Travel: Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

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When you think of the Indian Mughal Empire, you think grandeur, regal materials and a whole lot of palace. Well, what if we told you that those connotations do actually exist, and albeit in India, specifically in Jodhpur. The Umaid Bhawan Palace is not only one of the last great palaces of India, it is also the largest private residences in the world. Spanning across 26 acres this stunning palace is a melange of Eastern and Western influences, and is home to 64 rooms, a private museum, marbled squash courts, a recreation room and your own butler to drive you around town.

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The interior of this plush palace is adorned in art deco inspired furnishings, caged by yellow sandstone. All rooms and suites are a law unto themselves, and definitely a dream. You can choose from the Palace Room which is a coherent mix of traditional aesthetic and modern amenities, while the Historical Suites boast hues of burgundy and green, offering views of the courtyard or lawns. You can also pick from the Royal or Grand Royal Suites, and our personal favorites, the Maharaja and Maharani Suite (King & Queen in Hindi). Not only are both fit for a royal couple, each abode faces the other, separated by a crystal fountain; I mean talk about his and her’s.

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It may take a few days to soak in all the luxury this palace has to offer, and when you are finally filled to the brim on all things regal, do take the opportunity to explore Jodhpur itself. A must-see by all means, is the 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort; formally another palace, it is now home to a museum showcasing art and royal palanquins. Set on top of an outcrop, this gorgeous building boasts views of the City and beyond. On any bright and sun-drenched day, the City of Jodhpur will appear to look tonal shades of blue, as many of the town’s buildings were painted in the  iconic azul hue.

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On your way back to the Umaid Bhawan Palace, do drop by the Pillars outdoor cafe within the hotel; it has the best views of the town and the sunsets are enough to take your breath away, while you snack on traditional Rajasthani small-plates. As far hotels go, this is by far the most decadent and cultural home-away-from-home you will ever experience; take it from us, we didn’t want to come back!

About the Author

Sabi Datoo-Lalji is a British Fashion Editor and Consultant living in Chelsea, NYC. When she isn't dreaming about Valentino Rock Studs, Sabi can be found practicing yoga and finding zen-like havens for her blog (www.zenandthecity.net) Follow her whimsicle footprint on Twitter & Instagram @sabidatoolalji