The walled Rajasthani city of Jodhpur is the younger brother of the more popular Jaipur. Because it does not have and international airport, the Blue City preserves an air of rustic and untouched charm and the blue indigo colour of the Brahmin houses outside the fort has become the city’s signature landmark.
The Mehrangarh Fort, an impressive sight sitting high above the city, is in a well preserved condition because the royal family lived here until the 1950s. Get an audio guide and hear the stories of war, love, royal life and history. Don’t miss a visit to the restored Rajput gardens at the bottom of the fort, especially at night when the white and perfumed flowers in the Moonlight Garden are lit.
As the rush of luxury hotel chains is yet to arrive in Jodhpur, the best luxury hotels in Jodhpur are instead more local and authentic and less flash. After Udaipur and Jaipur, Jodhpur is the lesser explored royal city of Rajasthan and was the main location for Wes Anderson’s film set in India Darjeeling Limited.
Here is a table of my selection of the best luxury hotels in Jodhpur. Read on for further details.
|Name||Best for||Starting price||Book here|
|Rawla Narlai||17th century stunning rustic heritage property surrounded by nature||$90||Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda|
|RAAS Jodhpur||A fantastic hotel in a privileged location||$145||Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda|
|Umaid Bhawan Palace||Staying next to actual royalty||$340||Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda|
|Mihir Garh - House of Rohet||Watching spectacular sunsets in a dessert fort||$550||Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda|
|Taj Hari Mahal||The business traveler looking for a comfortable and convenient stay||$90||Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda|
|Ranvas Nagaur||A genuine stay in a Maharajah queen's quarters||$230||Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda|
|RAAS Chhatra Sagar||A stunning and very unique luxury tented resort set atop a dam||$445||Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda|
|Pal Haveli||A haveli built in the 18th century by a Pal Noble||$60||Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda|
|WelcomHeritage Bal Samand Lake Palace & Garden||A royal stay looking over the serene man-made Bal Samand Lake||$100||Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda|
|WelcomHotel Jodhpur||A stay on the edge of the Thar Desert||$130||Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda|
1. Rawla Narlai
Once a hunting lodge and one of the Jagir Villages of Jodhpur’s Royal family, Rawla Narlai is a 17th century stunning rustic heritage property surrounded by nature, the Aravalli Hills and a grand granite rock called Elephant Hill. It is one of the places where one wonders what it would be if walls could speak.
Still owned by the Jodhpur royal family, Rawla Narlai has a mixture of heritage rooms restored from their former splendor and decorated with antique pieces and a group of luxury tents around a pool. The entry level rooms have hand painted murals on the walls while the top Luxury Grand Heritage Rooms have white marble carved works.
But perhaps the most incredible of experiences is enjoying a romantic meal in the 16th century step-well of Narlai, surrounded by oil lamps and complete with a regal Rajasthani meal. This luxury hotel in Jodhpur’s location in the countryside also affords opportunities to enjoy tea by the lake or a horse riding adventure. If you are lucky you may spot a leopard on a safari around the area. The lodge is about 2,5h drive both from Udaipur and Jodhpur so city tours can also be organised.
For a splurge: The Narlai Suite is still used by the Maharajah when in town, talk about royal quarters! Take one of the luxury trains of India here to complete your lavish adventure.
Where: About 2hrs south from Jodhpur city center.
2. RAAS Jodhpur
Just like its sister property outside Udaipur, RAAS Jodhpur is a fantastic hotel in a privileged location, this time, at the bottom of the hill, with impressive views of Mehrangarh Fort just above. Part of the hotel was an 18th century Haveli and a couple of the rooms are contained in this part, including the Rajput residence, and the rest in a new wing.
Inside, the decoration has preserved a mixture of old and new using the traditional pink sandstone of Rajasthan with dashes of modernity and the blue that makes the city famous. The Heritage Suites have balconies with amazing views and cast iron bathtubs.
In the complex, there is also an old temple, an entertainment rooftop with a restaurant and bar and a pillared pavilion. The rooftop restaurant has been touted as having the best views in India and has a direct unobstructed view of the Fort, especially when it is lit at night.
In winter, the heated pool of this luxury hotel in Jodhpur is a welcoming feature in the cold desert-like Rajasthani weather.
For a splurge: The star room is the Stepwell Suite, a room with views over the 18th century deep stepwell that was hidden and has been adopted by RAAS.
