- Style All that glitters
- Setting Fairytale desert fort
A 300-year-old maharaja's mansion is the surreal setting for Samode Palace boutique hotel near Jaipur, in the heart of Rajasthan. Home to mirror-tiled halls and mural-lined walls, marble swimming pools and regal, antique-filled suites, this walled desert wonderland is the stuff of legend.
Need to know
- Rooms 43, including 23 suites.
- Rates Double rooms from $303.88 (INR18,500), excluding tax at 17.42 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional service charge of 5% per room per night on check-out.
- More details Rates include breakfast. If you're staying over New Year's Eve, a gala dinner is also thrown in.
- Facilities Gardens, gym, sauna, steam room, day spa, boutique, DVD library, free WiFi in the central courtyard and business centre. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD player, Forest Essentials toiletries. Suites also feature separate living areas, plus a private balcony or terrace.
- Poolside Flanked by frangipanis, sunloungers and terrace tables, the marble swimming pool near the courtyard features a kids' play area and a shaded Jacuzzi, ideal for family splashing. Grown-ups will gravitate to the seductive rooftop infinity pool and Jacuzzi pavilion, backdropped by the rugged Aravalli mountains.
- Check–out 11am; check-in, 2pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability, for a fee.
Children Families are welcome at Samode Palace. Baby cots are provided free and beds for older kids cost INR3,500 a night. Babysitting with hotel staff is provided free, given 24 hours' notice.
- Also Smoking is permitted in rooms. Pets are not allowed.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms All of the rooms are decked out with antique furniture, lavish fabrics and old-world accents. We fell for Deluxe Suite 216, a sumptuous space that features a canopied king-size bed, marble pillars, a cushioned day-bed and a sun-drenched mosaic-tiled bath tub in the corner. A spacious balcony offers sweeping views of the Aravalli Ranges and the local village. If you want to play Maharajah Smith, plump for a Royal Suite with private terrace and outdoor Jacuzzi. Gold leaf, carved stone panels and stained glass up the luxe quotient.
- Packing tips Pack a pair of jodhpurs if camel safaris and elephant polo are at the top of your must-do list. Bring scarves and flat shoes for village visits, smart garb for evening dinners, and hats and kaftans for lounging poolside.
- Also Wander through the Sheesh Mahal, a series of mirror-tiled and mural-lined rooms, each more breath-snatching than the last. Once a royal reception space, it's now used for chichi cocktail sessions. Decorated with 16th-century hand-painted walls, silver armchairs and chandeliers, the greeting area overlooking the courtyard is equally eye-catching.
Food and drink at Samode Palace
- Hotel restaurant Refined Rajasthani, Asian and European dishes, courtesy of chef Raheev Sharma, are served with a side order of pomp and ceremony in the Dining Room, a dressed-to-the-nines hall of jewel-toned walls, cloth-covered tables and twinkling chandeliers. Just below, a shaded terrace with lantern-hung trees, wrought-iron tables and a fountain is a more relaxed spot for all-day dining.
- Dress code Sling a wrap around your shoulders for dinner in the Dining Room. In the terrace restaurant, laid-back linen is the way to go.
- Top table Nab a spot on the colonnaded veranda for breeze-blessed dinners for two.
- Last orders Breakfast is served 7am–10.30am, lunch runs 12.30pm–3pm and dinner is available 7.30pm–11pm. Last drinks are called in the Bar at 11pm.
- Room service Indian fare is available around the clock – order a banquet to be served in the palatial dining room of your Royal Suite.
- Hotel bar A dark, clubby space of marble tables and high-backed chairs, the Samode Palace bar boasts one of Jaipur's finest cellars, filled to bursting with top-shelf wines.
Also worth knowing
- Weddings This property is suitable for weddings. More details