Listed as the fifth best hotel in the world back in 1999, Samode Palace has lost none of its timeless beauty. Set amid the rocky outcrops of the Araveli hills, 42km north-east of Jaipur, it is easy to immerse yourself in the decadence of a lost era. Proportions of rooms are as extravagant as the detailed walls and ceiling décor. Step-up baths add to the glorious drama. A new Ayurvedic treatment centre encourages ultimate relaxation. Dining for two under minarets is an indulgent dream. Climb the 376 steps up a mountain beside the Palace to the Samode Fort to burn any excesses or take yourself on a camel or horse safaris up through the ranges and sand dunes.
A day trip to Samode Bagh (garden resort), either a 4km walk or car ride away, where you can picnic lunch and play lawn tennis. For a more boutique version of the palace see Samode Haveli.