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The Royal Palaces Of India For The Ultimate In Luxury Hotels

May 22, 2008
The term 'hidden treasures of the world' is an apt description of the ornate and elegant palaces of the royalty of India. Savvy travelers who seek the ultimate in luxury accommodations need to look no further; there are unparalleled opportunities to leave the stresses of everyday life behind and become immersed in the fairy tale world of palace life. Expect only the best in food and service at these luxury destinations.

Hear the name Taj Mahal and anyone with a world view recalls the romantic true story of the building of this fairy tale palace that is now considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Globe trotters in search of luxury travel to unique and fascinating locales must consider a visit to India to experience firsthand the wonders of a stay at an Indian palace, a mini Taj Mahal so to speak. The opulent palaces of Indian aristocrats are among the best accommodations in the world, set in unparalleled splendor and unique architectural achievement.

Consider, for example, Umaid Bhawan Palace, in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, the home of Gaj Singh, the Maharaja of Jodhpur. While most of the palace is devoted to serving well-heeled guests, the Maharaja retains a private wing. A stay at the Umaid Bhawan is truly a visit to a real modern-day palace, one of the largest residences in the world featuring 26 acres of formal gardens that create a lush atmosphere fit for royalty.

While European palaces can date back centuries, the Umaid Bhawan Palace is a relatively new structure that was completed around 1940. History has it that the ship from England carrying custom furnishings for the palace was sunk by a German submarine on its journey to India in 1942. For those visitors to the palace with an interest in history, the palace contains a museum in addition to hotel space.

Calling the accommodations of the Umaid Bhawan Palace hotel 'space' is a gross injustice to the elegance and supreme taste evidenced in the architecture, built-in furnishings and furniture. Highly polished marble abounds in both the public and guest areas of this sophisticated luxury travel destination. Cultures combine in harmony as fine Indian and modern Art Deco designs seamlessly intertwine to create unparalleled luxury accommodations.

Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is called the "Pink City" due to its numerous sandstone structures and home of another luxury palace hotel in an area filled with fascinating architecture, heritage and shopping opportunities. Consider a stay at the impressive Oberoi Rajvilas, the royal home of the Maharani Gayatri Devi in a palatial setting resplendent with private courtyards, elegant swimming pools and pleasing architectural accents. There are no long hotel-like corridors to reach your upscale accommodations. Rooms are artfully clustered in private groupings of just four or six with a center courtyard for the ultimate in peaceful surroundings.

For a change of pace, consider the unique adventure of staying in an air-conditioned luxury tent suite at the Oberoi Rajvilas that boasts teak floors and elegant en suite bath facilities. And for world travelers or romantic honeymooners with a flair for the dramatic, why not arrange for what is known as the Royal Welcome at the Oberoi Rajvilas and be greeted with horses, elephants, musicians and a shower of flowers!

These two palaces are a mere sampling of the luxury travel that awaits upscale visitors to the traditional royal areas of India. For the best selection of accommodations to meet your needs, consider working with an experienced travel consultant who is knowledgeable about travel to India.
About the Author
Justine has been a journalist for 20 years and is a contributor to Just The Planet, the online luxury travel magazine for independent travellers.
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