Bhopal isn’t a city that one often associates with tourism or luxury. But Bhopal and Madhya Pradesh have plenty to offer the tourist as I recently discovered. But first things first- I have to write about Jehan Numa Palace- a fantastic hotel in Bhopal.
I discovered Jehan Numa palace on Tripadvisor and Agoda when I was looking for accommodation options in Bhopal. The only other serious option was the Courtyard by Marriott (I drove past the mall where the Courtyard is and was quite happy that I chose Jehan Numa). The other option was the Jehan Numa Retreat which as the name indicates is a luxury spa hotel but I somehow ignored this as I was under the impression that it was much further away from the city (which it isn’t).
When travelling beyond a Tier 1 city in India you’re always wondering how hotels will measure up. Luxury often is just a label and service (especially in the so called old world establishments like palaces etc) can be skewed towards the white tourist. So I was apprehensive until I landed up at the hotel after which all my worries disappeared.
The Jehan Numa Palace is a former 19th century palace that has been converted into a hotel. Our room was clean (although the furniture and the decor is a bit 90s but this is perfectly fine with me- My number one priority is cleanliness) and comfortable. The bathroom was just the right size and all the fittings were easy to operate (especially for older people) and the bath tub was not ridiculously high or anything. Just perfect! The hotel also provided amenities from the Kama Ayurveda brand which I rate next to Forest Essentials so that was also a big yes for me.
The sprawling property is interspersed with numerous picturesque courtyards and gardens. The gardens were landscaped beautifully with many different flowers. You can spend almost an hour just wandering through the property. Or spend an afternoon reading a book in the garden. The hotel has a large swimming pool but it is currently under renovation (if you really want to swim you will be offered a complimentary transfer to the retreat property).
The corridors and the walls of the hotel are adorned with photographs that capture the history of the Palace. Amar from the hotel was kind enough to shed some light on the history of Bhopal and the palace. We never knew that Bhopal was ruled by queens (Nawab Begums) rather than kings. The palace itself was named by General Obaidullah Khan after his mother Nawab Sultan Jehan Begum. You can read more about the interesting history of the hotel here. The hotel also has a stable with four horses but apparently the horses bite 🙂
I only managed to eat at the Shahnama restaurant. But the breakfast and lunch spreads are quite sumptuous. Even if you are vegetarian you have many many options. The hotel also has an Italian restaurant and a signature ‘Under The Mango Tree’ barbeque restaurant. Quite simply you won’t go hungry here.
My regret is that I did not spend enough time in the hotel. I had already packed my Bhopal trip with day trips and such but this is a hotel where you can just relax and not feel pressured to do anything. I hope I will have the opportunity to visit again and also visit the other properties of the group in and around Bhopal.
*This review was not sponsored. Opinions are my own.