If you were to ask me what my absolute favourite hotel in the world would be I would have to say it may just be the Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel in Jophur, India. It is THE ultimate dream resort/hotel.

From the moment you drive up to the entrance and you arrive at the royal palace (The Maharajah is still in residence) you feel like Royalty yourself. To say this hotel run by the Taj group is grand is an understatement. We were announced upon arrival, I won’t give that detail away but we felt like rock stars. A true red carpet welcome. Rose petals are strewn and we were gently glided to a comfortable couch for check in with a glass of champagne in hand and a cool towel to freshen up. Sitting in this Rotunda our mouths dropped open at the splendour and the grandeur of the place. We wanted to pinch ourselves for being so lucky and blessed to be able to enjoy this divine hotel. The architecture, the pools, the formal gardens the dining rooms, the ballrooms are all large and sumptuous.

We were upgraded to a royal suite. Our room was HUGE and beautifully decorated. The bathroom was massive and overlooked the gardens.

The indoor pool is dark and romantic. The outdoor pool is a small hike from the Palace and overlooks the city. Each guest gets a large picnic basket full of drinks and snacks. When I got out of the pool an attendant came and wrapped me up with a large towel. This is the kind of service you receive here. There is also a lovely spa adjacent to the pool. I told a staff member I liked his hat and 5 minutes later I was given a hat.

We dined in Risala the Indian fine dining restaurant. The room was ornate and gorgeous, I felt like I was living the life of Downton Abbey. The food was delicious and the service was exemplary.

The staff at the Palace have set the standards that I have rarely ever seen in all my years of travel. It was hospitality on steroids.

Part of the Palace is open to the general public. There is a vintage car collection of the Maharajah and a museum of royal artifacts, which are both interesting to visit. The rest of the palace (except for the Maharajah’s rooms) are for hotel guests only.

This is truly an outstanding establishment, and not only a highlight of our time in India, an experience of a lifetime.

The highest of recommendations.

Shanea

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