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
A Royal Experience. Excellent hospitality at this Residents only Hotel. Good service and very good environment. Felt sad leaving the place. A must for every visitor . Food in all restaurants is very good. Variety of local food on the menu which must be tried.
Heaven on Earth... from the time you get to the jetty for a short boat taxi to the hotel to the royal welcome with being showers with rose petals as you walk to the reception under a umbrella. The feeling of being treated as royalty was unprecedented from the first to the last day we spent there. The service, the attention to detail the willingness of delivering world class service oh and the devine food & drink in both the selection of restaurants, there is very little else that you need. A superb experience that leaves you feeling like a maharajah in the backdrop of the city palace. Highly recommended as a once in a lifetime experience.
The Taj Lake Palace Hotel is amazing. Such hospitality, history, delicious food, beautiful scenery. We loved spending time here and enjoyed touring the local sights. The sunset cruise and nightly dancing with music is so special. The only thing missing was great craft beer from India. Our favorite is Geist from Bangalore. Great job making our vacation stay so lovely.