Review: The Rambagh Palace by Taj Hotels, Jaipur, India
In Jaipur, Rajhastan, The Rambagh Palace is the most elegant hotel in town. Featuring a castle palace like setting, the hotel features regal appointments in royal settings. The Rambagh Palace featured a comfortable place to base operations while staying in Jaipur and our stay there was an exceptionally memorable travel hotel experience.
This post is one chapter on our third Round the World trip via South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, the Maldives and India. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport (World of Hyatt) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
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Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: Vietnam, Maldives and India. Round the World #3 in Star Alliance Business Class via Air Canada, Asiana, Singapore, Air India, Turkish Airlines Business Class
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Vancouver International
- Air Canada Business Class: Vancouver International – Seoul Incheon
- The Nest Hotel, A Member of Design Hotels, Seoul, Incheon
- Asiana Business Class Lounge: Seoul, Incheon
- Asiana Business Class: Seoul Incheon – Ho Chi Minh City
- The Sheraton Saigon Hotel and Towers, Ho Chi Minh City
- The Sights and Sounds of Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Restaurant Review: Nhà Hàng Ngon, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
- Trading at Ben Thanh Market and Street Life in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Travelling the Mekong River. Travelling Ho Chi Minh City to Thù Thùa, Vietnam
- Travelling the Mekong River. The Canals of Thù Thùa, Vietnam
- Ho Chi Minh City Airport Lounge – Fin Bar
- Singapore Airlines Business Class: Ho Chi Minh City – Singapore
- Westin Singapore
- Shopping at Retail Giants on Orchard Road, Singapore
- Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge: Changi Airport Terminal 2
- Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male
- Hotel Jen Maldives Malé by Shangri La, Malé, Maldives
- Street Life in Malé. A Day Walking the Republic’s Maldivian Capital
- Maldivian Moonmia Domestic Lounge, Malé Ibrahim Nasir Domestic
- Maldivan Airlines: Malé – Koodhoo
- Park Hyatt Maldives
- Circumnavigating Hadadaa Island, Maldives
- The Guided Back of House Tour, Park Hyatt Maldives
- Snorkelling the Park Hyatt Maldives House Reef
- Sunsets on Hadahaa Island, Hudavdoo Atoll, Maldives
- The Leeli Lounge – Male International Airport
- Air India: Male Thiruvananthapuram
- Air India: Thiruvananthapuram – Chennai
- Air India Maharajah Lounge: Chennai Madras International Airport
- Air India Business Class: Chennai – New Delhi
- The Leela Palace, New Delhi, India
- Jama Masjid, New Delhi
- Stepping into Chandi Chowk, New Delhi, India
- Overland Travel: New Delhi to Agra by BMW Luxury Sedan
- The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
- The Walled City of Agra, Agra, India
- Air India Maharajah Lounge, Indira Ghandi Domestic, New Delhi
- Air India: New Delhi – Jaipur
- The Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, India
- Walking the Old City of Jaipur, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, and City Palace, Jaipur
- A Day in the Footsteps of Royalty, Touring Amber Fort, Jaipur
- Air India: Jaipur – New Delhi
- ITC Muraya Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, New Delhi
- The Plaza Premium Lounge, Indira Ghandi International Airport, New Delhi
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: New Delhi – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk Business Lounge
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Montreal
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Montreal Domestic
- Air Canada Business Class: Montreal – Vancouver
Hotel Review: The Rambagh Palace by Taj Hotels, Rajasthan, Jaipur, India
” The Rambagh Palace used to be the maharajah’s home in Jaipur; providing an elegant stay in super comfortable surroundings, even if the service is a little scripted”
Booking and Getting There:
After getting off our Air India New Delhi – Jaipur flight, we met our representative who was found wandering around the secure side of the airport terminal. He strangely knew my full name, but perhaps because we were also the only foreigners on the whole flight. He wasn’t very friendly or welcoming but in a nice arrival touch, he did offer to get our bags from the belt.
