The desert state of India is one of the most beautiful places in the sub-continent and offers a very special and unique experience. My wife and I were very fortunate to spend two weeks in Rajasthan last month. To experience it's true flavour and the local culture, we took a taxi and drove a whooping twenty five hundred kilometres within the state!
If you are traveling through Rajasthan, then there are two experiences that you must not miss: staying at a resort in a palace setting, ie an old palace or a thakur's haveli converted into a boutique hotel; and second, spending a night under luxurious tents from the king's era of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, beautifully carved out into resorts.
We obviously did a lot of research, went through all of the material available on the internet and read every available book with respect to accommodation. And thankfully, we were able to find and experience some of these very exclusive properties :)
Rajasthan was a state of the kings. If you travel on the national highway today, you will see a fort almost after every fifty kilometres. After the British rule ended, a lot of the descendents of the kings and thakurs decided to convert the forts and palaces of their fore-fathers into luxurious resorts. Staying at such properties is an amazing experience, as you can re-live the olden times, walk through the same corridors as the kings, and understand the way of their lives. Sleeping in the same rooms as the kings, give you a majestic feeling of the whole place. Most generally, these palaces have a location of top of a hill or otherwise; and offer breath-taking views of everything around them!
infinity pool, on top of a palace resort, surrounded by hills on 3 sides (jaipur)
suite patio with endless quaint views of surrounding farms (jodhpur)
And then the tents! Its a "wow" experience. These tents were used by the kings on their safaris, or hunting expeditions. This tradition has been very delicately preserved by some of their descendents. Some of the resorts in Rajasthan provide you with the exclusive opportunity to experience living in such tents! Plain canvas tents, with a quiet environment around them. I guess Rajasthan is the only place in India (and prolly the whole world) which offers such an exclusive experience! Its wonderful to walk on the floors made of mud, and to look through the doors and windows of canvas. And don't worry, most of these tents offer a nice fully equipped bathroom and full amenities; so you kinda have the best of both worlds :)
hunting tents on top of a reservoir (jodhpur)