narendra bhawan

Living the Royal Life at Narendra Bhawan

An overnight train ride got us into the city of Bikaner in Rajasthan. We were received warmly by the elegantly dressed Ram on the railway platform; right at that moment I had a notion that it was going to be quite an affair. The short trip of about 10-15 minutes from Bikaner station to the hotel in a swanky car was as interesting as it could be – thanks to Ram for enlightening us with a brief insight into the city’s origins and 500 years of history.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a bugle welcome and walked into one of the sitting areas. The first sight of Narendra Bhawan gave us a feeling that it would be an experience that we never encountered before.

Source: Ozzy

First sight of Narendra Bhawan

Built to resonate the lifestyle of a “Maharaja” (king), H.H. Narendra Singhji, Narendra Bhawan is a spectacle in the desert city of Bikaner. Since we had arrived quite early in the morning, we were greeted with tea, coffee, snacks – just like anybody welcoming guests into their home. First thing that catches the eye in this majestic palace of a hotel is the collection of art and artifacts which adorns every nook and corner. We were informed that most of these were from the personal collection of Narendra Singhji that he acquired through his travels all around the world.

Soon after the morning cuppa and introductions, we were escorted through the amazing hall to the wonderfully placed elevator behind the red baby piano.

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Elevator is at the end of the spectacular hall behind the piano!

A swift elevator ride get us to our floor and we just couldn’t help ourselves but click pictures of the amazing concepts along the way right up to our room.

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Area leading up to the room

If the experience until now was to be believed, we were in for a surprise as soon as the door to our room was shown to us. It was just awe-inspiring. Elegant, shiny, spacious and of course luxurious is how I would define it.

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Our Princely Room!

A quick shower and a little nap later, we were greeted for breakfast at the restaurant. Let’s just say even a “king” would have been stuffed after that meal. Balveer, Abhishek, and all the other service staff members made sure that we were taken care off in every way. The scrumptious breakfast consisting of traditional Rajasthani cuisine was as delectable as it looked.

Source: Ozzy

Breakfast at Narendra Bhawan

Soon after the amazing breakfast we headed out for the traditional Haveli Tour of Bikaner guided by the VP of the hotel Mr. Siddharth Yadav. It was a trip down history as the havelis are still standing in immaculate condition even after 200 years of construction. These havelis belonged to the merchants of Bikaner who were invited to live on the land by the king some 350 years ago. The notable fact about these old havelis is that they were designed by architects from Britain. Now that speaks volumes of the kind of influence and opulence these merchants enjoyed. Mr. Yadav (Sid) shared his knowledge of the area along with the historical significance. This is one of the tours Narendra Bhawan organizes for their guests.

Source: Ozzy

Haveli Tour

Source: Ozzy

Haveli Tour

The Haveli Tour made sure that we worked up quite an appetite, so we headed back to the hotel for a lunch which we knew would be on a grand scale.

Lunch was quite a surprise as it was Literary themed and consisted of a seven course meal. Each course was derived from a famous book in history and made for a perfect accompaniment. It was literally difficult to finish up the complete meal!.

Source: Ozzy

Literary Lunch

Following a wonderful lunch we met up with a couple of local artists who are extremely well-known for their artwork all over the world. The artists brought with them a few of their immaculate art work for us to see and admire. Narendra Bhawan does believe in enhancing the reputation of the city’s various types of dying art-form. A lot of the pieces that can be seen in the hotel have been commissioned by these artists.

A relaxed evening was in store for us at the Gaushala where unorthodox cocktails were served alongside some wonderful conversations with fellow guests and Mr. Yadav. Sid as we like to call him is surely a delight and engages his guests with conversations pertaining to all kinds of aspects.

Source: Ozzy

Onyx table at Gaushala

As the evening lingered on into the darkness, we were efficiently moved into the P&C dining room where another surprise was curated for us – Blind Dinner. Although we were a little apprehensive initially after putting on the blindfold, Sid assured us that our culinary preferences had been considered. I would be lying if I say that I did not enjoy it. We enjoyed every bit of this experience and cant wait to indulge in it again. To be able to eat a meal without the sense of sight is really liberating as we only concentrate on the food that has been laid out in front for us to devour.

