Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 8 August 2020

Live like a maharajah: you can now book a stay at Jaipur's City Palace via Airbnb

From this month, guests can stay at a luxurious suite in the royal landmark, with proceeds going toward women's empowerment programmes

The term "live like a king" can apply to many five-star resorts, but one new accommodation option is allowing guests to do exactly that.

The City Palace of Jaipur, located in the Indian state of Rajasthan, will soon offer travellers the chance to spend the night in one of its luxurious suites, the first time the royal abode has opened up its doors for bookings.

The Gudliya Suite will be welcoming guests from Saturday, November 23, after joining the listings on Airbnb this week, making Jaipur's royal family the first regal hosts on the accommodation booking website.

The opportunity was made possible by Maharajah Sawai Padmanabh Singh, who has opened up the 300-year-old palace to guests in a bid to support female empowerment programmes.

Proceeds from bookings will go towards supporting the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation, a non-profit that runs initiatives aimed at aiding women and girls in Rajasthan's rural areas.

“I am thrilled that my family and I are partnering with Airbnb to bring the splendour of Rajasthan to life for travellers from around the world," said Maharajah Sawai in a statement. "I am happy that the experience of quintessential Indian hospitality will be shared with others."

The one-bedroom suite is located in the palace's private quarters, which until now have been used exclusively by the royal family and their invited guests. With a separate lounge, kitchen, bathroom and indoor swimming pool, there's plenty to do during a stay, with a private butler and guide on hand, the latter of whom can arrange curated experiences around Jaipur, from guided tours to shopping excursions.

Courtesy Airbnb
The palace is opening up its doors to overnight guests for the first time. Courtesy Airbnb

According to the Airbnb listing, the late Princess Diana of Wales and Oprah Winfrey have both stayed at the palace, and guests will also be able to tuck into authentic Rajasthani fare at City Palace’s in-house restaurant, Baradari, during their stay.

The palace itself was built in 1727 by Maharajah Sawai Jai Singh II. It features its own museum, which suite guests will get a guided tour of, as well as sprawling gardens dotted with resident peacocks.

Living like a royal doesn't come cheap, though, with a night at the City Palace coming in $8,000 (Dh29,385). However, for selected dates between November 23 and Tuesday, December 31, a night's stay will cost $1,000, with Airbnb contributing the outstanding $7,000 to the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation.

Updated: November 11, 2019 12:45 PM



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