Bundi Hotels : Haveli Braj Bhushanjee
Haveli Braj Bhushanjee, one of the more popular Bundi hotels, is an authentic, 200 year old, Rajasthani haveli and is a great place to stay in Bundi. We found it listed in LP and was also one of the 2 recommended hotels by the staff at Jaiwana Haveli, Udaipur. When we got there, we checked out a couple of other cheaper places but none of them had the ambiance that Haveli Braj Bhushanjee had. So we chose to stay here and had a great 4-night stay.
The haveli is located perfectly, in the center of town and right at the base of the lovely City Palace. So walking to the palace, fort and museum, or to restaurants and the markets, never took more than a few minutes. Moreover, excellent views of the lit City Palace can be had from the terrace of the haveli.
For a 200-year-old structure, the haveli is beautifully maintained and has updated plumbng. The walls of the haveli have fantastic murals and the place is decorated with lovely antique sculptures. The inner courtyard has a lovely swing, which is ideal to while away evenings. The main lobby has lovely Belgium-glass hurricane lamps hanging from the ceiling – they add to the color of the place. The murals in the dining hall on the upper floor are exceptionally beautiful.
Our double-room was really nice with a large double-bed, a long seating area next to windows and a good-sized bathroom. Hot water was provided round the clock through solar- heated tanks placed on the terrace. The window panes were all of colored glass, which let in lovely colored sunlight during the day. There was a really small colored television as well, which was placed in the room only after we requested for it. Apparently, monkeys roam freely on the rooftops of Bundi and tend to knock down or change the direction of antennaes. So the haveli guys placed the TV after stating a disclaimer that they cannot guarantee the availability of channels. Food was the only problem at the haveli. The prices were outrageous (more than double of what was being charged elsewhere in Bundi) and was available only upon advance request. For instance, dinner meals were to be ordered before 6pm and would be served in the dining hall later in the evening. Because of these restrictions we ate most of our meals outside.
The website states that there are hair-dryers in all the room and that there’s wi-fi connectivity. We didn’t find either of these!
The family that owns and operates the haveli lives on the 2nd floor. We met with Mr. Mehta who converted the haveli to a hotel back in 1989 when there were no other hotels in the area and tourism hadn’t really touched Bundi. The haveli is named after his grandfather. Those days his place was mainly used as a base to explore Chittor or Ranthambore National Park. He spent quite a while with us during our stay there, showing us around his lovely home and also generally talking of myriad things, from the state of tourism in Rajasthan to world economy. He was a very pleasant and intelligent person to speak with.
Overall, we highly recommend Haveli Braj Bhushanjee as the best place to stay in Bundi, especially if one is looking to stay in a well-maintained, authentic haveli without shelling out too much money.
Rating: 7 out of 10 (would have been higher if it had provided better food options)