“Get inspired at this funky art hotel near Jaipur, and kick back with its imaginative young Rajput owners”
There are 5 rooms and 2 suites on offer. Each Executive Room is named after a colour - Pink, White, Red, Green or Blue and White - and has its own personality, bright wall-windows, atmospheric lighting and air con. Two of the Executive Rooms (Red and Green) are on the upper pool terrace and thus may experience more noise and bustle from other guests as they face the bright communal upper terrace and pool; the other 3 (Pink, White, and Blue and White - the only twin room) face the more tranquil and shadier garden below. Our poolside room had a rust-coloured, rag-rolled feature wall behind the bed, leather shag-pile rugs and a loom chair in the bathroom. Other features may include a giraffe-necked zebra and white mask bins (it's all splendidly quirky). Ensuite bathrooms have both baths and bubble-wrap-curtained showers, plus feature basins and complimentary toiletries.
The 2 Suites are set in the garden for more privacy. The circular decorated by theme rooms are pillared and whitewashed; Automobile’s decor is self explanatory and features wooden buses and vehicle printed walls. We haven't seen the newest suite - named after the city considered to be India’s religious capital - Banaras; it is decorated in golds, bronzes and oranges and is full of pictures of Indian gods. Both have a private dip pool, jet shower, fireplace and TV with DVD player.
Also on ground level is the enormous, air-conditioned playroom with mounds of photo-art cushions in front of a widescreen TV (as you'd expect, they have an eclectic range of DVDs from mainstream to intelligent indie), billiard table, and multiple books and games.
Iqbal is the maître d', a hospitality veteran who worked for Jaipur's grandest property, the Rambagh Palace Hotel, for over 30 years. Sweetly parental towards Ritu and Surya, he'll look after you beautifully too.
The food is delicious (all included), increasingly homegrown and seasonal, and largely cooked by Ritu and Surya themselves. They're always researching recipes, and whenever they find something new and interesting, like our pumpkin and pesto soup, melon and cucumber with feta and vinaigrette dressing, or Tandoori chicken legs with a hot salsa dip, they'll pop it into their ever-changing, and charmingly handwritten and rolled, fixed menu. Dinner is normally a 5- to 7-course gourmet feast, eaten under the stars, and can carry on til the small hours, punctuated by midnight swims.
The delicate wrought-iron chairs and tables by the pool make a lovely breakfast and dinner setting, and your vegetarian thali lunch is served in the air con cool of the playroom, at a low, ornately carved table with jute-woven bolster-stools.
If you get inspired by the food, sign up for a cooking class, held in the poolside open kitchen. Learn how to create a traditional thali: a dry vegetable curry, a typical Indian chutney/relish, a pulav with curry and a dessert. You get a complimentary basket of Indian spices if you take the class.
If you want a change of scene, there are lots of good eating options in Jaipur (25 mins' away; the owners can arrange transport).
The hotel and around...
Children are very welcome and will enjoy staying at this glamorous retreat run by 2 parents. Little guests will be fun company for their son Vihaan, and there is a big stock of games, puzzles, toys and children's DVDs to keep them entertained. Vihaan may even invite them to play in his own room.
Extra beds are available if needed but not cots; if your toddler can sleep in a normal bed, they will love it here.
Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Families would be comfortable in either a suite for more privacy or the rooms adjacent to the lawns, pool and deck. All the rooms are the same size and can fit an extra bed. All rooms have baths.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kids menus are available, prior notice required. They can serve an early tea for children and parents of young children have access to a blender and microwave if needed. Food is available all day long. Meals are cheaper for children aged 2-11
The swimming pool is unfenced and there are some steps and unprotected drops near it