Photographer: Martin Harvey/Getty Images
Luxury Travel

Fortress of Luxury: Live Like a King in Rajasthan's Heritage Hotels

Unique architecture and opulent grandeur make the fort hotels of Rajasthan, India, as visually arresting as they are relaxing to visit. With the Alila Fort luxury hotel in Bishangarh scheduled to open later this year, we take a look at some of the state's best.

  1. Jagat Niwas Hotel, Udaipur
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    Jagat Niwas Hotel, Udaipur

    Overlooking Udaipur's Lake Pichola, Jagat Niwas is actually two 17th century mansions that were restored in the 1990s. The hotel has 29 rooms; two of its suites feature jharokhas, enclosed balconies, with a water view.

    Photographers: top - Adrian Pope, bottom - Dallas Stribley/Lonely Planet Images, both via Getty Images

  2. Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel, Bharatpur
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    Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel, Bharatpur

    Set on a 50-acre estate, the Laxmi Vilas Palace was built in 1857 for the brother of Bharatpur's ruler. Converted into a hotel in 1994, the palace has 30 rooms that feature period furniture and is close to the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.

    Photographer: Christian Heeb/AWL Images RM via Getty Images

  3. Deogarh Mahal Hotel, Deogarh Madaria
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    Deogarh Mahal Hotel, Deogarh Madaria

    Once home to one of the barons who served Udaipur's Maharana, Deogarh is steeped in history. Each room has a different story and the hotel's website claims that the back wall of the central courtyard inspired the famous Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds in Jaipur.

    Photographer: Bruno Ehrs/Getty Images

  4. Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel, Jodhpur
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    Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel, Jodhpur

    One of the world's largest private residences, the former home of Jodhpur's royal family is now in part a hotel. Built between 1929 and 1943 using sandstone, marble and teak, the palace represents the Beaux Arts style. One suite even includes a bath tub carved from a single block of pink marble.

    Source: Taj Hotel Resorts and Palaces via Getty Images

  5. Shiv Niwas Palace, Udaipur
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    Shiv Niwas Palace, Udaipur

    Overlooking Lake Pichola, the crescent-shaped Shiv Niwas Palace was built in the early 20th century as a royal guesthouse for the Maharana of Udaipur. The three-level palace is arranged around a courtyard with a marble pool at its center.

    Photographer: Martin Harvey/Getty Images

  6. Jawahar Niwas Palace Hotel, Jaisalmer
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    Jawahar Niwas Palace Hotel, Jaisalmer

    A 19th century sandstone palace with an ornate carved façade, designed by a British architect and built by local stone craftsmen, the Jawahar Niwas Hotel claims to have hosted royalty and stars such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in its 22 rooms and suites. 

    Photographer: Tibor Bognar/Getty Images

  7. Rambagh Palace Hotel, Jaipur
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    Rambagh Palace Hotel, Jaipur

    Built in 1835 and expanded to eventually house the Maharaja of Jaipur, the Rambagh Palace became a hotel in 1957. With 78 rooms and suites, the palace has marble latticework, sandstone balustrades and an elaborate Mughal Garden. 

    Photographer: Martin Harvey/Getty Images

  8. Oberoi Udaivilas Hotel, Udaipur
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    Oberoi Udaivilas Hotel, Udaipur

    On the banks of Lake Pichola, the hotel was built on the hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Mewar. The property includes a twenty-acre sanctuary with boar and deer, and is laid out in a series of interconnecting domes and corridors. 

    Photographers: Top- Izabela Habur/iStockphoto, botom - Martin Harvey, both via Getty Images

  9. Laxmi Niwas Palace Heritage Hotel, Bikaner
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    Laxmi Niwas Palace Heritage Hotel, Bikaner

    The former home to the Maharaja of Bikaner, Laxmi Niwas Palace was built at the beginning of the 20th century and hosted King George V and Queen Mary. It features ornate filigree work and latticed screens and is geometrically perfectly symmetrical.

    Photographer: Christian Heeb/AWL Images RM via Getty Images

     

     

    Information gathered from hotel websites.