Samode Haveli

Gangapole, Jaipur, India Book from Book from £100 per night

A majestic old mansion tucked away in the heart of Jaipur's old city - gardens, courtyards and terraces abound
The Pink City’s original boutique hotel, Samode Haveli still charms guests from around the world. Through constant improvements it has managed to steer off competition popping up on every corner. This 200-year-old gem, the townhouse of the royal family of Samode, is one of Jaipur’s more spectacular examples of a haveli (mansion). Home to some fabulous frescoes and murals, and blessed with a leafy garden, it's difficult to believe that from this sanctuary you can stroll out into the bustling streets of the city.

The 39 rooms and suites are scattered between what would have been the mardana (men's area) and zenana (women's area). A rabbit’s warren of winding passageways, it’s easy to get lost within Samode’s impressive interiors. The whole place exudes romance, and the gentle and caring staff do their utmost to look after your every whim. Best of all, the hotel doesn't allow groups so a sense of peace prevails. Afternoon tea on the sun-dappled courtyard or lounging on a daybed overlooking the exceptionally pretty pool are idyllic ways to relax after a morning's sightseeing. Great food and a relaxed ambience only add to the charm of this classic hotel.

Highs

  • The gorgeous pool is one of the largest and prettiest in Jaipur, with an excellent pool bar
  • The lovely gardens have burbling fountains and ornate terraces where dinners are served by candlelight in the warmer months
  • The feel throughout is one of delightful faded grandeur, with many alcoves for lounging around
  • No large groups are accepted in order to maintain the serenity
  • We revisited in 2018 and felt this was still one of the best heritage hotels in town thanks to massive investment and refurbishment

Lows

  • You can hear city noise at night (though it's only really noticeable in the garden)
  • The courtyard Deluxe Rooms sometimes feel close to the bustle of the communal areas, and some may find the mirrored Sheesh Mahal Suites striking but a little claustrophobic
  • Think unique and charming rather than top-notch luxury;
    service can occasionally be a little slow
  • It's often busy, especially during high season, so make sure you book well in advance

Best time to go

The best time to visit is from October to early April, when it's warm and dry. December, January and February can be cold in the mornings and evenings, though the days are generally warm and sunny. At the end of January, Jairpur's Literary Festival is a must for bibliophiles but rooms fill up quickly and rates skyrocket during this time. March and April are fairly hot; May and June are humid, with intense heat. The monsoon breaks in July and lasts until September.

Our top tips

It's worth spending at least 2 or 3 days in Jaipur - there are plenty of historical sites to explore in the city and the surrounding hills, as well as excellent opportunities for picking up beautiful souvenirs to take home.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Honeymoon
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 39
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

Samode Haveli was not really meant to be a hotel, so its 39 rooms differ in shape and design and lie scattered like pretty toys about the rambling building. Beautifully decorated in traditional jewel-like hues, with an array of alcoves, pillars, antiques, mosaics and Jaipur's finest fabrics, this is Rajput style at its dreamiest.

All rooms have sparkling bathrooms with separate showers and bathtubs. The smallest are the elegant Deluxe Rooms, some of which look out over the hotel's bustling communal courtyard. The Deluxe Suites are larger, with sofas and enormous ensuites.

The biggest rooms are the stunning Haveli Suites, situated in a converted building beyond the back lawn. These have lounge areas and private garden-view terraces. One is a family-friendly duplex, with a single bedroom downstairs and a kingsize bedroom upstairs (both with ensuites), plus a balcony.

The most opulent are the 2 Sheesh Mahal Suites, which are covered in centuries-old frescoes and mirror-work, with grand archways and small sitting areas. The floor-to-ceiling mosaic is quite stupendous (you are literally sleeping amidst history), though some might find it a bit claustrophobic. Recent additions to one of the Sheesh Mahal Suites includes a jacuzzi bath and TV lounge area.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Meals are served either outside on the bougainvillaea-draped terrace or in what were the family’s private dining quarters, where portraits of imposing looking relatives still hang from the walls and tables are scattered underneath an enormous chandelier. A grand setting to take your breakfast and utterly romantic when lit by candlelight in the evening.

In the mornings, a breakfast buffet offers everything from healthy yoghurts, fruits, nuts and seeds to freshly baked pastries, eggs to order, hot Indian dishes, oh and a glass of bubbly if you fancy (you are on holiday after all). For lunch and dinner guests can choose between buffet dining or à la carte, but we’d recommend the latter for a taste of what the kitchen is really capable of. From Rajasthani specialities like lal mass, a slow-cooked lamb dish, accompanied with rice and Indian breads straight from the tandoor), to light Caprese salads by the pool, gourmands won't be disappointed. Perfectionists to the end, the owners are constantly thinking up new menus and searching for new wines to stock.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Enjoy the historic and fascinating 'pink city' of Jaipur, with Nahargarh Fort, the sprawling palace complex (Hawa Mahal) and several bustling bazaars selling crafts, jewellery and fabric
  • Visit the city's 18th-century royal observatory, Jantar Mantar, which contains a range of instruments still used today to track planetary movements, monitor eclipses, tell the time and predict weather patterns
  • Wake up early for one of Samode Haveli’s expertly guided walking tours to see the city as it comes alive. You’ll stop at spots you’d never have looked at twice, and sample the best chai and samosas in the old city
  • Take a short ride up to the exquisite Amber Fort, an ancient citadel blending Hindu and Mughal elements, then head further up the hill on foot to the imposing Jaigarh Fort
  • Visit Sanganer, famous for its Jain temples, block-printing and paper-making
  • Relax and unwind after a hard day's sightseeing beside the magnificent Moorish-style pool, sip a cocktail from the beautiful poolside bar, and gaze out over the hotel's lovely garden
  • Or luxuriate with a Keralan Ayurvedic treatment or massage in the small spa

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Wildlife

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome and can be accommodated in their parents' bedroom for an extra charge. Baby cots, extra beds and babysitting are available upon request and there's a shallow wading pool that children can splash about in. The Duplex Haveli Suite has a single bedroom downstairs and a kingsize bed upstairs - ideal for families.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 4 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
8/10
Food
9/10
Service
8/10
Value
9/10
Overall

A beautiful and unique hotel - an absolutely stunning place to start our tour of Rajasthan. Our room was tucked away in the warren-like building, with a private balcony and wonderful decor, clearly very lovingly restored. Breakfast and dinner were great - for dinner, the outdoor garden was romantically lit, with atmospheric live music. Highly recommended, although value for money, as compared with other hotels in Rajasthan, was not the best.

8/10,

We had a simply lovely time in Jaipur in October using Samode Haveli as our "home" while we were there. The hotel has such a nice feel - great service but not too over the top, delicious food, wonderful pool, very comfortable rooms - all in all an oasis to come back to after being out and about in Jaipur. And a real highlight for us was an early morning bike tour through Jaipur guided by the charming Sujit who is full of local snippets and great company - you organise this through reception and it was amazing to get a sense of what Jaipur looks like in the sleepy early hours before the whole town wakes up (and wake up it certainly does). We hope to come back...

10/10,

A beautiful hotel and a welcoming oasis in the hustle-bustle of Jaipur. Dinners were absolutely the best meals we had in India!

10/10,

A beautiful oasis in Jaipur old city

10/10,

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