We were led to our Honda CRV ride and officially welcomed by attired Rambagh Palace representatives. It was professional, but a little corporate and scripted warmth. With two representatives travelling with us, I believe the other character was an airport authority representative that wasn’t officially employed by the hotel, but I never really did find out as we never got a proper introduction. After he turned our bags over, we never saw him again.
Arriving to the Rambagh Palace:
The Rambagh Palace by Taj Hotels
Bhawani Singh Road, Jaipur, Rajasthan, 302005
After a short 15 minutes drive from the Jaipur International Airport to the Rambagh Palace, we arrived to the impressive Rambagh Palace property. The Palace used to belong to Maharajah Man Singh II. The property is gorgeous in an old world style and staying here is a true experience of staying in a palace. The arrival is truly impressive and the property is world class in terms of it’s palace like features.
After exiting the arrival car, we were showered in Rose petals (with a traditionally attired keeper carrying a parasol next to us) and provided a welcome towel and drink in the lobby. We also had an entertaining souvenir photograph taken; a photo that currently adorns our travel memories shelf. We were also informed that we had been upgraded to a Palace Room. We received a paint dot on our head, as was “tradition” in this region. It was a unique arrival experience that was unlike any other that we’d experienced at a hotel. It’s not ever day you get showered with rose petals; it was a first for me.
We were asked if we wanted a tour of the property on our way to our room, and our butler representative explained some of the features of the property on our walk over. The first impressions of the hotel were quite grand and inspiring in its public areas. Despite the grandeur, it remains an intimate property with only 79 rooms. We only saw a small handful of guests during our stay.
The Room: A Palace Room
1 Bedroom Garden View or Courtyard View
After check in, we were led to upgraded Palace Room #234 from our base level Luxury Room that we had booked. The Palace Room was a square room with high 15” ceilings, and a 4 post bed. I found the room colors to be a bit dated- and even though it was a historic property, the colours seemed a bit drab for my tastes. On our visit, the room was also showing a little bit of wear. The photos don’t really do the wear and tear factor any justice.
The room also had a small ornate desk for light working. The desk was accented with fresh cut flowers, which is always a really nice touch in a higher end hotel.
Being a room in a historic hotel, it had a smaller sized bathroom. It was darkly appointed with black marble and rose petals in a prepared and drawn bathtub.
Once the initial impression settled after our three night stay, we found the room itself to be a bit past its prime. It’s like once you get past the first date, you start seeing her, warts and all. Unfortunately, the sheets in the bed had tears. The sheets were changed the next night and we didn’t get torn sheets again. But continuing the trend, the shower leaked water all over the floor, the towels were quite limp and tired and the bath mats were starting to show signs of wear. On our second night, we went to get a cold drink from the mini bar and it wasn’t even turned on! All drinks were warm. I know this sounds like I’m a bit of a priss for saying this, but it was 42 degrees Celsius (107 Degrees Fahrenheit) outside. Thankfully we were able to rectify that by flipping the power switch; somehow it was left off by housekeeping? The furnishings appeared to be nearing the end of their commercial life. Although not damaged, they appeared exceptionally worn in comparison to the Leela Palace New Delhi, which was very sparkling. The room, for the price point charged, didn’t meet the up keep of the rest of the property, which was otherwise immaculate.
Around the Property:
The property is constructed with outdoor hallways, with paintings of previous dignitaries that have stayed there. Some of the notable past guests include Queen Elizabeth II (whom has visited twice), along with the Shah of Iran, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and, of course, Prince Charles and Lady Diana. It added to a bit of interesting history that doesn’t always happen in today’s hotels.
The Rambagh Palace property used to be a kings’ palace, and is the sort of place that has grand spaces, veranda dining and peacock animals all over the property. During our visit, there were elephant and camel rides available for guests, in addition to live entertainment, including dancing every evening from 7:00 – 7:30 PM on the Veranda. The property also offers a history guided tour of the property daily at 5:30 PM.
