rural gems, vivid colours, off the beaten track adventures, quintessentially indian experience

Vivid colours, swirling crowds, majestic forts and palaces, teeming medieval cities, the heat and dust of the desert and the dreamily romantic lakes – Rajasthan holidays deliver the quintessentially Indian experience. For this to be truly magical, however, it must be handled with care. While most visitors tend to race from one city to another, packing in as much as they can, we believe in a different approach. Although the major sights are wonderful – and an important part of your experience they are ‘well touristed’ and seeing too many of them can become more of an endurance test than a holiday.

We believe in taking Rajasthan at a more leisurely pace, combining the cities with some rural gems that we have discovered and enabling you to get under the skin of this incredible State.

At these little rural places there are no grand sights but that is the point; here you will see a Rajasthan that is off the beaten track, its way of life little-changed over the centuries. We try to show off each of these places with special experiences that are unique to cazenove+loyd, and the insight of some exceptional private guides.

Nevertheless, although we believe that properties with character and authentic charm are essential to a genuinely Indian experience, we are not averse to a good dose of luxury – and we combine Rajasthan’s new breed of world-class hotels with just the right mix of more authentic places.

All itineraries are individually designed, but as a guide, we can arrange a ten day holiday in Rajasthan (not including flights) from £2600 per person


The creation of each individual itinerary starts with a client’s dream. In discussion we translate these initial desires and aspirations into our vision of the best achievable holiday. Our meticulous planning and love of our destinations ensure that we create once-in-a-lifetime experiences. We promise you precious and everlasting memories.

Rural Rajasthan

rural rajasthan luxury itinerary

The dramatic sight of the Taj Mahal at Agra as the light plays across its face at the beginning or the end of the day is quite rightly ‘up there’ with any other. Approaching the Amber Fort outside Jaipur, along its ancient ramparts with the jagged silhouette of the mountains behind echoing the fortifications, is…

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Places to Stay

At c+l, we have no vested interest in the hotels and lodges which we select - we review everything and choose the best for a particular client. And because we visit our three regions on a regular basis and have detailed conversations with over 90% of our clients on their return, our choices can be refined continually. The choice of what is best for the client is our only consideration.

luxury exclusive hotel rajasthan india

Mihir Garh, Rajasthan

Rising up amidst the rugged, untouched Rajasthani countryside, the magnificent fort of Mihir Garh appears almost to be part of the desert landscape itself. But behind these golden walls lies a luxurious haven, the perfect retreat from a busy tour of the region’s colourful cities.

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Samode Haveli

Samode Haveli, Jaipur

Samode Haveli is our favourite heritage hotel in the city of Jaipur and run by a wonderful team of friendly and welcoming staff. The hotel is housed in a 150 year old haveli and is bursting with character and charm; it has an authentic sense of place and is boutique in size, which suits our clients who don’t want to stay in some of the larger and grander chain hotels in the Jaipur area.

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Rawla Narlai

Rawla Narlai, Udaipur/Jodhpur

A 17th century shooting lodge originally belonging to the Maharaja of Jodhpur has been converted into a charming guest house and kept very much in keeping with its original style. It can be found approximately half way between Udaipur and Jodhpur, so perfect for a night or two en route.

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The Leela Palace

The Leela Palace, Udaipur

The Leela is one of three grand hotels on the lake below the palace and ancient fort in Udaipur. Your driver will call ahead for the small motor launch to meet you at the private dock and ten minutes later as you drift past the renowned Lake Palace Hotel a rather different sight comes into view. The glitz and sparkle begin the moment you step onto terra firma.

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Suryagarh, Jaisalmer

This elegant hotel is near the ancient walled city of Jaisalmer on the edge of the Thar desert in western Rajasthan. A fortress come palace built in the grandest style yet with attention to detail and a sophisticated style.

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The Imperial

The Imperial, New Delhi

The Imperial was built in 1931 and after falling into faded decadence during the 1980’s as an ex-pat hang-out similar to Raffles in Singapore, it has been restored to its former glory. The façade is art deco and enormous palm trees surround the enclosed compound giving it a Miami but still a colonial look.

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Claridges, New Delhi

The Claridges is situated in the quiet and attractive Embassy district of New Delhi and was built by Edward Lutyens. From the reception to the food to the rooms it is an unassuming, offering a cheaper option to the more slickly run hotels in New Delhi.

