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“Dream Meets Nightmare!”
Review of Bissau Palace

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Bissau Palace
Ranked #99 of 381 Hotels in Jaipur
Bakersfield, California
Level 4 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Dream Meets Nightmare!”
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Beautiful DREAM Meets Dangerous NIGHTMARE!
Ahhhh….where to begin?? This place is a classic case of Dream meets Nightmare.
Let’s start with the dream. If you love art, antiques, and eclectic accommodations AND if the movie “Best Marigold Hotel” romanticized you into traveling to India, than this is the place for you! When we entered the grounds, we felt like we had entered into another place and time. Birds were chirping in the mural covered courtyard, a lotus was flowering in their garden fountain, and authentic antiques were everywhere. It was much more beautiful than their outdated website and horrible photos would lead you to believe. We booked a standard room but since they had so few guests, we were very grateful that they upgraded us to a deluxe room at no extra charge.

However, after settling into the place a bit, the dream started to turn and we began to wonder what we had gotten ourselves into. The place is run by an odd cast of misfits, especially the restaurant server. Unfortunately, we visited during the hottest week that they had experienced in ten years so all the shades and doors had to be closed to keep the interior as cool as possible. As a result, the rooms were dark and dingy with dim lights. Although the management assured me via advanced email correspondence that the rooms had AC, what we found was that it did not work well enough to cool our room. Other common rooms like the restaurant did not have any AC on at all. With it being 115 degrees Fahrenheit, this was a problem. All around the property, we could see the need for renovation and indeed there were signs that such efforts were being made, but at a snail’s pace. Taped off rubble led us to the swimming area where hoses and cleaning equipment had been left at the bottom of the pool. There was a general unkempt and unclean sense about the place. Being the cultural adventurous travelers that we are, we could have dealt with most of these things but the clincher that made us leave, after staying there only one night, was the dangerous electrical issues. As I turned out the light switches in the bathroom, I unknowingly turned off the geyser (hot water heater hanging on the wall.) This caused the geyser to shoot electrical sparks across the room! Fortunately, I was walking out of the room at the time or I would have been seriously injured. My husband who is an engineer described the event as an arc flash and sited it as the cause of the worst electrical injuries. We told the staff what happened and made arrangements to leave the hotel immediately. Although they sent repair people out to our room, they expressed little concern for our safety and made no attempts to offer us compensation.

One of the highlights of our stay was meeting an artist who was restoring the murals, repainting them in great detail. He toured us through several of the back rooms to show us his work in progress. We were fortunate to purchase several of his paintings that he sold from his outdoor kiosk, located on the grounds.

Recommendation to future guests: If you are brave enough, only pre-book for one night. Only go during the cooler months when you can really enjoy the outdoors. Be sure you are grounded and wearing fire protective clothing while in the bathroom.

Recommendations for the Proprietors: Reinvent your business as a "historic site being renovated." Partner with art schools, museums, curators, designers, and restoration programs. Have them help you offer opportunities for guests to stay, and learn as they help restore your Palace to its former grandeur. Have master crafts persons in residence teach multi-day classes in art preservation while improving your property at the same time. Make your location be a destination for a historical art preservation experience. Guests will surly want to come from all over the world just to be a part of the ongoing project. Update your website and get more professional staff. And of course, update your electrical ASAP!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank TheCreativeTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

What a beautiful heritage property. The Bissau Palace Hotel is a gem in the heart of the city, located very close (10 minutes walking to Chand pole gate) to the old city (pink city) of Jaipur.

The rooms are well kept, clean & have a very vintage feeling to it. The reception area and the restaurant is well decorated with a lot of historical informaiton about the family and the Bissau palace itself. The hotel also has a beautiful swimming pool, a must in the summer days in Jaipur. The rooms are well priced and are worth the money.

If you want a very vintage & old school feeling in a heritage property without paying too much, Bissau Palace Hotel is a very good choice.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank ZaaBa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2013

This was the best hotel we stayed in on our entire India-trip. Location was good, staff was friendly, but the best is the decoration: you fell like in an old Mogul-palace. Here, you will definetely feel like you are in India.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Katja D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2013

I loved staying at Bissau Palace. We were picked up in an old Ambassador, and the whole experience of staying here is of old grandeur. The palace is beautifully decorated, with traditional painting, textiles, and furniture everywhere. My husband and I had a garden room on the ground floor. The room was a good size, with a separate dressing area, and a nice bathroom. It was very clean. At night there were ants crawling about, but they didn't come anywhere near the furniture, and didn't bother us. There was an a/c unit, and a strong ceiling fan, so we were cool enough in the summer heat. The main attraction of the hotel is the general ambiance - it is a real peaceful oasis in the hustle and bustle of the old town. All of the staff were lovely, and the service was top notch. We had breakfast in the restaurant, which is stunning, and the food is nice enough. There are shops in the grounds, where you can buy e.g. traditional paintings by the same people who decorate the rooms. There is also a nice swimming pool. I wish we could have stayed longer than 2 nights (we were on a whistlestop G Adventures tour), and spent more time just soaking up the atmosphere, and enjoying the grounds. I would recommend Bissau Palace for a relaxing, holiday feel, a taste of old India, and as a characterful base for exploring Jaipur.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Madgesty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clitheroe, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2013

I stayed here for two nights on a tour of Rajasthan with a group. My room was disappointing and very dark. The atmosphere in the hotel itself though was good with a nice square of seating in the reception area. It is in a good location to explore Jaipur and there are plenty of tuk tuks should you need them. The food was good.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Sharon C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2013

We stayed here as part of an Intrepid tour. It is a beautiful old palace with great character and history. The live music in the foyer at night was a bonus. rooms were spacious and clean. food was good.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camby, Indiana
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Bissau Palace in February, 2013, and had the most wonderful time! One evening at dinner we ordered ice cream and were told you did not have it and yet someone went to the store and bought some ice cream so we would have some. The brothers playing music just outside the dining room were so sweet and amazing. We enjoyed sitting on the sofa after dinner and listening to them for the 2 nights we were there. We stayed in the little cottage in the garden which was just adorable. All of our experience at the Bissau Palace was just amazing! We told people in India about it and also here in the USA. We highly recommend Bissau Palace and we are telling everyone about what a wonderful time we had! Thank you again so much!

Debi & Jerry Binkley
Indianapolis, Indiana USA

Room Tip: The little cottage in the center with the garden is absolutely adorable!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank debzo52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bissau Palace

Property: Bissau Palace
Address: Near Saroj Cinema Bissau Palace Near Saroj Cinema, Jaipur 302016, India
Location: India > Rajasthan > Jaipur District > Jaipur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#32 Spa Hotel in Jaipur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bissau Palace 3.5*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bissau Palace original building dates back to 1787AD & it was rebuilt in 1919AD as a Guest House & started operations in 1965 as the Oldest Heritage Hotel in Jaipur. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bissau Palace Jaipur
Hotel Bissau Palace Jaipur

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