Taj Lake Palace
What We Love
- Sweeping vistas of Lake Pichola’s glittering blue waters
- Four restaurants — the sweet nonalcoholic juices and mocktails are particularly addictive
- Service that's attentive but not officious
- The hotel has done a wonderful job of modernizing but not overrenovating; you’ll never forget you’re staying in an 18th-century palace
What To Know
- The property is reached via speedboat
- There’s something touchingly Old World about the hotel, which means that dressing up, while not required, feels somehow necessary (you are in a palace, after all)
- Probably best to leave the kids at home: the Lake Palace is very much an adult playground
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
At the Taj Lake Palace Udaipur, romance is in the very bricks and mortar. Completed in 1746 as a hideaway for Prince Jagat Singh II and converted into a hotel in 1971, it’s one of those rare hotels that’s as much fun to get to as it is to stay in. A short boat trip whisks guests from the banks of Lake Pichola to the Palace’s lobby. The prince used marble the way some of us use plywood, and no matter the time of day, the structure seems to glitter from within, casting its sparkle across the lake’s deep blue water. It’s easy to feel transported back to a nobler, more glamorous era in any of the 83 guest rooms, which feature gorgeously patterned silks, four-poster beds, and butler service—not to mention every window gives a view onto the waters below. There’s not a terrific number of distractions at the Lake Palace, but that’s the charm. Scattered around the grounds are dozens of little nooks with plush cushions for whiling away a couple of afternoons reading, dozing, and simply enjoying the scenery. The pool and excellent spa are also diversions, as are the magical views at the hotel’s four restaurants. The authentic Indian cuisine at the fancy, hushed Neel Kamal is particularly good, though you might also become addicted to the brightly colored sherbets at Jharhoka.
In the Area
The area around City Palace makes for good browsing, as do the stalls and shops of Bapu Bazaar (clothing), Bada Bazaar (jewelry) and Chetak Circle (crafts); have the concierge draw you a map. Or, take a tour of the lovely City Palace Museum. It was originally built by King Udai Singh II in the 16th century, back when the city was the seat of the great Mewar Kingdom, and remained inhabited by his descendants until 1959. Check out the Manak Mahal Room on the second floor, which is pattered with colored glass, like a huge disco ball. Rajasthan is famous for its silks and shawls. For some of the best combed cashmere, head to Andraab, a boutique run by two Kashmiri brothers. The prices are high, but so is the quality (and there’s no hands-off policy here; you can try on anything). Some of the most interesting and evocative experiences in India can be had at local produce markets. Take a taxi over to Udaipur’s, where you’ll see vendors in front of mountains of green beans, peppers, eggplants, as well as stacks of bangles that can be had for just a dollar or so. You’ll also get to check out the local fauna: hardworking elephants and camels.
How to Get There
From the moment we left the car to the boat dock to the Lake Palace Hotel, we were showered with an over abundance of hospitality. We loved the boat ride to the hotel and were showered by rose pedals upon our arrival of the hotel. We were graciously greeted by Anjali who took care of our every desire the entire week making our stay memorable. She had already upgraded us to a historic room with a lovely balcony to watch the sunset. During the second day of our visit, Anjali had surprised us with a delicious chocolate cake with an exquisite peacock design on it and a beautifully decorated umbrella. Then Anjali said she had one last surprise with her and to follow her... She showed us the sleeping chambers of the Maharana. It was incredible room with arched dome windows with original inlaid stones adorning the fluted arches, a beautiful European style crystal chandelier, spacious room, and period furniture. We were in awe just witnessing the room in its glory. Then Anjali asked if we would like to spend the night there for the remainder of our stay. We both were in shock and immediately had accepted the kind offer. If it could not get any better, she asked us to pose for a picture with the beautiful umbrella. To our surprise, when we had come back from dinner that evening she had the picture printed in a beautiful frame on the table. We felt so incredibly blessed and special for all of the outpouring of kindness which Anjali had shared with us during our stay. Throughout the days we were at the property, she always came and greeted us and had a discussion with us making us feel very special. She has such a pleasant, kind and positive attitude and makes every discussion special. I really liked that she would tell us special things about the hotel as she knew my husband and I were keen to learn more about the heritage of the property. She also recommended the hotel tour and boat ride for additional learning about the areas history.
This was my first time staying at the property and my husband's second. He and I both had an incredible time and felt it was the most magical place we have ever stayed in our life. We loved all of the special touches of the inspirational daily quotes in the spa area, watching the gentleman arrange the flowers daily, the showering of rose pedals upon entry, the guided tours, the gentleman playing the flute daily and most of all the attention to detail each and every member of the staff. It was truly an exceptional experience and loo
We stayed 3 nights at the hotel to celebrate a family event. The hotel location, staff and restaurants are just outstanding. The view from the hotel rooftop is amazing and the boat ride to and from the hotel is also a unique experience.
The location is stunning, in fact we had organized the trip specifically to visiti this hotel. Expectations were very high, in fact most of the amenities and the service are excellent. However, a few things did not meet my expectations, i.e. the service at the restaurant was definitely not 5 star. Though great experience.