Welcomheritage Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel

, Jodhpur, India
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Welcomheritage Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel

, Jodhpur
5 star

Rooms: 98

Umaid Bhawan Palace - Jodhpur - 342 006 - India | 0291 - 2510101
206 Traveller

Reviews - Welcomheritage Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of Welcomheritage Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel

In a class of its own

from Prufreck
We recently did a 'palace' tour of Rajasthan, staying in a combination of Oberoi and Taj Group hotels. The Umaid Bhawan was a standout in every way. Not only is it a 'living' palace (the Maharajah still occupies one wing of the hotel) but the service was extremely good. From the moment we arrived (very pleasant and efficient reception staff) to the moment we left, we were extremely well looked after. The restaurant staff were excellent, as is the charming Restaurant Manager who always made time to circulate among the tables, chatting to the various guests in house at the time. The rooms have all been recently renovated in classic art deco style (the hotel was built in the 1940's) and ours were superb - particularly the huge bathrooms! All in all it was a truly oustanding experience. Most people apparently spend a maximum of two nights here: they arrive in the afternoon/evening, spend the following day sightseeing and then push off to Jaipur, Udaipur or Jaisalmer the next day. Here's a tip: spend three nights here so you have one full day to really enjoy the place. This is one of the grandest private homes ever built, with a billiards room, bar, spa and indoor pool (plans are under way for an outdoor pool next year) so take some time out to enjoy it!

An awe inspiring hotel

from JoeBo1
We stayed at this hotel during our month long honeymoon in India.
From the start, they had service down to a tee. Registration takes place in your room and your every need is catered for. Previous reviews show pictures of rooms which do not reflect the standard of our suite. It was divine.Had it not been for our travel plans we would not have left it for the duration of our trip. Complimentary fruit and wine (a lovely Merlot from Sicily) a chocolate cake (as we were honeymooners) and a butler who hovered outside our room yet didnt seem intrusive.
The hotel offered a tour of the palace and grounds with a choice of sparking wine or orange juice. It was unrushed and special. The guide however did requset us on two occasions to mention his name on the comments slip when we returned to our room. (Probably under performance pressure). Dinner at the Pillars was special due to ambiance and music but the food was very overpriced even by western standards.
All in all, a wonderful stay and would highly reccomend. Remember to book a suite!

Outstanding!

from Carolinne
Having spent 2 nights at the Umaid Bhawan, I do no understand some of the negative reviews.

Rooms have been refurbished, a nice surprise, as Lonely Planet India says the standard rooms in the hotel are not so great - I totally disagree with it: I was shown the deluxe (standard) room and the luxury room - price difference was minimal and the deluxe was still very large, great super-clean marble bathroom and tastefully decorated.

Grounds are incredibly beautiful, service is great and food at the Pillars outstanding (very helpful yong chef).

I would not change a thing about the hotel - maybe only improve breakfast a little bit, as, having stayed at 2 other Taj Palaces in Rajhastan (Lake Palace Udaipur and Rambagh Palace Jaipur), breakfast was better in those two.

Amazing Hotel

from Helen4travelling
This hotel is amazing. The service is absolutely spot on. The architecture and view are breathtaking and we were fortunate enough to be upgraded to a Royal Suite, so our room was beautiful.

We understand that this hotel was only taken over by the Taj chain (into their Luxury category) under a year ago. Before that it was briefly with Aman, prior to which it was with ITC. Under ITC it had about 100 rooms, under Taj, it has 64. They are gradually going through a process of refurbishment, so ask for a room that has been done.

The hotel has no outdoor pool, but when we visited it was being built and due for completion in November. This is much needed, as is a space where you can sit outside (in the shade) and read or relax. At the moment, the only such place is the Pillars Restaurant, which is a bit too public to be relaxing.

We had an evening meal at The Pillars. The service and ambiance were excellent, but we found the food to be high on quantity, but lower on taste. It maybe we selected badly, but I found my chicken curry to be a poor imitation of others I’d had. If we’d been there longer we would have tried the restaurant again though.

