A room fit for a queen. While the saying gets thrown around quite often, the Taj Lake Palace takes this statement to an entirely different level. Located in the middle of Lake Pichola, the decadent marble palace was originally built by Maharana (ruler) Jagat Singh II of Udaipur in 1746. It first became world renowned when it was featured as the secluded lair of “Octopussy’s” eponymous Bond girl back in the early 1980’s.
As we approached the palace, our Land Rover made its way down a long driveway (adjacent to the Maharana’s palace) shaded by Mango trees inhabited by thousands of bats. After a brief security check we made our way down a rusted orange carpet straight onto our chariot of the lake which would take us to the palace. The kind gentleman escorting us encouraged that he take my bag while proceeding to say “The princess and the queen do not hold their bags while staying at the Taj Lake Palace, just her camera and a smile, welcome home.” Upon our arrival to the palace, a guard with a paisley embroidered umbrella greeted us on the dock as rose pedals gracefully fell from the sky above.
Due to arriving during low season at the Taj Lake Palace, we were upgraded to one of the royal suites. From a pillow, duvet and robe menu to fresh flower petals sprinkled on the marble floors our jaws dropped as we made our way to what we would call home for the next 3 days. Naturally, I slipped into a red silk robe with gold embroidery and made myself at home. Between the natural soap selection, rose pedals in the bathtub, and different lounge areas, I did not even know where to begin. Just when I thought the marble floor was as decadent as it could get, I found a secret staircase at the front of the room which led me to a balcony that overlooked the Grand Palace, sunrise and pool area. We were then informed that dinner would be served here after a heritage tour of the property and a traditional dance performance.
As a guest of the Taj Lake Palace, the concierge provides complimentary history tours of the hotel, proceeding with a sunset sail around the lake which ends up at the local watering hole (hotel bar) to enjoy a chilled adult beverage and traditional indian dance performance as the sun sets. As much as I love exploring a new city, I also love lounging and exploring the small details of a property for a day or two. From sunrise yoga, a breakfast spread to swoon over and a pool that epitomizes the concept of relaxation – the palace certainly did not lack any details to dive into for a day or two. With 2 restaurants, Jharokha (Multi-cultural), Neel Kamal (Royal cuisine of Rajasthan), and Armit Sagar (sea of nectar) – our stomach’s were beyond satisfied while residing at the palace.
This property is not comparable with anything else I have ever seen, and just like many great things in this world, should not be compared to any other experience as it is truly unique to its own. I will definitely be back as there are so many more details to explore. Until next time.