Our featured tour of the week is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Tour.
One of my absolute favourite movies about India is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Movie. The Judi Dench and Maggie Smith starring British movie introduced a new India to millions of people – a more ‘real’ India not often portrayed in film and media – an India without the stereotypical misrepresentations of snake charmers and rope walkers, without the third world beggars, poverty and pollution.
Our Marigold Hotel Movie tour is also a ‘real’ introduction to India in just 11 days. Visiting the main sights portrayed in both of the movies, we also stay at three hotels that were used as film sets.
In both movies, the residents of the Marigold Hotel often visited The Viceroys Club. This charming palace is actually a Heritage Hotel just outside Jaipur. Built in 1872, the current Thakur (Lord) is the 6th generation of the family to live here.
The royal family manage the hotel personally and have also created a fascinating museum which holds the collections of the family dating back to the 19th century – a collection including diaries, paintings, carriages, arms and more. The hotel is also renowned for its cuisine, with dishes prepared from secret family recipes.
In both of the fabulous movies, the Marigold hotel was portrayed as being located in Rajasthan’s capital city of Jaipur. Street scenes outside the hotel showed busy markets and bazaars with the residents taking excursions into and working in the city.
In actual fact, the hotel that was used as the set for the Marigold Hotel is not in Jaipur at all, but is located a 75-90 minute drive from the southern Rajasthan city of Udaipur.
Ravla (home of the chieftain or lord) Khempur is a small heritage hotel more famous for its Marwari horses than as ‘The Marigold Hotel’. Nor is it as run-down as it was portrayed in the movies. Exuding a rustic charm, with just 12 rooms, Ravla Khempur is still the residence of the horse-breeding regal family. With some modern touches (a new swimming pool and restaurant built in the last few years next to the horse stables), rooms are comfortable and decked out in local Rajasthani decor. Whilst not luxurious or 5-star, Ravla Khempur is an elegant country residence that makes for a delightful stay for a couple of nights. And if you enjoy being around horses, being able to get up close and personal with some of the magnificent Marwaris on the property is only a bonus.
Our fun fact for this tour is a story told to us by the manager of the hotel in Udaipur that was used for the Udaipur scenes in the movie, and is also our hotel in Udaipur for this tour – Udai Garh.
I don’t know if this is actually true, but I like to believe it is.
Here’s how the scene goes:
Evelyn: “I just want a glass of water…” (drains glass)
Madge: “That was a gin and tonic.”
Evelyn: (breathless) “I know that now…”
Apparently the scene was never scripted this way. The drink was never meant to be a G&T, but water. As a prank, the water was substituted with Gin & Tonic for the take. During the take, Judi downed the G&T, believing it to be water – so her reaction on downing the drink was genuine surprise.
Spend several nights in these three hotels with us on our Best Exotic Marigold Hotel tour.
The next departure of this trip is 6th December 2020.
For more details or to contact us visit the webpage.