Who: Jodhpur’s Umaid Bhawan Palace
What: Named the world’s best hotel of 2016
When: 21 January 2016
Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, on 21 January 2016 won the award of the world’s best hotel at the Travellers’ Choice award organised by TripAdvisor.
The winners of Travellers’ Choice Award, which entered its 14th year, were determined on the basis of the reviews and opinions collected in a single year from TripAdvisor travellers worldwide.
About Umaid Bhawan Palace
• Named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, grandfather of the present owner Gaj Singh of the palace, Umaid Bhawan Palace has 347 rooms.
• The palace serves as the principal residence of the erstwhile Jodhpur royal family.
• Umaid Bhawan Palace was called Chittar Palace during its construction due to use of stones drawn from the Chittar hill where it is located.
• Henry Vaughan Lanchester was commissioned as the architect to prepare the plans for the palace.
• Ground for the foundations of the building was broken on 18 November 1929 by Maharaja Umaid Singh and the construction work was completed in 1943.
• The Palace was built to provide employment to thousands of people during the time of famine.
• The palace was designed as an extraordinary blend of western technology, and many Indian architectural features.
• The estimated cost of building the palace was 11 million rupees.
• When it opened its gilded doors in 1943, it was considered as one of the largest royal residences in the world.
• The palace was built with dun-coloured (golden – yellow) sandstone with two wings.
• Makrana marble has also been used and Burmese teak wood has been used for the interior wood work.
• The Palace is divided into three functional parts: the residence of the royal family, a luxury Taj Palace Hotel, and a Museum focusing on the 20th century history of the Jodhpur Royal Family.
According to TripAdvisor, the top 10 hotels for 2016 are:
• Umaid Bhawan Palace– Jodhpur, India
• Shinta Mani Resort – Siem Reap, Cambodia
• Bellevue Syrene – Sorrento, Italy
• Hanoi La Siesta Hotel & Spa – Hanoi, Vietnam
• Achtis Hotel – Afitos, Greece
• Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons – Great Milton, United Kingdom
• Mirihi Island Resort – Mirihi, Maldives
• Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts Aruba – Palm-Eagle Beach, Aruba
• Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa – Lance aux Epines, Grenada
• Hotel Ritta Höppner – Gramado, Brazil