Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
It is difficult to imagine a more romantic setting than this, surrounded by the Aravali Mountains and with the city of Udaipur as a backdrop, the iconic Taj Lake Palace was built in 1746 by Maharana Jagat Singh ll as a pleasure palace and is a wonder of glistening white marble and mosaic which appears to float in the middle of Lake Pichola. Arrival at the palace is a dreamlike experience, step from the vintage coupe to board a boat which drifts slowly across the lake, on arrival guests are greeted with a shower of rose petals as they cross the arched portals and are transported magically to a bygone era.
A wealth of dining experiences awaits the guest at Taj Lake Palace Bhairo, A gust of wind, is the formal fine dining restaurant located on the rooftop. Here the senses are treated to exquisite European Cuisine created especially by the chefs. For authentic flavours of the royal cuisine of Mewar, the chefs at Neel Kamal use local ingredients and time honoured cooking techniques, such as wood-fired stoves. Jharokha brings informal all day dining and offers a vibrant array of delicacies from all over the world eaten under scalloped arches overlooking the waters of Lake Pichola. Aptly named Sea of Nectar, Amrit Sagar is a stylish bar renowned for its fine selection of vintage wines, spirits and cigars. This too is the place for a delicious traditional High Tea or light meals. There is so much more to experience, take the heritage walk through the Palace for an insider’s view on this symbol of elegance and romance. Experience the Gangaur Cruise on the ceremonial imperial barge of the house of Mewar, sip cocktails and listen to instrumental music as the lights of the palace cast shimmering reflections. If it all feels familiar it could be that you have seen it in the Bond classic Octopussy, as the home of the film's heroine played by the beguiling Maud Adams. Leave the lake and feel like a king while being driven around the beautiful city of Udaipur in a vintage car, sparkling wine adds to the magic.
With so much excellent cuisine some guests may wish to be more active with a swim in the pool or a visit to the fitness centre .Cleanse the mind with yoga and meditation and for the ultimate pampering experience the Jiva Spa and Spa Boat offer journeys drawn from the ancient Indian techniques of healing and wellness. A romantic experience, Taj Lake Palace will be hard to leave.
All of the 66 rooms and 17 suites are as delightful as the exterior, with each romantic room having its own story. The Luxury rooms showcase the finest modern craftsmanship and have a feeling of simplicity, elegance and attention to detail. Palace rooms imbued with more space have high ceilings and the rich décor and floral artwork of Classical Indian architecture, a charming setting yet with modern technology always close at hand. The 6 Royal Suites really do live up to their name. They are graced with delicate frescos, decorative wall niches and antique wooden fans. The décor is traditional with stained glass windows, they have a sitting area from which there are stunning views of the lake and even the bathrooms have panoramic views. The resplendent Grand Royal Suites of which there are 9 are part of the original design of the palace and have a decadence which is legendary. They are the epitome of royal grandeur and offer guests a taste of the best of the finest traditions of the princely kingdom of Udaipur. The Grand Presidential Suite, called the Shambhu Prakash suite is named after the Maharanah Shambhu Singh who in the 1860’s was known for his progressive reforms . Furnished in impressive opulent strokes of colour graced with high curved arches it exudes a mix of both Rajasthani and European grandeur. It has a comfortable and elegant library stocked with select literary works and hand-picked artefacts, while an adjoining balcony offers views of what is arguably the best lake view sunset in the world.
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