One afternoon we had High Tea in the Risala restaurant. This was a very decadent affair, with champagne and divine little sandwiches and sweet things. Once we’d finished the first cake-stand full, they brought another, and insisted we had a third, so it made the £18 per person charge seem very reasonable. While we were having this we chatted to the Restaurant Manager we mentioned that we loved chocolate. He offered desert (on the house) in the Pillars that evening, where he would provide a bespoke chocolate creation. He did not disappoint!

This hotel does not charge for service, nor is there a space to add it to your food bills. They operate a tip box which is shared between staff. On leaving we were eager to make a significant contribution as we felt that our stay at the hotel was so memorable.

Waaaay Overrated!!!

from mhc754
We had the misfortune of staying at the Umaid Bhawan in December 2005 during our 3-week trip through India. This was the worst experience we had, and it put a real damper on our trip. What a shame!

What other reviewers said about no hot water is true, and we had no heat in our room either. While winter in Jodhpur is not as bad as winter in NY, it can get a little chilly in the morning and at night. 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.

The food was average. The restaurant served fusion Indian food and western dishes. Given that we were in India, we were hoping to get some good traditional Indian food. We were disappointed, but this may not be an issue for those longing to experiment.

Dealing with the front desk was an aggravating experience. We called from Udaipur to order a pickup at the airport. The man on the phone told us he couldn't find our reservation even though we had confirmed reservation. With the most obnoxious tone, he asked whether we booked with THE Umaid Bhawan. He expressed disbelief that we had a reservation since they'd been sold out for months, although if we needed a room, he might be able to find us a suite for $1,200/nt. Imagine our horror. Since the hotel refused to acknowledge our reservation, we had to call hotels.com's customer service, and after $200 in phone bills later, the hotel finally agreed to accept us. They claimed their fax was down and they never received our original reservation from hotels.com, although hotels.com claim they had confirmed fax transmission. We received no apologies from anyone. Having read the other posts, I wouldn't put it past them that they were simply trying to get us to stay in a more expensive suite. When we were at the hotel, we did not get the sense that the hotel was sold out. The restaurant was empty, and there weren't many people walking around.

In sum, save your money, and stay elsewhere. If you feel compelled to visit, hop on a cab.

Great property, but....

from sfmwt
By all accounts, this is a regal and majestic hotel, full of stonework, princely art and stuffed wild life. The main rotunda is very impressive. It was undergoing some typical sumer renovation and not all services were available. The noted Pillars restaurant also closes during the summer. The rooms were very large and our bathroom was roughly 2/3 the size of our sleeping area. The underground swimming pool is also something that must be seen to be appreciated.

The day to day staff was very nice and helpful, but they seemed to be under pressure to make some additional revenue. Several times we were approached to book a "special traditional" dinner. The first time it was for $100 a person and the second time it was for $140 a person. I was going to ask if they were flying Thomas Keller in for the occasion.

We also had a very negative situation that cast a pallor over the length of our stay. We had originally booked 4 nights through the "leading hotels of the world" website. As Indian Airlines can change their schedule on a whim, our flight to Delhi was cancelled and we had to fly out a day earlier than planned. The manager initally refused to amend our reservation to only 3 nights, even though we mentioned it to the staff when we checked in and the hotel was at about 10% occupancy. We went back and forth for 2 days, and eventually they agreed to only charge us for the nights we stayed at the hotel. They had some story about not being able to amend a reservation made through Leading Hotels of the World without verification from all parties. Maybe it was true, but it was very irritating. We think that they were under pressure to make their budget targets and pulled every trick they could.

Despite its beauty, friendly day to day staff and regal aura, I don't think we would stay here again.

