Some of my favourite independently run hotels in Rajasthan (part I)

The beautiful desert state of Rajasthan is home to hundreds of accommodation options, from opulent high end luxury palaces to small intimate homestays. Whatever the budget, there is a special stay for everyone - the challenge is just knowing where to find it. The other challenge about choosing where to stay is knowing the quality of the property as well as the atmosphere (the internet can only tell us so much, therefore first hand recommendations can be particularly important)!

Having inspected and stayed in hundreds of hotels across India, I thought I would put together a post to share some of my favourite places in Rajasthan (despite it being difficult to shortlist just a few)! I believe special and unique hotels can truly enhance a journey and often these properties will offer unique experiences that you wouldn't find on your own - or in a guidebook!

Dera Rawatsar twin bedroom

In no particular order (as I love them all)..

Dera Rawatsar - Jaipur

This small owner run property is tucked away in a central location behind the Sindhi Camp bus station in the bustling city of Jaipur. The style of the accommodation is charming and traditional, with several quiet courtyards and corners to relax in after a busy day of sightseeing (or shopping in Jaipur's fabulous bazaars and boutiques)! The food is simple but delicious - you really can't beat some of their homecooked Indian dishes served in the dining room. Dera Rawatsar is a great personal property and would work really well for solo travellers along with families. I have stayed in many places all across Jaipur, and this is one of my top choices if you're looking for a friendly authentic heritage experience.

Chanoud Garh - Pali

This 300-year old fort palace is a spectacular place to stay, with charm and character oozing from every beautiful corner. The architecture of the property is incredible and sipping sundowners on the rooftop overlooking the fort and neighbouring villages is a very special experience. Staying here will give you a unique insight into Rajasthan life, and the brothers who run the property will help you to plan experiences during your stay. I have sent many guests to Chanoud Garh over the years and more often than not, this has been one of the highlights of their whole trip!

Rohet Garh, Rohet (nr Jodhpur)

Hidden away outside the main hustle and bustle of Jodhpur, this charming heritage property is the ancestral home of the Singh family. Rohet Garh is the perfect retreat for anyone looking for a quiet authentic Rajasthani experience, with it's perfect sprawling gardens and swimming pool. Waking up to the sound of peacocks and birdsong is idyllic and you can easily spend a few glorious days taking it slow (the proximity to Jodhpur also makes it the ideal base if you prefer staying outside of the main city). For any experienced horse riders out there, the property also offers one of the best equestrian programme's in the country - with the hotel's stables being home to the majestic Marwari breed of horses.

Khem Villas, Ranthambhore National Park

This property is without doubt one of the best places to stay when going on safari in Ranthambhore National Park. With lush gardens that wrap around the whole property, Khem Villas is a special place to stay with their ethos being all about ethical sustainable tourism. The owners play an important role in the local community and have set up a local hospital and school. Tiger sightings are never guaranteed but staying here is worth the trip alone, where you can enjoy the natural location, evening drinks around the campfire and views from the nearby Ranthambhore Fort.


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