Taj Lake Palace
Why We Love This Hotel
- This former palace is on a 4-acre island in Udaipur's Lake Pichola
- "One of the world’s most romantic destination hotels" (The Daily Telegraph)
- It doubled as Octopussy's lair in the 1983 James Bond film
- Guests arrive by private water taxi & are greeted with rose petals
Taj Lake Palace is "one of the world’s most romantic destination hotels", says The Daily Telegraph, with white marble walls that seemingly float on Lake Pichola, and panoramic views of Udaipur from its 4-acre island setting. It was built in 1746 as a royal summer palace, later becoming a hotel in the 1960s, and doubling as Octopussy's lair in the 1983 James Bond film "Octopussy".
The hotel is a short journey by water taxi from the hotel's private jetty in the City Palace gardens in Udaipur, and guests are greeted with rose petals and refreshments on arrival. Udaipur is a picturesque lakeside city, bordered by the craggy Aravalli mountain range. Key sights include the City Palace Museum, which houses a collection of paintings, antique furniture and decorative artwork in the largest palace in Rajastan, the 17th-century Jagdish Temple, and the Sahelion Ki Bari (Garden of the Maidens), which has impressive gravity-powered fountains.
The hotel has a pretty swimming pool, and a spa that offers treatments (some aboard a private boat), a steam room and hot and cold Jacuzzis. Dining options are for hotel guests only, and include Neel Kamal (Rajasthani fine dining) and Bhairo, a rooftop venue serving European cuisine (October-March only). There's also a bar and a more informal restaurant for all-day dining.
Rooms have an exotic feel, with carved furniture and Indian fabrics, and all have 24-hour butlers. Some of the more basic rooms overlook internal courtyards and lily ponds; opt for a higher category for lake views.