One of the chief pleasures of visiting India is staying at a palace hotel. Take a look at the accommodations in India where you can taste the high life.
a Laxmi Niwas Palace, Lallgarh Complex, Bikaner Built in the early 20th century in memory of Maharaja Ganga Singh?s father, the sprawling 42-room red sandstone structure is renowned for its opulent architecture. The palace features a collection of rare Sanskrit manuscripts and a museum with possessions of the late maharajas, including British tin soldiers.
b Samode Palace, Samode A 19th century family fortress run by descendants of Jaipur?s former Prime Minister Rawal Sheo Singh. Family photos line the walls in several of the 43 room, which feature durries rugs and antique canopy beds; a few rooms have their own fountain.
c Udai Bilas Palace, Dungapur The wings of this royal residence surround the intricately carved EK Thambia Mahal, or one pillared palace, creating an atmospheric courtyard. Inlaid walls embellish the grand suite, one of 20 distinctive rooms. Guests dine at a banquet table beneath a Burmese teak ceiling, while mounted animal heads add a Raj-era-feel.
d Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur Known as Chhittar Palace for the namesake sandstone of its stately exterior, the immense art deco edifice remains the residence of the Maharaja of Jodhpur and features 47 guest rooms. Indian cuisine is served at the buffet-style Marwar Hall; the Pillars, and open ? ? air eatery overlooks the lawns.
a Amarvilas, Agra Located just beyond Rajasthan in Uttar Pradesh, this 105 room luxury hotel is inspired by Rajasthani forts and Mogul architecture. Each room offers views of the Taj Mahal, less then half a mile away. terraced gardens, reflecting pools, and inlaid breezeways accentuate the grounds. The Esphahan restaurant serves authentic Indian dishes.
b Rajvilas, Jaipur This lavish 71 room resort houses a restored 250 year old Shiv temple and Rajasthani haveli (mansion). Indian and European cuisine are served in the Surya Mahal courtyard, which features torch-bearing columns and live fold music.
c Udaivilas, Udaipur The Aravalli hills and Lake Pichola are the backdrops for this luxury resort set on 30 landscaped acres. Decorative domes, arches, and hand-painted frescoes distinguish the 87-room property. The Banyan Tree spa treatments include a yoga stretching massage and a milk and rose-petal bath.
d Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore More than 1500 lemon, mango, and guava trees dot the 20-acre resort adjacent to the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. A walled garden surrounds each of the 25 tents, which have their own decks. The 52-foot watchtower provides sweeping views of the surrounding hills.