Readers of Travel+Leisure recently picked Rajvilas near Jaipur, India as one of the best resorts in the world, something Julia Roberts could have told them years ago.

 

In fact, the “Pretty Woman” took her kids to this five-star hotel long before she was in India filming Eat Pray Love. And while she could have chosen the resort’s $4000 a night Kohinoor Suite, that has its own 60-foot swimming pool and garden and provided lodging for Bill Clinton and Brangelina, she opted for one of the hotel’s 14 tents.

Not that the Roberts clan actually roughed it. Rajvilas’ tents have four-poster beds, dressing rooms with walk in closets, teak floors, Victorian claw-tooth bathtubs, embroidered canopies and such luxury that Giorgio Armani raved about his.

Once an orchard owned by an Indian aristocrat, the resort has a 250-year-old temple (complete with priest) and a mansion that serves as the pool pavilion. The 32-acre garden with its flame trees, jacaranda, fountains, shaded courtyards and requisite peacocks creates a gorgeous oasis set on the edge of the Rajasthan desert. Local craftspeople used tiles and earth-colored bricks to build a library, two restaurants and the spa and other locals are employed to do nothing but clean brass or drive around in a horse and cart to carry guests from their rooms to their yoga classes and ayurvedic treatments.

Culinary demonstrations are offered every afternoon.

Although the resort, located five miles from the famous Pink City, is a destination unto itself (just viewing all the marble and stone carvings and handmade brass doors can keep you busy for an afternoon), there is plenty to do in the area. Julia and kids rode elephants and camels, gawked at Jaipur’s City Palace and toured the Amber Fort where a single candle lights up the entire Hall of Mirrors with its intricate well-placed mirrors.

Also nearby and open to visitors is an outpost of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, supported by the hotel.

To find out more about this award-winning 71-room resort that makes all guests feel like a maharaja, click here.



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