Checking In: Rajasthan Retreats

From a luxury tented camp to a chic boutique hotel, lodgings in India’s largest state are fit for royalty.

By Tanvi Chheda

From the November/December issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.

Tree of Life Resort and Spa Jaipur

On the outskirts of town, Tree of Life feels like a self-contained campus, with 14 villas spread across seven acres in the Aravalli hills. The sun-filled guest rooms feature four-poster beds, fireplaces, and vibrant textiles. Also on the grounds: a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh and a holistic spa. Start the day with yoga, then visit the nearby Amer Fort or head into Jaipur to stroll the jewelry shops of Johari Bazaar. From $269 (including breakfast).

Raas Jodhpur

A complex of seven buildings within Jodhpur’s original walled city, Raas is an oasis of order among colorfully chaotic lanes. The hotel’s 39 rooms are strikingly modern with terrazzo floors, leather coffee tables, and black-and-white photos of Jodhpur, but it’s the impressive view of the sandstone Mehrangarh fort, perched on a cliff, that truly dominates. Visit the fort’s museum stocked with artifacts of former maharajas, then unwind with a saffron lassi poolside. From $377.

Mihir Garh Jodhpur

About an hour’s drive from Jodhpur, two-year-old Mihir Garh sits on a sand dune encircled by vast wilderness. Owners Sidharth and Rashmi Singh intended it that way: Guests are to immerse themselves in the camel and antelope territory of rural Rajasthan. Inside, the hotel’s nine suites are outfitted with carved wood headboards and elephant-shaped lamps. Come morning, take a camel ride to a breakfast awaiting you in the Thar desert. From $261 (including meals).

Chhatra Sagar Nimaj

Thirteen hand-stitched canvas tents with floral motifs on interior walls compose Chhatra Sagar, a luxury camp two hours southeast of Jodhpur. The tents face a reservoir (expect to see and hear kingfishers and flamingos) built for the community by nobleman Thakur Chhatra Singh in 1890. Today, his great- grandchildren keep his legacy alive by hosting guests every winter (Oct. 1-Mar. 31). Head out by jeep to visit traditional shepherd communities. From $445 (including activities and meals).

Tell us about your favorite accommodations in Rajasthan. Leave us the details in the comments section below.

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  1. Deep India
    November 16, 2011, 7:22 am

    Rajasthan is really a royal state, where you may get a chance to stay in the royal heritage hotels, that were once the home to Royal Rajasthan families.