Awesome

from Diptesh
We had the pleasure of staying in a suite. They made us feel like royalty - impeccable service. The food was also befitting royalty, although it may just not agree with a western palate. The property is majestic with all modern amenities. A must for a visitor to India

Simply Fantastic

from englishmike
I find it hard to believe that the previous reviewer was staying at the same hotel. I am writing this review from a beautiful suite looking out at the 500 year old fort. The service here is simply fantastic. We have stayed at many of the best hotels in the world including the usual suspects--four seasons, oberoi, ritz carlton etc. This palace hotel measures up to all of these and then sum. It may be one of the best hotels in terms of service we have ever stayed at. If you want a great room with a view try--room 306 a suite we are currently in that has all the ammenities. As for India--the people are great dont fret just book your trip to the land of princes.

what a pitty!!

from A TripAdvisor Member
i had visited this hotel already three times in the past. the first time was about 5 years ago and we had found the hotel to be maybe lacking a little in the rooms because they were old and dark but the overall impression was impressive and the service was well worth putting up with a few discomforts. i went back once again while they were supposed to be part of the Amanresort chain and although the rooms had only been improved a little, the service was impecable the food acceptable and the experience unforgettable. we also went back another time about two years ago while they were filming and had dinner next to Omar Shariff by full moon!! when i went back this last october the hotel had been taken over by the Taj group and nobody informed us that the hotel was under renovation. so when we arrived half of the rooms and the wings were under construction and although the rooms were better they were not up to standard for the money that we paid for, which was $ 400 for the room. after complaining we were moved to a different room but again there was no hot water and only one restaurant was serving mediocre food. the pool was closed and i believe that they should have closed the hotel altogether to renovate rather than putting us through this ordeal. it is a pitty for this amaizing property to be run by this group that does not know the meaning of service. i certainly preffered the old rooms and the old charm. what i think that they are doing now is destroying it by trying to make is a mass hotel with prices that do not reflect either the service nor the food and unforturnatly the ambiance is gone.

Maybe the food has improved

from Lemniot
Great architecture and a wonderful hotel in many ways - very luxurious with super usually large rooms. Some of the bathrooms are very big and breathtaking to experience.
However apart from the wonderful Pilars restaurant and its stunning view over the magnificent formal gardens and delicious breakfasts the other restaurants needed some attention during my previous visits. They were ok but needed to improve - which by now they might have as I haven't been back for three or four years.
It is a fascinating large hotel that attracts interesting guests. On one occasion when I was there, we were surrounded by Bollywood movie stars who were shooting scenes during our stay. The Maharajah and his family have private quarters but were in evidence on occasions. It is a hotel that attracts A-list personalities.
Jodhpur is perhaps an underrated city. With its Blue Town and mix of Hindu and Moslem it is absolutely fascinating and one of the best places to visit in this part of Asia. The call to prayer is particularly hypnotic and attractive. Close to the Thar Desert and many interesting villages and palaces. An excellent centre for touring Rajasthan.
I would recommend this hotel but perhaps not to those who are used to the modern 5-star big city chain hotels. This one certainly has style and opulencein abundance. If you go, try to get a personal viewing of the Maharajah;s stunning collection of veteran luxury cars or of his luxury train that sits hidden away in his private area. Also go see the Meherangarh Fort and have a meal at the Ajit Bhawan.

Top Local Tips for Jodhpur

Tour with car and driver Have hotel recommend a car and tour driver for you. They did ours and it was fantastic. Our car was a rebuilt 1957 Ambassador with leather and wood interior. Great experience.

Shawls and bedspreads Maharani Textiles near the Old Market (also have a branch by the Umaid Bhawan) for incredible shawls, bedspreads etc etc. The BEST shop in town ans sensible prices for the highest quality work.

Hotel Cab at the airport Pre arrange for the hotel to send a cab to pick you up. If you don't have a pre arranged cab you will really be harassed at the airport and people will quote unrealistic prices, even more than what the hotel charges!

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Other names for Welcomheritage Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel

  • umaid bhawan palace jodhpur
  • umaid bhawan palace
  • jodhpur umaid bhawan palace
  • Address: Umaid Bhawan Palace - Jodhpur - 342 006 - India
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