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Incredible stay at Umaid Bhawan Palace (Jodhpur): our favorite hotel in India!

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Umaid Bhawan Palace

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100% Recommended

Umaid Bhawan Palace

Near Circuit House Road Jodhpur, IN 342006

RecommendedLiked: LocationServiceFoodAmenitiesRoom

Incredible stay at Umaid Bhawan Palace (Jodhpur): our favorite hotel in India! (14 Photos)

Umaid Bhawan Palace

After starting our India trip in New Delhi, we flew to Jodhpur for a 3 night stay at the famous Umaid Bhawan Palace, operated by Taj hotels. This hotel is truly one of the most amazing hotels at which we've ever stayed, being partially a residence for the Royal family of Jodhpur and being partially a Taj hotel. We definitely felt more like guests of the King than guests at a luxury hotel. 

The most surprising thing about Jodhpur for us was that the Umaid Bhawan Palace turned out to be the most amazing thing to see or experience. While we only needed 1 full day to see the Merangarh Fort and nearby temples and market, we very much enjoyed our extra time at this hotel--despite the fact that I got quite sick for our last day here at the hotel.

The arrival shot still doesn't do this property justice.

 

But the arrival ceremony is pretty impressive!

 

The ceremony continued inside in a spectacular fashion. Check out the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xxz8ZRLPsU

Check InAfter our glorious arrival and welcome ceremony, we proceeded to our Historical Suite to complete our check in and learn about the suite. It was easy and efficient and extremely friendly.

RoomOur Historical Suite was configured in a manner suggestive more of a junior suite, but it was extremely spacious, extremely comfortable, and absolutely authentic. Because the layout was so unusual, we took a video to showcase the suite:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIhTs3k_Ng0

Suffice to say that we loved the Suite. It looked out onto the rear garden area of the Palace, where we would have our special dining event later that evening:

In additon, the air conditioning worked very well--despite the fact that it was quite unsually cool to downright cold during much of our stay. I had requested the suite to be pre-set to 17 C--never expecting any hotel to actually achieve this but hoping for at least 19 C--and our suite was, indeed, at 17 C on our arrival! (I had to let my husband turn it up to 19 C so he wouldn't freeze!) The hotel actually turned on the air con in our suite while the rest of the hotel had no air con at all, actually. This might have been the most impressive air conditioning we've experienced at any luxury hotel anywhere in the world, actually.

 

ServiceService was, in a word, spectacular. The Umaid Bhawan Palace offers one of the most extraordinary service experiences we've ever enjoyed.

That being said, there were 2 slight misses. 

First, our first night's special dining event in the Garden Pavilion was moved from the Palace rooftop due to the unusually cold temperatures (12-15 C at night, even 13-17 in the morning). Considering they knew enough to move us (which we very much appreciated!), they also should have known to have sufficient heating units to keep us warm in the Pavilion. They did not. Even I got terribly cold, cold enough that they had to bring me a blanket--perhaps a first for me ever! My husband was wearing 5 layers already with the blanket. The fire trays they had were not terribly effective in the winds, either. This failure was made even more apparent later in our trip when other hotels had electric and other better designed fire trays that worked better with wind. 

That being said, we did still very much enjoy our dining event. But considering the price we paid, there should have been better heating elements/fire trays/electric warming units to provide more warmth so that we did not feel rushed to conclude our expensive evening.

Second, our first morning's breakfast was outside on the rear patip--despite it being about 15 C outside. We were VERY shocked. They had to bring us blankets again; they also brought heat lamps. The fact that I needed a blanket and heat lamp is all anyone needs to know that it was quite cold--and too cold to be making us eat outside. After the previous evening's dinner, we felt this was a pretty notable fail for the hotel.

They obviously got the mesage, since our final morning's breakfast was in the Risala restaurant dining room. That it took so many complaints to get breakfast moved inside is pretty surprising in and of itself, actually, considering the incredibly high level of service otherwise. 

All in all, even despite those 2 service lapses, we think the service standard at the Umaid Bhawan Palace is extraordinary. 

I happened to get very sick on our second night, possibly due to the extreme cold experiences at both dinner our first night and breakfast that next morning. The hotel couldn't have been more helpful, both in offering a doctor and in offering additons to the menu that I preferred. I felt very well taken care of despite being so ill for about 24 hours--and that says a lot!

DiningWe had a limited dining experience here at the hotel due to the fact that I got sick on our second evening and second full day. We really only enjoyed the private dining at the Garden Pavilion and 2 breakfasts--one on the outside patio and one in the Risala restaurant. We also enjoyed limited room service while I was ill. 

The dining we did enjoy was tremendous.

The Garden Pavilion private dining event truly was spectacular--one of the most memorable dining experiences in our lives, partly due to the amazing food/experience and partly due to the extreme cold!

The setting was amazing for the Garden Pavilion dining:

We also got "turbaned," something neither of us will ever forget!

The place settings were crazy:

And the food was spectacularly good. Our final course was enormous.

We were so cold and full that they offered to bring the desserts back to our Suite. I forgot to take photos, but they were amazing, as well!

We also enjoyed High Tea our first afternoon after our arrival. It was complimentary--and stupdendous!

LocationThe location was lovely. It took us about 30 min to get to the hotel from the airport, and about 20-25 min to reach the Merangarh Fort. 

Jodhpur was a relatively clean and friendly city.

 

OverallWe loved the Umaid Bhawan Palace. It is unquestionably one of the best hotels in the world, with a service experience worthy of the best Aman or Peninsula hotels. It's authentic Indian royal feel makes it truly one of the most amazing experiences--hotel or otherwise--we've ever enjoyed. In fact, we enjoyed our stay at this hotel even more than we enjoyed visiting the city of Jodhpur!

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Incredible stay at Umaid Bhawan Palace (Jodhpur): our favorite hotel in India!

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Date: Feb 24, 2017   


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