Where: Right in town, by the wholesale market and clock tower.
3. Umaid Bhawan Palace
Umaid Bhawan Palace was named Best Hotel in the World by TripAdvisor’s travelers in 2016 and is a Taj Hotel property housed in half of a heritage royal palace.
The remaining half has the family museum and remains the residence of the Maharani Badan Kanwar of Jodhpur and his family and descendants. It is still the world’s sixth-largest private residence and shares the use of palm court marble with the Taj Mahal.
The Palace was commissioned in 1929 and constructed between the 1930s and the 1940s, sporting an Art Deco design, unlike other Rajasthani palaces. It is impressive and utterly calm.
Umaid Bhawan was originally built as the Maharaja’s employment project for the locals to relieve famine at the time. Workers were given food and shelter and a small payment.
The opulence is such that the hotel has a squash court made of marble and an underground pool. The sheer scale of the construction of this Jodhpur luxury hotel is enough to leave anyone speechless.
Don’t miss out on the champagne Museum Walk tour. The staff confided that it is common for the Maharaja to come meet guests and check out on everyone’s enjoyment and stay.
Even if you are not staying, you can make a reservation for dinner and ask for the staff to take you on a hotel tour which they will gladly do at no extra cost.
For a splurge: The Maharajah and Maharani suites, his and hers royal quarters, have a bathtub cut from a single piece of marble and a mirrored bar. If you want to feel like royalty, nothing compares.
Where: Outside of town, about 20min from the city center.
4. Mihir Garh – House of Rohet
The Fort of the Sun was the dream project of its owners Sidharth and Rashmi Rohet, who used to come to the dunes on location to watch the sunset and then decided to build a new hotel resembling a desert fort.
The hotel was built anew, from local materials and styles, and opened in 2009 with a strong eco-conscious mentality. Solar electricity, water treatment and rain water collection are all part of the environmentally friendly steps taken.
There are only 9 large suites, all of which are 1,700 sq feet and have raised jacuzzis with stunning views or plunge pools and all come with bathtubs in where to soak away the desert dryness.
The hotel offers village walks, horse riding excursions on their own horses and exploration into the desert. This Jodhpur hotel can also organise visits to the Bishnoi people, known as the “Premier ecologists of the world” because of their no-harm, full vegetarian approach to life and the environment.
Be sure to take part in some of the exclusive experiences like the Royal picnic, in a tent set just for you by a river, or the Sikhar desert diner, in the Thar Desert.
For a splurge: There are only two kinds of rooms, the ones on the ground floor with plunge pools and the ones on the upper floor with jacuzzi and terraces so it will depend on what you like.
Where: About an hour’s drive from the city, in the Thar desert.
5. Taj Hari Mahal
This is not an ancient building per se but a recreation of a 14th century fort but it is regal nonetheless. Taj offers all the expected touches of a modern international hotel but lacks the charm of other old buildings, despite being every bit fantastic, call us old fashioned but we like things to be old, not just look it.
This pastel pink hotel in Jodhpur is comfortable and convenient and has a slightly more business-focus than the rest of the hotels on this list despite being surrounded by gardens. For service, value for money and universal standards, Taj does not disappoint. All the regional activities are possible, including a visit to the Bishnoi village and a dinner at the Thar desert.
For a splurge: Premium Suites are some of the largest in Jodhpur.
Where: About 20min drive from the fort, similar distance as Umai Bhawan.
6. Ranvas Nagaur
About two hours from Jodhpur, Ranvas was opened by the Maharaja of Jodhpur in the Women’s Quarters of the Nagaur Fort complex Garden Palace.
The rooms are in the havelis of Ahhichatrgarh (Nagaur) Fort, the quarters where the Maharajah’s queens lived in the 18th century and will make you feel as if you are truly staying at the fort, probably the only hotel in India to provide such raw experience. In a way, this is a more genuine version of RAAS Jodhpur.
The renovations brought antique furniture and fabrics and highlighted the beauty of the place. Like the area it is located in, Ranvas is rustic, truly off the beaten path, without the typical modern amenities like TVs and bathtubs.
All reviews on TripAdvisor are extremely positive, highlighting the hotel as a hidden gem and the best part of a Rajasthani trip. Ranvas is a very special place. I like the feeling of a place that is unfinished, beaten by history and lacking in modernities that one should not expect in the middle of nowhere, in stark contrast with Taj Hari Mahal.
