Why you’ll love The Farm
Located half-an-hour outside of Jaipur is The Farm, an arty family-friendly boutique hotel that has been created from the remnants of an ancestral palace. It’s original, fun and completely unpredictable.
The owners, Surya and Ritu Singh, have ensured that absolutely nothing from the former family pile has gone to waste; palatial wooden rafters have been transformed into a poolside bar and old bolts hang as numbers on the bedroom doors. Rusty screws, old windows, girders and even parts of a vintage Dodge have found a new home in this eclectic hotel.
Central to the property is the raised swimming pool bordered by bedrooms, a poolside café and the restaurant. The Farm is very much a retreat, and once you’ve finished looking at the art (it also acts as a showcase for artists) you can put your feet up and relax.
Why the kids will love The Farm
This hotel is a fascinating place to stay for kids of all ages simply because there is so much to see and explore. From the tin ducks that stand guard poolside and the old rickshaw seat turned bench, to the whimsical ‘Scrapture’ garden and colourful Ramayana mural in the reception area, there are distractions galore.
Positioned on six hectares of rural Rajasthan countryside, The Farm offers plenty of space and the swimming pool is a big hit with kids of all ages. There are also plans for a small golf course at the back of the property.
On the ground level the enormous common room houses a billiard table, TV and a large supply of games, puzzles, children’s DVDs and there are also a handful of toy boxes. Ritu and Surya live on the property and their young son Vihaan often opens up his playroom to fellow playmates.
The Farm is closed 1 May – 30 June
There are five rooms and 2 suites. All the rooms have been individually decorated and exude the same playfulness and eye for design as the rest of the hotel.
Of the five executive rooms, two are pool facing (on the upper pool terrace) and the remaining three are are garden facing. The Red Room is on the upper pool terrace and features black and white photos of Jaipur City taken by photographer Yogesh Sharma. Also pool facing is the Green Room where multimedia pictures of Indian Gods hang on the walls and cowhide rugs decorate the floors. Both these rooms open onto a shaded terrace area with daybeds and tables and chairs. On the ground floor are the garden facing Pink, Blue and White rooms. The White room is the only twin room.
The two suites are set in the garden. The Automobile Suite is a fantastic room with a great sense of humour. It’s large and comes with a living area and private walled garden, with an open-air plunge pool. Inside you’ll find an old Enfield Bullet motorbike, dozens of photographs of cars, trucks and motorcycles, automobile themed cushions and old wooden toy trucks. One wall of the outside courtyard has been painted using the colours and themes usually found on Indian trucks (including the ubiquitous ‘No Horn Please’). The newest suite is Banaras, is named after the city considered to be India’s religious capital and is decorated in golds and oranges with pictures of Indian gods. Banaras also has a private plunge pool.
The bathrooms in all the rooms have also been individually designed with fun touches such as the bubble wrap shower curtain in the Automobile Suite. It’s worth noting that some guests have reported having to wait up to 20 minutes for hot water.
Best Rooms for Families: The five Executive Rooms can fit a maximum of two extra beds (which are just mattresses) although you won’t have much room leftover. The poolside rooms (the Red Room and the Green Room) are a good option as they are near the main restaurant and well within monitor reach for families travelling with young infants. The garden rooms (the Pink Room and White Room) are equally charming and offer marginally more privacy.
The two suites are huge and good options for families although it’s worth noting that there are working fireplaces in both rooms (not ideal for curious toddlers!) and you are located away from the main building (out of monitor reach). An Amitabh Bachchan suite is being planned, which should please Bollywood fans.
Food at The Farm is delicious and much of it is home grown and seasonal. All meals are served in the poolside café/restaurant or in the newly constructed lotus garden ‘Lotus Garden’ at the back of the property. If the weather is too hot, then meals are served in the communal lounge downstairs. All meals and snacks are included in the full board tariff.
Breakfast is a selection of fruit, cereals, toast, eggs cooked to order and tea or coffee. An Indian breakfast is also offered.
Lunch is typically an Indian thali (either vegetarian or non-vegetarian) with seven bowls of vegetables, dhal (lentils), pickles and roti (bread). Continental options are available, however at least one meal during your stay at The Farm is a thali.
Dinner is a delicious fixed five course international menu presented on a handwritten card bearing the family crest. Typical dishes include pumpkin soup with saffron and walnut to start with, followed by Moroccan inspired smoked aubergine mash, fusilli in tomato and basil served with mushrooms and mixed peppers and finally a custard apple cake.
For Kids: There is no dedicated menu for children but the kitchen is flexible and can cater to kids. It’s worth mentioning any particularly dietary requirements at the time of booking. Meal timings can be very relaxed here so it’s wise to tell the kitchen what time you would like meals served, particularly for children who may want to eat earlier (some guests have reported having to wait a long time for children’s meals).
Activities for Parents
Practice your downward dog during a poolside yoga session and then dive in the sparkling waters afterwards.
Ease away a day spent exploring Jaipur’s old city with a relaxing massage (a masseuse is on call).
Check out the artwork, roam the gardens and explore the incredible array of birdlife including parrots, partridges, jays and doves.
Ask the Singhs to arrange a picnic for you and head to the neighbouring village of Nahargarh, home to ancient step wells.
Lose yourself in the colourful cacophony of Jaipur’s old city and the vibrant bazaars selling everything from semi-precious stones and ornate textiles to traditional puppets and leather shoes.
Wander the vast complex of the City Palace and wonder at the world’s largest sterling silver vessels that were used to carry Ganga (Ganges) river water from India to England in 1901.
Visit the legendary Gem Palace and splash some rupees on some traditional Indian designs or commission your own.
Activities for Kids
Grab a paintbrush and colour one of the decorative iron birds that are scattered around the garden or get your hands dirty during a pottery class with the local potter.
Swim and splash in the pool, run and jump in the gardens.
Big kids and teens can climb in the saddle and learn to walk, trot and canter on a horse safari.
Explore the surrounding countryside and see how many different types of birds you can spot – there are 70 different kinds to see!
Head to Jaipur and explore the narrow, crowded streets of the Pink City, keeping an eye out for camels and elephants on the way.
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.
Explore the mind-boggling shapes and structures at the Jantar Mantar, the largest stone observatory in the world.
A/C, common room (and playroom), cots, doctor on call, nearest hospital is 45 mins away, max 2 beds per room (these are mattresses rather than beds), kids’ activities, laundry, pushchair-friendly, swimming pool, travel desk, WiFi.
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:
The Farm is located on six hectares of farmland, half-an-hour’s drive from Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.
The Farm is located 32km or 45mins from Jaipur International Airport and the hotel offers airport transfer services for an additional charge. The pre-paid taxi counter at the airport is very efficient and usually cheaper. There are regular daily flights in and out of Jaipur to numerous Indian cities.
Jaipur Railway Station is 25km from The Farm and the hotel offers transfer services for an additional charge. Jaipur is easily reached by rail from Delhi, Agra, Ajmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Udaipur.
1) Plan to spend at least a day or two enjoying The Farm itself, there’s a lot to see and do at the hotel.
2) Splash out on a Suite, you’ll be much more comfortable if travelling with kids.
3) Read our City Guide to Jaipur with kids!