Sawantwadi Palace Boutique Art Hotel, Maharashtra
toA glorious sanctuary where English courtyards meet red stone and wooden balconies, celebrating art, design and culinary skills, is Sawantwadi Palace, which was built by Khem Sawant III in 1755. The history of ‘Taisaheb Wada’ – a wing dedicated to 5 Queens of Sawantwadi, is now a state-of-the-art hotel from January 2023, with six suites and a host of experiences. Yuvraj Lakham Khem Bhonsle and his wife Shraddha Lakham Bhonsle, the last generation of the royal family, both qualified chefs, lovingly restored the place and managed the daily operations. Suites: Based on the incarnation of Vishnu, they are specially designed by Ganjifa Art and Woodworks, a favorite of the Royal Family. The Matsya suite, paying tribute to the fish avatar, comes with a fish-shaped door handle and a large, wall-decorating painting. The rare furniture, is part of the family collection – either made by the former Raja, Shivaramraje Bhonsle or collected, as part of their travels. Durbar Hall or the beautiful museum in the adjacent building, takes you back to that time, whether, through the well-preserved, pink Benarasi saree of one of the queens or Tiger models, their memory. chic opportunities To learn more about history aficionados, there is an art workshop in Ganjifa with artists in the house or enjoy Afternoon Tea with the royal family, listening to historical records. Indulge your appetite at the Rajwada Thali or the 7-course Tasting Pan Asian menu by Chef Shraddha, herself.
Price: Rooms range from Rs 12,000-15,000 per night, excluding taxes
Belgadia Palace, Odisha
Enter the navigation system and you are in a time capsule of the past. A striking white building – a two-storied Victorian neo-classical building- Belgadia Palace, home of the Mayurbhanj royal family. built in 1804, meets you. The two sisters, Akshita Bhanj Deo and Mrinalika, Queen of Mayurbhanj, the 48th descendants of the Bhanj dynasty, began to restore the palace in 2015. They restored the furniture and upholstery from the original palace, restoring it to the original design of their grandfather. sketchbook, with the aim of opening the palace for people to come and experience the past and discover Odisha. The museum, which opened in 2019, brings the idea of intentional travel to the local tribes. Windows with royal signs, black mahogany stairs, large oil paintings, add to its grandeur. The original 25 rooms were demolished and renovated to create five rooms and six luxury suites, the Library and other areas, reminiscent of tropical art. An artisan treasure house, a palace and the family’s involvement in organizing tourist events, make it a destination in itself.
Price: Rooms and suites start at Rs 12,500-22,000, inclusive of taxes, for double occupancy. Inclusions: Breakfast, lunch and dinner, afternoon tea with traditional culture, morning tea and royal history tour.
Figueiredo House, Goa
If Goa’s fascinating history and a slice of Indo-Portuguese culture pique your interest, visit the Figueiredo Mansion in Loutolim, South Goa. The Figueiredo House, also called the Old House, was built by Manuel João de Figueiredo, in 1590, who came from a famous family. Two centuries later, Caetano de Figueiredo added 2,500 sq. m to the first 2,500, creating what is today, Figueiredo House. Desperate to preserve it as a heritage, today, the only descendant, Fatima Figueiredo de Albuquerque, and her son, Pedro, own it and manage it as a museum and as a residence (eight rooms called the house’s ladies, including suites). It’s an impressive building, but it’s beautiful, the dining hall has been completely renovated, full of beautiful, carved, Belgian furniture, the middle rooms and the rooms are decorated with antique furniture that fits the modern day, cleverly combining modernity, if only. to increase comfort. The pièce de resistance is the Museum, which takes you back in time. Surrealist sculptures, stunning artworks and gothic chandeliers, clay sculptures, are some of the things you can expect.
Price: Rs 6,500 plus taxes from March-October, and Rs 8,500 plus taxes from October-March. Included: Breakfast and a guided tour of the Museum.
The Bangala Table, Karaikudi
You will be wandering the same corridors where many nobles have stayed, as the property has transformed over the years from a Gentleman’s Club to a heritage hotel. Housed in a century-old mansion, the beautiful place, Bangala Table, is not a boutique hotel or a house, but an experience, run as a family. It depicts the life and times of the Chettiar Tamil traders and the tradition of traveling to distant lands for trade. Two enthusiastic women from the MSMM or Mena Sena Mena Mena family of Chettinad, Visalakshi Ramasamy and Meenakshi Meyyappan, decided to revive Senjai Bangala in 1998; in 1999, it was reborn as The Bangala, a heritage hotel with 25 luxury rooms, catering to guests in Karaikudi, Chettinad district of Tamil Nadu. Chettinadu’s architecture and art, exquisitely carved in Burma teak, every corner reflects rich traditions, making it a dream for those who want to immerse themselves in history. The dotted rooms around the courtyard are superb, showcasing Atangidi floors and old colonial furniture; the perfect blend of modern amenities and traditional comfort. Apart from showcasing Chettiar traditions, it is known for its mouth-watering Chettinad cuisine.
Price: Rs 9,449 inclusive of taxes and breakfast for superior rooms and Rs 8,890 for an entry room with double occupancy.
Jehan Numa Palace Hotel, Bhopal
On the slopes of the Shyamala Hills, spread over several acres, stands the elegant white Jehan Numa Palace Hotel, with 100 rooms, including six suites. Arrested in 1890 by General Obaidullah Khan, the commander of the Bhopal State Force, and the second son of Nawab Sultan Jehan Begum, it was not his home. The late Yawar Rashid and his brother Nadir Rashid, grandsons of the General, converted the Palace into a luxury hotel in 1983 to give visitors a taste of Bhopal’s hospitality and royal life. Drenched in elegance, the rooms are boldly decorated and original, reflecting the sophistication of the past, yet filled with modern luxury. The well-kept museum, showcasing the Royal History through old photographs, paintings, memorabilia, coats of arms and robes, spanning over 250 years of proud Nawab Begums and General’s legacy, promises an immersive experience. The family’s international travels, along with their love of luxury experiences, have led them to launch a variety of international cuisines. The Tribal Museum nearby, and the old city with Palaces and Mosques, is full of history.
Price: Rs 8,000 for the basic ‘Regal’ room, 45,000 for the ‘Palace’ Suite, taxes not included. Included: Breakfast