“A 17th-century palace with glittering mirror-work and murals, twinned with a romantic lake-encircled fort, 80 miles from Udaipur”
The 50 gorgeous rooms and suites are scattered around various wings of a lovely honey-coloured building. Traditional Mewari cuisine, along with continental and oriental dishes, is served in the restaurants; other facilities include a swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, a gym and a souvenir shop. Also renowned as a school of miniature painting and famed for its fabulous collection of vintage cars, Deogarh Mahal is the perfect respite if you're travelling between Jodhpur and Udaipur.
The family has also converted one of its forts, Seengh Sagar, into an intimate haven that's ideal for a family or group of up to 8. Positioned on an island in the middle of a lake, 5km from the hotel, it’s reached via a narrow causeway and has commanding views over the hills. The 4 bedrooms here can be taken individually or as a whole, and the fort is fully staffed with its own pool and dining terrace.
- A wonderful escape for couples and families alike, with a choice of rooms in the palace and the more tranquil 'rent-a-fort' Seengh Sagar
- The charming owners are very hands-on and love chatting about the place, while their friendly staff can book expeditions and onward travel
- The huge, rambling building is great for exploring, with its numerous rooftops and hidden nooks and crannies; don't miss the Sheesh Mahal, the colourful hall of mirrors
- There's a fleet of open-top Jeeps to whisk guests on safaris to local villages and lakes
- The palace's history is fascinating - make sure you set aside an hour or 2 to follow the informative audio guide
- It's very popular with tour groups, so you need to book way ahead and be prepared for company (but they do have a separate dining room for groups, and most groups leave for day tours by 10am)
- There are some mosquitos in the evenings and early mornings - though all rooms have insect repellent and screened windows, plus coils for outside dining
- The pool is only heated from November to March
- The extras can mount up (check if your rate includes breakfast) - though we've arranged free WiFi for i-escape guests
- At night noise from the village can be heard in some of the palace rooms
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Heritage Hotel
- 50 rooms + 1 villa for 8
- Restaurant and bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Heated Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Snooker Table
- Bicycles Available
Seductively secreted around the building, the 50 rooms and suites vary in size and shape, but all are tastefully embellished with stars, murals and glitter in local Rajasthani style. You’ll find queensize, kingsize or twin beds, air conditioning, fans, heaters, minibars and hairdryers, as well as WiFi for those who can't live without it. Many rooms also come with romantic balconies or beautiful internal arches, and some look out over the village and nearby lakes.
The standard Deluxe Rooms can feel a little dark, although one, Chundra Ji Ri Chopar, has wonderful views. The suites are larger and have their own sitting areas, so we’d recommend splashing out for one of these if you can. On our most recent visit in 2012, we stayed in Gokul Ajara, one of the Royal Suites, which is formed from a series of connecting rooms encompassing a lounge, a dressing area and a bedroom. The most lavish of all is the sumptuous Maharana Suite, which dates back to 1670 and is decked out in colourful mirror-work that reflects the Rajput era.
Bathrooms throughout are fun and quirky. Many feature alcoves, murals or frescoes, and there's a plentiful supply of hot water, though the pressure can be low at times. All have showers, and you’ll find mosaicked tubs in most suites.
The 4 rooms at Seengh Sagar (3 doubles and 1 twin) are simpler in style but wonderfully tranquil, with private lake-view balconies for reading or evening sundowners. You can book an individual room (all have ensuite bathrooms, complete with beautiful copper sinks) or take the whole place for groups of up to 8. The fully staffed fort also has separate living and dining areas, a bar, a gorgeous terrace overlooking the water, and a pretty little garden with a heated swimming pool and a Jacuzzi set into the rocks. You can use all of the facilities at the main palace, though guests staying at the hotel are, thankfully, not allowed into the fort.
- Air conditioning
- Coffee tea making
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Safe box
The hotel's main restaurant, Chandra Mahal ('Moon Palace'), is a cavernous dining room with intricate arches and various levels. It offers a mix of Indian, continental and oriental cuisine (sometimes as a buffet, sometimes table d'hôte) - we particularly enjoyed the Mewari home cooking, which is based on old family recipes and is absolutely delicious. The family prides itself on offering home-grown fruit and vegetables, so tuck into seasonal jams, marmalades, salads and fruit juices, and stock up in the on-site shop if you want to take a supply of your favourite back home with you. Gala evenings of folk music and dance are often organised to accompany your meal.
If you'd prefer a more intimate setting, head to the smaller Surya Mahal ('Sun Palace') restaurant, which has an à la carte selection of similar dishes, or ask for a private dinner to be set up on one of the many balconies. You can also order snacks by the pool or choose from a 24-hour room service menu.
Meals at Seengh Sagar are à la carte, served either on the idyllic terrace overlooking the lake or indoors in the open-sided dining room. Candlelit meals can be arranged on your balcony if you'd prefer more privacy, and there's a bar for lakeside sundowners.
- Coffee tea making
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Walk down to the village of Deogarh, one of the cleanest, safest and friendliest in the area, to explore on your own. Bicycles are available if you want to go on wheels
- Explore the local countryside by Jeep safari or by hiking in the surrounding hills. Picnics and guides can be arranged
- Take a train ride through wooded hills from Deogarh to Phulad on a 1930s train, as seen in the film The Man Who Would be King starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine
- Go sightseeing - local places of interest include Gokal Garh Fort and Anjana Mahadeoji Temple
- Take a day trip to Udaipur, the Jain temples at Ranakpur, Kumbhalgarh Fort, or the temples at Nathdwara and Eklingi
- The adventurous can hire a motorbike to explore further afield
- After a long day, unwind with a relaxing massage or Ayurvedic treatment, then enjoy the amazing sunset
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Jeep safaris
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
- Well being
Children are welcome and will love scrambling about the place or splashing around in the kids' pool, though the many steps mean this isn't the ideal place for toddlers (and there are no special facilities for them, either). Babysitting can be arranged on request and extra beds and cots are available. Children under 6 stay for free; those aged 6-10 pay half price.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking