Darn Good Digs Review - Editors' Choice
Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, India: The Padmini Haveli Guesthome
Nominated By: Charlotte Tottenham at Tottie's Travels, New Delhi, India, February '13
Price Range: Rs 3200-4100 # of Rooms: 9 Kid-Friendly: yes
What makes The Padmini Haveli Guesthome so Darn Good? The two qualities that make this hotel so exquisite are its unbeatable location and the charming couple, Sudhir and Parvati, who own and run it.
Vibe: Very laid-back. Padmini truly embraces the rurality of this location. Borrow a mountain bike from the hotel and spend the day cycling around and exploring the area.
Location: To understand the incomparable location, one needs to understand that Chittorgarh is an eighth century fort set on a steep hill overlooking the town and surrounding countryside. The fort itself houses a small village of 4000 residents, and it is in the midst of their colourfully painted concrete homes and Shiva temples that the newly renovated haveli sits. Chittorgarh is located in the state of Rajasthan, approximately ninety kilometres northeast of Udaipur, and can be reached in two to three hours by car or train.
Rooms: The nine rooms in this brilliantly restored Rajasthani merchant’s house are beautifully decorated, the sheets are pristinely white with quilts from the Jaipuri-brand Anokhi, and the walls of every room sport stunning photographs of Chittorgarh. The owners have installed a cozy library with an abundance of coffee-table photo books and a heavenly rooftop terrace that boasts phenomenal panoramic views. All rooms are complete with air conditioning units, heaters, and hot water.
Food: The traditional Rajasthani food is one hundred percent vegetarian, delicious, and can be as spicy as you request. The menu is set and includes seasonal vegetables, lentils, and rice, accompanied by chappatis, puris, and parathas. The coffee is fresh and real (as opposed to instant!), something I found hard to come by in India. In keeping with the family environment of this small hotel, guests often dine together at a communal table in the courtyard.
Keep in Mind: With no restaurants or other hotels in the fort, Padmini Haveli is very much an escape destination. If you are looking for a buzzing hotel in a busy area, neither Chittorgarh nor Padmini are for you. Instead, retreat to this beautiful Haveli which feels, in all the right ways, like a home from home.