Amanbagh is beautiful. A palatial, tranquil, elegant and contemporary oasis about 3 hours north of Jaipur, set in a lovely open valley in the Aravalli hills – previously the hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Alwar. The whole place feels both new and ancient, and is utterly serene.
Amanbagh means “peaceful garden”. Your welcome epitomises the uplifting ambience of this Mughal style inspired boutique hotel, with a quiet Sanskrit prayer by the reception team, before you are taken through the bright and light main hall to settle in. The spacious peaceful grounds and rooms are immaculately maintained and sit around a huge, peaceful, shimmering, sea green, marble pool – surrounded with gorgeous pink Indian sandstone paving and comfortable sun loungers on which to relax, absorb the wonderful atmosphere – and enjoy the impeccable service. Lofty eucalyptus trees, indigenous arching palms and fruit trees provide dappling shade and softness to the setting.
The suites and pavilion rooms are all contemporary and minimalist in décor – in classic Aman style – and are exceptionally spacious with green marble sinks and baths. The stunning Pool Pavilion rooms are akin to having your own very private villa, overlooking wide lawns, whilst the lovely Haveli Terrace Rooms overlook the peaceful pool or the spacious gardens.
Whilst room service is available around the clock, there are so many stunning settings in which to enjoy the excellent multi cuisine – breakfast on the wide sandstone steps in the sunshine overlooking the pool, dinner next to a roaring fireplace in the wide hall or in the elegant restaurant, or a private candlelit table set up on the rooftop or by the pool. And don’t miss a drink in the opulent Salon bar before dinner. An Indian “Old Monk” dark rum with coca cola is warming and delicious!
A private “Chhatri” dinner with your own traditional flute player, butler and chef is absolutely amazing – hundreds of flickering candles, draped silks, and flower petals adorn this old pavilion set isolated in the heart of the countryside. Magical. (Make sure you wrap up warm as it can get very cool in the open air at night). Or closer to home enjoy dining at your table, set up in the mudwalled “Guwaadi” hut near the excellent organic vegetable garden.
There is so much to enjoy – visit the nearby village on the “Cow Dust Tour” to take in the fascinating local culture; enjoy an early morning yoga lesson with your private tutor beside the isolated hillside ruins of an ancient temple in the countryside before enjoying a picnic breakfast; see the hundreds of marble carving workshops and perhaps choose your own piece to bring home, or take an early morning trek to Somsagar Lake through a gorge up into the mountains- lots of bird life and a beautiful breakfast picnic spot. The choice of experiences is endless.
In all, the beautiful setting, the luxurious rooms, the thoughtful, discreet and gracious service, the superb cuisine and the fascinating variety of local cultural experiences all combine to make Amanbagh an absolutely outstanding and memorable stay.