everything. You approach up a long drive and sweep round the lawn ,past the antique cars on show, like Royalty arriving at their castle. Inside is equally awe-inspiring with vast halls, corridors and spaces in which the superb furnishings, historic relics and game mounted on the walls seem small in the huge space. Not surprisingly, the service is equally grand. We were in one of the lower priced rooms which turned out to be a rooftop garret in the farthest reaches of the palace (it wouldn't be right to call it a hotel!). Though not in the best part of the palace, the room was large, marble floored and very well equipped. Our only complaint was that the air conditioning was antique and not quite up to the task of cooling our room in the 35 degree heat.
Breakfast on the terrace above the lawns with peacocks strutting around was magnificent but one look at the menu convinced us that we would be eating other meals out.
Other then the air-con and prices it is difficult to fault the hotel but we found the whole ambience a bit overpowering.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Normski3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2008

This is a Fantastic hotel which fully deserves the great write-ups below. The service is excellent from start to finish, the rooms are excellent, the pools are both excellent, the Yoga teacher is excellent. Food in Pillars Restaurant is the better option, but a bit watered down from real Indian food. Sadly wine prices are exorbitant US$80 for a basic wine which means the hotel loses a good income stream.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Christo8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2008

Quite often in India the hotel doesn't live up to the surroundings. Here, both are perfect.

It was a fabulous experience to stay in a real palace, built to the highest standards and with every modern convenience. Every corner revealed some new architectural marvel. The Suites have to be seen to be believed.

The staff were exceptional - well up to Oberoi level. Minor quibbles would be the food and wine pricing, but you have to stay here at least once in your life.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Nick0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2008

This hotel is amazing. The impact of the building is sensational and if you can raise the cash then it is well worth the investment. It was however far from perfect and not entirely joined up.

The gardens and grounds are spectacular and the outdoor pool is nice (did not see the indoor). The restaurant on the steps to the gardens is a fantastic venue to eat. Lovely Indian classical music that was a cut above anything else we heard. The bar (the Trophy room) was always quiet and the service excellent. However the highlight was the care and interest the chefs took in your enjoyment of the food. When my husband left a large part of his meal on the first night (just not hungry) they were out in a nanosecond offering him an alternative and on the second night when my lamb starter (admittedly was overcooked) was also left they enquired as to the problem and within a few moments came out with a new dish (unsolicited) perfectly cooked.

General note when eating meat in India that chicken is rarely breast and lamb and duck seem to be served well done so if you are not asked how you want it cooked then make tell them your preference .

The down side. Nothing mega major just lots of little annoying things. Our room (315) was fine – not palacial – just the standard room. On the bright side it was in the main palace and it had a super terrace. There was some construction work going on underneath and – while it did not disturb us – I would probably have asked for another room if I had noticed it before unpacking. CNN did not work properly and technician could not repair. Room was not made up when we returned at 2pm after day of sightseeing.

The wine is eye wateringly expensive – Indian Sula Sauvignon Blanc – 3100 rupees – is one of the cheapest and 750 a glass – quite unjustified as it is so cheap locally.

The thing to beware of was on our second night at around 2.30 am we were woken by a noise that sounded like a helicopter landing. We suspect but are not certain that there was a generator running somewhere and there was a doppler effect running through the pipework creating an incredibly annoying noise in the room. We phoned to complain and waited and had to phone again 20 minutes later when finally it ceased (only to start up again at 8.00 am on the dot). It probably had something to do with the construction work as I can’t imagine it would be the norm. The minimum you expect from a hotel is to sleep and the next day we got no apology or acknowledgement for this inconvenience.

However when all is said and done would not stay anywhere else in Jodphur !!

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Fleetcat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur

Address: Near Circuit House, Jodhpur 342006, India
Phone Number:
Location: India > Rajasthan > Jodhpur District > Jodhpur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Jodhpur
#1 Spa Hotel in Jodhpur
#1 Business Hotel in Jodhpur
#1 Family Hotel in Jodhpur
#1 Luxury Hotel in Jodhpur
Price Range: $660 - $1,889 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur 5*
Number of rooms: 64
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

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