What is it that makes Umaid Bhawan the Best Hotel in the World?

There is a certain fascination that the luxury holds. The magnificent stairs, the historic rooms and palatial corridors are stuff that dreams are made of. Everyone wants to revel in luxury and what can be a better way to enjoy it than to stay in a splendid hotel that offers you all the comfort and hospitality in the world. Ranked as no. 1 hotel in the world in the 2016 Travelers’ Choice Awards based on millions of traveler reviews and opinions, the Umaid Bhawan in Jodhpur is a dream come true hotel that will blindfold your eyes with its grandeur and ornate structure. Here are some of the attributes that make Umaid bhawan rank at where it is today:

1. Stroll inside the museum of this palace

Many a times you would have heard of grand and heritage hotels. What makes Umaid Bhawan a distinct one is that it houses a museum where you can learn about the royal family’s and palace’s history. Inside, the visitors can have a look at an extensive clock and windmill collection. The luxury comes alive with the Maharaja’s vintage luxury cars that you can behold. Within the museum, there is a Durbar Hall which was used as a grand meeting space where Maharajas would meet the public. A walk inside this museum will take you into the world for which India is famous for the land of Maharajas.

Entry fees for the museum:
Indians: Rs.15, Foreigners: Rs.50
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm

2. Stay in one of the last Royal Palace built before the Independence of India

Built in 1943, the Umaid Bhawan is the last royal palace built before the Independence of India. Since India became a free nation in 1947, the building of this palace falls just a few years before that. Since the post independent India did away with the royal and sovereign kingdoms, the building of such kind of palaces ceased to be done.

Also Read: 13 Best Heritage Hotels in the royal state of Rajasthan

3. Built for a noble purpose

While most of the palaces in the world are given shape due to the royalty’s desire to build a luxurious set up, this palace was built with a noble purpose. Jodhpur was struck by a famine in 1920 and the locals came to Maharaja Umaid Singh for help. As a result, the maharaja generously commissioned a new palace so as to give employment to the people. Constructed in between 1928 and 1943, this palace became one of the means to facilitate working people during their troubled times.

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4. One of the largest private residences in the World! Wow!

Spread over 26 acres of lush grounds including 15 acres of well-kept lush gardens, the Umaid Bhawan claims to be one of the largest private residence in the world. The very construction of this palace was exemplary in India as the Maharaja hired the British engineer, H.V. Lancaster who was also the contemporary of Sir Edward Lutyens, a person who created the New Delhi Complex. For the outer structure of the palace, the Chittar Sandstone was used. And as for the inner architecture, lndo-Saracenic, Classical Revival and Western Art Deco styles were brought together to leave an indelible impression. The palace was designed in Makrana marble and Burmese teak wood. A stroll inside the palace will introduce you to the frescoes on the wall that were painted by Polish artist, J.S. Norblin.

Also Read: 8 Castles in India Etched out of the Fairytale Book

5. The palace also boasts of a Zodiac Pool

There is no end to luxury in Umaid Bhawan Palace. While the exterior and interiors of the palace will keep you glued to the beauty, it is the indoor Zodiac swimming pool that will ravish your heart. This pool is located underground next to the Taj Jiva Spa. And the outdoor pool with a view of Mehrangarh Fort provides a relaxing, cooling environment when needed. This is called true immersion in luxury.

Also Read: 7 Breath-taking Infinity Pools In India

6. Inside, you can shop as well

The lovers of Rajasthani art and culture would love this! Not only you can make one of the most memorable stay in the palace, you can also shop inside its arcade of shops and boutiques. Guests can browse through the Jawaharat Boutique for ethnic jewelry, garments and souvenirs. Or saunter through the rest of the shops and peruse for books, garments, handicrafts and antiques.

Also Read: Traditional Bazaars of India

7. Watch movies in a luxurious set up

A stay at Umaid Bhawan assures that you get the best of the world and there should be no need to step out of the palace. The Akbar Ali Hall in the palace is an amphitheater where you can watch films or book it for lecture demonstrations and audio/video presentations. Named after the renowned court musician and sarod maestro Ali Akbar Khan, this venue offers great entertainment as well as business purposes.

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8. From natural to manmade experiences, this hotel offers you all

Umaid Bhawan Palace became a part of Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces in 2005 January. The 64 accommodation offer a journey into the past with their old world charm and sophistication. Inside the hotel, the guests are offered with lavish dining, spa & wellness and leisure. For the royal dining, 'Risala' a la carte restaurant serves wide range of cuisine from across the regions. ‘Sunset Pavilion' in its old décor is meant to satiate the royal thirst of guests. It is the highest point to enjoy a drink in Jodhpur. 'The Pillars' is a comfy coffee shop with delicious pastries, sandwiches and sweets. 'The Trophy Bar' is a well-stocked bar serving wide range of exotic drinks. There is also a spa inside that offers rejuvenating services to the guests. For those who wish to practice Yoga, there are special yoga sessions for them as well.

Also Read: Best Spas in India

9. The Cost - Not as high in comparison to the luxury it offers

Yes it is true that a stay in this hotel costs a lot. For a standard room, you need to spend around INR 50,000/night and the suites will cost you a whooping sum of 118900/night. But then, this amount would really be too less in comparison to the lavish experience that you would gather here.

Also Read: 7 Most Luxurious Palaces In India

10. You will feel like a royal yourself when you will enter here

 For those who come here as guests, the palace welcomes them with dhols and drums, followed by a traditional Rajasthani dance and a champagne. What a hospitality!

11. The Royal Family still lives here

 Who knows while staying here you might just meet Magharaja Gaj Singh, the grandson of Maharaja Umaid Singh, who still resides here!

12. Marry in a royal style

For those who can afford, Umaid Bhawan makes up as a great venue for marriage. A marriage here would mean you would be transported to the world of fairy tales. This palace also became the venue for the celebrity marriage of Arun Nayyar and Liz Hurley.

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I already dream of staying over here! Do you?

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