I don’t often do straight-up lodging reviews and then only when there’s something really worth mentioning. Pearl Palace Heritage Hotel in Jaipur is one of those places that deserves a separate write-up. Located in a neighborhood that’s gated at night, Pearl Palace Heritage Hotel is safe, convenient, clean, comfortable and reasonably priced, but above all, it’s gorgeous. Housed in an elegant historic building, the decor is over-the-top in places, but fun and displaying impressive craftsmanship and artistry. The hotel has been named #1 Romantic Indian Hotel on Tripadvisor and a portion of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 was shot there in 2014. Photos are necessary to do this place justice, so here you go:
The walls in our bedroom were covered-to-ceiling with brightly colored paintings reflecting Hindu deities. A framed card informed us that our room was named “Patachitra” and explained that “patta” means cloth and “chitra” means picture. Patachitra is a form of Bengali narrative art dating back to 1AD and used with songs to tell Hindu stories. The art is hand-done and depicts the large-eyed style of Jamini Roy, an Indian artist of the 1930’s. The hotel owner also provided his own booklet filled with fascinating information about Jaipur, Indian culture, history and religions, etc. The bed and monogrammed linens were by far the most comfortable and luxurious we experienced in India. Air conditioning worked as expected, the room was quiet at night. The bathroom continued in the highly-adorned manner of the bedroom, but in monochromatic hand-painted tiles.
The hallways of Pearl Palace Heritage Hotel sport graceful arches, bas-relief carvings, colorful wall paintings, carved wooden doors and decorative tile floors. Stairways are lined with historic photos.
Staff is friendly and helpful, too. The only negative to staying at Pearl Palace Heritage Hotel was the lack of a restaurant, but a rooftop restaurant is being built. Meanwhile, breakfast is delivered from nearby sister hotel, Pearl Palace, where we twice enjoyed a rooftop dinner. It’s a short tuk tuk ride away or a ten minute walk. The only minor downside there is the lack of a liquor license, so no wine or beer with dinner.
I booked Pearl Palace Heritage Hotel on Hotels.com using the Topcashback portal for a rebate. The room I wanted was a “luxury king room” per the hotel website and cost $146.13 for three nights ($43.49/night plus $15.66 “tax recovery charges and service fees”), including breakfast, which we could choose to take in our room or in the breakfast area. More expensive rooms have small balconies and are more monochrome with carved stone predominating in the decor. They are lovely, too, but I couldn’t resist the fantastic painting that covered our room.
NOTE: Be careful not to confuse Pearl Palace Heritage Hotel with its sister hotel, Pearl Palace Hotel. The similarity in names is confusing. The other hotel is nice as well and its rooftop restaurant charming, but the decor cannot compete.
We arrived after midnight on our flight from Yangon via Bangkok and, at my request, the hotel sent a car to pick us up for 450 INR ($6.34 US). I definitely recommend this if arriving late. We ended up using the same driver, Ali, and his brother, Abès, in a tuk tuk and were very happy with the service. We used Ali’s tuk tuk once for a ride to the Pink City and once for a full day tour with Abès. Uber worked well in Jaipur (using our T-mobile included international Internet again) and we were able to use Uber to get back from the Pink City for a ridiculously cheap 35 cents or so. Simply acting like we were using our phones to call an Uber usually had tuk tuk drivers negotiating.