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All The Raj

Marie-Anne Oudejans is Jaipur’s newly minted tastemaker —and her hotel apartment is one deliriously lovely reason why.

Dana Thomas

Dutch fashion designer Marie-Anne Oudejans never intended to live in India, or to become a decorator. But “sometimes,” she says, “you need an adventure.” So for the past six years, Oudejans has resided in Jaipur, in a one bedroom flat in the romantic Hotel Narain Niwas Palace. She decorated her own rooms, as well as the apartment of her longtime friend French jewelry designer Marie- Hélène de Taillac, the hotel’s quirky Bar Palladio Jaipur, and the Mumbai outpost of the Gem Palace, Jaipur’s epicenter for colorful jewels.

Serendipity played a central role in Oudejans’s life change. Seven years ago, on a flight from Tokyo to Madrid, where she then lived, a fellow passenger asked, “Why don’t you go to India?” She thought, Why not? Within months she and her border collie, Aedo, had moved to Delhi. It was a bad fit: “Too large and too loud.” So Oudejans gave provincial Jaipur a try. Known as the Pink City—it was painted a soft salmon hue for the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1876—Jaipur is the country’s capital for artisanal craftsmanship, block-printed textiles, and the gem trade.

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April 2017

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