Jaipur, India

The Johri

Price per night from$269.83

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (INR22,000.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Decadent dynastic domicile

Setting

By Johri Bazaar

The Kasliwal family have kept Jaipur’s maharajahs bedazzled for centuries, as the long-standing custodians of glittering emporium the Gem Palace, but familial talents go beyond bijouterie with the opening of the Johri. To modernise this 19th-century mansion Siddharth Kasliwal and Abhishek Honawar – the driving force behind hip local hideaway 28 Kothi – called in Naina Shah, New York-based couture embroiderer with an eye for interiors, to set about commissioning local artisans to design custom furniture and crockery while also hunting down vintage treasures and adding candy-hued coats of paint. From its vegetarian-en-vogue restaurant to its jungly guests-only bar and roof terrace that overlooks the city, it’s a spot that doesn’t need gems to sparkle. 

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A drink each on arrival

Facilities

Photos The Johri facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Five suites.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible, subject to availability and an extra charge (25 per cent of the room rate from 12 noon to 3pm, 50 per cent from 3pm to 5pm). Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £256.96 (INR25,960), including tax at 18 per cent.

More details

Rates usually include a locally sourced, organic, vegetarian breakfast served in the interior courtyard.

Also

On the first floor of the hotel, you’ll find the house temple, a private peaceful space for family worship dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Peek in and you’ll see paintings depicting the Hindu deity and his four animal chariots (a mouse, peacock, lion and horse); and you may see staff carrying out the sacred puja and aarti rituals, a tradition that’s been kept up twice a day for more than 100 years.

At the hotel

Roof terrace, interior courtyard, private temple, lounging areas on all floors, concierge, jewellery studio and shop (open on request), laundry service (on request and at an extra charge) and free WiFi. In rooms: minibar, tea- and coffee-making kit, desk, air-conditioning, free purified drinking water.

Our favourite rooms

Each room is indeed a hidden gem – named as they are after ruby, sapphire, emerald and other precious stones and metals. Dressing rooms, elegant marble floors, painted arches and roomy showers come as standard, and they’re showpieces of top-of-the-game Indian craftsmanship, but each has uniquely desirable facets: Manek’s warming rosy glow, Panna’s camel-hump motif, Moti’s private patch of roof terrace… But, we have a soft spot for Neelam, with its antique tiger-shaped chairs nicknamed Feroza and Katela, and – hello, swingers – a cushioned hanging love seat.

Spa

There’s a treatment room onsite where you can have an Ayurvedic massage, detoxifying treatments or reflexology, and yoga sessions (INR2,000 an hour for each guest) are held on the roof terrace.

Packing tips

Bring respectful cover-ups for visits to sacred monuments (long-sleeved shirts, flowy skirts and headscarves), and a flask to avoid constant water pit stops. Leave your neck, wrists and any other zones of adornment bare – they’ll all be a’glitter by the time you leave.

Also

There’s WiFi, but rooms are TV-free to encourage a little digital detoxing.

Children

Little ones over five years old are welcome and there’s a sofa bed in each room (can be used for INR3,500 a night); however, there’s not much to distract them onsite.

Sustainability efforts

The hotel’s vegetarian kitchen sources produce from the bazaar (just on the hotel doorstep) and from local farmers. During restoration, only building materials sourced within Rajasthan were used, and single-use plastics have been eliminated onsite. The hotel also works with Relief for Rajasthan, a collective that works to provide medical aid in rural communities, support for artisans, and financial aid for the Covid-stricken.

Food and Drink

Photos The Johri food and drink

Top Table

When lit with lanterns and strewn with flowers after dark, the restaurant courtyard is the picture of Rajasthani romance. For drinks, get cosy in any of the nook lounges secreted away on each floor.

Dress Code

Swishy silks and look-at-me hues, then load yourself up like a jewellery stand.

Hotel restaurant

The Johri’s restaurant bears the city’s signature shade, with soft pastels, hand-painted flowers and a distressed lime-plaster wall designer Naina Shah deemed too beautiful to burnish (aside from two elegant crane murals). There’s a collection of coral and cane chairs and mustard banquettes, plus sprays of gold and fuschia flowers brought in from the market. Almost any dish would be palatable in such a beautiful space, but the menu is a triumph too and makes abstaining meat a doddle for even the most voracious carnivores. It takes full advantage of the bazaar stalls brimming with rainbow produce and the fruitful local farms outside the city. Silky soups; salads punched up with pomelo and tamarind; elevated takes on papri chaat, golgappe and other street eats; and classics such as palak kofta curry (spinach balls in spicy tomato gravy), Lucknowi-style biryani, creamy dal Johri (the hotel’s take on dal makhni). And, you really can't go wrong with the 'tilismi aam papad paneer tikka' (paneer with candied mango and coriander chutney) or the Amritsari chole (chickpeas and gooseberries with a tamarind chutney and pickled ginger). Mop up sauces with all the breads (hello, minted parathas, buttered rotis and potato- and pomegranate-stuffed kulcha), and end sweetly with black-plum kulfi or gold-leaf-wrapped gulab jamun. 

