Founded in 1727 by the Kachhwaha Rajput ruler Jai Singh II, Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and is one of the earliest planned cities of modern India. Covered in head to toe pink, this exquisite city is an absolute dream destination for the aesthete and was my favorite place we visited on our two and a half week trip through Northern India. The treasures of this royal city are beyond compare—every day felt more awe-inspiring than the last. If you’re planning a trip to Rajasthan, keep scrolling for my Jaipur luxury travel guide and, for more of India, see my Udaipur travel guide and our trip to the blue city of Jodhpur.
The Best Luxury Hotels in Jaipur, India
RAJMAHAL PALACE: Thanks to the recommendation of a friend, we opted to stay at the Rajmahal Palace—a truly incredible experience that I couldn’t recommend highly enough for this Jaipur luxury travel guide. Built in 1729 by Maharaja Sawai Man ‘Jai’ Singh and Maharani Gayatri Devi, the palace became a hotel in the 1950’s and has since housed notables such as Queen Elizabeth and Lord Mountbatten. The opulent residence houses thirteen historic rooms and suites and feels more like staying in a private home than a hotel. Filled with spectacular original wallpapers and priceless antiques, the Rajmahal Palace is unlike anywhere else on Earth. Breakfast in the Colonnade, dinner in 50 Shades of Pink, and cocktails in the Polo Bar are not to be missed.
RAMBAUGH PALACE: Built in 1835, the Rambaugh Palace was originally the home of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and his queen, Maharani Gayatri Devi. Now operated as a luxury hotel by the Taj Group, the palace is an opulent oasis next to the historic Jaipur polo fields. The property retains its palatial splendor, extravagantly decorated with hand-carved marble latticework, sandstone balustrades, cupolas, and elaborate Mughal Gardens. A visit to the historic Polo Bar, with its trompe-l’œil tented ceilings, is an absolute must.
JOHRI JAIPUR: If you’re eager to be in the center of the bustling Old Town of Jaipur, the Johri is a stunning boutique hotel nestled in the jewelry bazaar and is steps away from exquisite sites such as the Hawa Mahal. The property consists of five spacious suites and is home to a stunningly decorated vegetarian restaurant.
VILLA PALLADIO: This recently opened boutique hotel by the genius Marie-Anne Oudejans of Bar Palladio fame is housed in a nine-room country estate that immediately transports guests into a visual wonderland. Note that the property is a 30-45 minute drive from the Old Town of Jaipur and provides a complimentary car service for their guests.
The Best Places to Explore in Jaipur, India
AMBER FORT: Built in the late 16th century, the Amber Fort (or Amer Fort) is located seven miles from the Jaipur city center and was founded by ruler Alan Singh Chanda. Located high above a lake, the fort is home to the beautiful Amber Palace which features exquisite Mughal-style water gardens and beautifully hand-painted interiors. Don’t miss Meena ka Kund—a beautiful historic stepwell at the base of the fort.
HAWA MAHAL: Also known as the Palace of Winds (poetic, no?), the Hawa Mahal was built at the turn of the 19th century and is on the edge of the Jaipur City Palace in the Old Town. Composed of red and pink sandstone, the 953 honeycomb shaped windows were meant for the royal ladies to watch the streets of Jaipur below without being seen by the public.
CITY PALACE: The Jaipur City Palace was established at the same time as the city by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, who moved his court to Jaipur from Amber in 1727. The palace has continued to be the home of the Jaipur royal family for the past three hundred years. Don’t miss the courtyard with four ornate doors representing the four seasons and Hindu gods. As this is a Jaipur luxury travel guide, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the special experience we received thanks to staying at the Rajmahal Palace. Because the hotel was built by the royal family, we had special access to the City Fort and were able to tour the family’s private quarters.
The Best Places to Shop in Jaipur, India
HOT PINK: Located in the historic Hotel Narain Niwas Palace Arcade (one of my favorite shopping destinations in the city), this intimate boutique is beautifully designed and curated with gorgeous women’s fashion and accessories. Don’t miss the pint-sized antique shop next door where I found a gorgeous pearl necklace and shell-inlaid octagonal box.
ANOKHI: The block-printing mecca, I purchased countless caftans and table linens from their flagship Jaipur store.
GEM PALACE: A Jaipur institution, the historic Gem Palace has created exquisite hand-crafted fine jewelry since 1852 and I would be remiss if I didn’t include it in this Jaipur luxury travel guide. Some say this is the best place for gemstones in the world, so if you’re a collector—it’s a must.
TRUNKS COMPANY ATELIER: Harkening back to the Golden Era of travel, this Jaipur-based company creates exquisite handmade leather steamer trunks for the gentleman and gentlewoman explorer.
PARAMPARA: Epitomizing Jaipur-chic, this boutique features beautifully-curated womenswear and accessories.
BAZAAR: Of course, a trip to Jaipur would never be complete without visiting the bazaars in historic old town. There, we picked up beautiful enamel bangle bracelets and pashminas to bring home to friends and family.
The Best Places to Eat in Jaipur, India
BAR PALLADIO: Truly a site to behold, Bar Palladio is an exquisite blue gem of a bar and restaurant that has become the epicenter of the expat social scene in Jaipur. Visit for the atmosphere and reliably decent Italian food.
THE JOHRI: Located in a lovely boutique hotel in the center of Old Town, the Johri is a uber chic restaurant with incredible vegetarian cuisine and cocktails.
LASSIWALLA: For over seventy-five years, Lassiwalla on Mirza Ismail Road has been serving the absolute best lassi in Jaipur. A true must-experience while in India.
SAMODE HAVELI: This lovely historic hotel houses a charming Indian restaurant within their beautifully fresco’ed interiors. On a warm spring evening, dinner in the courtyard is magical.
SUVARNA MAHAL: A stunning historic dining room in the Rambaugh Palace, this restaurant is the closest thing you will get to a royal dining experience in Jaipur. Be sure to visit the beautiful Polo Bar for an apertif before dinner.
Jaipur luxury travel guide by Molly Carr Photography | Images via Minolta CLE and iPhone 14 Pro