The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Film Location Tour

At a Glance

DELHI – AGRA – KANOTA – JAIPUR – SHAHPURA – KHEMPUR – UDAIPUR -MUMBAI

The Best Exotic Marigold Film Location Tour.

Have you seen the films ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ I and II. Take a tour through Rajasthan that takes in the highlights of the state and also features locations used in the film; this is the tour for you. You will even get the chance to stay at the famous hotels featured in both films.

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It’s true when they say that travel is as much a journey within as it is without, and the 2011 comedy drama ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ and its sequel ‘The Second Best Marigold Hotel’ are a great case in point. It’s a film that is as intimate (as the pensioners from the UK embark on a path of reflection and self-discovery) as it is grand (being set in Rajasthan).

This tour seeks to retrace the journey of Evelyn (Dame Judy Dench), Muriel (Maggie Smith), Douglas (Bill Nighy), Graham (Tom Wilkinson), Madge (Celia Imrie) and others through India’s most regal and colorful state Rajasthan, that has indeed become a shorthand for Indian exotica.

Not only will you experience the sometimes-kitschy-sometimes-regal charm of Jaipur and Udaipur, but you will also visit Ravla Khempur, a tribal chieftain’s former palace that was the chief setting of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

In the state capital, Jaipur, soak in the grandeur of the Amber fort, experience an overload of fragrance and color in the local flower market (you can even buy a marigold chain like Sonny does in the movie for his girlfriend!). Marvel at the City Palace and its excellent museum or shop in the bazaar.

The Heritage Hotel Castle Kanota, which served as the Viceroy Club in the film, is also located in Jaipur. With its airy rooms, period furniture, and bold colour palette, this almost-nine-decade-old property is a great place to enjoy Rajput hospitality.

Get ready for some breathtaking views at our next stop, Udaipur where you will stay at Jagat Niwas Palace, where the rooftop was used in the film. Udaipur with its grand Palaces, Havelis, and temples, it is a photographer’s delight. A boat ride on the shimmering Lake Pichola, which reflects the surrounding Aravalli ranges, is also a fun experience to be had.

And, of course, not forgetting Ravla Khempur, a heritage hotel set in a rural village near the town of Mavli.  The heritage hotel was used as the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in both films. Apart from its royal architecture, you may also still be able to see some of the fake sets used in the films.

Not only will you visit and stay in many locations from the film, but we have added on the must-see location Agra for a sunset visit to the Taj Mahal.

While in Agra, we can arrange a visit to the bear sanctuary who are doing great work with bears, elephants and other wildlife. 

“This is a fantastic tour for first-time visitors to India. Fans of the film or not, as each location offers so much for new eyes on India. The colours, sounds and smells …. I love India.

Having visited the real ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Ravla Khempur in May’19 visiting Hemant and his family who have now moved to the hotel, I have seen some spectacular changes.

*Feel at home with guest interaction from Hemant Khempur and his family at his ancestrial home.Learn to ride a Mewar Horse, beginers and professional riders catered for.
*A lovely new pool for guests only.
*The rooms have all been upgraded
*Each room will have a theme as a charater’s in both films.
*A new cafe has been built for day visitors use, so the pool and main restaurant is  not disturbed, for residence only.
*If your looking at just visiting this hotel while your in Udaipur, contact me to add this full day trip to your bespoke tour. 

If you want to extend this tour, then a quick hop across to Mumbai for a few nights, then a visit to the hill station of Matheran where you can take the Toy Trian up or down. In Matheran, no cars are allowed so its a peaceful and scenic location for trekking.

Then perhaps to the wine region of Nashik where Sulla Wine is produced. Stay at the vineyard in luxury accommodation. Then move onto Aurangabad where you can visit Ajanta & Ellora Caves. Then flight back to Mumbai for one night at an airport hotel or Juhu Beach which is very near the airport.

This evening why not visit  ‘Ministry of Crab’ Juhu, a lovely restaurant paying homage to the Crabs of the South Coast of India.

Chat to me about extending you, I have so many ideas I can suggest.

