31 October 2011

India's Luxurious Palace Hotels

India has been increasingly gaining its prominence in the tourism space over the years and many palaces of ancient Indian kings have been turned into exotic hotels. Most of them are situated in Rajasthan, the name literally means the land of kingdoms. Explore some of India's best palace hotels high on comfort, service and aesthetics.

1.Lake Palace Hotel

The Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur is a beautiful marble palace set amidst the serene Lake Pichola. The hotel is actually a 250-year-old palace that still retains a mesmerizing air, an aura of the grandeur of the days gone by. The beautiful hotel was built in1743- 1746 under the direction of Maharani as a royal summer palace and was initially called Jagniwas or Jan Niwas after its founder. It offers a wide choice of rooms to suit the taste of every tourist. You can book yourself into a room that offers a splendid view of the lake. If you want to surround yourself with the colors and scenes of Rajasthan, get a historical suite, complete with miniature paintings and intricate glasswork. This hotel will charm you every moment of your stay in Udaipur. You can make your stay in Udaipur memorable by spending a quiet evening taking a leisurely boat ride on the placid waters of Pichola.

Fateh 2.Fateh Prakash Palace Hotel

Located on the eastern shores of the picturesque Lake Pichola, in Udaipur the palace seems to have floated straight out of a fairytale. One of the greatest Maharanas of Mewar, Maharana Fateh Singh constructed the palace during his reign as an exclusive venue for royal functions and has been meticulously preserved for discerning guests. The history-soaked interiors, dotted with miniature paintings, portraits, royal artifacts and the armory of the Mewar dynasty takes you to legendary times of ancient kings and queens. The Durbar Hall, Sabhagaar, which is one of the main features of the hotel, is of historical significance as in 1909 Lord Minto, the Viceroy of India, laid its foundation stone. The hall was originally called Minto Hall in his honour.

3.Umaid Palace Hotel

Situated high above the desert capital of Jodhpur, Umaid Bhawan Palace is the last of the great palaces of India and one of the largest private residences in the world, which is set amidst 26 acres of lush gardens. The palace was built between 1928 and 1943 for H.H. Maharaja Umaid Singh ji. The golden yellow sandstone monument was constructed on the grandest possible scale, in the fashionable Art Deco Style of that time. After 15 years of construction, the 347 room palace was finally completed in 1943 and has served as the principal residence of the Jodhpur royal family. Designed by the renowned Edwardian architect Henry Lanchester, the palace is a blend of eastern and western architectural influences. The palace has in its luxurious fold 64 rooms and suites. The palace hotel offers an exhilarating drive through the enchanting city of Jodhpur in a vintage car, accompanied by your royal butler.

Samode 4.Samode Palace Hotel

The Samode palace, built by the noble feudatory with the hereditary title of 'Maha Rawal' or 'Maha Saheb' of the Amber and Jaipur principality in Rajasthan, is located near the Samode village on the outskirts of Shekhawat. It is built of sandstone at the foot of the Aravalli range of hills. The Samode Palace is a palace hotel and has won the award for the Best Heritage Hotel in India for five consecutive years. Dining at Samode is a pleasant experience with the hotel providing the finest Rajasthani cuisine as well as an exotic mix of Asian and European cuisine along with variations in ambiance. The hotel has 43 spacious rooms and suites. Each of them is attached with a balcony or patio. Decorated in the warm colors and textures of local Rajasthani hand block print textiles and adorned with traditional artifacts, these rooms recapitulate the royal grandeur and lifestyles.

5. Raj Mahal Palace Hotel

The Raj Mahal Palace Hotel in Jaipur was built over 250 years ago by Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur for his favorite Queen Maharani Chandra Kunwar Ranawatji. The small palace hotel is set amid 15 acres of lush green lawns. The palace was converted into hotel in 1979. The historical monuments and the shopping center make it an ideal base to explore the pink city of Jaipur. The hotel has 20 spacious rooms with high ceilings, chandeliers and period furniture, paintings, antiques and reminiscent of the royal grandeur of the past.

Bogatty 6.Bolgatty Palace Hotel

Bolgatty palace is built by the dutch in India it is located on the island popularly known as Bolghatty Island in Kochi, Kerala. One of the oldest existing Dutch palaces outside Holland, this quaint mansion, built in 1744, by Dutch traders, was later extended and gardens were landscaped around it. Bolgatty Palace served as the home of the British Governors, being the seat of the British Resident of Cochin during the British regime. The hotel boasts of 26 rooms of the variety of executive suits. Bolgatty Palace has a swimming pool, 9-hole golf course, ayurvedic centre and daily Kathakali performances and is a holiday destination for Indian and overseas tourists.

7.Fernhills Palace, Ooty

Surrounded with lush green woods Fernhills Palace is located on 50 acres of land in the rolling hills of Ooty, in south India's tea growing district. It became the summer palace of the Wadiyar royal family from Mysore after it was acquired from the British. The hotel retains much of its colonial charm, and each room has a delightful open fireplace for guests to warm themselves by a log fire during winter. This an ideal place to relax . Owned by the Maharaja of Mysore, Srikanta Datta Narasimha Raja Wadiyar, whose 150-year old historical legacy provides the finest of royal hospitality.