A ‘heritage hotel’ in India refers to the numerous restored palaces, forts, Havelis (private mansions) and hunting lodges, particularly in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, converted into hotels. Many of these fabulous and evocative buildings are 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 By The Sea, Goa
A small, charming boutique property located right on a secluded beach; all rooms have an excellent view of the sunrise or sunset and the sea.
Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar
A commanding 18th century fort on the sacred River Narmada, Ahilya has spectacular views, comfortable rooms, and a remote, relaxed feel.
Beachgate Bungalows, Cochin
Restored British colonial style bungalows down a time-worn bylane near Fort Kochi's beach.
Bhainsrorgarh Fort, Bhainsrorgarh
In rural Rajasthan, the rambling Bhainsrorgarh looks down from a high clifftop that juts out over the River Chambal.
Bundi Vilas, Bundi
This haveli (mansion) was originally built into the ramparts of the Bundi Garh Palace and you can only enter by foot from the heart of the walled city.
Calcutta Bungalow, Kolkata
A lovingly restored merchant house turned heritage property oozing charm and quirky features.
Castle Bera, Jawai
The private residence of Thakur Baljeet Singh, Castle Bera is former hunting lodge presiding over the small village of Bera with great access to the Jawai region and its population of wild leopards.
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.
Jagat Niwas Palace, Udaipur
A renovated haveli mansion set on the edge of Lake Pichola with wonderful terrace views.
Jehan Numa Palace, Bhopal
An elegant and comfortable palace hotel on the hillside near Bhopal. Come here for space and Colonial charm.
This tranquil former majors bungalow has been restored into a whitewashed, art deco heritage property.
Maidens Hotel, Delhi
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Maison Perumal, Pondicherry
An authentic and intimate old Tamil house in the lesser explorer Tamil Quarter of Pondicherry.
Martam Village, Sikkim
A rustic, humble ancestral Sikkimese home sitting on a hillside with plenty of insightful experiences available.
Narendra Bhawan, Bikaner
With art deco and modern influences, this lavish colourful and quirky property is in the heart of offbeat Bikaner.
Netuk House, Gangtok
A humble, characterful heritage property in central Gangtok with beautiful Sikkimese design elements and spacious rooms.
Palais De Mahe, Pondicherry
A traditional French colonial-style building steps away from the promenade and seafront.
Palighar Farm Stay, Kalimpong
Authentic, off-the-grid farm stay experience with just two mud brick cottages, providing local food and experiences.
Raas Devi Garh , Delwara
Award-winning modern minimalism in a converted romantic 18th Century fort palace in the Aravalli Hills.
Ramathra Fort, Ramathra
Nestled on a quiet hilltop between Agra and Ranthambore National Park, Ramathra Fort is a lovely family-owned heritage hotel.
Ranvas Nagaur, Nagaur
Stay in a meticulously renovated 18th Century haveli-style property set within the walls of a magnificent 13th Century fort.
Rohet Garh, Rohet
Rohetgarh is admired for its uniquely decorated rooms, opulent ambience, and friendly service.
Shahpura Bagh, Shahpura
Shahpura Bagh is a great mix of rural Rajasthan mystique and elegant luxury. Come here to experience an oasis surrounded by water.
A traditional Tamil heritage home converted into a hotel, Svatma is an authentic property offering a comfortable base from which to explore.
Taj Savoy, Ooty
In picturesque Ooty, the Savoy is oozing with English charm. Come here for Colonial flair, comfortable rooms, and an old-fashioned tea lounge.
The Postcard Velha, Goa
Spacious colonial-style villas and rooms set in a secluded location just outside of Old Goa.
The Rajbari Bawali, Bawali
A fully restored 300 year-old property filled with local art in West Bengal.