Whenever anyone wants to soak in the royal experience, royalty in India is ideal. A few refurbished palaces in provide us commoners, a slice of the royal and luxurious lifestyle.
One of the places, I was lucky to visit was the Lake Palace in Udaipur, surrounded by Lake Pichola. Restored to its pristine glory, this spectacular palace became world renowned when the James Bond film ‘Octopussy’ was filmed at it. It was the secluded lair of the film’s eponymous Bond Girl. This heritage hotel has 66 luxurious rooms and 17 grand suites. Its location on an island in the midst of a lake affords every room breathtaking views of the neighbouring City Palace, Aravalli Hills, Machla Magra Hills and Jag Mandir.
The incomparable location provides the perfect backdrop for the exquisite cuisines at the elegant restaurants of Taj Lake Palace. These are open only to resident guests. Signature speciality restaurants at this palace serves a choice of cuisines. Neel Kamal for authentic Rajasthani and other dishes from India; and the seasonally open-air Bhairo for contemporary European delicacies. In the evening, indulge in signature martinis, cocktails and a grand collection of premium international spirits at the s bar, Amrit Sagar.There is lovely music and traditional dance by the tribal ladies carried out in the courtyard next to Amrit Sagar.
One can go for the Sunset Cruise, taking in the view of the gorgeous Pichola and the city encompassing the lake. We were also taken to visit Jag Mandir, a beautiful setting, ideal for fairtytale weddings.
I stayed in the Sajjan Niwas suite.When you step into this opulent suite – the decadence and lushness of Rajput style leaps out from every corner of the room. From the near six-foot standing chandelier lamp in the corner, to the plush traditional rugs; the colourful marble inlay skirting the walls; miniature paintings hanging on the walls; abundant lamps and a royal portrait; plus the heavy blue velvet punkah that hang from the ceiling — a way to cool a room from centuries ago. The rooms of the suite are grand, the craftsmanship detailed and ornate, and on first impression the decor almost clashes – it’s a perfect example of the luxurious and opulent style of the Rajput that travellers come to Rajasthan to soak up. The chandelier above my bed was opulent and a sight to see. From the room, we had a wonderful view of the lake.
The service was impeccable, and the duty manager at that time was gracious. This hotel is worth visiting as it created memories for me, worth a lifetime.
Known as the Venice of the East, the city of Udaipur, with its elaborate palaces, serene lakes, exotic temples and resplendent gardens, has a lot to offer.