Hidden within the flamingo pink corridors and patterned wallpapers of the palace turned hotel are stories of India’s beloved – the Late Maharani Gayatri Devi. A travel guide to Jaipur would not be complete without this!
The pastel colours, lush greenery, marble elephants and the iconic vintage Thunderbird that stands at the entrance of the Rajmahal Palace feels like a concept out of a mood board. The reception furniture has velvet fabrics in dark tones of plum, olive and navy blue against wallpapers of cypress trees. As opposed to the mellow pastel pink exterior, each room is themed with unapologetic extravagance, that is a feast for the senses.
From cool minty greens and blues, to paisley wallpapers and decadent floral arrangements, checkered flooring – no corner has been left unturned. The latest renovation was led by interior designer Adil Ahmad who collaborated with Good Earth, a match made in heaven and as they are known to intertwine history, heritage and design in all their work.
A palace fit for a queen…actually it was
While the royal family of Jaipur still owns the property, the boutique hospitality company Sujan Luxury presently runs it. The late Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and late Maharani Gayatri Devi were a power couple, that put India on the map with their adoring public, glamorous lives and a circle of friends that included international leaders of the world. Everyone from the Kennedys to Queen Elizabeth II, politicians and cinema icons have been enamoured by the royal couple.
The maharani who was ever graceful in flowy sarees and a statement piece, her lavish lifestyle, gorgeous looks and style saw her repeatedly on published articles within the ranks of the world’s most beautiful people. But it wasn’t just polo matches and the jet-setting lifestyle that put the queen in the news, it was also the fact that she was a refreshing change to the monarchy. With the support of her progressive husband, she not only stood for elections but also won them by a such a ginormous majority, earning her name a place in the Guinness World Records – queen of hearts indeed.
The royal era of Rajmahal Palace
In ever changing political times, the late Maharaja and Maharani moved residences from their opulent palace Rambagh, which was taken over by the Taj Group of Hotels. The Late Maharani recollects her shock, but ready to adapt to change in her memoir ‘ A Princess Always Remembers’. Her new home was partly divided into a hotel too, while the royal family had private quarters. There were times where extra measures would be taken to maintain her privacy, such as asking her butler to stand guard of the pool area while she would take a swim. But those were the rare times she probably got to herself, as she was too busy creating a national frenzy with her successful election campaigns.
Today, the property reflects the rich heritage lifestyle with each suite paying homage to themes of the royal family’s life. A boutique establishment with just 14 rooms, divided into apartments and suites for both long stay and short stay guests.
The restaurant – The Pink Room, is a sugar coated vision in pink with mirrors, which serves international fare. The Colonnade is a 24 hour cafe is decked in blue and white with whimsical wall paper prints. We tried the rose and champagne sorbet, which tasted like freshly crushed rose petals and hint of mint! The Orient Occident is a fine dining affair celebrating regional specialities.
For more about the gorgeous property, check out the Sujan Rajmahal property here
Photo credits: Sujan Luxury