Located on an island in Udaipur’s Lake Pichola, the Lake Palace (or Taj Lake Palace) is a luxury hotel that was originally built as a winter palace for Maharana Jagat Singh II between 1743 and 1746. Today the magnificent palace is an 83-room and suites property that has been voted India’s most romantic hotel.
The original Lake Palace spans 16,000 square metres on the island of Jag Niwas and was originally named the Jagniwas. The palace was built facing the east so that inhabitants could pray to Surya (the sun) every morning at dawn. Its courtyard featured pillared terraces, columns, gardens and fountains, which can still be seen today. The Lake Palace was restored into a lavish hotel in 1963 and is famous for being used in the James Bond film Octopussy.
Since it opened its doors as a hotel, a number of famous people have stayed at the Taj Lake Palace, including Jacqueline Kennedy, Vivian Leigh, Queen Elizabeth and the Shah of Iran. A boat from a jetty on the mainland takes guests from the City Palace to the award-winning hotel, though non-guests are also welcome to visit.
Address and contact: Lake Pichola, Udaipur, Rajasthan, tel: (91) 294 242 8800
Opening times and fees: Open 24 hours a day, with a 24-hour front deskWhere to stay
Those that can’t afford to stay at the Taj Lake Palace will find plenty of other hotels near the Lake Palace in all budget options. Still, there are a number of other high-end properties nearby that are not as expensive as the island hotel but just as fantastic, including the Trident, Udaipur and Shiv Niwas Palace.
Guests can expect guestroom amenities like a private balcony with great views, premium bedding, flat screen televisions and DVD players at the luxury hotels near the Lake Palace, with some also having iPod docking stations, ceiling fans and pillow menus. Wi-fi is also provided, though in some cases there is a surcharge for this.
There is also a good selection of mid-range hotels near the Lake Palace, some of which boast spectacular views of the palace. Most of these offer complimentary Wi-fi and have a restaurant on site, with some also featuring a spa, business services and a swimming pool. Most mid-range hotels near the Lake Palace also have guestrooms with air-conditioning and flat panel TVs.
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