Being members of RGBC and having already visited Goa, Ratan Haveli in Jaipur was the next choice for our family vacation in October (Dasara Holidays). As my family and I were travelling from the airport to the Haveli, the question that I was pondering was, 'What could I expect from Ratan Haveli', considering that the photos on google were not encouraging, and they did not have an official website explaining all their facilities and so on and so forth.
After an hour's ride through Tonk Road and the old city's narrow lanes, we finally reached the Haveli, which is in the midst of a busy area. And the first thought that crossed my mind was, "Who puts a resort in this hustle and bustle?" but I had no time to ponder on the question, as the big iron gates opened to reveal an inviting courtyard. We went into the reception to check-in and the front desk executive (Ms. Manju Sharma) went out of her way to make sure we got the perfect rooms. As my grand-father could not climb the stairs she conveniently gave us a room on the ground floor which my dad also shared, but for my mom and me she took us to the second floor and showed us a room which had its own tiny little verandah and the master bedoom. My mother and I immediately agreed to stay in that room.
The room was equipped like any other hotel room and had all the facilities required. And even if it lacked something the housekeeping would always be ready to get it for for you.
Food is usually the one thing travelers worry about, and the trick to enjoy food is to order the RIGHT food. To illustrate, you are in Jaipur, an ethnic city of India, famous for its spices, you cannot order Lasagne Bolognese and expect it to be good!! You need to order the food that the region is famous for like the Indian breads, the vegetable/chicken curries, etc,. Another trick that might help is to learn the basic words like 'murg' meaning chicken, 'chawal' meaning rice etc, so that you have an idea as to what you are ordering.
Breakfast served in the courtyard is reIaxing and if you are tired of ordering the delicious food from the restaurant, walk down the road to 'Sharma Pavitra Bhojanalaya' and enjoy the delicious authentic local cuisine (the aloo parathas and paneer burji are an absolute must!). In the evening, walk further down and you can gulp down golgappas, aloo tikki, even dosas and idlis from a roadside cart.
The Haveli has a nice travel desk in the reception that caters to your travel. They have full/half day tours, visit to the Son-et-Lumiere at Amer fort, etc, and all you have to do is confirm it, choose the vehicle you want and you are all set to go to explore the beautiful city of Jaipur.
P.S: If you can understand and talk Hindi (the local language), please ask for Lalith to be your driver as he would make this experience even more memorable through his knowledge (humour also) of the city and taking you to (shopping-important for my mom) places only a true Rajasthani would know.
You can also walk around and find some interesting things like the 700 (you may want to count) step climb, but I will leave the exploring to you.
The Haveli has a gym (surprisingly!), table tennis, a small library, video games on a PS2, and a small pool (it's not a pool in an actual sense, it's an ancient bath like structure where you can relax) and the most important wi-fi (it works!).
In conclusion, Ratan Haveli has been an excellent experience as it caters to everything a traveller (family) needs, relaxation and adventure.
And I almost forgot.......... Welcome to the Wild, as well. During your stay you will find all kinds of creatures walking around, hundreds of sparrows flock together on the tree in the courtyard, tiny colorful birds flying around, monkeys sitting lazily on the roads, pigs/wild boars walking around, camels pulling carts, horses, goats and the most important....(drumroll)... elephants returning home after a long day at the weddings!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Karma Haveli at Jaipur by Karma Resorts is an authentic 1700s family mansion built in the golden age of the Maharajas. Designed and furnished by local Jaipur designers, there is an air of authenticity that surrounds this stunning location. Close to the ancient city walls, the Karma Haveli is a mere 10 minutes from the centre of Pink City. The Hotel consists of a selection of 20 spacious bedrooms, all equipped with in suite bathrooms, air conditioning, television, telephones, mini bars, 24 hour reception, the cosy Ambar bar, The Pink Palace Restaurant serving mouthwatering local and international cuisine, and a fully renovated ancient bawdi (stepped well) which forms the centre piece of the intimate gardens. Roof top terraces provide the perfect 'crows' nest' to view the ancient town battlements and the daily activities of the local populace as they go about their busy day. There is a daily Activity Programme and many excursions to choose from. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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