RAAS Hotels has taken over the management of the Jaipur-based heritage hotel, Rajmahal Palace. It now has four hotels in Rajasthan.
The Rajmahal Palace in Jaipur is opening its doors on July 1st, under a new management. The 290-years-old hotel which is owned by the Jaipur royal family and has been the erstwhile home of Maharani Gayatri Devi, will now be managed by leading boutique hotel group RAAS Hotels, which has properties in Jodhpur, Devigarh and Chhatrasagar.
Redolent with history, the Rajmahal Palace was originally built in 1729 by the Maharaja of Jaipur but in 1821 it became the official residence of the British Resident. In 1958 Maharaja Sawai Man ‘Jai’ Singh II and Maharani Gayatri Devi chose it as their private residence. The Maharani describes the Palace in her memoir, A Princess Remembers, as a place that had “charm and character and a pleasantly informal atmosphere”.
While the original bones of a Rajput construction are visible in the pillars and arches, the Art Deco and other architectural forms that were added over the years by the British residents are also equally prominent. And so inside you don’t see any of the demure colours or traditional frescos that you might expect from a Rajasthan property of this age. Instead you have a stunning marble staircase, intricate chandeliers and mirrored ceilings. But the highlight of the palace are the 48 different kinds of printed wallpaper, specially commissioned for the hotel, that cover the walls of every room, suite and public space. The prints are inspired by Jaipur icons such as the Hawa Mahal and are drawn from the royal family’s archives.
Moving away from the more expected ‘heritage décor’, it has contemporary, colourful, flamboyant interiors, think hot pink and emerald green, that’s tastefully offset with period furniture and family heirlooms. Polo trophies, family photos and a 1950’s Ford Thunderbird are on display.
The palace has the cosy feel of an English manor with just 13 rooms and suites. The rooms and suites are furnished with a mix of family heirlooms and contemporary artefacts and are named after the celebrities who once occupied them – so you have the Kennedy Suite, the Mountbatten Suite, The Queen Elizabeth II Suite and the Princess of Wales Palace Room.
There are four F&B outlets on the property.
The Colonnade: Originally conceived as the veranda of Rajmahal Palace, it is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee, a light lunch, or an informal dinner or cocktails. It has large bay windows which allow you to enjoy the splendid view of the palace gardens.
51 Shades of Pink: Covered in hot pink wallpaper, the shades of pink have been inspired by the courtyard inside the City Palace, Jaipur. This dining room receives natural light in the mornings and is perfect for breakfast and lunch.
Orient Occident: This is one of the more formal dining spaces within the palace and is open only for dinner.
The three restaurants, collectively, offer a mix of Indian and international cuisines.
The Polo Bar: The name is a nod to Jaipur’s polo history and the décor follows that theme. On the menu is a comprehensive list of cocktails, wines, and fine spirits.
Guests can enjoy the open-air Art Deco pool on site.
Speaking on the occasion, Princess Diya Kumari of the Jaipur royal family said: “We are delighted and proud to announce our new partnership with RAAS, India’s leading luxury boutique hotel group. RAAS combines over a decade of hotel management experience with an international reputation for warm hospitality. There is also a great synergy between our goals; we are both committed to the environment, empowering local communities, and contributing to regional economies. Sustainability will be a key consideration in all our decision making.”