After moving back to Jaipur from London last summer, I was longing for a weekend getaway to tackle the rising temperatures and just go for a swim in a beautiful infinity pool nearby. Luckily, I knew about this luxury palace hotel that was just a mere 40 kilometres north of the city and decided to book it for my entire family in an instant.
While I had seen numerous pictures of Samode Palace online, never would have I thought that staying there would feel this special. After all, it isn’t every day that you get to stay in a royal holiday home that was converted into a luxury hotel only a few years ago? Staying there made me feel like Rajasthan is the ultimate synonym of royalty and Samode Palace, its absolute epitome.
From the moment we pulled in and got our very first glimpse of this 475 years old Palace, to the time we had to pack our luggage and say goodbye to this oasis, the entire stay was nothing but an experience fit for a king. There are three Samode properties in and around Jaipur but if you are looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, then Samode Palace is the perfect place for you!
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Checking in at the Samode Palace
Every single person that we met at the hotel greeted us with the biggest of smiles and made us feel right at home from the very beginning. We were welcomed with fresh juices at the reception, which had a beautiful panoramic view of the Aravalli hills on one side and a sneak peek to the Palace on the other. After chatting about the history of the palace and the nearby region, the kind staff at the hotel even upgraded us to a suite and it was at that moment that I realised that it’s going to be an unforgettable stay.
Soon after, we made our way across the courtyard and went up the staircase on the far right being completely unaware of the beauty that was waiting just outside of our room.
Our Suite at the Samode Palace
As we were about to approach our suite, I was told that the king used to have his meetings in this very area that was just outside of the room. I can’t tell you how incredible it was to see this open sitting area every time I left the room. From the details on the wall to the fabrics of the couch, it truly was perfection.
The suite itself was oh so stunning. Filled with a lavish bed, loads of sitting area, a marble bathtub and a terrace straight out of my dreams, it was definitely more than I could ever ask for. I loved how they provided a few modern amenities like a Nespresso machine and a flat screen TV, whilst keeping everything else close to their heritage. We watched the sun set from our private terrace and admired how the sky turned pink behind a ruined fort. The only regret that I have from my time there is that it just wasn’t enough.
CG’s tip: If available, request to stay in room no. 209 because it’s the only room that has this beautiful sitting area right outside the door that almost felt like it was an extended part of our room.
My first impression of the property
Every time I check in somewhere, I like to amble around into unknown paths and get a feel of the property. The curious explorer in me doesn’t rest until I have familiarised myself with every little spot that makes these grand hotels grand. I have to admit that the Samode Palace is so massive that even a person like me who takes pride in how good I am at remembering directions, got lost, not once but twice.
Also, I am not entirely sure if it being off peak season in India had anything to do with it but I just loved how the hotel wasn’t like any other crowded 5-star property but rather had a selected boutique feeling to it.
CG’s tip: If you are short on number of days during your Jaipur trip, then you can look into Samode Haveli instead. It is located right in the centre, making it a perfect base to see the city from.
Tour of the Heritage Wing
After seeing tons of pictures of the hotel’s heritage wing on Instagram, the first thing that I asked the receptionist was if we could do a tour of it and click photos ourselves. He told me to give him a call once we are all settled in and he will have a private tour arranged for us.
I knew I was not going to settle in, but rather go change my outfit and grab my camera to capture all its beauty. It had not even been 10 mins and I was already in the courtyard excited to make my way to the Durbar Hall and the Sheesh Mahal. We met our guide there and he quickly took us to the heritage wing whilst explaining its significance and how it’s used for weddings and big celebrations even today.
I still remember the moment that I saw these 250 years old frescos unveil themselves, I just couldn’t believe how this place was even real. Every single room that we saw there was so architecturally fascinating and visually enchanting that I almost wanted the tour to just end there. I wanted nothing but to spend all my time admiring the beautiful artwork and craftsmanship that made this place so special. In my opinion, it is one of those places that you have to go and see for yourself.
CG’s tip: You can visit the Samode palace for a tour even when you are not a guest for a small price that is fully redeemable at the restaurant inside. Just make sure to give them a call before to find out if they have any private events such as weddings or not. Visitors will not be allowed in if there is a booking, so better to check with them and plan in advance, in my opinion.
Dining at the Samode Palace
Our tour of the palace had ended at the rooftop pool around sunset time and it was then that I noticed the staff setting up for a candlelit dinner that was soon to take place. When asked, our guide told us that one can book the entire terrace for a special candlelit dinner under the stars. I can’t put it into words how magical it looked and how I wish to experience it one day.
We had an á la carte dinner in one of the indoor restaurants and loved how authentic the Indian food tasted. It was almost like having a meal at home.
Breakfast is always my favourite meal at hotels and this was no different. I really liked how they had a wide selection of both continental and Indian breakfast. I mean, how can one not be happy with a masala dosa, fresh juices and a few croissants on the table? Okay, I admit it, there were more than a few.
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Facilities at the Samode Palace
The Samode Palace has an amazing set of facilities suited for every kind of traveller. While I didn’t have the time to enjoy the spa there, I made up for it by going for a sunrise swim at its infinity pool. Out of both the pools that are there, I personally loved how the rooftop infinity pool provided an amazing view of the abandoned fort on top of the hill. Plus, it is rightly located close to breakfast as well (Food first, always).
Don’t get me wrong, the mosaic pool near the spa is equally beautiful and looks even more pretty at night.
If you are still on crossroads about splurging some dollars and experiencing this palace then, let me tell you that it is so worth it! After all, you cannot come to Rajasthan and leave without experiencing it like a royalty, right?
Have a great stay,
Want to keep reading? You may also like "Staying at Alila Fort Bishangarh in Jaipur, India" and "A Local's Guide to Best Instagrammable Spots in Jaipur" .
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