There’s no better way to get under the skin of Rajasthan than to go off the beaten track. Some of the most authentic experiences can be found in these rural villages, offering a fascinating insight into the history and culture of the region. But a remote location doesn’t mean that you have to comprise on quality. From a magnificent fort to a charming haveli, we’ve hand-picked four of our favourite places to stay in rural Rajasthan.
Perched upon a granite hill in the Aravalli range, about an hour’s drive from Jaipur, Alila Fort Bishangarh appears seamlessly sculpted from the surrounding rustic terrain. Two centuries ago, this castle housed royalty and guarded the kingdom of Jaipur. Now this bold and striking building has been reborn as a luxury hotel. Architectural influences from the British and the Mughal eras can be seen throughout – from Tudor-style ogee arches to mirror-mosaic Tikhri art. Rooms are large, sporting a mix of white marble with grey upholstery, dark-wood furniture and punches of colour in cushions and throws plus incredible views. Enjoy a spot of yoga, indulge in an ultra-luxe treatment at the spa or settle down beside the idyllic swimming pool, overlooking the grassy lawns. Food is Indian cuisine with an international twist made with produce grown in the hotel’s organic kitchen garden.
One of luxury group Aman’s most beautiful properties, Amanbagh is a rose-pink collection of villas set in grounds once used by Mughal princes as a base for royal hunting parties. Nestled in the ancient Aravalli hills, surrounded by temple ruins and rural villages, the 37 suites and villas echo its majestic past with king-sized beds, luxurious bath tubs carved from a single slab of Udaipur green marble, vaulted ceilings and private terraces. At the heart of the hotel is a stunning 33-metre sea-green marble pool – take a dip then flop onto one of the eucalypt-shaded sun loungers. The spa is equally relaxing with massages, scrubs and facials, complemented by daily yoga. The Mughal-inspired restaurant offers an international array of dishes while private candlelit dinners can be served in the gardens, on the roof terrace or in an old chhatri.
Quite possibly the world’s smallest luxury hotel, Anopura offers just two guestrooms and a luxury tent. Set amid endless green fields, an hour outside of Jaipur, in the shadow of the ancient Aravalli Mountains, it’s a picture of serenity where the only noise is the occasional peacock’s cry. The rooms are spacious with king-size beds, block-printed fabric, locally-crafted furniture, intricate Persian miniatures and marble bathrooms. Both have their own patio, overlooking the luscious gardens. Food is wide-ranging, from local Rajasthani delicacies to an excellent cheese soufflé. There are lots of complimentary activities including bird-watching, camel trekking, Jeep safaris or a visit to the local village. Alternatively, guests can just breathe in the scent of frangipani, relax on a charpoy around the plunge pool and take in the beautiful countryside views.
A stone’s throw from Jaipur’s spectacular Amber Fort, this new family-run farm retreat tucked away in the Aravalli hills is a more affordable option. Built along the lines of a medieval-style haveli, Khas Bagh boasts open courtyards, verandahs with arches and intricately-carved pillars and jaalis, all hand-crafted by local craftsmen. With heaps of old world charm, the 18 luxuriously-appointed rooms are traditionally decorated with antique furniture, spacious bathrooms with rain showers and over-hanging balconies with lovely rolling views. There’s a plush polo lounge – perfect for a sundowner – with a fireplace, piano, chandeliers, leather sofas and wooden panelling. Food is excellent, multi-cuisine and all home-cooked. Outside, there’s a children's playground and sun terrace plus a sandstone pool, framed by tall elephant grass.
These ideas are just a starting point for what your trip to India could include. To start planning your luxury tailor-made holiday to India, please contact us. Each trip designed by Rajasthan Tours is created uniquely for you, working to your budget, style and interests with an absolute commitment to quality. We take the work off you to allow you to enjoy the most memorable holiday experience.