Rambagh Palace, Bhawani Singh Rd, Rambagh, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302005, India
Photo courtesy of Verandah Cafe
Relax Like RoyaltySurrounded by acres of manicured gardens, marbled colonnades, and flower-filled pools, the complex of the Taj Rambagh Palace hotel—once the home of the Maharajah of Jaipur—is one of the most serene spots in the Pink City. Even if you’re not staying here, come soak up the history—and escape the city bustle—with a lunch, afternoon tea, or a light supper at the al fresco Verandah Café, where the tables are arrayed under archways and out onto the lawn. Come during the day and you might catch a glimpse of the hotel’s signature VIP guest welcome ceremony (performed by colorfully painted elephants), or call ahead to find out if there will be a dance or musical performance on the lawn in the evening. The menus feature both Indian and international dishes, with choices ranging from sampler thali platters and ratatouille-topped potato pancakes to charred German bratwurst and Caribbean chicken salad. Afternoon tea harkens back to the royal days with traditional English scones, finger sandwiches, and a tower of freshly-baked sweets; go for the Champagne add-on for an extra-regal experience.