Hotel bar

There’s a bar in the restaurant with stools to pull up, but it’s more of an apéritif pit stop on the way to your table or as you leave for a night. For more leisurely drinks, the guests-only Pukhraj Lounge, with its walls rampant with Rajasthani wildlife (thanks to the jungly mural designer Naina commissioned from a local painter depicting tigers, monkeys, flamingos and more), is all set for taking high chai teas and clinking martinis. Or, ask the staff to set the roof up for sundowners. From here, Nahargarh Fort looks majestic and one of the cheeky monkeys that clamber over the city at will might come join you (just don’t get too close). 

Last orders

Breakfast is from 8am to 11am, lunch from 1pm to 5pm, and dinner from 7pm to 11pm. High tea runs from 4pm to 5.30pm.

Room service

Order delicious vegetarian snacks and meals from the restaurant menu to your suite from 8am to 11.30pm.

Location

Photos The Johri location
Address
The Johri
3950, MSB Ka Rasta, Johri Bazar, Ghat Darwaza, Jaipur
Rajasthan
302003
India

The Johri is just a 15-minute walk from the city centre and its fairytale pink palaces and cavernous stepwell. You’ll find it amid the enthralling chaos of Johri Bazaar, famed for its jewellery.

Planes

Jaipur International is the closest, just a 30-minute drive from the hotel; the concierge can help to arrange a pick-up. It has direct connections across India and with some nearby countries (Bangladesh, Thailand, Oman, Qatar), but visitors from anywhere else will need to connect via New Delhi (an hour’s flight) or Mumbai (a two-hour trip). Those with stamina could make the drive from New Delhi, which is around five hours – you can break up the journey with a wildlife-spotting stop at Sariska Tiger Reserve.

Trains

While it’s not always the most luxurious form of transport, India is well connected by train. Jaipur Junction station is a 15-minute drive from the hotel (transfers can be arranged), and you can ride here direct from New Delhi in around five hours.

Automobiles

The winding lane the hotel sits on is too narrow for cars to navigate it, but you can park on the main Johri Bazaar road close by. The question, really, is do you want to drive? India’s traffic is notoriously sanity-sapping – drivers play fast and loose with highway codes and roads are an obstacle course of scooters, bikes, tuk-tuks, wayward cows and occasionally more exotic beasts. Absolutely consider a private driver if you decide to road trip it. The hotel can help with hire.

Worth getting out of bed for

Disorderly yet dazzling, Jaipur – Rajasthan’s pink heart – is a lot and has a lot to love. Its spectacular examples of Rajput architecture (with a few Mughal and Neoclassical flourishes) – including forts, palaces and sprawling hawelis in shades that run from blush to terracotta – impress on a grandiose scale, but it's the fine details that captivate. Say, the Hawa Mahal’s honeycomb of nearly 1,000 intricately screened windows and jharokhas, from which royal ladies could modestly watch the outside world during purdah; the zig-zag geometry of the Chand Bawri’s (stepwell) staircases; and the complex compositions of mirror, tile, latticework, carved marble and embroidery that make the City Palace a stand-out in a place rich with show-offs. It’s no surprise the royal family still resides there. Even the city’s protective fortifications flaunt its magnificence; Nahargarh Fort (which translates to delightfully dramatic ‘abode of tigers’) sits high in the Aravalli Hills, and within is the fabulously frescoed Madhavendra Bhawan, a complex of discreet rooms which housed 12 queens, supposedly designed so that the king could visit one without the others knowing. Close by is Jaigarh Fort, frilly with ramparts, and a little further north is Amber Fort, perhaps the most arresting of all. Here, each wall, door and window is a chance to show off the designers’ eye for detail. Highlights include the Diwan-e-Khas, which is inlaid with thousands of tiny mirrors, the Jas Mandir with its delicate floral patterns, and the Sukh Niwas, queenly residences laid out around a star-shaped fountain. And, you can’t enter palatial Jal Mahal, but it's likely you’ll recognise it – this former royal residence is now mostly submerged in Man Sagar Lake, and its eerie beauty, especially when lit up at dusk, is irresistible to photographers. Sail around it for an uninterrupted view. 

When Jaipur was established in 1727 it was designated as a city of art and culture, and its myriad festivals uphold its reputation – the Jaipur Literary Festival is a date big-name writers all over the world have in their calendars, and close on its heels (both are held in late January) is the Jaipur International Film Festival. The start of the year is a very jubilant time, as on the 14 January, the city’s clear Brahmin blue skies are obscured by thousands of colourful kites; the Kite Festival is even more magical at night when lamps are flown up and fireworks spatter the sky rainbow. And, in August, Teej Festival celebrates Rajasthani women, who parade in their most mind-bendingly detailed mehndi, acid bright saris and twinkliest accoutrements. Much of Jaipur’s clamour comes from its bazaars, most open seven days a week, often till late. Each has a speciality – Aravali has covetable homewares, Tripolia is best for bangles, Nehru has stylish jootis, and Kripal Kumbh has pottery in all shades of blue – but one of the best is Johri on the hotel doorstep, where breathtaking handmade jewels catch magpie-eyed shoppers.

