When you build a palace like none other, not just anyone is invited to stay.
Since 1904, only a few have been deemed worthy of a higher order of hospitality – princelings, Europe’s pre-eminent bluebloods, King George V and Queen Mary, a handful of statesmen; a few of the notable architects of history.
The world at large had been shut out of the Laxmi Niwas Palace. You may now actually go a step further.
Gaze at hand-painted friezes and gold-laden walls. Examine up close the inspiration behind Lutyens’ and Baker’s architectural style. And perhaps reflect on the fact that exclusion does sometimes make a place what it is.
Royal Deluxe Rooms: These may comprise two singles or a double and were originally the larger bedrooms in the palace. The decorative accents and layout has been lovingly preserved. These spacious, breezy bedrooms look out to panoramic views of the Lalgarh Estate. A typical example is perched high above the central courtyard - one of two twin bedrooms with an inter-connecting hallway. These are especially great for groups of friends or families on holiday, or for the party of a corporate offsite.
The Palace Rooms: These plush expanses originally served as apartments for members of Bikaner’s royal family. The roomy period style roccoco furniture is over a hundred years old yet immensely comfortable. Antique accents like four-poster brass beds, escritoires, old-world dressing tables, porthole-shaped shaving mirrors and glorious sunken bathtubs celebrate the palace’s heritage. These rooms look out to our verdant lawns. Birdsong, a large television and robust air-conditioning make these restful, luxurious homes away from home.
Historical Suite: Karni Vilas has been left unchanged from the time, over a century ago, when it was the bed-chamber of a prince. This marble-walled suite is rich with usta art in blue and gold. The teak ceiling has inlaid carvings covered in gold. Each vertical wall panel has the most intricately detailed scenes of shikar (the royal hunt) on view within the palace, painted in indigo into a motif of amphoras. Each frieze has been painstakingly executed and the blue of the room’s upholstery brings them out beautifully. The bedroom leads to a spacious dressing room and an enormous bathroom with delightfully antique his-and-her’s WC’s.
Royal Suites: Ganga Mahal You know you’re in a royal bedroom - twin images of Surya the Sun God beam down at you from the Burma teak ceiling, festooned with an intricately carved grid in a resplendent blue. Below, the tone of the place is restrained yet undoubtedly regal. Hunker down in Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji’s brass canopied four-poster bed. Write on his escritoire. Listen to his gramophone, hang your jacket on his coatrack, use his old-school telephone and take your seat in a cosy heirloom jhoola (swing) which still has on its original silk upholstery.