Location: On the water is the only place to be in Udaipur and the Taj Lake Palace is right in the centre of Lake Pichola.
History: Most Taj properties have some sort of royal lineage and likewise the Taj Lake Palace started out as Jag Niwas, built as a "pleasure palace" by Maharana Jagat Singh II, 62nd successor to the royal dynasty of Mewar."
Service: Every guest is treated as royalty, with "Royal Butlers" on hand to serve 24 hours a day.
The white marble Taj Lake Palace seems to float magically in the middle of the stunning Lake Pichola, facing the city of Udaipur against the backdrop of the Aravalli Mountains. The hotel’s 83 individually decorated rooms and suites are located in a former royal palace that is only accessible from the mainland by boat. Recently renovated and updated, the Taj Lake Palace is considered one of the most romantic hotels in the world. The Neel Kamal restaurant serves Rajasthani cuisine; the Jharokha room offers light international fare; and the open-air rooftop restaurant Bhairo has clear view of the City Palace. There is a lakeside bar and lounge with incredible views of the surrounding countryside. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, hot and cold Jacuzzis and an aerobic workout room, though no fitness center. The business center has computers and mobile phones for hire, broadband Internet access and wi-fi access. The Jiva spa offers traditional Indian spa treatments, and is available for exercise and relaxation. Taj Lake Palace is a 40-minute drive to the airport in Dabok (UDR).
The interiors of Jag Niwas have all been restored in period style with antique furnishings that capture different points in history, so staying at the Taj Lake Palace is akin to travelling back in time. Each room and suite is restored in elegant heritage style creating its own distinct mood – ultimately whimsical and hopelessly romantic. Antiques, artifacts and mosaics furnish luxurious accommodations while showcasing local craftsmanship.
Beautifully rendered frescoes and opulent period furnishings create truly palatial accommodations in the Grand Royal Suites. Recreating the type of experience had by Udaipur's royal guests, these lavish suites were part of the palace's original design, some featuring an outdoor terrace. There are nine different Grand Royal Suites, each with a different design motif. Facilities include a plasma TV and DVD player, tea/coffee maker, bathtub and shower, robes and slippers, butler service, pillow and quilt menu, hairdryer, scales, WiFi, dual line telephone, minibar, safe, and a bathroom with toiletries by Forest Essential.
These 300 square-foot rooms provide all modern conveniences in an elegant environment. Thread count 230 linens and Ploh feather duvet ensure a sound night's sleep. Views are of the lake, courtyard, City Palace and Summer Palace. Each room includes plasma TV and DVD, tea/coffee maker, bathtub and shower, robes and slippers, butler service, pillow and quilt menu, hairdryer, scales, WiFi, dual line telephone, minibar, safe, and bathroom amenities by Forest Essential.
Offering 400 square feet of space, these rooms feature four-poster beds, high ceilings, patterned archways, floral details and views of the lake, the City Palace and the Summer Palace. Each room features a plasma TV and DVD player, tea/coffee maker, bathtub and shower, robes and slippers, butler service, pillow and quilt menu, hairdryer, scales, WiFi, dual line telephone, minibar, safe, and a bathroom stocked with amenities by Forest Essential.
Light-filled and spacious, these stunning suites feature patterned archways, beautiful frescoes and stained glass windows. Offering 550-650 square feet, lake views can be enjoyed from a separate sitting area and from the bathroom. Royal suites include a daily fruit platter, turn-down chocolates, a bottle of wine and a chocolate platter. Facilities include a plasma TV and DVD player, tea/coffee maker, bathtub and shower, robes and slippers, butler service, pillow and quilt menu, hairdryer, scales, WiFi, dual line telephone, minibar, safe, and a bathroom with toiletries by Forest Essential.
The Taj Lake Palace's Jiva Spa is the recipient of multiple awards, offering a vast range of treatments inspired by traditional royal Indian therapies. The palace pool is one of the most stunning in the world, with yoga and meditation also on offer.
There are plenty of onsite activities taking place at Taj Lake Palace – many of them drawing attention to the heritage of Udaipur and the palace itself. Guests can take a historic guided walk through the property, consult the advice of an astrologer or stroll through the Bazaar shopping arcade and browse new and antique jewelry, Kashmiri shawls and Rajasthani paintings. There's also an hour-long cultural show and shadow dance in the Jhankar Courtyard every day. Offsite, guests can book a luxury lake cruise, a city tour or a ride in a vintage car with bespoke itineraries created by the team at Taj Lake Palace.
A 24-hour fitness centre is onsite for guests wanting to stay fit on holiday, equipped with treadmills and cross-training machines, cycles and free weights. Staff are present from 7am-9pm to assist and there is a steam room and hot and cold jacuzzis available near the swimming pool.
Drawing upon traditional Indian approaches to wellness, Jiva Spa looks deep into the mind, body and spirit to address individual needs. The healing therapies of Indian Royalty are employed here by trained professionals using only natural products in a calming environment. Holistic treatments are used to rejuvenate the spirit and reinvigorate body and mind. The spa menu is comprehensive, including signature treatments, indigenous Indian therapies, aromatherapy, massage and beauty treatments. A highlight is the Mewar Khas, a pre-bathing ritual inspired by a royal wedding-day practice. Guests can also book a spa experience on the Spa Boat.
Calm them mind and invigorate the body with a yoga session – free for all guests. Classes take place on the Mewar Terrace with views over Pichola Lake, every morning from 7am to 8am.
The four restaurants in the Taj Lake Palace offer superlative levels of fine dining in breath-taking environments, whether guests choose to dine at the venue or in one of the private dining areas. A wide selection of fine wines is offered and guests can choose from a range of different cuisines – Italian, Indian, modern Western and Asian – from internationally trained chefs. The Taj Lake Palace also offers a great opportunity to sample regional teas and sweets.
This charming bar offers indoor and outdoor seating where guests can enjoy a selection of vintage wines, spirits and cigars. Afternoon tea and light meals are served, with kebabs and Asian tapas plates complemented by cocktails and single estate teas.
"Bhairo" means "gust of wind" – fittingly, this restaurant is located on the rooftop. Contemporary European cuisine is prepared in this elegant and romantic fine dining outlet. Breakfast can also be organized here for those who want to start the day in the sunshine.
This light and breezy restaurant offers all-day dining for guests with Asian and Mediterranean dishes. Open 24 hours, it boasts sweeping views over the lake and cooks up a hearty breakfast each morning, including French Press coffee.
With views of the Lily Pond in the palace courtyard, this restaurant offers traditional ambience in its filigree archways and floor seating. Wood-fired stoves and local ingredients bring the flavours of the royal cuisine of Mewar to the table.
For an unforgettable dining experience, guests can choose one of several venues for fine dining. Royal butlers tend to diners on the Mewar Terrace or by the Lily Pond, with in-suite dining also available. The master chef will happily create a personalized degustation or themed menu, or a traditional Rajasthani meal presented on a golden thali tray. A mini fireworks show can be arranged for the ultimate dinner.