It’s the world’s best hotel according to Tripadvisor – and these photos go some way to explaining why it’s been awarded the crown.
Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, India, has risen to the top of the world’s ‘Top Hotels’ list in Tripadvisor’s Best of the Best Hotels in 2023, following reviews of 1.5 million properties.
Tripadvisor says number one: ‘Called “The Jewel of Jaipur”, this 1835-turned-luxury hotel offers incredible amenities.’
The review page adds that the ‘opulent’ retreat is ‘loved for its Polo Bar, luxurious suites, and high tea’.
Home to famous faces, the hotel, which has over 5,400 rave reviews for the ‘five-bubble’ on Tripadvisor, has hosted the likes of King Charles, Jackie Onassis and Lord Mountbatten.
The house, located eight kilometers (8km) outside the walls of Jaipur – known as the ‘Pink City’ for its dusty pink houses – began as a garden for the old lady who waited on the house. The queen, Maharani Chandravati, in 1835 and later turned it into a royal hunting lodge.
It was converted into a palace in the early 20th century, with Maharajah Sawai Man Singh II adding several palaces in the 1930s.
It has been a hotel since the 1950s and today has 78 rooms ‘amazingly restored’ that were once the Maharaja’s rooms.
A statement from the hotel says: ‘The building remains magnificent, lavishly decorated with marble “jalis” or latticeworks, sandstone, cupolas… and the magnificent Mughal Gardens. [a style of gardens influenced by India’s Mughal Emperors].’
During their stay, guests can have a ‘royal Indian feast’ at the Suvarna Mahal restaurant, a former royal palace built in the 1800s in France with huge lanterns.
Afternoon tea was taken al fresco under the shade of the Verandah Cafe umbrellas. Guests can also enjoy international cuisine at the all-day dining restaurant, Rajput Room, or enjoy wood-fired pizzas at the relaxing bar, Steam.
The hotel’s aforementioned Polo Bar, featuring trophies and memorabilia from Jaipur’s polo team, serves cocktails, whiskeys and single malts.
Those looking for a pampering treatment can enjoy ‘ancient Indian medicine’ or a meditation session at the J Wellness Circle spa.
Most Tripadvisor reviews of the hotel are laudatory, with user ‘Keshav Jumani’ describing it as “a spectacular sight that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime”.
Reviewer ‘Stefania C’ wrote: ‘Everywhere you go in the palace you feel like a King!’
And user ‘ardingPass723440’ commented: ‘This is probably as close as one can get. [to] to have a legend.’
At the time of writing, rooms are priced from £317 per night. Go tajhotels.com.