While the Oberoi group has turned many a palace into a hotel, for this property, the group built a new structure inspired by Rajasthan’s forts, complete with traditional craftsmanship and architecture across 32 acres. Dinner at the hotel begins with a traditional aarti and rose petal shower. As you are whisked to the Rajmahal restaurant in a golf cart past the colossal gardens, reflecting pools and marble elephant fountains, know that you are just at the beginning of a royal experience in terms of both hospitality and food.
The Rajmahal restaurant operates only six months a year, serving traditional Indian cuisine with a twist. The pavilion is an arched arcade lit by fabric lanterns. Local women from the village nearby dole out fresh rotis of makki and bajra on a chulha in one corner while musicians playing the flute and tabla take centre stage. Start your dinner by cleansing your hands with kaccha doodh or unpasteurised milk, an old cleansing ritual before a meal. Your meal will be a culinary showcase by chef Kushagra Seth, with royal dishes inspired by different dynasties of the country that showcase India as a melting pot of culture and cuisine.
What’s on the menu: Ghevar ki chaat, khad murg, khumb ki galawat, aamras ki kadhi, anjeer ke kofte with khameeri roti.
Babaji Ka Modh, Goner Road, Prem Nagar. Website
Jaipur Pavilion, ITC Rajputana, Gopalbari
The red brick-clad walls, courtyards, and arched arcades hark back to a traditional Rajputi haveli at the ITC Rajputana, weaving culture in a modern luxury setup. The all-day dining restaurant Jaipur Pavilion offers the quintessential Rajasthani thali on a huge silver platter that’s served under glittering Moroccan lamps, and chandeliers for the royal in you. Chef Parul Kapoor requests you to begin with chogni ke laddoo. “Most Rajasthani royals were fond of sweets; in a traditional ‘jeeman’ (feast), sweet dishes are not meant to be only deserts; you start with a sweet and end with another; the thali is designed in such a manner that it comes to a sweet circle,” explains Parul.
What’s on the menu: Boondi ka ladoo, kachumber salad, raita, paneer papad ki sabzi, dal tadka, ker sangri, baati, choorma, rice and malpua.
Palace Road, Gopalbari. Website
The Baradari Mahal, Diggi Palace, C- Scheme