Sharon Evans
Founder/Owner

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Starting from £2,897.00

International flights & VIP meet at aircraft door included - more Special Value inclusions listed below

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Itinerary

DELHI – AGRA – KANOTA – JAIPUR – SHAHPURA – KHEMPUR – UDAIPUR -MUMBAI

DAY 01 – DEPART FOR DELHI
Depart you chosen airport today bound for Delhi, arriving tomorrow.

DAY 02 – ARRIVE DELHI – Colonel’s Retreat
Arrive in Delhi today. VIP meet at the aircraft door, assistant through baggage control, then outside the airport to meet our local representatives, where you will be met at the arrivals door then transferred to your hotel. 

Rest of the day is at leisure to relax after your flight.

DAY 03 – DELHI (B)
Today, after breakfast, you will enjoy a full-day private guided sightseeing tour of New & Old Delhi taking in all the major sights.

DAY 04 – DELHI TO AGRA (B) – The Trident 
Drive to Agra (3.5 hrs) on arrival private guided sightseeing of the city concluding with a sunset visit to the famous Taj Mahal.

DAY 05 – AGRA TO JAIPUR (B) – Castle Kanota
Options of swapping your sunset visit to the Taj Mahal for a sunrise visit this morning. Later drive to Jaipur (5.5 hrs) with en-route guided sightseeing of Fatehpur Sikri and Abhaneri Stepwells.

Arrive  at Castle Kanota located just an hours drive from the city centre and tomorrows hotel. This is the hotel featured in the film that was used as the backdrop of the Viceroy Club. On arrival at leisure.

DAY 06 – TO JAIPUR (B) – Pearl Palace Heritage
This morning you will depart after breakfast to Amer Fort (
Optional Extra: Balloon flight over the Fort this morning).

Morning, visit Amer Fort and visit Jaigarh overlooking the fort and city. Around lunch time, proceed to your next hotel in Jaipur. 

This afternoon you can explore the markets with your driver or we can suggest a street food walking tour, or perhaps a cyscle ride though the city. 

DAY 07 – JAIPUR
Today you will explore the other attractions of Jaipur, visit City Palace, Janta Mantar observatory, Hawa Mahal is known as the Palace of Winds. You will also visit flower market where Sonny (Dev Patel) visits to buy marigolds for his girlfriend, Sunaina.

DAY 08 – JAIPUR – SHAHPURHA (B) – Shahpura Bagh
After breakfast and check out, you are driven to the small town of Shahpura (4.5hrs), where your home for the next two nights will be at the beautiful home called Shahpura Bagh. The stunning pool here, take stock of what you have seen so far, then rejuvenate to continue your journey.

DAY 09 – SHAHPURA (B)
Day at leisure to relax. Optional Extra; Today we can arrange a cooking lesson with a local family, various options available see Learn to Cook Indian Cuisine

DAY 10 – SHAHPURA TO KHEMPUR (The real Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) (B) – Ravla Khempur
This morning after breakfast you will depart by road to Chittorgarh (3 hrs) to explore the old fort. After, proceed to the village of Khempur (2 Hrs). On arrival check-in at the Rawla Khempur, this was the hotel featured in the film as the Best exotic marigold hotel.

Rest of the day at leisure to relax at your hotel.

DAY 11 KHEMPUR (B)
Today you can explore the local village with your host who will be glad to introduce you to the village community. Witness a traditional horse dance today!

If you would like to extend your stay here and learn to ride the owners Mewar Horses, then please enquire further with me.

DAY 12 – KHEMPUR TO UDAIPUR (B) – Jagat Niwas
Drive to Udaipur (01 Hr) and check-in at your hotel. 
Rest of the day at leisure to relax at your hotel.

You will stay at Jagat Niwas overlooking the lake; the rooftop was used as the backdrop in the film when (Judi Dench) Evelyn Greenslade downs a Gin & Tonic thinking it was a glass of water.

DAY 13 – UDAIPUR (B)
Explore the gems of the city today. Visit the City Palace, Jagdish Temple and Sahelion ki Bari. 
After lunch, enjoy a boat ride at Lake Pichola.