Source: Ozzy

P&C Dining Table

Following the amazing dinner experience, it was quite relaxing to take a dip in the rooftop pool along with a cup of hot tea before retiring to our comfortable bed.

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Comfort at its best!

Next morning, after a grand breakfast we went out and about for the specially curated Royal Tour again guided by  Mr. Yadav.

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Happy breakfast faces

The tour started off with a visit to the first fort of Bikaner which is known as Bhikaji ki Tekri and houses the first cenotaph of Bikaner city. Built in early 15th century by Rao Bhikaji, the fort is quite small and has stood the test of time.

Source: Ozzy

The cenotaph at Bhikaji ki Tekri!

After the first fort we were taken for a short ride towards the famous Laxmi Niwas Palace (LNP). Although the area is famous for LNP, the vicinity also houses Lallgarh Palace as well as Saidul Museum. Our walkabout started with the Saidul Museum which showcases the history of Bikaner and its royal heritage.

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Exhibit at Saidul Museum

The museum houses some spectacular exhibits which can make a visitor gawk in awe. It is an amazing place to learn about the history of Bikaner and India.

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Saidul Musuem Exhibits

A visit to the Lallgarh Palace followed the museum visit, and it was mind numbing. The Victorian era decor, high ceilings, well ventilated, beautiful artifacts adorn this palace.

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Lallgarh Palace

The pool area in the Lallgarh Palace kept almost everyone busy as it was the perfect spot to click amazing pictures. Although a dip must have been refreshing too!

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Pool at Lallgarh Palace

Almost all the rooms at the palace has some sort of a hunting relic, which goes to show the favourite pastime of royal family members. It can be overwhelming for some people who has never seen a taxidermy stuffed animal.

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Hunting memories of the Royals!

The Royal Tour culminated with a tour of Laxmi Niwas Palace followed by a gracious lunch in the Royal Dining Hall. Laxi Niwas Palace is a quintessential heritage hotel and is considered to be one of the best in its category. The pictures say it all!

Source: Ozzy

Laxmi Niwas Palace Entrance

LNP is the ultimate luxury setting that us (common folks) can only dream of being in rest assured living in one. The palace consist of beautifully curated rooms and common areas. The intricate designs can give any modern building a run for its money. The ‘game room’ here was probably both elegant and scary at the same time.

Source: Ozzy

Game Room at Laxmi Niwas Palace

The Royal Dining Hall hosted us for a Royalty inspired luncheon complete with a menu from the bygone era. The setting was something out of a movie for sure.

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Royal Dining Hall, Laxmi Niwas Palace

The Royal feast was perfectly complimented by some vintage wine from their collection and the Bikaner platter which was served put us in awe straight away.

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Plat du Bikaner

The amazing meal was casually followed with some sunset photography session.

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Sunset shot of the palace courtyard

The tour revolving around the royals was truly a spectacle which we would never forget for sure. A history lesson learnt and experienced as well.

In the evening, a 40 minutes drive out of the city brought us to a secluded spot by a lake for a wonderful Durbari dinner. The word Durbari comes from the word Durbar which means the royal court where kings would host their guests. Since it was a royal affair, the theme was all-white and boy was it an experience. Narendra Bhawan takes pride in organizing such amazing experiences.

Source: Ozzy

Durbari Dinner by the Lake

Amazing cocktails followed by mouth watering delicacies made sure that everyone present was in ‘high-spirits’ for sure. The ride back to the hotel was followed by a late night dip in the rooftop pool and much needed sleep in the super comfy bed.

After a sound sleep and hearty breakfast we were ready to explore the Junagarh Fort. Barely a 10 minute ride got us to the fort and we embarked on an epic walkabout through the 500 years of the city’s heritage. A couple of hours and hundreds of photographs later, we were reminded of our specially curated Marwari lunch.

