A ‘heritage hotel’ in India refers to the numerous restored palaces, forts, havelis (private mansions) and hunting lodges, particularly in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, which have been converted into hotels. Many of these fabulous and evocative buildings are still managed by the former princely families, who treat visitors as their guests.
These hotels range from the fabulously luxurious to quirky faded grandeur, but they all have character in spades and seem to shout of timeless India. It is worth bearing in mind that due to their age, some of these buildings may have quirky architecture, erratic plumbing, low doorways or unguarded drops. Heritage hotel management differs from that of conventional hotels and service may be idiosyncratic, although it is almost always friendly.
There is something completely magical and uniquely Indian about these hotels and we thoroughly recommend experiencing one of these places for at least part of your stay. The term ‘Heritage Hotel’ has become something of a catch all in India, and the quality of the experience differs widely. We tend to steer clear of places that are used for group tours, as this makes for a very different sort of atmosphere and we think that the personal and exclusive feeling is what our independently minded travellers are looking for.
Talk to us and we’ll make suggestions that we think will suit you.
Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar
A commanding 18th century fort on the sacred River Narmada, Ahilya has spectacular views, comfortable rooms, and a remote, relaxed feel.
Bhainsrorgarh Fort, Bhainsrorgarh
In rural Rajasthan, the rambling Bhainsrorgarh looks down from a high clifftop that juts out over the River Chambal.
Bundi Villas, Bundi
This haveli (mansion) was orignally built into the ramparts of the Bundi Garh Palace and you can only enter by foot from the heart of the walled city.
Castle Bera, Jawai
The private residence of Thakur Baljeet Singh, Castle Bera is a simple, intimate and friendly homestay close to Jawai.
Castle Bijaipur, Bijaipur
Nestled in the Chittorgarh countryside, Castle Bijaipur is a sixteenth century heritage listed noble residence, converted into a boutique hotel.
Chanoud Garh, Chanoud
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Fort Barli, Barli
A 330 year old fort which has been lovingly converted into a characterful and intimate, family run heritage hotel.
Jehan Numa Palace, Bhopal
This is an elegant and comfortable palace hotel on the hillside near Bhopal. Come here for space, comfort, and Colonial charm.
This tranquil former majors bungalow has been restored into a white washed, art deco heritage property with lush, sprawling lawns.
Maison Perumal, Puducherry (Pondicherry)
An authentic and intimate old Tamil house in the lesser explorer Tamil Quarter of Pondicherry.
Ramathra Fort, Ramathra
Nestled on a quiet hilltop between Agra and Ranthambore National Park, Ramathra Fort is a lovely family owned heritage hotel.
Ten havelis split into 21 rooms within Ahhichatracharh Fort have been beautifully refurbished with original furnishings & lovely outdoor spaces.
Rohet Garh, Rohet
Rohetgarh is a well-known favourite on the heritage hotel scene, admired for its uniquely decorated rooms, opulent ambience, and friendly service.
A traditional Tamil heritage home converted into a hotel, Svatma is an authentic property offering a comfortable base from which to explore.