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Fairytale-like Taj Lake Palace is fit for a queen

Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

Royal Suite – 53-59sqm – From INR 550,000 (about AUD$10,300) plus taxes

Why stay here

Known as the Venice of the East, the city of Udaipur, with its elaborate palaces, serene lakes, exotic temples and resplendent gardens, has much to offer, and there is no more luxurious place to stay than Taj Lake Palace. This magnificent hotel is a living testament to the splendour of the Rajput era and boasts a position on Lake Pichola, with the City Palace, ancient temples and bustling markets, that echo age-old trades, just a boat ride away.

Design

The majestic building, originally known as ‘Jag Niwas’, was constructed under the watchful eye of Maharana Jagat Singh II, and was used as a summer retreat by the Mewar Royal family until Maharana Bhagwat Singh, Mewar of Udaipur, converted the palace into a heritage hotel in 1963. Its architecture is influenced by the Mughals (a Muslim dynasty who ruled in the 18th century) and features Mewari techniques throughout. The arched windows and intricate carvings mirror the architectural style prominent during the Rajput reign, while the chandeliers might have seen countless royal gatherings.

The hotel features 65 luxurious rooms and 18 unique and decadent suites, each showcasing crystal artwork and stained glassworks. Every corner of my Royal Suite, named Basant Bahar, conjures up a tale from the past. The silk drapes and marble inlays could have been the choice of a Rajput prince or princess and, waking up to the serene view of the lake and surrounding Aravalli hills, I can imagine the historical processions and celebrations that might have taken place along the ghats.

Dining

The hotel’s magical setting provides the perfect backdrop for the exquisite cuisine served at its elegant restaurants – open only to resident guests. Neel Kamal dishes up authentic Rajasthani cuisine and other dishes from India, and dining here was like flipping through the pages of a Rajasthani cookbook written eons ago. Feasting on the traditional thali (a traditional round platter of food) was an exploration of Udaipur’s culinary history, and the wine, both local and international, felt like a tribute to the trade relations the city might have had in yesteryear.  For a more international menu, the seasonal open-air restaurant Bhairo serves contemporary European delicacies.

Each evening, I was treated to a delicious gin cocktail concoction at the rooftop restaurant, and guests can indulge in signature martinis and cocktails, and a grand collection of premium international spirits at the bar, Amrit Sagar.

THE UPGRADE

Take things up a notch with a stay in either a Grand Royal Suite or Grand Presidential Suite, the latter of which spans a whopping 161 square metres and will set you back around AUD$20,500 per night.

Spa & wellness

The Jiva Spa offers a rejuvenating experience that draws inspiration from India’s age-old wellness practices. Its signature Mewar Khas treatment is a must-try, seamlessly blending ancient royal routines with contemporary practices, and the yoga sessions overlooking the placid lake add to the serenity of the spa experience.

 

Special touches

True to Rajput traditions, every guest at Taj Lake Palace is treated with unparalleled warmth and hospitality. Personalised touches, such as handwritten notes, amplify the experience, making guests feel like a part of the royal lineage.

 

tajhotels.com

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