Nestled in the buzzing Pink City, Hotel Diggi Palace serves as a vibrant destination that pays homage to Rajasthan’s culture and priceless heritage. By Bayar Jain
Road trips can get monotonous at times. Long stretches of grey tarmac can lead to melancholy, the mood only exacerbated by a harsh summer sun. Luckily, my five-hour-long drive from New Delhi to Jaipur ends with a burst of colours at Hotel Diggi Palace.
Exploring Diggi Palace, the perfect amalgamation of Rajasthani culture and contemporary aesthetics
Dating back to 1860, Hotel Diggi Palace was built by Shri Thakur Saheb Pratap Singh Ji Diggi, a member of the erstwhile ruling family of the Diggi principality. In 1991, the haveli flung its doors open to the public, transforming into a heritage hotel. It has long served as an apt venue of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival. “Over the years, we’ve hosted many personalities here at Diggi, such as the Dalai Lama,” says K John Wilson, front office manager, as I check in. Its glittering guest list notwithstanding, the main blue structure of the property continues to wear an understated elegance, which resonates with the city’s heritage and culture. The staff, I notice, serve all visitors with grace and humility.
I walk past the blue reception, only to be greeted with a courtyard donning summer yellow shades and handpainted nature-inspired motifs, like leafy vines and bright lotuses. I’m surrounded by doors; the rooms are spread across three floors. At the centre sits a small fountain, quietly gurgling in tune with the chirping of birds. With a stroll across the lawns, past the fuchsia-coloured all-day dining restaurant Baradari, and beyond the arched doorways, I reach another set of rooms draped in vibrant colours.
Spread over 18 acres, Hotel Diggi Palace offers accommodations in 65 units, each of which has been thematically designed. The Heritage Rooms remind me of an older time, while the Palace Suite comes with its own set of amenities. The Courtyard Suites, which flaunt a blend of heritage and contemporary aesthetics, are equipped with a personal terrace. My room has a four-poster bed and a standing mirror accentuating the Rajasthani vibe of the property.
Despite the blistering sun, Hotel Diggi Palace’s rainbow hues shine. The grass is blanketed by fallen leaves and bougainvillaea flowers, most of which are tirelessly swept away by the hotel staff throughout the day. Sitting under a fairylights-lit tree at the open-air restaurant, La Brass, I find myself transfixed by the natural surrounds. Many peacocks prance about on the verdant lawns, as do squirrels that forage and playfully run up towering mahogany trees. Another fountain gurgles away, drumming up the perfect background score for the scene that’s unfolding.
The outdoor spaces of Hotel Diggi Palace, however, aren’t the only beautiful facets of the property. I follow one of the peacocks as it leads me to another quaint corner of the hotel: a library. The small space is stripped off all colourful decor, the many books on its shelves taking centre stage.
In stark contrast to this, Darbaar Hall is one of the most opulent spaces in the hotel. Picture colourful stained-glass windows sieving the sunlight, casting a surreal glow onto woven carpets. Green floral patterns and hand-painted vines adorn the yellow walls, while multiple chandeliers add a touch of regality. With a large, regal hall such as this, it comes as no surprise that Hotel Diggi Palace serves as a destination for weddings, exhibitions, and festivals.
I’m given a taste of these festivities on the following morning of my stay. I wake up to dhol beats echoing from the lawns. In an instant, the quiet demeanour of the previous day is replaced with revelry. The lawns have been covered with pop-up stalls and colourful dupattas. The stage is set for a wedding: a baraat is ready to make its grand entry through the arched doors. Later at night, La Brass pulsates with a similar energy. All of Jaipur seems to have come here for the party; the conversations drown in thunderous Bollywood beats. Even amid this cacophony, I’m certain of one thing: melancholy can never be a guest at Hotel Diggi Palace.
All major cities in India are connected by regular flights to Jaipur. The Jaipur International Airport also offers flights to overseas destinations like Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, and Muscat. Hotel Diggi Palace is approximately 10 kilometres away from this airport.
There are 65 luxurious rooms and suites, each of which is thematically designed. Doubles from INR 8,000 (plus taxes); hoteldiggipalace.com
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