The main palace has 11 rooms; the neighbouring building, once the Estate Manager’s house, has a further 5. The palace rooms are relatively large and cost upward of Rs 7,000 a night; the ones in the Estate Manager’s house cost between Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 a night. Meals are extra- between Rs 200 and 300 per person per meal.
Our room, which was called Muzaffar Mahal (all the rooms are named after the Nawabs of Pataudi), was a large, airy one on the first floor. It had a private balcony, marble floors, plush sofas, a large divan, a wardrobe, pretty twin beds- with slender brass bedposts and lovely blue bedspreads- and lots of pictures. The pictures in the Pataudi Palace, by the way, were what I liked best. The entire palace was full of paintings and photographs- of cricketers, royalty, monuments and more. They were, almost without exception, amazingly interesting.
The attached bathroom was clean and nice, but had its minuses. The bathtub was very slippery, and there was a step within the bathroom. My parents’ bathroom, and the one my sister’s family got, didn’t have any of these disadvantages; on the other hand, they didn’t have bolts or locks either. So quite a bit of that "Don’t come in, I’m in here!" stuff at frequent intervals.
On a happier note: the food. Like other Neemrana hotels, here too there isn’t a restaurant; there’s a buffet, with a combination of not-too-bad continental fare, and pretty good Indian food. And yes- the best vanilla icecream I’ve ever had (and this from someone who doesn’t care much for vanilla icecream).
There isn’t much to do in Pataudi Palace- we spent most of our time chatting, walking in the garden, and looking forward to our next meal. I discovered that Papa’s pretty good at billiards, and that my nephew Deb has got much better at badminton. Ah, the joys of a relaxing holiday…
New Delhi, India
April 29, 2006
From journal Partytime at Pataudi