Our visit with a few Wedding Planners to Jaipur took us back to the days of the Raj. We stayed at two of the city’s most distinguished hotels- Jai Mahal Palace and Rambagh Palace. And naturally all our conversations revolved around Maharajas and their lifestyle, Jaipur’s legendary Maharani Gayatri Devi and celebrities who exchanged vows in Jaipur; after all the city’s landmarks provide a perfect setting for a grand, traditional wedding- lavish palaces, fort over-looking the city and elephant polo grounds for a true royal style wedding.
The Rambagh Palace
After landing in Jaipur, we headed to the Jai Mahal Palace that has hosted many elegant destination weddings. Often, when families plan a Jaipur destination wedding, guests reside at Jai Mahal and Rambagh and one or more functions are held at Jai Mahal and Jaigarh Fort. The Rambagh Palace is not offered as a venue for large functions, but its adjoining Convention Centre can host such functions.
The Jai Mahal Palace
Our stay at Jai Mahal was most comfortable and all the staff took great efforts to make sure the ‘Royal Guests’ were provided the best amenities (we were offered our preferred choice of cushions too). After experiencing the most amazing hospitality by the Taj we were off to their second property, to experience royal hospitality of a different kind. As soon as we entered the Rambagh Palace we felt we were entering the residence of a Maharaja. A wistfully romantic haven, Rambagh Palace, spread over 47 acres with 79 exquisitely appointed rooms and suites was the residence of the Maharaja and one of the first palaces to be converted into a heritage hotel. After the royal welcome we were escorted to our rooms, and when we stepped out the ‘it can’t get better than this’ expression was written on everyone’s face.
The Room at the Rambagh Palace
Day two in Jaipur was spent driving around the city. We visited the Amber Fort and then headed to the Ramgarh Lodge. Located at a 30 minute drive from the heart of Jaipur, Rambagh Lodge was once the favorite hunting retreat of the Maharaja. Today, the property is a popular weekend holiday destination and a cosy venue for a pre or post wedding celebration. By late afternoon we were back to Rambagh Palace. Our evening started with a walk around the majestic gardens and we didn’t realize it would be fun too- thanks to the peacocks we spotted dancing there. We were quite excited about the prospect of taking a close dekko of Lily Pool, Maharani Gayatri Devi’s post retirement home, but the Hotel authorities informed us it was ‘out of bounds’. From a distance we could see the pink bungalow (a not too large one) next to the hotel gardens. Happy that we could see a part of it, we continued exploring the palace- the marble corridors with priceless artifacts, signature suits, the plush spa and an ancient coal engine with a few bogies now converted into a restaurant that is open to outsiders. We spent the later part of the evening at the very glamorous Polo Bar where the Princes would walk in for drinks after their game of polo. Dinner was at the Suvarna Mahal, a royally furnished restaurant with an outstanding Indian menu, prepared and presented in a style fit for the Kings. The next morning it was breakfast at the all-day restaurant facing the manicured lawns, and it was time to say goodbye to the architectural masterpiece at Bhawani Singh Road, Jaipur.
The Amber (Amer) Fort- a view on a cloudy afternoon
The Mughal Terrace at the Taj Rambagh Palace
Celebration Table – A private dining experience created on request
Every time we think about Jai Mahal and Rambagh Palace, we remember their remarkable service, so perfect for those looking to give their guests a ‘Royal Wedding Experience.’
Lobby- The Rambagh Palace
The courtyard (Chandani Chowk) at the Rambagh Palace
Photographs Courtesy: Gaurav Gupta