Location: Set amid 26 acres of lush gardens, this property is an oasis in the deserts of Jodphur.
History: This sprawling art deco palace was built by a Maharaja in 1928 and features a museum and many original details.
Service: The butlers here are direct descendents of the staff who once served the palace’s first Maharaja.
One of the great palaces of India, the yellow sandstone Umaid Bhawan was completed in 1943 after 15 years of construction. While Umaid Bhawan is now open to guests, members of the Singh royal family still live in a wing of the palace. The sixty-four rooms and suites of the Umaid Bhawan are divided into five categories; all rooms include wi-fi, LCD televisions, electronic safes, and even a selection of bath mixes, including milk baths and detoxification baths. Dining options include the storied Risala, which serves the finest Indian and Continental English cuisine, and was built to commemorate a victory by a local cavalry regiment in World War I; Pillars, an attractive, casual eatery set on a verandah; the Sunset Pavilion, an outdoor restaurant which serves barbecued and grilled cuisine from around the world; and the Trophy Bar. Other amenities include a business center, billards tables, a tennis and squash court, a fitness center, a Spa, and even a series of shops and boutiques.
Eastern and Western architectural influences come together in this art deco palace to create superlatively romantic accommodations with a rich sense of history and timeless charm. Restored in a chic and classic style, art deco motifs remain intact, while all modern comforts are accounted for, including WiFi, flatscreen TV and DVD player, safe, phone, and private bar.
These suites are decorated in a mix of art deco and neo-classical styles, each with its own unique theme. Each suite has a private terrace with seating and views of the palace grounds, plus large bathroom with double vanity and bathtub, with Molton Brown amenities and a bath menu.
These spacious rooms feature high ceilings and French doors that open up from the bedroom to a private terrace with seating. Views showcase the gardens and bathrooms feature large tubs with a bath menu and Molton Brown amenities.
These art deco suites are meticulously decorated in period style, with an expansive terrazzo and wide bay windows. Suites have a separate living room and bedroom and a luxurious bathroom with double vanities, bathtub, shower and Molton Brown amenities. Views look out over Baradari Lawns and Mehrangarh Fort.
In this historic setting Jiva Spa evokes a past era with decadent mosaic floors and art deco flourishes. Treatments encompass wellness and beauty using essential oils extracted from Indian herbs that are 100 percent organic. Indian therapies are offered, include Ayurvedic treatments and yoga, as well as more indulgent pampering treatments and beauty rituals. There's a sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi and The Salon, which offers a hair spa, colouring and styling.
For a historic journey through Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace, guests can head to the museum and see an intriguing collection of Victorian and Edwardian art and artifacts. There are 19th and 20th-century weapons, paintings, model aeroplanes and fine ceramics.
A unique feature of the Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace is its subterranean Zodiac Pool. This truly indulgent underground pool is located next to the spa and surrounded by frescoes and private sitting nooks. There is also an outdoor lap pool with desert views that reach as far as Mehrangarh Fort. The Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace has a luxurious gym with all modern equipment and personal trainers at hand. A yoga studio is open from 8am to 8pm, offering guided yoga and meditation.
The opulent surroundings of the palace provide myriad opportunities for unforgettable dining experiences. Guests can dine in ambient palace restaurants or have a private dinner organized by a butler in the palace gardens, in a turret or in the room. Chef Sonu Koithara has devised is in charge of the cuisine at Taj Umaid Bhawan and has 17 years of experience with Taj under his belt.
A grand colonnaded verandah sets the scene for Pillars, an all-day cafe that offers views over the gardens and the city all the way to Mehrangahr Fort. Tea, local sweets and desserts, beverages and meals are all offered here.
Open for lunch and dinner, Rissala offers Indian fusion and international dishes in an elegant environment. Risala means "cavalry" and the restaurant is appropriately adorned with military and royal portraits. An award-winning selection of local and imported wines is offered.
Open for dinner, this historic venue features a 1940s elevator and rare vintage photographs. Cuisine here is royal barbecue and international grills, with specialties that include jali fish, karghosh lamb, biryani and Angus steak. Mulled wine and flamb'ed desserts are also offered.
Decorated like an old-fashioned hunting lodge, The Trophy Bar features hunting memorabilia reminiscent of early 20th century safaris. A wide range of drinks are offered, including, cocktails, Bellinis, whiskeys, and cognacs, with bar snacks and Cuban cigars also available.