Hovering in the shimmering waters of Lake Pichola, Taj Lake Palace is without doubt, one of Rajasthan’s most audacious hideaways. Preserving the heritage and tradition of the rulers of Udaipur, almost every royal whim – from vintage car rides, to private candlelit feasts - is lavishly played out here.
After you’ve arrived, via a dreamy little water taxi complete with scalloped sun canopy, you’ll be met by a doorman in traditional garb who will escort you, not only to the palace, but to another era. The stately marble lobby makes for a breathtaking first impression, but is a mere aperitif of things to come.
All guestrooms are completely unique, and trinkets are teamed with silky furnishings, sleek furniture, Portico linens and four-poster beds. Pillow and quilt menus ensure a sound night’s sleep, and there are all the electronics you’ll need. The pleasure-dome bathrooms are no less impressive, weighing in with full size tubs that are ideal for aromatherapy baths, powerful Aliseo hairdryers, and Forest Essentials grooming gear. The palace staff really make the experience with their modern delivery of old-style class, and the royal butlers go the extra mile to provide service fit for a maharaja.
If you can manage to leave your room, head to the serious Jiva spa and splurge on a royal treatment or sail into the sunset aboard the 150-year old royal barge. Not to be missed is a top-shelf nightcap at the convivial Amrit Sagar bar, go for a G&T in classic Raj style. The 'recession be damned' attitude of this deluxe island-palace is refreshing and while it’s ideal for honeymooners, it bewitches all who stay.
- Dining under the stars overlooking the city palace
- Champagne and strawberries in the Jacuzzi
- Horse riding in the Aravalli Hills
- Taking a butler guided tour with caviar and champagne
- Some rooms have better views than others, ask for a lake view
Need to Know: Taj Lake Palace
Number of rooms: 83 guestrooms and suites
Check-in/check-out times: 2pm and 12pm
Room service: Yes, there’s 24-hour room service
Swimming pool: Yes, there’s a huge pool surrounded by chic white sun loungers
Spa: Yes, the impressive Jiva Spa and Jiva Spa Boat. Both offer rejuvenating holistic treatments using traditional Indian therapies
Dogs welcome: No
Eating and drinking: Royal kitchen recipes are the order of the day here – Neel Kamal is best for fine dining with its views over the lily pond and its royal banquet style. For somewhere less formal, the rooftop restaurant Bhairo offers an international menu –which means New Zealand lamb, Moulard duck and Cochin lobster.
Near to? You can head off on one of the the local Indian village safaris, Chittorgarh Fort is two hours away by car and Mount Abu is four hours away by car. The hotel will be more than happy to organise any trips that you want to go on.
Getting There: The Taj Lake Palace is a 40-minute drive away from Udaipur Airport and if you’re travelling by rail then the main railway station is just four kilometres away. You can take direct flights from all London Airports to Delhi then take a connecting flight from Delhi to Udaipur.