Welcome to the best hotel in the world


If only the best will do for you, then may we recommend you book a night (or two) at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India.

The hotel was just named the best hotel in 2016 by TripAdvisor, and we all know those people (aka real people) can be hard to please. But this is no ordinary hotel; it is an Art Deco palace and was built between 1928 and 1943 for Maharaja Umaid Singh. It is set on 26 acres and has a total of 347 rooms (not all of those are available to stay in) and it was acquired in 2005 by Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces.


Umaid Bhawan Palace; Jodhpur - November 2014
Umaid Bhawan Palace; Jodhpur – November 2014



Umaid Bhawan Palace; Jodhpur - November 2014

Umaid Bhawan Palace; Jodhpur - November 2014



Umaid Bhawan Palace; Jodhpur - November 2014

Rooms cost an average of $734-a-night, but we imagine staying in the Maharani Suite costs a little more. Built for the Maharani (the princess), the 4850-square-foot suite has a black marble mural of the Goddess Kali, a bathtub built out of a solid piece of pink marble and an “en suite couple therapy room” — we assume that means spa therapy.

Umaid Bhawan Palace; Jodhpur - November 2014
The Maharani Suite bathroom
Umaid Bhawan Palace; Jodhpur - November 2014
Maharani Suite

The hotel also offers top-notch service, like butlers that treat you like you are a Maharaja. “Discreetly and unobtrusively, your butler will gladly guide you through the pleasures that lie within and without the Palace walls, no task too insignificant, no demand too unreasonable.”

We feel like that is not a promise they should make. Because there are always those who love to hate on the most wonderful things in life. Take these lone bad reviews from TripAdvisor. From pacaldwe:

“Will never stay here again and have a new found mission to try and tell the world about the poor service offered.”

Such a noble calling! Or the troubled times of mhc754

“As for the furnishings, they were cheesy, painted furnitures–shocking for a supposedly 5 star hotel. Granted we booked one of the less expensive rooms, we still expected more for $400/nt. Our room had no real windows to speak of since they opened into the corridor so we couldn’t leave the curtains open. That was also the case for the bathroom window. We had to hang a bathrobe there so that my wife wouln’t inadvertently put on a show.” [sic]

That indeed does sound hard.

Most of the reviews, obviously, are incredibly positive. Such as widenmayer’s:

“You live like the maharaja and he shares his beautiful palace to full extend with the hotel guests. Antique furniture, surrounding, atmosphere, gardens, history, all is there. Plus the very best staff, Helpful, attentive, carrying, simply perfect.”

That seems pretty correct to us.



Umaid Bhawan Palace; Jodhpur - November 2014


Umaid Bhawan Palace; Jodhpur - November 2014