Shikarbadi Hotel, located on the outskirts of Udaipur on Goverdhan Vilas, used to be a hunting retreat for the royal family. In fact, for those who don’t know, Shikarbadi literally translates as ‘hunting lodge’. The property is owned by the HRH Group of Hotels, India’s only chain of heritage hotels and resorts under private ownership.
Like most HRH properties, Shikarbari is not as well maintained as it should be; with shabby patchwork taking away from its potential for awe-inspiring rustic beauty. The road to the hotel is also pretty bad. Its location however mercifully takes you far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The entrance is flanked by large lawns on both sides. The entrance to the actual building is unassuming, there is no porch, the reception is tucked away in a corner and there are no valets to assist you with parking. The cottages are average at the best. The construction is a mix of stone masonry and wood work. The rooms are small but are supplied with all the basic amenities and it can be said with ease that the place could use a facelift.
The hotel has only one kitchen which serves a restaurant called “Cheetal”. However, it has a variety of options for seating; namely the pool side, the garden and indoors. The menu is similar to what you find at all HRH properties which is essentially multi-cuisine with an emphasis on Indian and Mewari cuisine; and the food is pretty decent.
While HRH is not known for polished employees, the quality of service is commendable. The staff understands hospitality and presents it in their own ‘homely’ fashion. The extra effort they make is surely worthy of a mention and appreciation.
Shikarbadi is characterized by open spaces and the feel of a wildlife retreat with animals such as deer and wild boars roaming free around the property. Even though it might not be luxurious, serve must-have food or have many activities around, Shikarbadi is great for weekend getaways if you’re looking simply to unwind.