Welcome to Backpacker’s Boutique. Every Sunday, this spot will feature a new travel blogger. Some weeks it will be a really fun interview about packing, fashion, and fitness so you can snoop inside their bags & lives a little bit and other weeks it’ll be a detailed luxury guide to a city the featured blogger/expat knows very well. E-mail me if you’d like to be featured.
A Luxury Guide to Jaipur
Tell us a little about yourself and tell us why you’re an expert on luxury travel in Jaipur.
Hi! My name is Lydia and I’m the blogger behind My Culture Craving – a blog, which focuses on travel, food and culture. Just over a week ago I left the UK to pursue my one-way trip of a lifetime to South India (I’m currently in Goa), New Zealand and beyond.
A couple of years ago I took part in a volunteering project for 6 weeks in Jaipur (this is where my love for this ecentric country stemmed from). Although the guesthouse we stayed in was hospitable and comfortable, we were always on the look out for different places with a spot of luxury to eat, shop and relax… especially when it would get as hot as 40 something degrees! From hunting down a luxurious hotel with access to a pool to finding a cute restaurant with fresh, yummy food and a great ambience, we became pros at finding the glamorous corners of this city.
What makes Jaipur a perfect destination for travelers seeking a glamorous trip?
Jaipur (also known as The Pink City) is seeped in outstanding architecture, luxurious hotels and shopping second-to-none! What more could you want for a glam trip?
Hawa Mahal, credit: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
What luxury hotel is the best in Jaipur?
On my second trip to India I was travelling with my Mum so inevitably, she wanted to check out the best of the best luxury hotels in Jaipur. We ended up discovering Shahpura House Hotel, an outstandingly beautiful hotel, which boasted Maharaja inspired decor and extremely attentive staff. With a pool, rooftop restaurant and spa, it offered everything you could ever want from an indulgent stay yet, with a stunning splash of cultural decor.
What about boutique hotels in Jaipur, of them all, which would you send your friends or family to stay at?
When I was volunteering, we found a gem of a boutique hotel and restaurant not far from the city centre – Peacock Rooftop Restaurant in Hotel Pearl Palace. Although I never stayed at the hotel myself, I did recommend it to a couple of friends who could only sing its praises. The rooftop restaurant was beautiful and offered scrummy Indian dishes, friendly staff and a great atmosphere so, a trip here is definitely worth it even if it’s only for the delicious food.
Hot Air Balloon Ride in Jaipur, credit: Arun Katiyar
Are there any fun activities for travellers to do whilst in Jaipur?
Along with Jaipur’s vast selection of incredible sights, I would recommend all travellers to go and watch a Bollywood film at The Raj Mandir cinema. Looking like a giant pink, fluffy meringue from the outside, this cinema is a sight in itself and gives you a great chance to watch a Bollywood movie in all its glory.
Jal Mahal, credit: Arian Zwegers
Let’s talk desserts- what place makes the best?
India is renowned for its creamy lassis served in cute terracotta pots and Indian sweets of all types and flavours. Therefore, I would recommend delving into one of these (or both) as a dessert. There are sweet shops throughout the Pink City so, I would advise finding a shop and picking a random selection of sweets to try. They also serve them in adorable, small boxes, which are perfect for a dessert on the go whilst doing a spot of shopping…
City Palace Hal, credit: Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble
Tell us all the hot shopping spots in Jaipur.
Jaipur is a shopaholics paradise. The Pink City is overflowing with shops and stalls selling everything from intricately embroidered clothing and handmade leather satchels (I bought one of these on my first trip to India and it is still going strong) to bright, sparkling bangles and extravagant, colourful saris.
Jaipur is famous for it’s gem emporiums, which sell great value jewellery and allow you to watch as diamonds and precious stones are shaped and polished before getting the chance to admire, try on and buy (only if you want to) their finest jewellery – just be sure to know that what you are buying is legit before making a purchase.
The city also has an amazing selection of textile factories where you can watch as clothes and textiles are dyed, printed and embroidered. If you want to look extra glamorous and unique on your travels, you can also get items of clothing custom made at these factories.
Inside Amber Fort, credit: Dimitry B.
What are the best attractions in Jaipur?
Jaipur is overflowing with sights from a bygone era.
Begin your day by roaming around the majestic, pink Hawa Mahal and opulent City Palace, uncovering a new historic cubbyhole around every corner you explore. Then head to Jantar Mantar to learn about the fascinating details of the world’s largest stone sundial.
A little further out of the city you will find the Galta Monkey Temple. Not only appealing for the huge number of cheeky monkeys that roam the grounds but also for the intricately decorated temples and emerald coloured pools, which are nestled between the imposing mountain ranges on either side, it is a great spot to go to, to get out of the city and absorb some tranquillity.
Where can you find the best food in Jaipur?
Around a half an hour tuk tuk ride outside of the city lies Chokhi Dhani – an ethnic village showcasing the best of Rajasthani culture. From women dancing across glass with a crazy number of pots on their heads to snake charmers and puppet shows, it is an eclectic experience for all of the senses.
However, the real star of the show is the feast, which comes with your ticket. A divine thali flaunting Rajasthani food at its finest. Curry, dal, curd, rice, lassi and breads of all kinds, it was one of the best meals I had in India albeit, a spicy one.
The village may feel a little commercialised but it is definitely still worth going to just for the food.
Time for a great sunset view… where would you go?
Amer Fort is situated around half an hour from Jaipur’s centre and is a breathtaking spot to watch the sunset. With its uninterrupted, panoramic views across the city, countryside and beyond and with the opulent fort as your backdrop, it would be hard to find a better, more peaceful place to watch the sun disappear behind the milky horizon.
This is a guest post from Lydia, the blogger behind My Culture Craving, a 23 year old English graduate from the UK. When she’s not feeding her craving for culture and travel, you’ll find her feeding her next biggest passion – food. She is currently travelling through South India before heading to New Zealand and beyond. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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