A fairytale castle rising from the placid waters of Lake Pichola, the legendary Taj Lake Palace was built over 200 years ago as a summerhouse for the young Maharana of Udaipur. Since then, it has played host to innumerable royals, playboys and jet-setters, and is perhaps best known for its silver screen incarnation in James Bond's Octopussy. Guests reach the man-made four-acre island by boat, arriving at a restored palace of regal proportions with sensational views of Udaipur's temple-fringed shore and the hazy Aravalli mountains.
Sumptuous rooms and suites have billowy-canopied beds, hand-woven upholstery, intricate latticework and stained glass windows; the biggest even come with swings. The spa offers treatments including ancient royal pre-bathing rituals, and a beautiful suntrap pool. The main restaurant, Neel Kamal, specialises in lavish wood-fired Rajasthani dishes, and a handful of other eateries offer Asian, Indian and international cuisine.
- Couples and romantics
- Spa and wellness lovers
- James Bond enthusiasts
THINGS TO DO AT THE HOTEL:
- Tour the palace and grounds with a local historian
- Take a serene cruise on Lake Pichola
- Enjoy a healing massage in the Jiva Spa or out on the lake
- Dine in ornate splendour at Neel Kamal
THINGS TO DO NEARBY:
- Tour Rajasthan’s city of lakes in vintage car
- Cycle through Udaipur’s atmospheric streets to the colourful bazaar
- Take a cookery class with a renowned local chef