Immerse in history and regality at this ancient haveli in Jaipur
A sneak peek into the 18th-century Royal Heritage Haveli in Jaipur–an experience that offers a generous dose of luxury.
Whether it’s a short haul or a long stay, Jaipur—the ‘Pink City’—impresses with its imposing monuments, enchanting bazaars and diverse street food culture. It is also crisscrossed with ancient havelis, some of which have been converted into plush luxury hotels to offer guests a sneak peek into the living of royals.
While many of these properties reek of grandeur and opulence, they can get a tad bit overwhelming sometimes because of the flashy touches. But not when it comes to the Royal Heritage Haveli, a landmark in the neighbourhood of Khatipura that’s not too far from the city centre.
Set in a converted 18th-century Rajasthani hunting lodge, the family-run hotel is all about marrying elegance with heritage, albeit without being over the top.
It has everything that makes for an ideal escape—serene courtyards, sprawling lawns, character-driven suites, heritage recipes and more, all served with a side of personalisation.
Walking down memory lane
Established by Sawai Madho Singh Ji of Jaipur in the 18th century, this boutique hotel is currently owned by Maharaja Jai Singh and run by his niece Angelique and her husband Pradip.
At first glance, it appears to be a personal estate painted in hues of yellow and white, a pleasing sight for the eyes. Whether you take a flight of steps or a corridor that resembles a ‘secret passage’, it opens up to the expansive courtyard that is dotted with potted plants and swathes of greenery.
Around the courtyard lie the suites—with a few spaced out on the level above. In total, there are 23 suites, each having a distinct character that is visible through its colour palette, decor and more.
A walkthrough of the property (after gulping down a big glass of freshly squeezed orange juice) with Shambhavi Singh, Director of Royal Heritage Haveli, reveals interesting facts about the property–much before it opened to the guests.
For instance, one of the suites on the floor above produces loud sounds, which is why it was reserved for the unmarried girls to keep an eye on them!
This was just the beginning. A tryst with royalty in every aspect beckons the guest here.
Living like royalty
It's never as difficult to pick between rooms in any property–but at Royal Heritage Haveli, that’s a sentiment one is bound to experience. Each suite is well-appointed with modern comforts–however, it's the design and decor, varied in elements, that makes you stop and stare.
The decor is a giveaway of the family’s royal sensibilities, ably exhibited by their sartorial choices including the upholstery. The colour palette is vibrant, inviting guests to bathe in the creative expression of the hosts.
What strikes the eye is how each of the spaces–be it the rooms or common areas are designed in ways that don't feel too kitschy, a trademark of most hotels in Rajasthan.
Among the many rooms, our favourite has to be the Heritage Signature Suite, massive with an area of 800 square feet. With hand-painted frescoes and classical and contemporary elements in equal measure, it's a space that will make one fall in love. It has everything from a large private terrace to a kitchenette, a dining area that leads to a spacious bedroom with garden views and the most gorgeous walk-in closet.
The bathroom matches up the room—it is punctuated with tiles that have unique motifs and offer both options–a rain shower and a soaking tub. Take your pick between the two; of course, lounging in the tub with a comforting book and some wine is a great way to unwind!
It’s hard to enjoy any property if its culinary offerings are not at par with its hospitality. Fortunately, there’s no moment where your tummy won’t be satisfied, courtesy of the culinary artistry exhibited by the kitchen staff, helmed by Chef Prithvi Oli, at the Royal Heritage Haveli.
Each of the dishes is prepared with much love with fresh ingredients grown in their garden. What elevates the experience is the ambience where it is served, and Kigelia Court shaded by the canopy of the 200-year-old Kigelia tree is nothing short of a dream.
The alfresco space serves as the perfect setting for a fine meal with your loved ones, or a date with a special someone. Of course, there’s no dearth of options here–Mehrab is all about elite hospitality, whether it’s through the food or its decor, while Cibo Bistro is a little more casual, like its name.
On to the food. Whether it was the Continental meal for lunch or the local food like dal baati churma, gatta curry, or more for dinner, what stood out was the preparation–it wasn’t typically restaurant-like, rich and heavy. Instead, the food was once again a reminder of the warmth and personalisation of the hosts.
Another aspect that is worth speaking about is their unique offering–Lost Recipes of Khatipura. Here, Shambhavi takes guests through the recipes of her family that she had learnt from her grandmother. One can also witness a cooking demonstration where the chef prepares narangi maas (a dish made with freshly plucked in-house oranges), a refreshing change from the done-to-death laal maas. The experience is accompanied by tales that will help you work an appetite.
There’s also the Frangipani Spa which offers a curated selection of therapies from around the world to soothe your aching body and mind.
We went for the Aromaya massage, a deeply relaxing holistic therapy with gentle strokes that infuse aromatic oils. The 60-minute therapy was pure bliss.
In a nutshell, if you’re looking to escape from the humdrum of city life and take a break in true royal style, here’s where you need to be.
Cost per night: Rs 20,000 onwards + taxes
Edited by Megha Reddy