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Have clients start a palace itinerary in Mumbai (formerly
Bombay) with a stay at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai, a
member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Overlooking the Gateway
of India, Mumbai’s principal landmark, and the Arabian Sea, it’s no
wonder why royalty set up shop here.
Since its opening in 1903, this palatial hotel has played host
to kings, presidents and maharajas. The architecture alone makes
this building one of the highlights of Mumbai. To really feel like
royalty, book clients in the Presidential Suite where the likes of
Bill Clinton and Cindy Crawford have stayed; not only is the room
spacious, but the views are arguably the best in the city. The Taj
Club rooms are also an excellent choice, and they include private
The hotel features some of the most sought-after restaurants in
Mumbai, including the Masala Kraft, offering a lavish spread of
contemporary Indian dishes. To relax like royalty, tell clients to
visit the Jiva Spa; they have jet-lag recovery packages that will
have visitors rejuvenated and ready to tackle the city.
From Mumbai, have clients fly to Jaipur in the state of
Rajasthan. Jaipur is the famed “Pink City,” so named because of the
pink hues of its buildings. This city is home to palaces, temples
and forts, and this is also one of the best shopping areas in
Here, American celebrities such as Steven Spielberg and
Jacqueline Kennedy have chosen the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur. Make
sure to request the Grand Presidential Suite, which is spacious
enough to accommodate large families (butler service is available).
The views of the surrounding garden make this room a winner.
All three of the Royal Suites are also worth booking; rooms are
spacious, with high ceilings and luxury baths. The hotel can
arrange for a variety of extras including vintage car transfers,
Hawa Mahal dinner (romantic dinner for two in one of the palace
gardens) and for the true wow experience, a Maharaja Welcome (with
elephant, horses and camels). Of course the spa is not to be missed
particularly the Ayurvedic massage. (Ayurveda was invented in
The outside of the hotel is palatial in look, but the rooms are
modern in design. The spa has an array of Ayurvedic treatments, the
perfect way to start a visit here. The dining at the Devi Garh is
not to be missed. Highly recommended is the olive tapenade betki, a
flavorful fish dish that’s popular in the region.
There is also a shopping center on the premises offering
beautiful collections of Indian clothes. The hotel is located far
enough from the bustling city of Jaipur to make guests feel like
they are in private, royal quarters. Room bookings should be made
at least two months in advance.
The hotel can arrange for a variety of VIP excursions. A must is
a tour of the City Palace, the former residence of the royal
family, which is now a museum housing the royal observatory.
Another interesting cultural spot to recommend is the Amber Fort, a
classic, romantic Rajasthani Fort Palace. For the ultimate
experience, arrange for an elephant ride up to the fort just make
sure to get the first booking of the day; the sun can be pretty
intense as the afternoon wears on.
Jaipur is also one of the shopping capitals of India, famous for
its jewelry, gemstones, carpets and silks. Private shopping
excursions can be arranged through the hotel concierge.
Devi Garh Fort Palacewww.deviresorts.com
Rambagh Palace, Jaipurwww.tajhotels.com
Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbaiwww.tajhotels.com
Room bookings should be made at least six months in advance for
the high season (November to February).
All three hotels offer 10 percent commission.
The annual camel fair in October or November (the dates fluctuate
since it’s tied to a full-moon cycle) brings thousands of camels to
Pushkar, located in the state of Rajasthan. Make sure to book up to
a year in advance as this festival attracts over 200,000 visitors.
Originally, this fair was for local farmers and breeders the men
traded camels, while the women traded textiles and jewelry but the
festival has expanded to include horse and camel races, music,
parades, dancing and wonderful insight into local village life.