One of Rajasthan's newest palace revitalization projects is the Villa Palladio. It opened in 2022 in India's Pink City and quickly became the star of fashion and travel magazines with its iconic high-colored design.
Jaipur, the largest city in the state, is home to four million people, and it's famed for the shades of pink that dominate its architectural scape.
The striking Villa Palladio hides among the pretty Aravali Hills by the Dhundh River, about 25 minutes away from the busy streets of Jaipur.
Barbara Miolini, the owner and orchestrator of blending Indian palaces with Italian flair, started her entrepreneurial journey with the color-saturated Bar Palladio in 2014.
As the enterprise grew into an international success that led to well-knowledged travelers coming for a penne all'arrabbiata, she set her mind to the next big thing.
Miolini's years of experience in St Moritz working at five-star hotels and inspiration from the Renaissance architecture in the Venice region has paved the way for a dream boutique hotel.
Together with Danish interior designer Marie Anne Oudejans, they set on a quest to repeat the success of Bar Palladio, but on a larger scale and with the extra challenge of people staying overnight.
That picture-perfect style with strong Italian influence and a hint of Wes Anderson that set them apart had to be practical and sturdy enough to pass the test of time as a hotel.
The black-and-white checkered floors of the terrace with the palace's richly ornamented creme facade are fairytale-like.
The beautiful arched windows are protected from Rajesthan's intense sun by Italian-style canopy awnings.
Inside, the monochrome checkered tiles turn red and white, and everything becomes full of colors.
Quirky details, like the golden pineapple chandeliers, calm the elegant palace into a feel-good space where perfectionism and the quality of materials are not intimidating anymore.
The hallucinogenic amount of red and white-striped floors, walls, and ceilings prepare you for the revelation of the cinematic-level suites that look so unreal you'll hesitate to touch the beautiful fabrics of the bed sheet.
The nine-bedroom property feels like a private villa with so much indoor and outdoor space available to use for each guest that you barely notice your fellow guests.
The bedroom with a twin setup has a palm tree wall décor each, and everything else is mirrored, too, so neither of you will get the "better side".
The floral patterns and red-washed surfaces continue in the bathroom, where a beautifully carved freestanding bathtub takes the podium.
The hotel's motto is "The food must be good". It's based on classic Italian principles (and recipes, along with some Rajasthani), sourced right from the on-site organic gardens, and the rest is brought in daily by local farmers.
The chefs are busy from the morning cooking up the daily menu and preparing to satisfy the most demanding taste buds of their much-respected guests.
Another dimension of the dining experience is the unique setting, where a window through the building's pretty arches gives a glimpse of Villa Palladio's garden and the surrounding hills.
Reflection of the arched pool house in the refreshing water of the hotel's pool is one of the many places where relaxation sessions will only be broken by the sudden urge to take as many photos as possible.
The Dolce Vita continues in the garden, where handcrafted pieces of furniture are so elegant that you'll mistake them for exhibition artworks in a museum.