DAY 14 UDAIPUR (B)
Enjoy a full-day excursion into the Aravali Hills to visit Ranakpur Jain Temple and Kumbalgarh Fort.

DAY 15 – UDAIPUR VIA MUMBAI HOMEBOUND (B)
Transfer to the airport for this morning’s flight to Mumbai where you will transfer to your International homebound flight. “If you want to extend this tour, please give me a ring as I have many ideas for you. Or you may have your ideas, let’s chat about them”. Sharon Evans

Note: No longer train journey, the tour now drives from Jaipur to Shahpura, then to Khempur

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Film Location Tour

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Special Value

  • A gift when you book your tour with us, a DVD film called ‘Mystic India’
  • International flights included
  • VIP meet at aircraft door on arrival
  • Useful gift is given to you on arrival
  • Private arrival and departure transfers
  • Private car & driver for all road transfers
  • Snack Hamper, with juice and water in your private car
  • Mobile phone to use while in India to keep in contact with our local office and your driver
  • Meals as per itinerary (BB = breakfast) (HB = breakfast, lunch or dinner) (FB = breakfast, lunch & dinner)
  • Private guide for sightseeing in all major cities
  • Entrances to all monument and places of interest included
  • Full day sightseeing of New & Old Delhi
  • Half day sightseeing of Agra City
  • Sunset visit to Taj Mahal (can be swapped for Sunrise visit)
  • Sightseeing of Fatehpur Sikri
  • Visit to Ahbaneri & Stepwell
  • Full day sightseeing of Jaipur
  • Visit Amer Fort with Elephant ride.
  • Optional extra – A special day with elephants in Jaipur
  • Optional extra – Sunrise Baloon ride over Amer Fort in Jaipur
  • Stop over for a few nights at Shahpura Bagh in the rural heartlands of Rajasthan
  • Stay at the real ‘ Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ in the village of Khempur
  • Sightseeing of Udaipur
  • Boat ride on Lake Pichola
  • Fly home via Mumbai, why not add on an extra night and explore the city.

Our  Tour features the following locations

DELHI: The largest mosque, the biggest temple, honky auto-rickshaws; it’s easy to distinguish Delhi. The city has been at the centre of the Indian civilisation for centuries and a major seat of power ever since the Mughals built their capital here. Modern Delhi presents a mix of colonial-era architecture, Mughal forts, and mausoleums, ancient bazaars, glitzy malls and world class restaurants. It often feels overwhelming, but given a chance, it always grows onto you. Be sure to visit Humayun’s Tomb, a 16th-century Mughal wonder inspired by the iconic Taj Mahal and Lodi Gardens, the best spot for sunsets in Delhi. There’s also the Hauz Khas Village, a throbbing hub that gained popularity with its Open Nights when those narrow alleys are transformed into cultural wonders, adorned with lights and decorated with streamers. There really is no better place to discover Delhi’s rich culture and mingle with its locals.

AGRA: Known for its stunning architecture, exotic history and magical views, the Taj Mahal attracts as many as 7 million visitors each year, and for a good reason. It is, after all, the monument of love! This iconic landmark is why people from all over the world visit Agra, but the city is also brimming with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Mughal mausoleums, tombs, a beautiful fort and ancient bazaars. You’d expect to feel underwhelmed due to all that hype, but this magical city is everything you expect it to be. 

FATEHPUR SIKRI: Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of the Mughal Empire for just 10 years, but it still presents a massive complex of temples, monuments, and mosques, which make it a historical delight, one of the greatest feats of Indian architecture. Built by Emperor Akbar in the 16th century, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is located at a distance of just 40 kms. from Agra. Popular attractions include the Diwan-I-Am (Hall of Public Audience), Diwan-Khana-I-Khaas (Hall of Private Audience), Turkish Sultana’s House and the Treasury. Fatehpur also hosts Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India.

