Family Hotel Review: Hotel Diggi Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Centrally located within a 200-year-old ancestral haveli is this delightful hotel that boasts one of Jaipur’s prettiest gardens as well as being the setting for some of the city’s most celebrated cultural events.
Best For: Bookish types; kids of all ages.
Reviewed by: Katja Gaskell
Why You’ll Love It
Something of a Jaipur institution is this delightful hotel that is the setting for some of the city’s most celebrated cultural events. This is where the hugely popular Jaipur Literature Festival is held every January and one of the best places to ‘play’ Holi in March.
Diggi Palace is in fact a 200-year-old ancestral haveli located close to the old walled city. Hidden behind cool blue walls and lofty wooden doors lies a central leafy garden dotted with deckchairs, and framed by potted plants and bougainvillea.
There are seventy rooms but the hotel feels more intimate owing to the layout and design. The rooms are housed within a number of two-storey buildings that face the garden, separated by sun-filled courtyards and covered passageways. The owners are very involved and extremely friendly, which only adds to the hotel’s hospitable nature.
Why The Kids Will Love It
Children of all ages are warmly welcomed at Diggi Palace making this a very family-friendly choice. The setting is ideal, set well back from the main road and with a huge garden offering plenty of space to roam. There are courtyards to explore, nooks and crannies to discover and the occasional peacock strutting his stuff. The only downside, particularly in warmer months, is that there is no swimming pool.
Activities for children can easily be organised whether it’s mehndi (traditional henna work applied to hands and feet), an elephant safari or horse riding. You’re also not far from the old city, which makes for easy sightseeing.
One of the best reasons to come here is to celebrate Holi, the Festival of Colours that marks the beginning of spring. Diggi Palace is renown for its vibrant Holi celebrations; the 20metre-high wooden doors are shut and the garden is transformed into a riot of colour.
The 71 rooms are divided into two categories, Heritage Rooms (31) and Palace Suites (40).
The rooms are housed within four two-storey buildings spread around the grounds. This is a heritage property so the rooms are all different shapes, sizes and colours, and each has its own quirky curio or heritage knick-knack. All the rooms have AC and a TV and most rooms have a veranda area or sit-out with tables and chairs outside.
The main difference between the Heritage Rooms and Palace Suites is size and outlook; the majority of the Palace Suites face the gardens.
Best Rooms For Families: The Palace Suites are best suited to families as they can fit two extra beds. Heritage Rooms can generally accommodate one extra bed. If you have more than two older kids then you will have to take two rooms; you can request for adjoining rooms or inter-connecting rooms (one set of Palace Suites are inter-connecting).
Families travelling with younger children should request a Palace Suite near the restaurant, which is within monitor reach.
Facing the garden is the main restaurant, the Baradari Mahal. At times it can feel a bit like a school cafeteria (particularly when groups are staying) but fortunately there is plenty of outdoor seating, which makes for a more pleasurable dining experience.
The breakfast buffet offers cereals, toast, fruit and freshly squeezed fruit juices as well as eggs cooked to order.
The extensive lunch and dinner menu is varied with plenty of very good Indian options including thalis, curries and biryanis, as well as a large number of continental options. These range from soups and salads to spring rolls and crêpes. You’ll also find plenty of milk shakes and lassis on the menu.
Diggi Palace has its own organic farm and they use a lot of their own produce in the cooking, all the dairy products are also produced in-house.
For Kids: Although there is no dedicated kids’ menu, there are child-friendly dishes on offer including pasta dishes, toasted cheese sandwiches, biryanis and omelettes. The kitchen is open from 7am to 10pm and meals and snacks are available throughout the day.
Activities for Parents:
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 oggle 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.
Learn your baltis from your biryanis at a Diggi Palace cooking class.
Grab a deckchair and relax in the shady garden, read a book and listen to the cries of peacocks in the flowering trees overhead.
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:
Throw bags of rainbow-coloured paint over your parents – and not get in trouble! – at the annual Holi festival held in the gardens in March.
Go in search of the best hiding spot ever in a game of hide-and-seek around the hotel’s generous grounds.
Climb aboard for an elephant safari or explore the countryside on horseback, decorate your hands with mehndi (henna) or go shopping for colourful glass bangles.
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.
Explore the mind-boggling shapes and structures at the Jantar Mantar, the largest stone observatory in the world.
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, babysitting with prior notice, common rooms, doctor on call, the nearest hospital is approx. 20 mins away, extra beds available, kids’ activities, laundry, pushchair-friendly, shop, travel desk, wheelchair access, WiFi.
At the time of writing the rates were as follows:
Heritage Rooms: INR 5000 – 6000
Palace Suites: INR 6000 – 7500
Courtyard Suites: INR 10,000
Extra bed: INR 1000 – 1,500
Rates vary according to season. 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.
Holi, the festival of Spring, is celebrated in March, and the Jaipur Literature Festival is held annually in January.
Location & Travel:
Diggi Palace is located in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. Diggi Palace is 13km from Jaipur Airport (40min – 1 hour by car).
There are regular daily flights in and out of Jaipur’s International Airport to numerous Indian cities. The nearest international airport is Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Jaipur’s main train station is 6km from Diggi Palace. Jaipur is easily reached by rail from Delhi, Agra, Ajmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Udaipur.