The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
What We Love
- That architecture: grand and sweeping, with expansive pavilions, turrets and domes
- That view: overlooking Lake Pichola, the City Palace on a hill and the Lake Palace
- Every detail is considered, from hand-crafted bronze doors to striking black granite tiles and hand-knotted carpets
- An utterly sybaritic spa, which has a pool overlooking the lake
- The traditional restaurant, which offers superlative versions of Indian dishes both familiar and unusual
What To Know
- Depending on the time of year and last year’s monsoon, the water level in the lake can be very low
- If you crave history, this isn’t your palace — it’s only nine years old
- The best time to visit is from October to March; the heat escalates in April, followed by the July monsoon
- One advantage to going in monsoon season: Tradition says it’s the best time to detox, so there’s a special yoga program
- There’s no smoking throughout the hotel except for specifically designated smoking rooms
- Parking On Site
As you pull up to the gate of the enormous golden stone palace that is the Oberoi Udaivilas — turrets, domes, elegant archways and expansive courtyards all on show — it’s hard to imagine a more magnificent first impression. A large central pool edged by sharp black granite and white marble squares highlights the property’s quintessential opulence, and next to the 30 acres of manicured grounds is an even more impressive body of water: Lake Pichola, with its two famous islands topped with marble palaces. Inside, the design unfolds on an equally majestic scale. The circular lobby features a gilded dome, a fountain of white Thassos marble and panels of tikri glass, a local art form in which blown glass is arranged in mosaic patterns. The nearby Candle Room pays homage to the vaunted glass room in Udaipur’s City Palace, with hundreds of thousands of glass mosaic pieces.
Bed and Bath
Intricate brass doors and 450 luminous hand-carved stone columns adorn the long corridors that lead to the guestroom wing. All the rooms and suites are decorated with local silks and hand-knotted carpets, and most have private courtyards with views of Lake Pichola, plus private or shared pools. Premier Rooms feature private walled courtyards with silk parasols, and bathrooms done in white marble with Victorian freestanding bathtubs. Kohinoor Suites have a spacious living room, a dining room with a fireplace and a 60-foot private pool that looks out at the Aravalli Hills.
In such a princely setting, you expect everything to be exceptional — and it is. At the traditional Indian restaurant, Udaimahal, guests dine on regional North Indian and Rajasthani cuisine by candlelight. Anyone craving a taste of home will be satisfied by the international fare at the ’30s-style restaurant, Suryamahal. The pampering spa has the serenity, and the imposing architecture, of a temple, along with a host of indigenous treatments, such as a rose and vetiver scrub and massages using herbal poultices. And if you want to relax after a treatment, there’s a welcoming pool flanked by cupolas overlooking the sparkling lake and palaces.
In the Area
Don’t miss a visit to the City Palace, a vast compound of four intricate palaces. The museum has an extraordinary collection of mosaics, and the Crystal Gallery showcases objects including sofas, tables and beds made of crystal. Learn to prepare classic Indian dishes in a cooking class led by one of the Udaivilas’s expert chefs. Up the romance a notch with a sunset cruise in a shikara (a Kashmiri boat built for two) on Lake Pichola. Or do some stargazing; one of Udaipur’s famous astrologers will map out your future (the hotel concierge can arrange a private appointment). Or you can get pampered with a three-hour “Spirit of Ayurveda” treatment involving two types of massage, an oil stream on the forehead and an herbal bath.
How to Get There
The absolute lakeside location of Udaivilas make it the ideal place to gaze adoringly at the old town of Udaipur as it changes from sunrise to day, to sunset to night when the old town is floodlit. The town is a little bit of Venice, the Adriatic coast and Greek fishing village with strong Indian influences. Back to Udaivilas it has everything for a delightful break. Great facilities and food but what really makes you feel very special are the angels they call their staff - happy, smiling and unable to do enough for you to ensure your stay remains memorable for the rest of your life. It really is like a slice of heaven!
This hotel is stunning, there is no way to adequately describe it, the setting and gardens are beautiful and very restful, the food is amazing from breakfast to dinner. Most important of all the management and all of the staff were superb, completely professional, attentive and committed to your enjoyment of everything that this hotel has to offer. I really can not speak highly enough of what a wonderful hotel this truly is.
All.of the oberoi hotels are absolutely beautiful and faultless in terms of service and hospitality. We were upgraded to a beautiful private pool suite on check in, greeted with flower petals scattered from the roof at the entrance. The gardens, public spaces, ornate detailed room decor are like something out of a painting. This is the India of people's dreams. We were there for three nights, and between sightseeing and excursions didn't seem to have enough time to enjoy the sumptuous surroundings and blissful atmosphere of the gardens. The dining experience outdoors at night was wonderful, incredibly attentive and friendly waiters and chefs. All other luxury hotel chains such as four seasons and even Aman resorts should be very envious of the standard set by the oberoi hotels.
Hard to describe this hotel or should I say Shangri La? From the moment we arrived to the day we left there was "no stone unturned" by this hotel to make us comfortable. We have stayed in many luxurious hotels but bar none this was the top of the top for usI can't imagine anyone taking care of us the way we were taken care of here The grounds are magnificent The staff is impeccable Thank you Thank you for helping to make our trip to India an unforgettable one
I have visited twice udaipur the oberoi udaivilas hotel is so good and also dinner is so good and breakfast is so nice and hotel service is so delightful so please visit very soon and also enjoy familyand stay in udaivilas