Havelis arose during the 18th century along the ancient caravan routes of northern India. They were built by rich merchants as status symbols and private homes, and are defined by their lavish façades, ornate cornicing, colourful frescos and cool, inner courtyards. Many have now been converted into characterful hotels, and Samode – in the Pink City of Jaipur – is one of the finest examples. It boasts a mosaic dining room, fairy tale rooms, exotic arches and a tree-lined courtyard with an outdoor pool.
Samode Haveli, Gangapole, Jaipur (00 91 141 263 2370; samode.com). Doubles start at Rs7,600 (£86), B&B.