The best place to wake up is in the Samode Haveli, a small oasis amid the bustling city. It’s owned by a scion of the Jaipuri royal family, who still live in one of the turreted apartments on-site – you can often hear their children kicking a ball around with one of the mustachioed waiters on the hotel lawns. It’s also home to the loveliest pool in Jaipur, which is the best place to take an early morning dip. Book room 115, the 18th-century Sheesh Mahal Suite, which has been mirrored and muraled within an inch of its life.
Avoid Jaipur’s heavy traffic and take a tuk tuk to the nearby flower market, Phool Mandi, where women sit out and make ritual marigold and rose necklaces and jasmine garlands.
Drive out to Brigitte Singh’s bougainvillea-fringed haveli on the outskirts of the city, which specializes in hand-printed fabrics. Stop for a home-cooked meal in the garden before stocking up on Singh’s signature poppy-print textiles. (+91-141-253 0229).
Take a long shikari boat to the middle of the Man Sagar Lake to see the floating palace of Jal Mahal. Conceived in the 18th century as a duck-hunting lodge and pleasure pavilion by the city’s founder, Maharaja Jai Singh II, this incredible construction is now open to the public after 300 years, with private tours of the grounds and rooftop Chameli Bagh (jasmine garden) now available.
Come dusk, Bar Palladio, set within the gardens of the Narain Niwas Palace Hotel, is the only place to go for cocktails. Order a traditional rose sharbat and some cicchetti snacks and watch the peacocks strut past.
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