Need to know
43, including 23 suites.
11am; check-in, 2pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability, for a fee.
Double rooms from $317.75 (INR20,700), excluding tax at 28 per cent.
Rates include breakfast. If you're staying over New Year's Eve, a gala dinner is also thrown in.
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.
At the hotel
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.
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.
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.
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.
Smoking is permitted in rooms. Pets are not allowed.
Families are welcome at Samode Palace. Baby cots are provided free and beds for children three to 16 years old cost INR3,500 a night. Babysitting with hotel staff is provided free, given 24 hours' notice.
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.
Older kids, who'll appreciate the adventures on offer.
Avoid rooms on the first floor if you're travelling with young children, as the balcony railings are very low. Baby cots (free) and extra beds (INR3,500 a night) can be added to all rooms – book a Deluxe Suite or Royal Suite for extra space.
Camel safaris, village tours and Jeep rides can all be arranged. At sister property Samode Bagh, four kilometres away, there's a swag of activities for kids, including cricket, croquet, table tennis and billiards, as well as acres of gardens for children to let off steam.
The main swimming pool has a shallow end for safe splashing, and a shaded Jacuzzi.
Kids are welcome in all three of the restaurants, though the all-day buffet and casual café would be our pick for relaxed family meals. A children's menu and highchairs are available, and staff can heat up baby food or milk upon request.
Ask about babysitting with hotel staff.
No need to pack
Highchairs and baby cots.