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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

Ikaki Niwas: a haveli-style hotel with a family touch

You can fling open your windows to see a beautiful park…

By Jaideo Rathore
Owner of Ikaki Niwas and the Ikaki Bagh Model Organic Farm project

I was born at Ikaki Niwas and my family have lived here for around 60 years (although I’m not that old). It’s an old haveli house where inside you’ll meet my mother, my father who’s a retired doctor, my wife and two children. We’ve gone beyond a homestay with 14 cosy rooms and a small pool. One of the great things, aside from the close proximity to all the major monuments, is that in the morning you can fling open your windows to see a beautiful park where you can hear the chirping of parrots and sparrows. It’s probably the only hotel in Jaipur where you can do this!

Breakfast and dinner are served on our rooftop terrace with all the food coming from our 20-acre farm on the outskirts of the city which grows ingredients like mustard used for oil, papayas, guavas and green veggies. I’m a big-time foodie and it is almost impossible for me to pick a favourite from our menu but for the sake of it there’s a signature dish I love using gourd (Indian baby pumpkin). We dry it – in Rajasthan that’s easy because it’s so hot – and then we make it into a vegetable curry. You could try making it on a cooking class with my wife or sister before enjoying dinner all together.

If you’re staying for a while, we like to take guests on these neighbourhood walks. Say I’m sitting in the lobby reading a magazine and we bump into each other, I’ll say ‘hey are you free? Let’s go for a run in the park or a yoga session’. I also love to ride horses at the farm where people are always welcome to join me. It’s just good to connect.

The whole experience of hosting is so enriching for me because I get to meet people from all over the world. We had this one guest who was meant to stay for two nights and ended up staying for two weeks and we became such good friends I also visited her in LA. I used to wonder why people are just so happy when they visit. Maybe it’s the encounters with the family or the positive vibe, who knows but God has been very kind to everyone who visits.

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Alfred & Jaideo Rathore

As a philanthropist and Master in business, Jaideo Rathore is passionate about enhancing the lives of others and protecting the environment for future generations. He is the owner of Ikaki Niwas, an award-winning boutique hotel in his home-town Jaipur, and Managing Director of the trail-blazing Ikaki Bagh Model Organic Farm project.
Jaideo Rathore, Owner of Ikaki Niwas and the Ikaki Bagh Model Organic Farm project