Always dreamed of waking up in a palace? Now you can, as Airbnb have listed an official royal palace amongst its collection of holiday rental properties.
Jaipur’s Royal Family have opened the doors of their royal home to guests via the online booking site – and the interiors are, as expected, to die for.
Built in 1727 by the founder of Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II,Jaipur City Palace is one of the best examples of 18th century Indian architecture, with large and airy reception halls and highly intricate and elaborate design details.
The Palace is right in the centre of Jaipur, the capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan and alsoknown as the Pink City.
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With its gilded walls, crystal chandeliers, intricate carvings and ornate sleeping chambers,the City Palace is one of India’s most iconic buildings.
Home to the Indian Royal Family for centuries, it has counted The Prince of Wales and Oprah among its guests, and is now opening some of its bedrooms to discerning travellers.
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The decision was made by one of the youngest members of the Royal Family,21-year-old Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh, in order to raise money for the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation,a non-profit charity dedicated to supporting women in rural areas by helping them earn a living and improve their living conditions.
Guests will be able to book and stay in the luxurious Gudliya Suite, which is set within one of the private sections of the Palace that, until now, has been used exclusively for the royals and their private guests.
The Gudliya Suite is just as opulent as you’d expect from an Indian royal palace, with a four-poster bed and decorative mosaic ceiling.
The suite also features a luxurious marble bathroom and its own private indoor swimming pool.
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Guests will be hosted by the 21-year-oldroyal himself.It was the Maharaja's idea to place the property on Airbnb following his own experiences travelling.
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As a frequent Airbnb user, he explained that he was always made to feel very welcome in new cities and cultures, and he is looking forward to sharing Indian hospitality with visitors of Jaipur.
The thoroughly modern Maharaja succeeded his grandfather in 2011, and isusing this opportunity to support a local charity.
Aside from a royal as their host, guests will also have their own private butler, on hand to arrange curated city trips such as shopping tours and guided walks through Jaipur’s museums.
Or for those wanting to make the most of their visit there's also a museum on site, housed within the Palace itself, which holds an impressive collection of the dresses, ornaments, paintings and weapons of Kachwaha rulers.
Guests will also be offered a guided tour of the 1700s complex by a member of the royal staff who can share secrets about the architecture, art and décor and share some interesting stories.
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Stays include a dinner at the Baradari restaurant, offering authentic Rajasthani cuisine on a terrace overlooking the beautiful surrounding Aravalli hills and forts, and breakfastin the company of peacocks who are often a sight at the Palace’s lush gardens.
Proceeds from each booking will go tothe Princess Diya Kumari Foundation,to support their women’s empowerment initiatives in Rajasthan.
Stays at Jaipur City Palace are priced at US$8,000 (approx£6,180) a night.
For more information, visit airbnb.com/CityPalaceJaipur (opens in new tab).
Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.
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