Vivanta by Taj – Dal View, Srinagar
What We Love
- Breathtaking hilltop location
- Large infinity pool overlooking the Zabarwan Mountains
- Choice of two restaurants
- A sunset houseboat ride across the mirror-like Dal Lake
What To Know
- Smoking is permitted in some rooms
- The hotel can arrange private candlelit dining by the lake
- Free WiFi for up to two devices
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
On a hill overlooking northern India’s Zabarwan Mountains, this lakeside retreat is a lesson in understated luxury. The burnt-orange building is inspired by traditional Kashmiri design but the sleek interiors feature polished wood floors, oversize copper pendant lamps and high vaulted ceilings. The 84 guestrooms are similarly opulent with private balconies overlooking the lake or the gardens. Jamawar paisley silk headboards, colonial-style shutters and carved walnut light panels set the traditional tone, with earthy oranges and olives echoing the stunning landscape. At Latitude, sample pan-Indian delicacies, or trout caught fresh from the lake that morning. Jade Dragon serves mouthwatering Sichuan cuisine in a formal dining room with tinted-mirror walls. Don’t miss the signature dessert: jasmine tea mousse made with local lotus stem. No trip to Kashmir is complete without a houseboat cruise on Dal Lake; a moonlight glide on the traditional “Shikara” (which can be organized by the property) is a romantic excursion not to be missed.
In the Area
Dal Lake offers some wonderful surprises for the first-time visitor. The Floating Vegetable Market, where colorful produce is hawked on equally colorful boats, takes place every morning at 6 a.m. The scene is idyllic — farmers come laden with onions, tomatoes, water chestnuts, flowers and saffron — so bring your camera. The hotel also arranges tours of a local papier-mâché factory, where the ancient Kashmiri art is produced by expert craftsmen. Nature lovers will not be disappointed either. Nearby Dachigham National Park is home to the Himalayan black bear as well as a host of diverse flora and fauna.
How to Get There
Bedecked on a hill, stay at Taj Vivanta stands grand in Kashmir. A room overlooking the Dal lake is the best part of the Kashmir visit. Taj deserves my 10 points for making my visit to Kashmir fulfilling. Excellent staff and food. We cherish the stay there
Taj and Lalit are the only five star properties at Srinagar. They are similarly priced so which one to go for?
Lalit used to be an Oberoi property and without any competition for decades, Taj being a relatively recent entrant. So all the past glory rests with Lalit to be seen in Hindi movies of yore!
The Taj has a commanding view of the Dal lake and the city of Srinagar including the sun setting behind the Hari Parbat fort across the lake. A perfect place for a sun downer by the pool side!
Lalit is set in an expansive garden, commands no views but has plenty of serenity including several Chinar trees which must be over a hundred years old. You can of course stroll down to the lake, its a five minute walk. As for the pool, unlike the Taj, Lalit has an all weather indoor one with a glass ceiling from where you can breath in an azure sky while floating on your back.
Taj is situated over a hillock which has been flattened and is the only property a top, pretty exclusive. It is a modern construction, the rooms are large with balconies with a commanding view. The entire lay is in a horizontal strip with manicured grass alongside the building.
The Lalit is set amidst lush greenery, tall trees, the lake in the front and a mountain side at the rear end. The rooms in the new block are relative to Taj smaller and don't command a view beyond the not inconsiderable hotel premises. The ground floor rooms have a sit out garden area. The heritage block has more spacious rooms but we didn't experience them.
The Taj has a couple of mediocre restaurants with little character or ambiance the food too is insipid.
The Lalit serves better food. it has an indoor and out door restaurant the latter is very pleasing to dine in- breakfast, lunch or dinner. It also has a bar with old world charm of a royal watering hole.
The service and hospitality in both is comparable and nothing to complain about.
So it comes to a modern hotel with a view and large well lit rooms versus a heritage property with history and character and accommodation that is notch below competition.
If you want to breath the air of Srinagar and cocoon yourself from the world with only the whisper of the trees and chirping of the birds go for Lalit. If you want to survey the Dal Lake and the city of Srinagar from a commanding height Taj is your property of choice.
As always in a either or situation it is best to go for both! Srinagar is a place for multiple visits get there in any season that you feel confident of going something special is always going to be yours to savor. This was our third family holiday in as many years 29 July to 1 August 2019, just before the paradise on earth got locked!
Location. Location. Location.
A view of Dal Lake and access to the garden from each room. And an incredible group of staff! There is no reason to not make it an annual destination. It is worth saving hard-earned money for. This is one of the few 5-star properties I would do this for (the other was the Metropol in Moscow!)