Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Lord Louis Mountbatten, Jaqueline Kennedy, Prince Charles and Lady Di are among the VIPs who’ve enjoyed the charms of the Rambagh Palace, one of the world’s most spectacular hotels. The complex served as principal residence of the Maharajah of Jaipur from 1925 onwards – an era when princely excess reached new heights of extravagance in India. ‘Sumptuous’ doesn’t even nearly get close.

The building and its interiors were designed – first and foremost – to dazzle and they still do, from the moment you step in the entrance to a shower of rose petals from turbaned doormen. Highlights include the arched ground-floor verandah, where guests sip cocktails while gazing though carved marble pillars to the gardens, the Steam Bar in the form of a Victorian station (complete with antique locomotive), and an exquisite indoor pool, encrusted with elaborate stained glass, Kashmiri inlay and stencilled murals. Folk musicians and dancers perform nightly on the front lawns against backdrop of fountains and floodlights. You even get your own pillow menu . 

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