Samode Haveli: Royal Accommodation In Jaipur
After spending the day visiting the beautiful palaces of Jaipur, which include the City Palace museum complex and the Palace of the Winds, it would certainly be nice to spend the night in a palace, too. This is possible at Samode Haveli, the superb hotel located on a private estate owned by a local royal family with a passion for historic preservation. Samode Haveli is very much a palace of Indian fantasies where scores of employees ensure the smooth running of the hotel, where (unlike other hotels in Jaipur) the royal family still maintains an official residence. The public rooms are extraordinarily beautiful in their decor, graceful in a way that is rarely seen in modern construction but abundantly appreciated by guests who prefer historic properties such as Samode Haveli. The ultimate in Indian accommodation can be enjoyed in the Maharajah Suite and the Maharani Suite, two gloriously beautiful and glamorous suites where traditional interiors have been preserved. The Maharani Suite (simply known at the hotel as Room 114) is as lavish as any room seen in Jaipur’s palace museums; the mirror tiles and superbly painted columns add elements of beauty to even the most vivid escapist fantasy.
More an urban resort than a hotel, the grounds of Samode Haveli include a large pool with a gym looking over it, well-manicured gardens, and various buildings housing a restaurant and a bar. Naturally, dining experiences at Samode Haveli are as lavish as the accommodation, with the nuances of Indian cuisine providing guests with sublime meals following or preceding drinks in the atmospheric bar. The banal associations of Indian takeaway in Australia should be banished immediately; here at Samode Haveli, fine dining reaches a high level of sophistication and subtlety in the blending of flavours.
Rooms and suites vary greatly in size and shape, with the garden suites toward the back of the property being particularly attractive for people who want to feel as if staying in a private bungalow. The original palace is an agglomeration of rooms, wings, balustrades, and courtyards; various vantage points provide interesting views of the building and the property.
At first, the steps leading up to the entrance of Samode Haveli seem odd, shaped in a way that is not really a staircase but more of a ridged incline. Then again, how often does one ascend an elephant ramp these days? When they lead to Samode Haveli, the answer is “not often enough!”