Family Hotel Review: Royal Heritage Haveli, Jaipur, India
What was once an old shooting lodge on the outskirts of town is today a stylish family-friendly hotel that boasts some of the most welcoming hosts in town.
Best For: Haveli-loving style seekers; kids of all ages.
Reviewed by: Katja Gaskell
Why You’ll Love It
In a city choc-a-bloc with heritage hotels it can be hard to muster up enthusiasm for yet another one. And yet this place, the Royal Heritage Haveli, is superb and proves that done right, haveli chic can be cool.
The family-friendly hotel sits roughly half-an-hour from Jaipur’s old town, in a 200-year-old haveli that started life as a shooting lodge, when forests surrounded the now urban area. It was later transformed into a family home and then lay vacant for decades until its current owners, Pradip and Angelique, decided to turn it into a hotel, a process which took them over two years.
Today the interiors look like something out of a design magazine and yet the atmosphere is wonderfully relaxed. The charming owners are committed to offering their guests a memorable experience rather than just another night in another hotel.
Why The Kids Will Love It
While the design sensibilities may be lost on your offspring they’ll definitely appreciate some of the other things the hotel has to offer; the swimming pool, Cartoon Network, Simba the friendly German Shepherd and a seemingly unending supply of sweet treats.
Children of all ages will love the inviting swimming pool, with a shallow area for little kids, and the building itself is fun to explore as it was built according to spiritual sciences. Pradip has embraced this tradition so that the beds and even toilets are positioned according to the same principles – see if you can work out what it all means!
But probably the best thing about staying here is the way that everyone goes above and beyond the call of duty to make you feel at home. Pradip in particular is a fantastic host and treats everyone – big and small – as his personal guest.
There are ten rooms in three categories: Luxury Rooms, Suites and Royal Suites. Each room has been painted a different colour, but not the colours you traditionally find in Rajasthani heritage hotels. Instead of pale yellows you’ll find slate green, deep indigo and poppy red. Hand painted floral motifs decorate the walls and there are some fun surprises such as the replica of a William Morris painting and the 150-year-old bedroom doors. The large bathrooms are tiled using traditional Jaipur blue pottery tiles.
Luxury Rooms: There are two cheery luxury rooms, one of which is a twin bedroom. Room 105 sits near the swimming pool and Room 109 sits immediately next to one of the dining areas.
Suites: The five suites are larger than the luxury rooms. Room 102, decorated in slate green with the William Morris painting, sits in between the swimming pool and one of the dining areas. Painted in whimsical shades of sky blue, Room 103 sits above 102 and has a private balcony area overlooking the pool. On the ground floor near the swimming pool, Room 106 is a large room with pretty blue stencil work on the ceiling and an enormous bathroom. Rooms 107 and 108 sit next door to one another in the former ‘Ladies Block’; room 108 boasts a silver bed.
Royal Suites: The royal suites are housed in the former ‘Gentlemen’s Block’ sandwiched between the swimming pool and the main haveli. Decorated in dusty pink hues is Room 101 on the ground floor with doors opening onto the garden. There’s a separate sitting area with sofas, a table and chairs. Room 104 is a globetotting favourite; the walls are a beautiful indigo blue with delicate white stencil work. The main bedroom features mirror inlay work and blue glass lanterns hang from the ceiling. There’s also a large separate sitting area with cosy, cushioned alcoves. Room 110 is the newest of all the rooms and sits near the pool with a small, private garden.
Best Rooms for Families: Suites and Royal Suites are best suited to families owing to their size (Luxury Rooms can’t accommodate extra beds). The suites can accommodate one extra bed and some have cushioned alcoves where little people can sleep. The Royal Suites can accommodate two extra beds and are fantastic for families, in particular Room 104, which offers oodles of space. The main bedroom is large and the separate sitting area has two cushioned alcoves and/or room for an extra bed.
The Haveli is compact and all the rooms are near to the main dining areas, the majority within monitor’s reach for those travelling with young infants.
There are three dedicated dining areas; the main dining room with deep red walls, the outside terrace underneath the Kigelia tree and a breezy semi-open-air veranda. Weather permitting evening meals are served on the outside terrace and other meals are served in the veranda or the main dining room.
A continental breakfast spread of toast, freshly made croissants and pasties, cereals, fruit, juices and eggs cooked to order mark the start of the day. An Indian breakfast is also available.
