Family Hotel Review: Mosaics Guesthouse, Nr. Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Located in the Rajasthani countryside is this family-friendly, four-bedroom guesthouse. Come for Indian colour, European service, views of Amber Fort and to meet the resident donkey.
Best For: Francophones, families travelling together; big kids and teens (but all ages welcome).
Reviewed by: Victoria Westmacott
Why You’ll Love It
This family-friendly guesthouse on the outskirts of Amber is an absolute joy. Owned and managed by Hervé Vital, a charming mosaic artist from France, it combines style and serenity with wonderful personal service.
Hervé was so taken with India when he first visited the country that he decided to sell up and move here permanently, opening Mosaics Guesthouse four years ago. Located in the countryside, the four-bedroom family-friendly guesthouse combines a European sensibility with Indian colour and flair. It’s also quite quirky; all the carved wooden doors and window shutters come from old havelis and the lids on the rubbish buckets have been fashioned from wooden chapatti boards.
The four bedrooms occupy the first floor and open onto a terrace where all meals are served. Downstairs is where Hervé resides and is also where you’ll find his studio, pop in to see him at work. There’s also a roof terrace with unobstructed views over Amber Fort. All in all it’s truly charmant.
Why The Kids Will Love It
Compact and bijou, Mosaics’ is best suited to families with big kids and teens; there’s not a lot of space to run around and the steep stairs and small terraces may not be suitable for toddlers. That said, it’s such a welcoming place that families have stayed here with kids of all ages. Plus, you’re in the countryside here, well away from the busy roads and with plenty of room to rumble outside.
Hervé and his staff are extremely friendly and nothing is too much trouble. The roof terrace with its deckchairs and coffee table will appeal to teens looking to plug in and escape mum and dad. Younger kids can amuse themselves on the lower terrace or hang out with Hervé’s friendly donkey downstairs.
The location is also ideal for families looking to avoid the cacophony of Jaipur’s city centre; you’re a stone’s throw from Amber Fort, 20 minutes from the Pink City by car, and close to a wonderful elephant sanctuary where you can feed, bathe and rides elephants as well as paint their trunks.
Mosaics Guesthouse usually closes for one month in the summer (mid May – mid June).
The four rooms all share a similar design: antique furniture, Indian curios and wall hangings by acclaimed block-print artist Brigitte Singh whose studio is just down the road. One of the rooms features a wall mosaic by Hervé.
The attached bathrooms (showers, no baths) are small and may require a degree of flexibility on your part if bathing younger kids.
Best Rooms For Families: The rooms are all the same size and can accommodate an extra bed or mattress, and a cot (or two extra mattresses), although you won’t have much room left over. Hervé has recently crafted two new beds specifically designed for toddlers and big kids.
All four rooms open onto the dining terrace thereby eliminating any babysitting issues for families with young kids. Given the size and layout of the property, this is an excellent choice if you are a large family who want to take a couple of rooms, or several families travelling together.
Everything is flexible at Mosaics and this includes dining times, speak with Hervé to determine what works best for you. All meals are served on the sunny terrace outside the bedrooms.
Breakfast typically includes home made bread and jam, coffee, tea and chai as well as fruit juices. Eggs, fruit and yoghurt are available on request.
Lunch and dinner are planned daily by the guesthouse cook and the menu is determined by what’s available at the local market. Typically vegetarian food is served, however chicken, lamb and Italian pastas and pizzas are available on request. There is also a tandoor oven that produces excellent kebabs. The ingredients are all fresh and some are imported from France. Both lunch and dinner are open to outside guests.
For Kids: Although there is no dedicated kids’ menu, the kitchen can create child-friendly dishes.
Activities for Parents:
Take a tour of Hervé’s sunny studio on the ground floor and maybe even commission your own mosaic.
Make an appointment at Brigitte Singh’s studio located just nearby. Her hand block prints are internationally renown; you’ll find her red poppy design on display at the V&A Museum in London.
Stretch your legs and climb up to Nahargarh (Tiger) Fort for formidable views over Amber and Jaipur.
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.
Walk 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.
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:
Ask the cook for a packed lunch and head out to Hervé’s favourite picnic spot near Sagar Lake.
Visit the neighbouring elephant village and watch these gentle creatures as they take their afternoon bath with their mahout.
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, communal terrace, doctor-on-call, nearest hospital approx. 35 mins away, extra beds / mattresses, laundry, pets allowed, WiFi.
At the time of writing the rates were as follows:
Room: INR 3,000 – 3,500
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 when things get hot and sticky.
Holi, the festival of Spring, is celebrated in March, and the Jaipur Literature Festival is held annually in January.
Mosaics Guesthouse usually closes for one month in the summer (mid May – mid June).
Location & Travel:
Mosaics Guesthouse is located in Amber, Rajasthan. Mosaics Guesthouse is 25km from Jaipur Airport (40min – 1 hour by car). Mosaics can arrange an airport pick-up, however the airport pre-paid taxi service is very efficient and often cheaper.
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 station is 14km from Mosaics Guesthouse. Jaipur is easily reached by rail from Delhi, Agra, Ajmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Udaipur.
Contact This 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) Go with another family and take all 4 rooms. That way you have the whole property to yourself and won’t worry about disturbing other guests.
2) Take a workshop in block printing (see our Family Guide to Jaipur for details)
3) Bring an extra suitcase. Jaipur is the best city in Rajasthan (and arguably India) for shopping!
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