Balaram Palace Resort, the former summer palace of the Nawab of Palanpur and now a luxury resort was awarded the trophy for ‘Best Heritage Hotel in Gujarat’ at the second edition of Gujarat Travel & Tourism Excellence Awards 2021 held recently. The event was organized by TCGL in association with FICCI and Ernst & Young LLP as ‘Knowledge Provider’.
The Palace hotel is now owned and managed by Harshad R Mehta and his family.
In the first edition of the Awards in 2020, Balaram Palace Resort was selected as Runner-Up in the same category.
The grand Palace, located 14 kms from Palanpur, was built between 1922-1936 by the 29th ruler of Palanpur, His Highness Zubd-ul-Mulk Dewan Mahakhan Nawab Sir Taley Muhammad Khan Lohani. It is a graceful manifestation of neo-classical and baroque architectural style. Situated amidst the Aravallis in the 542 sq. kms of Balaram Ambaji Reserve Forest at the tip of North Gujarat it borders Rajasthan. The palace is set in 13 acres of terraced upland rising from a hilly stream and surrounded by lush green gardens and designed flower beds. The palace was visited by several dignitaries during the British Raj, including Lord Mountbatten.
Currently, the Palace has 21 AC rooms equipped with all the latest amenities with the highlight being the special ‘Nawab Suite’ which overlooks the royal gardens. It was used by Nawab Sahib and has been made up to retain its glorious ambience and also suit the requirement of a modern day traveller with a taste of luxury.
The Palace website promises the tourist a trip “into the bygone Nawabi period to experience the real Nawabi ambience and architecture of northern Gujarat”. The palatial huge rooms with antiques all around give a sense of royalty. The hunting point existed 3/4th of a century back.
The awards are part of the TCGL’s initiatives to promote excellence in the travel and tourism sector within the state and were conceptualized with an aim to recognize organizations and individuals for their contributions to this effort.
Winners across 13 categories were selected through a two-phase process. In the first phase, a few nominees from each category were shortlisted. For the Heritage Hotel category, which was open to “hotels operated in Gujarat in buildings which have a significant historical importance & accorded suitable certification’, the selection was based on certain objective criteria such as turnover, number of rooms, number of guests and occupancy rates etc.
The winner was selected from among this shortlist by an experienced jury which had additional criteria such as conservation/ preservation initiatives and measures taken to raise awareness about the historical significance of the property, among others.
Click here to view Award ceremony video
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