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Jawai Camp


Jawai Camp is undoubtedly one of our favourite safari camps in India and, because it is possibly the best place in India to catch sight of the elusive leopard, it stands out amongst other safari experiences worldwide. Lying in the heart of the wilderness at the base of the Aravali hills, this remote location provides a truly rural experience to relax and unwind. We particularly love that after a morning safari, you can head out on a mountain bike or just flop by the pool and soak up some rays in such a tranquil environment.

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Bujera Fort

Bujera Fort, Udaipur

Bujera Fort, set to officially open in September 2015, is soon to provide a hugely exciting new addition to the Udaipur hotel scene. English owners Richard Hanlon and Trish McFarlane have opened up their own exotic hotel and we love the idea behind the Fort as a 'home' rather than a hotel - and we got a sense of this from the moment we stepped in. Bujera Fort has the potential to be something very special in this part of Rajasthan where guests can totally relax surrounded by stunning views and beautifully designed interiors.

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Amanbagh Ajabgarh

Amanbagh, Ajabgarh

Amanbagh is a destination unto itself. We think it works very well in a Rajasthan itinerary as a place for our clients to relax and unwind as it has a magnificent pool and spa. However, Amanbagh is much more than a rural retreat and the plethora of activities on offer here and the nearby sites rarely accessed by tourists, make it a great place to experience the colourful traditions and culture of Rajasthan. It best suits our clients who wish to experience utter opulence and luxury whilst experiencing rural India as well.

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Raas, Jodhpur

Situated in the heart of old Jodhpur, RAAS was the first luxury boutique hotel to open in the city and it is still the only hotel worth staying at in the centre of Jodhpur. We love the modern amenities of RAAS and its uniquely intimate setting beneath the magnificent Meherangarh Fort. Guests can relax and unwind in this peaceful retreat after a day sightseeing.

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Taj Rambagh Palace

Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

The Rambagh Palace is a cazenove+loyd favourite in Jaipur and it is one of the best converted palaces in the region. Once the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur, the palace epitomises old world charm and stands as a testament to the rich heritage and royal history of the city. We love the fact that the palace is ideally located in the centre of Jaipur’s old city and set within an astonishing 47 acres of landscaped gardens. The palace provides a calm environment in which to dip into the famous sites and shopping of Jaipur.

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The Oberoi Udaivilas

The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur

Situated on the banks of Lake Pichola, Udaivilas is uniquely set in acres of sprawling lush gardens, which gives the hotel a great sense of space and privacy, that other hotels in Udaipur lack. The hotel is newly-built but greatly inspired by the grand palaces of Rajasthan and pays homage to the rich heritage of the city whilst offering you the upmost in luxury and comfort. Our clients have commended the impeccable standard of service and the delightful views of the lake and Udaipur town.

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For over 20 years we have been creating the best luxury tailor-made holidays, we know our countries inside and out and really know how to get under the skin of each one and the best way to experience them.


Bhangarh Ghost Town

The Bhangarh Ghost Town is a deserted town where over 10,000 houses were abandoned 300 years ago. It is an incredible feeling wandering the empty streets with very few other visitors.

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City Palace, Udaipur

Few other palaces in Rajasthan boast such a glorious display of wealth and princely treasures as the City Palace in Udaipur. Your expert guide will bring the glorious history of the City Palace to life and although you can stay here we feel there are more interesting and better run hotels in Udaipur.

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Meherangarh Fort

The dramatic Mehrangarh Fort was built in the 15th Century and is at first sight absolutely remarkable, set on a perpendicular cliff which looms over the city of Jodhpur. Rudyard Kipling described it as “the work of giants” so colossal are its proportions. The fort dominates the skyline of Jodhpur, the ‘Blue City’ which was once the capital of Marwar.

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The Bishnoi Community

The Bishnoi community is a farming community based in mainly Eastern Rajasthan. They follow the principles of non-violence of the Vaishnava sect and are pioneers in wildlife conservation and environmental management, We can get you exclusive access to see how they go about their day to day lives and how their culture has evolved.

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Jantar Mantar

A visit to see the fascinating Jantar Mantar literally known as 'Instruments for measuring the harmony of the heavens’ is a highlight of any day spent exploring the sites of Jaipur. The observatory has a fascinating history and with the help of one of our knowledgeable guides you can learn how each extraordinary instrument is used for a particular function and can even today still give a fairly accurate reading.