The lunch and dinner menu offers Indian, continental and Asian dishes. The Indian menu features firm favourites such as murgh tikka (chicken tikka), traditional butter chicken, laal maas (mutton curry) and dal makhani (a creamy lentil dish). International menu options include grilled chicken, cheesy baked vegetables and pasta with a variety of sauces. The Asian menu includes honey chicken, vegetables in oyster sauce and chilli noodles. The food is very good.
There is the option of taking the Daily Menu, which includes two snacks, a soup, salad, main course plus desert. This menu changes daily.
For Kids: Although there is no dedicated kids’ menu, there are child-friendly dishes on offer. The kitchen is open from 6am to midnight and snacks are available throughout the day. These include sandwiches, pakoras, soups and salads.
Activities for Parents
Enjoy the hotel grounds (all five acres of them), lie by the turquoise swimming pool or treat yourself to a rejuvenating massage at the Spa.
Have a drink with Pradip and Angelique and hear all about the history of the building and their family – this is where Angelique’s mother got married.
Explore Jaipur with the experts on an audio tour of the city, which introduces you to beautiful temples, colourful markets as well as the Pink City’s famous landmarks.
Climb up the hill to Amber Fort, peer out the windows of the Hawa Mahal and ogle at the enormous solid silver urns in the City Palace.
Lose yourself in the colourful cacophony of the old city with its vibrant bazaars selling everything from semi-precious stones and ornate textiles to traditional puppets and leather shoes.
Be inspired by one of the numerous talks, readings and panel discussions at the annual Jaipur Literature Festival held in January.
Set off on a jewellery pilgrimage taking in everything from the cheap and cheerful bangle lane in the old city and the affordable silver market to the legendary Gem Palace on MI Road.
Activities for Kids
Run riot in the gardens, splash in the pool, befriend Simba the dog and gorge yourself silly on biscuits and ice cream.
Ask Pradip about watching a game of elephant polo or time your visit for March and witness the kaleidoscopic Elephant Festival.
Explore the mind-boggling shapes and structures at the Jantar Mantar, the largest stone observatory in the world.
Release your inner fashion designer at the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing where you can block-print your own scarf or t-shirt.
Hop in an auto-rickshaw and explore the narrow, crowded streets of the Pink City, keeping an eye out for camels and elephants on the way.
Head into the old city and climb the steps of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) to peer through the miniature windows at life passing by on the streets below.
A/C, common rooms, cots, doctor on call, nearest hospital is 5km away, extra beds, laundry, pets allowed with prior notice, pushchair friendly, spa, swimming pool, travel desk, WiFi.
At the time of writing the rates were as follows:
Luxury Room / Junior Suite: INR 11,800 (approx. US $190)
Suites: INR 12,500 (approx. US $200)
Royal Suites: INR 16,500 (approx. US $270)
Rates do vary according to room type, extra bed requests and date of travel. Please contact the hotel directly for an exact quote based on your family’s requirements.
When to go:
The best time to visit is between October and March. From late November through February the days are sunny with temperatures hovering around 27C during the day and 10C at night. The peak tourist season is from mid-December to the end of January and if you plan to visit over this period, make sure to book accommodation well in advance.
The weather warms up in March and between April and June temperatures range between 32C and 45C. The monsoon rains fall between July and September when things get hot and sticky.
Jaipur’s Elephant Festival is held on the eve of Holi, celebrated in March, and the Jaipur Literature Festival is held annually in January.
Location & Travel:
Royal Heritage Haveli is located in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.
Royal Heritage Haveli is 16km from Jaipur International Airport and the hotel can arrange airport transfers for an additional charge. The prepaid taxi counter at the airport is generally very efficient and often cheaper. There are regular daily flights in and out of Jaipur’s International Airport to numerous Indian cities. Domestic airlines servicing Jaipur include Jet Airways, GoAir, Indigo, Spice Jet and Air India.
Jaipur Junction Railway Station is just 5km from Royal Heritage Haveli. Jaipur is easily reached by rail from Delhi, Agra, Ajmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Udaipur.
Contact The Hotel
For more information or to make a booking enquiry, visit the hotel’s own website by following the link below:
Reviewer’s Top Tips!
1) Definitely take time to talk to Pradip, not only is he extremely kind, he has wealth of information on what to see and do in Jaipur.
2) Time your visit to coincide with Holi, the colourful Indian festival to mark the arrival of Spring.
3) Read our City Guide to Jaipur…with kids!
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