Overnight stay in a majestic and historic Rajasthani palace
I arrived at the Deogarh Mahal at dusk, when the palace lights illuminated the architectural details of the "Abode of the Gods." Deogarh is a 16th century Mewar palace that has been converted to a heritage hotel and remains partially occupied by the royal family. After being escorted to my two-story room with a spiral staircase, sweeping courtyard and village views, I decided to explore the grounds. I first followed the path to the music and bonfire in one of the courtyards, where traditional Rajasthani dancers were performing with live musicians (a daily feature). Often, members of the royal family are also in attendance, greeting the hotel guests and sharing stories about the property and family lineage. I then continued to the rooftop restaurant for dinner, with grand views of the lake and village below. The wine list and tandoori platters were grand, and I slowly eased into living the royal life. The restful sleep was welcome, as was the wi-fi. In the morning, as I enjoyed a cup of steaming chai, I watched the monkeys play on the balcony outside my window. The chants of a nearby temple and smell of incense from the open hallways added to the charm of the palace experience. Because of its remote location, I recommend staying at Deogarh Mahal either when visiting Udaipur (two hours away) or en-route from Jaipur - Udaipur. Also, book ahead for the nightly rural ramble, a jeep-ride through the countryside.