We took the guided tour which was provided by a member of the concierge staff and an obviously well educated historian. The tour outlined the history of the property, which used to be a hunting lodge, a boarding school, and then a hotel from 1972.
An Outdoor and Indoor Pool:
The hotel pool was added in 1972 and had an interior and an exterior version. Apparently, there was a swing at one time in the indoor pool, but it wasn’t installed there today.
There were heaps of Peacocks around the property. Thankfully, they weren’t too noisy. They did add a colorful charm to the place.
The Hall of Princes:
One of the beautiful parts of the hotel were the public and private areas of The Rambagh Palace. The Hall of Princes was mostly off limits, but seemed to act as a reception area for the opulent conference rooms.
The property also offered free horse and carriage rides (through the parking lot – surprisingly). The staff was really generous with volunteering to take souvenir photographs.
The property was a nice resort to stay at night. As some of the compound living hotel properties are around the world, The Rambagh Palace was pleasant place to walk the grounds after dinner. The property has 45 acres of grounds, making for a pleasant, peaceful and estate like setting. The way the palace is lit up at night is spectacular and truly unique.
The Polo Lounge:
The Polo Lounge was an enjoyable spot for a drink. It hosted the on sight indoor lounge, featuring drinks and snacks.
The Rajput Room – All Day Dining:
The All Day Dining Restaurant was called “The Rajput Room”. It was an opulent affair in an elegantly signed room. The Rajput Room had a tiered dining area with opulent arches that had been restored.
Survarna Mahal – Fine Dining:
The fine dining room “Suvarna Mahal” was a bit of a pleasant surprise. The setting and high ceilings of the dining room were wonderfully exotic and elegant. Surprisingly, the prices in the fine dining room were priced the same as casual dining The Verandah Café restaurant. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the opportunity to try it. However, the reviews from guests that we spoke with apparently raved about this place.
Steam: Wood Fired Pizzas and Brews
We enjoyed several dinners at the casual restaurant “Steam”. The themed restaurant was marked by a steam train parked on the property. Uniquely, most of the dining was outside which was warm under India’s warm temperatures. It was really nice after a day’s sightseeing to camp outside and enjoy a Kingfisher beer in an outdoor setting.
The Veranda Café:
We also enjoyed a dinner out on The Verandah terrace after our day of sightseeing at the Amber Fort. It was pleasant to eat outside in the cooler tempartures. I had a chicken briyani that was perfectly cooked, with probably some of the most flavorful rice that I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying.
It’s also worth nothing that Taj hotels, has a very restrictive reservation policy. We were interested in making a change (early departure after 2 nights stay) to our reservation prior to arrival. Being on the road, I wrote the hotel through email and received a very vague answer that indicated that there would be a cancellation fee for early departure. I wrote back and asked about what the fee was, but never received a clear answer prior to our arrival.
On arrival, I asked about changing the reservation and were told from the manager, via the butler, a flat out “no”, translated as there would be a 100% fee charge for changes. This led me to believe that the TAJ Hotel early departure fees weren’t consistent with some of the other major corporate chains (Marriott / Starwood / Hyatt) and eventually read on the fine print of our original booking that no changes were permitted within 14 days (as opposed to 24 hours notice with most other international chain properties).
Our experience staying at the Rambagh Palace:
Ultimately, staying here was a unique experience. The room wasn’t exactly that nice, and the property was old world elegance, but not over the top excellent. The rooms were a lot less well maintained than the historic rooms that I’d previously stayed in, with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. I found that Taj Hotels often wanted you to “experience” things, but often didn’t communicate that they were available. Horse Caleche ride? Free – but only if you happened to be on the Verandah Bar between 5-7 PM and happened to ask about the horse and carriage sitting there… Elephant procession viewing? Yes – it’s been arranged for that conference group over there, but don’t you worry about it since it has nothing to do with you. Unfortunately, it was nothing like our stay at the completing Leela Palace hotel chains and as a a result, despite an excellent setting, I felt that it fell a bit short by comparison.