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Marwari Lunch at Narendra Bhawan

After the scrumptious lunch we had some free time to kill, so a photo-op of the hotel was inevitable –

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Narendra Bhawan Courtyard

As evening approached, we were saddened by the fact that we had to leave to catch our train back. But we could not leave before an extravagant meal and cocktails of course. After guzzling down cocktails with Sid and Karan (President of the hotel) along with some lovely discussions we were fed a wonderful farewell dinner.

Source: Ozzy

Narendra Bhawan at night

Thank you for the wonderful experience Narendra Bhawan, cant wait to get back into the lap of luxury! If you would like to visit the city and live the royal life, then Narendra Bhawan is surely the way to go.

Booking Info –

Website – https://narendrabhawan.com/

Phone – +91-7827-151 151

Email – reservation@narendrabhawan.com

NOTE: We were invited to for a press trip to Narendra Bhawan, however the thoughts and opinions mentioned are totally our own. 

15 Comments

  • Ambuj Saxena September 25, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I am so delighted to read your review of narendra bhawan. I guess this level of luxury and opulence is too hard to resist! Thanks for a well worded review!

    Reply
    • Ozzy September 25, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you Ambuj! But honestly no amount of adjectives can even compare to the level of luxury we were ushered upon. If you are heading to Bikaner any time, do make sure to visit Narendra Bhawan. You wont be disappointed.

      Reply
  • Candy September 25, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    This really does sound like the Royal life! I was really fascinated by the lunch you had that was literary-themed. I have never heard of such a unique dining experience and now I am on a mission to find something similar in the area I live in (if it even exists here!).

    Reply
    • Ozzy September 25, 2017 at 6:21 pm

      The literary lunch was a fun surprise for us as well. Never experienced it before. You should try it out when you visit Bikaner.

      Reply
  • Svetoslav Dimitrov September 25, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Ah, what a majestic place this is! I fell in love the onyx table and the elevator behind the piano – so elegant!

    I agree with Ambuj – adjectives don’t do the place justice!

    However, I have one for the lunches – scrumptious!

    Reply
    • Ozzy September 25, 2017 at 6:22 pm

      It is absolutely fabulous fr sure. The lunches, dinners, tours, stay, everything was just impeccably luxurious.

      Reply
  • Sarah Kim September 26, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Wow this hotel looks absolutely epic! I love all the grand detail especially of the baby grand piano itself. If I were there, I’d play that all day long!

    Reply
    • Ozzy September 27, 2017 at 6:28 am

      They have a massive collection of eclectic as well as contemporary stuff. An art enthusiast would go berserk in this hotel. 🙂

      Reply
  • Megan Jerrard September 27, 2017 at 12:34 am

    Wow what a majestic accommodation, you can definitely tell that Narendra Bhawan was built to resonate the lifestyle of a King – the courtyard looks so surreal, it’s incredible that they’ve kept it so preserved! I love that the property includes historic tours for their guests, the Haveli Tour sounds really fascinating – and a great way to work up an appetite for more amazing cuisine! What an incredible opportunity to take a royal tour during your stay too – I would love to visit those palaces, Lallgarh Palace in particular looks stunning.

    You got the royal treatment indeed!

    Reply
    • Ozzy September 27, 2017 at 6:36 am

      Hey Megan, yes we were totally treated like royalty. Lallgarh Palace and Laxmi Niwas Palace are within the same compound and makes for an amazing combination.

      Reply
  • This Epic World October 7, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Ooo this is fabulous! Who doesn’t want a peek into the royal lifestyle? A royal hotel like this is as close as it gets for common folk like us. I’ve been to Rajasthan a couple of times. Gonna add this to the list for next time.

    Reply
    • Ozzy October 10, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Narendra Bhawan is a must visit to experience true royalty.

      Reply
  • Mamta November 16, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Thank you Ozzy for sharing great information with us. Everything looks looks absolutely epic. 🙂

    Reply
  • Ozzy November 17, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Hey Mamta, thank you for the appreciative words!
    Yes it was indeed an epic experience for sure. Narendra Bhawan is highly recommended for a stay in Bikaner.

    Reply
  • Johny Jackson January 18, 2018 at 8:14 am

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    Reply

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