ABANERI: Abaneri, a small ancient village in Rajasthan, is mostly known for a stunning step well, a novel 10th-century idea that transformed this village into an incredibly popular tourist landmark in the modern day. Popularly called Chand Baori, this huge step well has been fortified on all sides and was designed to act as a water reservoir for rainwater harvesting, used for ritual cleansing before visiting the adjoining temple and also for leisure purposes. With depths of 20 meters, 13 different levels and 3500 steps arranged in perfect symmetry, this is a fascinating work of art, the deepest and largest step well of India. The presence intricate and beautiful carvings all over the step well add to its stunning beauty, offering great insights into an ancient culture and their traditions. You’re probably wondering where you’ve seen that iconic image, so all you need to do is take a second look at scenes from the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. 

JAIPUR: The Pink City, the largest city of Rajasthan, is an epitome of magnificence and vibrancy. This city was established in 1727 by Jai Singh II and is India’s first planned city. It is known as the Pink City because of the colour of the stone used exclusively in the walled city. The Pink City stands out as one of the most spectacular and vibrant destinations on the planet, its rich lineage, striking culture and beautiful architecture painting a vivid picture of Indian society. Missing out on The City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Jaigarh or the Amber Fort is a big no-no, but make sure you reserve time for those chaotic bazaars and delicious cuisines. Jaipur is also known for its traditional handicrafts and unique souvenirs such as camel-leather slippers. The John Madden 2012 hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (You can link this to your Best Marigold tour) stole our heart presenting India in an entirely new light, one that suddenly catapulted some of its more exotic destinations like Udaipur and Jaipur to instant stardom.

SHAHPURA: Relax for a few days at Shahpura Bagh in the rural heartlands of Rajasthan. Take sundowners at the old Fort, visit a local school, explore the local markets and meet the people. Also, learn to cook home cooked India food here.

KHEMPUR: Ravla Khempur is the actual hotel used in the movie as ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’. It was originally a tribal chieftain’s palace, but now it operates as an equestrian hotel in the village of Khempur, about an hour and a half outside of Udaipur. The title ‘Ravla’ in Rajasthan refers to the home of a village chieftain”. In earlier days, the Ravla was the focal point of the entire village. Functions such as community welfare, the collection of taxes, administration of law and order, and the initiation of festivals took place in the Ravla. Ravla Khempur exudes historical ambience and is graced with breathtaking surroundings. The lofty terraces, open courtyards, sprawling gardens, domes, arches and canopied balconies transport one back in time.

UDAIPUR: Udaipur is considered to be the most romantic destination in India, and no matter how much you hear about this legendary city, it always manages to leave you stunned and speechless. The glittery Lake Pichola is as beautiful as they get and those temples, grand palaces, shimmering Havelis and colourful streets set the scene for one of the most memorable holidays of your life. You’d remember some of its sights from the 007 movie Octopussy when our hero swims up to a heavenly palace in the midst of an incredibly romantic lake. You’d expect a city so popular to lose its charm, but Udaipur holds onto its magic, that sense of mystery surrounding its monuments and palaces and the sense of tranquillity that simple boat rides on the lake are bound to offer. Udaipur also enjoys a lively arts scene, exciting shopping and delightful countryside destinations that promise memorable day tours.

MUMBAI: A stay in Mumbai is not included in this tour, you will fly home from this international airport. Speak to us about extending your tour by an extra night to enable sightseeing of the city. Mumbai the city of dreams. One of the best and most cosmopolitan cities of Asia. The commercial lifeline of India. Home to Bollywood, the second largest film industry in the world. A place where some of the biggest slums share the area with sprawling metropolises. The epicentre for fashion and Indian wine. A trip to Mumbai is everything you’d expect from a major metropolis, yet so much more. It’s a humbling experience, to say the least. But it’s also fascinating, edgy and exciting. Those colonial-era relics, incredible bazaars, hidden wine cafes and enclaves of peace and serenity really do have a way of putting you at ease.

What our clients say

After seeing the film, it made us want to visit India. Thankfully we saw your tour advertised on the internet and booked it straight away, we ae so glad we found you like everything and all the locations we visited was fantastic. You said that the real hotel Rawla Khempur was a basic hotel and although it was, we were made to feel very welcome and in fact were the only people staying there, so it’s obviously still a hidden gem. I am sure we will visit India again and will definitely come back to you.

Les and Les, Edinburgh, UK

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