Local restaurants

Jaipur’s most popular dish might be the humble yet delicious dal baati churma (dal with wheat balls and bread rolls), but it's dining scene is evocative of its complex cultural heritage. Top-tier Indian restaurants prevail, but there’s a notable number of European and pan-Asian eateries too, so all tastes are broadly catered for. Vegetarians and vegans will fare very well indeed – all restaurants have numerous meat-free dishes. Not far from the Johri is Shikaar Bagh, but it feels like it's beyond the city outskirts with its rustic decor and restful leafy terrace. The menu skews both Indian (paneer tikka, soya korma masala, spiced vegetables in a cashew sauce) and European (pastas, risottos, shepherd’s pie, fish and chips), and has some curious combos of the two: keema bruschetta, curry pizza… Meraaki Kitchen is a stylish space with soulful food, and a playful side – we love the swinging sofas in the garden and the sangria that comes topped with a cooling popsicle. The menu skips merrily to the tastiest corners of the globe – dine on pumpkin-coconut soup, watermelon and feta salad, Indian street favourites (vada pav, pani puri, a medley of chaats), sushi, Thai noodles and a few home-grown favourites. And, for alfresco dining, Peacock Rooftop Restaurant’s mosaic-stone floor, green-glass pavilion and cosy cabanas set the scene for relaxed lunches. Suvarna Mahal feels more like a Florentine dining room with its frescoes, chandeliers and ornate cornicing – unsurprising since it sits at the heart of lavish Rambagh Palace – but, its menu is fine Rajasthani dining all the way. And, for alfresco dining, secure a table on the glamorous terrace of Baradari, where a modern pavilio has been erected between the walls of an 18th-century palace.

Local cafés

For a sugar rush that’ll keep you going all day, hit Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar to sample traditional Indian sweets. Pick and mix cashew and peanut chikki (brittle made with jaggery), almond halwa, pistachio cookies and cardamom balushahi (a doughnut-style treat). And for sustainable savouries, casual sister to Meraaki Kitchen, Café White Sage serves photogenic and ethically sound vegetarian dishes such as savoury waffles with spicy cauliflower, maple syrup and sriracha, cheddar-broccoli soup with whipped feta toasts, mixed-greens dumplings in a coconut sauce, and pancakes with chocolate sauce and wine-soaked fruit.  

Local bars

Bar Palladio is a vision, with its lapis and turquoise walls, floral motifs, checkerboard floors and golden jali lanterns. It’s a dreamy date-night spot, especially if you secure one of the cubby holes decorated with murals and woodblock prints, and the barkeep's talents lie in mixing negronis, martinis and Euro-style spritzes.

Reviews

Photos The Johri reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this hide-and-seek haveli in Jaipur and unpacked their lustrous sari silks and aromatic baggies of spices, a full account of their rose-tinted break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Johri in Rajasthan’s pink city…

One minute you’re on a sensory thrillride through Jaipur’s Johri Bazaar, with the sweet aroma of marigold and carnation wedding garlands calling you one way, rainbow heaps of fruits, vegetables and spices the other; before giddy flashes of sari silks and heavy-duty jewels divert your attention again. Motors and bikes thread through the crowd, vendors vie for your custom – and then, you’re whisked down a rabbit hole announced by a magnificent terracotta lintel that spreads above a doorway like a lotus flower, through a courtyard hung with bougainvillea and frangipani and suddenly, everything…is…quiet. Welcome to the Johri, a restored 19th-century haweli that’s passed down the Kasliwal family line for two centuries. The dynasty have enjoyed renown in Jaipur for their jewellery empire the Gem Palace, that’s served maharajahs, kings and queens since the 1500s and their involvement in Jaipur’s freedom movement. The name means ‘jeweller’ in Hindi and nods to the bazaar, where brides come to pile on their wedding bling. Cognizant of the dying art of some of the city’s craft practises, hotelier Abhishek Honawar commissioned local artisans to paint flowery murals; make intricate marquetry vanities with camel-bone inlays; weave statement cane light fittings; and hand-embroider headboards and sheets with motifs matching the suites’ scalloped arches. Adding vintage treasures – chairs shaped like tigers, pichwai art – along the way. A superlative, and very Instagrammable, vegetarian restaurant is open to all, but the house itself is the domain of just 10 lucky guests, who can canoodle in one of the many cushioned nooks, take high chai tea and cocktails in the jungly Pukhraj Lounge, find something sparkly in the on-request jewellers and watch the kasaya-coloured sun sink behind on-high Nahargarh Fort, as the city takes a breather before starting the joyful chaos all over again come morning.

Price per night from $269.83

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