Who hasn't dreamt of being treated like royalty? I know I have. Well, in Udaipur, India, this dream can become a reality. One in which you are not only treated like royalty, but reside in a palace, literally fit for royalty.
First, a little context. Set on the shimmering Lake Pichola, Udaipur - known as the 'City of Lakes' and the 'Venice of the East' – is a historical, cultural and scenic province in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Surrounded on all sides by mountainous terrain, with the orange hues of desert stretching out to the horizon beyond, the city of Udaipur winds and bends in a tangle of cobbled lanes and shops brimming with colour. It is thus unsurprising to learn that the ancient province of Udaipur was much fought over by Kings and Dynasties, and remains prominent in tourist circuits today. The numerous palaces, temples, monuments and forts spread across the city, symbolise this ancient vying for the land, and provide points of interest for historians and travellers alike.
But while we can all certainly enjoy an informative tour of a palace – find yours at the central City Palace – who would not be tempted by the ultimate indulgence of staying in a palace? Here, your dreams can come true.
Just across from the inland City Palace, reached by a short, dreamy boat ride across Lake Pichola, lies the magical Lake Palace. Built in 1746 as a pleasure palace for Kings and Queens, it has since been converted into a luxury 5* hotel. And when I say luxury, I mean luxury. Like the King, you can escape the rush and bustle of city life, and take refuge within the palace's white marble walls.
Exquisitely decorated, both inside and out, the palace hotel appears to float on the glittering lake, imbuing it with an enchanting, other-worldly feel. Guests can choose from a variety of suites and rooms, dotted between secret courtyards, fountains and gardens. Needless to say, every room boasts a majestic view.
If that were not enough, princesses and princes may tickle their tastebuds with any of the exquisite cuisines available at the four Lake Palace restaurants, from traditional Indian delicacies to various contemporary European dishes. Or simply enjoy a cocktail at the rooftop bar, or on a bed at the rooftop pool, savouring the view of the darkened lake and the winking lights of Udaipur beyond. The Palace Spa, offering anything from massages to manicures, will ensure there is not a moment, day or night, that you do not feel like royalty during your stay. There is even the opportunity to enjoy afternoon high-tea!
The unique, fairy-tale settings of the hotel make it perfect for a honey-moon, romantic city getaway, or even a wedding. Udaipur was first coined 'the most romantic spot on the continent of India' in 1829 by Colonel James Todd, the East India Company's first political agent in the region. It has not since lost its charm. Indeed, in 2011 the Lake Palace Hotel was ranked the 'most romantic hotel in India' by the vote of TripAdvisors millions of reviewers.
Yearning for a relaxing break from the trials of everyday life, or simply searching for the perfect place to take your Queen on holiday? Look no further. The Lake Palace in Udaipur is the place for you.
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