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As every one of the holidays we create is unique, all of our clients come back with different and interesting stories. We love to hear from our clients on their return to find out about their most memorable moments. We from c+l are also always travelling to our destinations and every trip allows us to refine and add value to our clients' future experiences.


A Memorable Visit to Jaisalmer

Our US Representative Miranda Plunkett visited the beautiful city of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan to meet with the founder of a US charity and view the proposed site for a new girls school, experiencing first hand the importance and need for responsible tourism in this remote and economically challenged part of the world.

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Hand-woven Heaven in Rajasthan

On a recent trip to Udaipur our US Representative Miranda Plunkett was introduced to the colourful world of Rajasthan's textile industry and found a bespoke showroom selling incredible hand-woven fabrics in the process.

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Riding across rural Rajasthan

Riding was not one of Alex Wix passions, it actually filled her with dread. However faced with a challenge, Alex took a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to ride with a guide across rural Rajasthan, which turned into an experience she will never forget.

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The Perfect Day in Rajasthan

Nothing could prepare our client for his experience of seeing the Taj Mahal at first light. Escaping the crowds and the hustle and bustle, his day started in luxury and made for a truly memorable experience.

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‘We didn’t want grand but we wanted authenticity’

Victoria Pilkington wanted to take her family to India to for a holiday they could all remember and enjoy. Alex at c+l planned activities for each of the children's different interests and made sure that the holiday was an authentic experience without the loss of comfort.

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Umaid Bhawan Palace/Jodhpur/India

Hotels For A King in Rajasthan

One of our clients, Chris Sturdee had the most amazing time imaginable staying in some of India's most interesting and luxurious hotels. He is already dreaming about his next trip to India in 2015.

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Riding and Culture in Rajasthan

Susie Aird was asked by a friend to arrange a riding trip to Rajasthan. Her Bridge Four, joined by two more friends, spent a week enjoying the cultural sights of the city followed by a week on horseback riding through local villages experiencing the beauty of rural Rajasthan.

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A photographic journey through Rajasthan

Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell persuaded Georgia Oetker to go to small, owner-run places in rural communities to allow her to develop a real sense of the place and culture. She captured hundreds of amazing images getting under the skin of India, capturing the people and the richness of their souls.

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Rana Dancers in Rajasthan

Chris Wilmot-Sitwell experienced a rare, spirit-soaring moment of tear-inducing poignancy after watching a beautiful dance performed by Rana girls. Their delicately measured dancing is rooted in centuries of Rana tradition. The joy and passion of the girls, who keep their traditions alive, is clear to see on their faces.

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Full of hot-air!

Our Asia + The Middle East destination expert, Sabrina, was unsure about her hot air balloon ride over Jaipur. But as soon as the balloon was propelled by the sudden flare of flames, her fears subsided and she enjoyed the glistening views beneath her as they floated down over hidden towns and villages.

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Colours and Cloth in Rajasthan

Grace Cooper, one of our clients, is a fashion graduate. She travelled to Jaipur where she was in heaven browsing the multiple fabric shops which are the life and soul of the town. She was in awe at all the colours and cloth - from the beautiful silks of the saris to the intricate work of the dhurri makers.

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A Private Elephant Trek in Jaipur

Penny Buckley, our Asia + The Middle East destination expert enjoyed an unforgettable evening trekking through agricultural fields and past candlelit temples on Lakshmi the elephant, accompanied by one of cazenove+loyd's favourite guides, Ranju. Her enchanting evening has become one of her fondest memories of India.

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We know Rajasthan better than most. The possibilities are endless and ever-changing. On the map below, we have plotted some of our current favourite places to stay, some c+l highlights and a few pertinent client stories. And you can see if there is a team member travelling in that particular country and link through to them and what they are up to, so you can get them to call you on their return.

Best time to visit

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Best time to go

Best visited between October and March, this part of India gets very hot outside of these months and, as most visit this part of India for cultural sightseeing, whilst possible to visit it is not advisable.

There is a reason why the British retreated to the hill stations and away from the plains in the Monsoon Season. With good domestic flights from the main cities, you can combine a visit to Central India with either the North or the South of the country.

Meet the Team
Asia + The Middle East

We'd love to hear from you

Our well travelled Destination Experts have extensive first hand knowledge of their destinations and can open doors that others simply can’t.