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
- 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
This is a bucket list hotel. The overall experience was first class, and it is understandable why heads of state, film stars, and similar people stay here, especially considering the seclusion and security of the hotel.
We booked direct with the hotel, and communications were simple and efficient. We used their transport service to pick us up from the small Udaipur airport. The process was effortless. We handed over our luggage and it arrived in our room. We were delivered to the hotel boat for the 5 minute transfer across the lake to the hotel reception. The small boats run on demand are plentiful, so never had to wait. The hotel only allows residents to visit the hotel, so you can only arrive by their boat, so another way to keep it exclusive and secure. A great experience arriving at the hotel - rose petals, royal umbrella and drinks - a really nice touch.
It is worth having a lake view room. Ask for one overlooking the City Palace as it has great views, especially when it is lit up at night.
Rooms were a reasonable size, well equipped, with good WiFi, although as with most Taj properties, limited to 4 devices.
All the staff were accommodating, polite and helpful. The free nightly cultural show was interesting, and the historical hotel tour was fascinating - well worth the effort to do both.
The hotel has a stunning inner courtyard, pool and spa.
3 restaurants cater for all tastes, with tables with stunning views in the international and roof top restaurants.
We didn’t book any excursions prior to the visit, but it was no effort to book a guide for the day upon arrival, and a car just for the afternoon. The guide was well known to the hotel, which is a good insurance policy, and both guide and driver were very professional. The city has many attractions, and much history, so you can spend one day, or several days looking around.
The only slight issue we had was noise late at night above our room (214) caused by staff tidying up after the rooftop restaurant closed. It went on beyond 11pm one night, but a call to the reception, and 5 minutes later it was all quiet. Duty Manager was very apologetic the following morning, and they accepted it was too noisy too late.
We have stayed in many Taj hotels, and this hotel is one of the two most memorable we have experienced.
These people are nuts, attacking their clients if they won't use the hotel's boat to get to the hotel. They even called the police for me and my friend when we wanted to check in. I do not recommend this place!!!
Go check out the video titled 'Attacked at India's most expensive hotel' from the channel 'Bald and Bankrupt' on youtube,and you will why it is one of the worst hotel in India.
These guys should take their staff for anger management and counselling sessions.
Staff doesn't know how to behave and are too much aggressive and thinks too much of themselves.
So yeah,don't stay in this place.
A must at least once in your life. It was jaw dropping from beginning to end. The town itself is only worth a single day’s tour, so a couple of nights in theLake Palace is perfect. They have a centralised tipping arrangement which we only became aware of as we were checking out. All staff more than happy to accept tips as we went along.....
This romantic and opulent hotel was the highlight of our visit to India! Access to hotel by boat only, lovely room, beautiful decor, great food albeit expensive, with outstanding levels of service. One of the top hotels in the world! So worth a visit if you go to Udaipur!