The location is as far from Jodhpur as it is from Bikaner, so you can equally visit both beautiful cities on day trips.
For a splurge: All rooms are different but of the same style and quality.
Where: Around 2h drive from Jodhpur.
7. RAAS Chhatra Sagar
A stunning and very unique luxury tented resort set atop a dam. It is hard to find the right words to describe Chhatra Sagar because it is so unique and at the same time so timelines.
The resort was constructed above a dam built by Thakur Chhatra Singh of Nimaj, a noble of the desert kingdom of Merwar, today known as Jodhpur, who wanted to create a reservoir that would harvest the monsoon rains and turn the arid area into fertile farmland.
The noble was known to organise tea parties and celebrations by the dam in the 1920s, constructing and dismantling a tented camp every time.
Named after the noble, Chhatra Sagar was built and managed by the great grand children of the noble as a permanent settlement reminiscent of those parties until RAAS bought it and completely refurbished it, reopening as a permanent camp in November 2019.
The 16 tents are luxurious, set along a line over the dam and all have stunning views of the reservoir and the immense sky. The interior design of the tents is in bright green and purposely made for the resort, with fabric walls with intricate embroidered birds of the area and skylights for star gazing. Evenings are spent by the campfire and the water in complete peace.
The tented camp is about 2h drive from Jodhpur airport and can organise bird watching excursions on foot or by rowing boat and local visits to farms and villages. This is definitely a stay of pure opulence and one of the most unique hotels near Jodhpur, particularly great as a stop between Jodhpur and Udaipur.
For a splurge: All tents are the same but get one farther away to enjoy more peace. The ones closer to the restaurant can be prone to morning noise of other guests.
Where: In the middle of nowhere, 2h from Jodphur.
8. Pal Haveli
A haveli built in the 18th century by a Pal Noble has been transformed into a regal hotel in the heart of Jodhpur, but is still managed and owned by the family. In the blue city, the pale beige and pink haveli stands out.
The rooms are over the top, with an explosion of colors in the paintings, carpets, furnishings and wall carvings. Intricately carved and painted arched walls separate the living room from the bedroom in each spacious room.
The rooftop has magnificent views of the city’s main landmarks including the fort. It is a building steeped in history in a privileged and convenient location for exploring the city.
Even if you are not staying here, considering coming for dinner. The rooftop terrace has incredible panoramic views of the fort.
For a splurge: Heritage Suites have painted columns that are a masterpiece in themselves.
Where: Right in town, about 20min from the fort and Blue City. You can walk out of the hotel for shopping and wandering.
9. WelcomHeritage Bal Samand Lake Palace & Garden
An extremely centrally located hotel that is surrounded by the serene man-made Bal Samand Lake from the 13th century. You can find the typical ornate Rajput architecture covered in red sandstone and was originally used as the summer residence of the Jodhpur Maharajas.
A regal atmosphere abounds with rose gardens and even a croquet lawn. The Garden Rooms are beautiful to stay in as they’re surrounded by lush greenery.
Active travelers will enjoy a host of activities from cycling and nature trails to horse riding and village safaris. There are also sand dune excursions available. Try one of the dining options from the Garden Restaurant to the Lake View Restaurant. But the most unique option would be a BBQ at the Kebab Corner.
For a splurge: The top-end Maharani Suite is the largest of the lot and will cater for anyone wanting to get a taste of royalty.
Where: A brief 5km from the city center.
10. WelcomHotel Jodhpur
WelcomHotel Jodhpur seems to be an extension of the Thar Desert that surrounds it. Covered in straight lines and muted natural tones, the luxurious hotel features spacious suites strewn with thick ornate rugs over the tiled flooring. Some rooms have beautiful views of the desert, which can be refreshing.
In stark contrast to the arid desert, WelcomHotel serves up an abundance of food from Indian and international fare at WelcomCafe Chinkara to fine-dining at Sholla where Serai Desert delicacies are served in the Rajasthani Hunting Camp. There’s even a bistro where coffee flows all day long and a sophisticated night club, Sandstorm, serving single malts.
Let your stress fade away at the WelcomWellness Spa where you can choose from a range of massages or treatments. Try the 30min Champi, a traditional Indian head massage that will leave you rejuvenated.
For a slurge: The Villas are spread over 260 sqm, and have their own private pool and garden.
Where: About 30mins from the city center and 15mins from the airport
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