Chand Baori is a 10th Century step well on 11 levels and 20 metres deep. Absolutely marvelous and the place to yourself. The village of Abhaneri has a has a small palace and a temple, the villagers live in mud huts, are very friendly and will proudly show you their home.
It's a detour off the road from Jaipur to Agra close to Fatehpur Sikri on the Golden Triangle route. Ignore driver resistance that its too far etc as most have never been there!
Jaipur is a bustling, hectic, dusty place full of history and culture so you need an oasis of calm at the end of a day's sight-seeing. Arya Niwas is just that.
We couldn't believe our luck at finding such a gem of a hotel among the hundreds on offer in Jaipur. We weren't the only ones, though, as it was hyper busy in reception with people coming and going... this was the only place in India (so far) where the staff on reception were fast, efficient and courteous. Checking in and out was easy and they helped us with transport and maps. A number of people seemed to be staying at the hotel on a long-term basis.
We stayed twice, with a trip to Agra in between (see my review of the Tourists Rest House there). We were offered a choice of rooms on our first visit, the super deluxe with a balcony and the deluxe without. The cheaper room was twice the size of the first, high-ceilinged and prettily decorated in Rajasthani style, with a bath and shower. It was high up on the roof, overlooking an atrium. To get to the restaurant we walked through a trickling water feature on the roof and peered over balustrading into the garden below. It was a lovely place to sit and relax.
Food here is from a self-service canteen (tip: take a pen and write out the order yourself - it'll be quicker and you are less likely to have mistakes in your order). The food was a little hit and miss, but mostly very good indeed. We ate in the garden under the stars at night and in the shade of the flowery border in the morning.
A great choice in a great city the Arya Niwas is so good we would go back again.
During a two week trip in India back in November 2007 we stayed at the Samode Haveli in Jaipur. It's perfectly balanced, it has all the luxury you could want, matched with lots of heritage and charm. Probably the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in, a beautiful place.
Gangapol Rd, Jaipur, Rajasthan
+91(0)141 263 2407
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