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Taj Umaid Bhawan  Price Band:   £401+ per room / villa per night
Taj Umaid Bhawan
Swimming Pool
Ayurveda
Yoga
Cultural Sites
Landscaped Gardens
Restaurant
Historical
Shopping
Spa/Beauty
Tennis
Billiards
Squash
Gymnasium
Fax Available
Vegetarian Options
Bar
Museum/Galleries
Dining
Polo
 

Though all the Palace Hotels of Rajasthan deserve the adjectives of grand and large, this is one of the largest residences in the world. Built high above the desert capital of Jodhpur to a design by an English Edwardian, it was 15 years in creation.

Dominating the City’s Southeast horizon, Umaid Bhawan Palace was commissioned by the Maharaja in 1929 to provide employment for 3000 locals to alleviate problems during a severe famin. The palace has all the trappings of a trophy bar complete with funky leopard skin chairs, a heritage room of royal memorabilia and a traditional Billiards room, home to many post polo match debates.

However, the immaculate gilt furnishings, echoing domes and streamlined architecture were slightly soulless for us and this Palace needs lots of guests to create an atmosphere.

A golden - yellow sandstone monument, the palace surprises with its art deco interiors. Enormous foyers, grand staircases designed for making an entrance and domes covered in gold make for regal rather than cosy occupation.

 Over 60 rooms and suites are scattered around this vast building, all with contemporary fabrics and modern amenities in rich and stylish décor. 

The magnificent Manwar Hall and further banquet hall provide excellent wedding venues or photography for the eye-candy.

 A remarkable underground swimming pool features marine life in its imaginative decoration, albeit more in keeping with a Mark Warner sanctuary than this Palace. A Taj Jiva Spa surrounds the pool with an excellent sap menu but has only 3 treatment rooms. An outdoor pool is planned for 2008. Unique marble squash courts will tempt the energetic, or enjoy a more gentle game of tennis. 

In this region, which is famous for its horses and horsemanship, you may wish to enjoy riding to explore the local countryside or join in an exiting game of polo.

To the rear the lawns unfold and the sheer magnitude of the pillars and shiney veranda marble floors become apparent.

Highs Lows
  • Elegance and opulence of décor
  • Well located for the specialist antique/retro furniture shops
  • Rather soulless off – season partly due its size.
  • The indoor pool is rather oppressive and works better as a spa pool, given the outside leisure pool.
  • Limited views in slightly barren countryside
Gallery

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Taj Umaid Bhawan Images