Insider Guide To Jaipur

Insider Guide To Jaipur

"Rosanna’s first trip to India, back in 2012, saw her journey to Goa with her then boyfriend George. A second trip saw them venture further afield to the Andaman Islands. And the third — on their honeymoon — to Rajasthan. To say that they fell in love with the region is something of an understatement. In the short space of time since their wedding, they’ve returned four times — the first time for a six month stint — basing themselves in Jaipur each time." - Country Life
Rosanna Falconer at Wind View Palace Cafe

What draws you to Jaipur?

The colours, scents and sounds. Every sensory experience feels like the volume has been turned up 5 notches. It’s intoxicating.

When is best to visit?

The period from Diwali to mid December will mean you see the city at its most exciting. The weather is balmy plus it’s wedding season. But I also love the Kite Festival of Makar Sankranti in mid January when kites fill the skies over the old city by day, with fireworks and lanterns by night. It is a cold time of year so the tourist sites are quieter too. At least 3 nights are required to do the city justice but my ideal would be 10 days mixing up both the old city and the rugged Aravalli Hills out of town.

Old City Jaipur gates
Jaipur old city

How to get around?

Auto rickshaws are now on Uber which is a game-changer! If you’re going for a short period, I do recommend a driver just in terms of convenience.

Where to stay?

I’ve just curated a travel itinerary with Wix Squared which offers Jaipur options both in the hub of the city and in the tranquil countryside just outside of it. In the Old City, I love Samode Haveli (pictured) with its peaceful, interconnecting courtyards and characterful rooms. Their room 115 (the sheesh mahal) is the most distinctive, magical suite in which I have ever stayed. Raas Rajmahal Palace is as magnificent and regal as the name suggests - we began our honeymoon there. Just outside of the city, boutique hotel Villa Palladio is like stepping inside a jewellery box with its candy stripes, floral frescoes and perfectly manicured topiary. If you have time, I urge you to take the 90-minute drive to Amanbagh hotel. It is the most serene, impeccably-run hotel I have ever visited.

Bar Palladio by Rosanna Falconer

Where to eat?

Breakfasts at any of the hotels I have mentioned are superlative but for the view of the city waking up, I love the Wind View Cafe. Take a seat on its roof terrace and watch the world go by over a sweet, strong masala chai. For strong espresso, I head to Kafeville which opened just a few months ago.. Go for lunch at the Veranda of Rambagh Palace. There is a delicious, light Indian menu to savour while peacocks cross the lawns. You will probably find yourself staying on for afternoon tea too! For cocktails, it has to be the iconic Bar Palladio (pictured) - the first stroke of brilliance from dynamic duo Barbara Miolini and Marie-Anne Oudejans. It’s buzzing daily from 4pm. If you are lucky enough to get an invitation, their latest venture - the members’ bar Polo Palladio - opens this March at Rajasthan Polo Club. Then head into the old city for dinner at The Johri in a restored 19th century merchant's haveli. I love the Amritsari chole with a side of jackfruit and water chestnut vegetable biryani.

What should I do?

It's almost impossible for me to choose highlights from the Pink City. In an ideal world, I'd persuade everyone to move to Jaipur for 6 months like I did!  My perfect day in the city would always begin with a dawn walk with its heady scents of Phool Mandi roses and the invigorating buzz of the vegetable market. I also encourage any visitors to ensure they see the Chandra Mahal at City Palace - the private apartments to which this itinerary has access. Try to get there for the opening at 9.30am! A trip to Amber Fort is a must but be sure to stop by the lesser-known Nahargarh Fort too. The views of the city are unsurpassable and the colour palette of the interiors is inspired. If you’re seeking some respite from the vibrancy of it all, go to Sisodia Rani Gardens (pictured). Just 4 miles from the city centre, the Mughal gardens, fountains and pavilions are overlooked by the palace as its heart. They were built in 1728 by Maharajah Sawai Jai Singh II for his second wife, a princess from the Sisodia Rajput clan of Udaipur. The road leads onwards to Villa Palladio so a good stopping point if you are staying there!

Artisan at PDKF Store sewing a block printed fabric

What should I bring back?

Joyful block-printed pieces from PDKF Store at City Palace. Whether you choose a patchwork quilted jacket, elephant toy or set of coasters, you can be sure you are nourishing a brand with exemplary social ethics: all proceeds go to the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation (pictured). The women of the foundation make the designs, empowering them and preserving traditional Rajasthani techniques.

Rosanna has partnered with Wix Squared (+44 (0) 20 3808 6383) on a 12 night ‘Gems of Rajasthan’ which starts from £5,800 per person based on two people travelling. It includes B&B at Samode Haveli (Deluxe Room), Chhatra Sagar (Luxury Tent), Rohet House (Suite), Rawla Narlai (Grand Heritage Room), Devigarh (Garden Suite), English speaking driver and private guides and personal shoppers and access to the places and experiences as recommended by Rosanna. Excludes return flights from the UK into Jaipur. Contact for further details.

Rosanna's latest guide to the Pink City of India.

Hawa Mahal Jaipur
Hawa Mahal Jaipur

The Journal

All customers will receive a menu card printed with Rosanna's Jaipur Bloom design.


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