Although seemingly every hotel in India’s Rajasthan state is either a palace or a self-proclaimed heritage property, to describe the Bharat Mahal Palace as a “royal residence” (as their own brochure does) or a heritage hotel (as the sign in the garden does) is an exaggeration. This poorly maintained, decidedly grubby hotel is nothing more than a large house overlooking the railway lines, and when we stayed there in January 2011, building work was in full swing.
Although the individual members of staff couldn’t have been sweeter and more obliging, goodness knows where management with a capital M was. On checking in, our room was not ready, which meant that we were able to supervise the re-cleaning of the otherwise dirty bathroom, and get the unironed, stained sheets taken off one of the beds.
As I said, the staff couldn’t have been sweeter, which is just as well, since we asked them to change the coffee table, the glass top of which was smashed, with a gaping hole in it. We also asked them to separate the beds, bring a bedside table, and finally bring a bedside light, all of which was cheerfully done. The bedside light ended up working for one day, and then that was it, but we never managed to get it fixed.
There was, however, nothing the staff could do about the room’s light switches all being in the corridor outside our room.
This meant that the options early in the morning were, either crashing around in the dark or switching every single light in the room on, since we never figured out how to turn just one light on at a time. All or nothing was the choice.
What else ? Ridiculously small geyser, which meant 2 people couldn’t have consecutive bucket baths. And the bucket baths were because the shower head was too clogged to give anything than the thinnest trickle of water.
The whole place was unkempt, and way beyond room-service trays left lying around in the corridors for hours : the litter left on the tiny front lawn after a wedding one night, stayed there for the remaining 2 nights of our stay.
In all fairness, the noisy location cannot be blamed on the owner of the “royal residence”, but it isn’t a nice one for all that. Railway tracks, a level crossing and a public urinal are pretty soul-destroying.
The food was acceptable : regular buffet breakfast, and the 2 quick lunches we had there were, once again, acceptable.
The only good thing about the Bharat Mahal Palace ? The sweet staff.
16 Parivahan Marg, near Civil Lines, “C” Scheme, Jaipur 302001
Phone : 0141-2365498, 2362627
Tariff as per the hotel’s own brochure (which had the old prices crossed out and new ones written in )
Deluxe Room Rs 2700 single/Rs 3000 double
Suite Rs 3800 single/Rs 4000 double
Taxes are extra
Parking in the street outside – the driveway is tiny and taken up by an old red vintage car.