This former royal mansion, replete with intricate jali lattice screens and red sandstone arcades, has been reborn as a fanciful tribute to its onetime resident Narendra Singh, the last maharaja of Bikaner.
The brainchild of aristocratic model-turned-hotelier Manvendra Singh Shekhawat, this former royal mansion, replete with intricate jali lattice screens and red sandstone arcades, has been reborn as a fanciful tribute to its onetime resident Narendra Singh, the last maharaja of Bikaner. His eclectic tastes are immortalized in the 82-room hotel, where Bombay Art Deco, Portuguese tiles, Rajasthani tribal art, and a bright red baby grand piano make for a chic yet whimsical combination. Regally dressed butlers on each floor cater to your every need, while guest quarters celebrate the life and times of the late maharaja, with room categories recalling his youth as a globe-trotting bon vivant, his military career, and the modernist style favored by post-independence Indian architects. Elsewhere, guests can unwind in a gentlemen’s smoking room and a “withdrawing room” for ladies, where chandeliers droop with Basra pearls; take a dip in the rooftop pool; and, at the Pearls & Chiffon restaurant, sample Bikaner’s royal cuisine against a Victorian-style backdrop. For something wilder but no less indulgent, opt for a sundowner with a spread of fresh fruit and
pastries at a nearby desert oasis.
91/7827-151-151; Narendra Bhawan, Bikaner; doubles from $187
This article originally appeared in the October/November 2017 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Luxe List 2017: Narendra Bhawan, Bikaner”).