palace hotel in the middle of a lake at sunset
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Taj Lake Palace

Indagare's review of Taj Lake Palace, on Udaipur's Lake Pachola. Historic and grand, this 83-room hotel lives up to and exceeds expectations.

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two lounge chairs by pool
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The Oberoi Udaivilas

Set on thirty acres of wildlife conservancy overlooking Lake Pichola, The Oboroi Udaivilas brings to life the splendor and romance of India.

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Aerial View : Leela Palace, Udaipur, India

Leela Palace Udaipur

This 80-room lakeside property, opened in 2009, feels sleek and modern, though the rich in-room color palette and furnishings serves as a nod to the city’s regal past. There are two main courtyards, one along the perimeter of the hotel featuring manicured topiaries and waterways, and another interior courtyard that serves as the stage for nightly dance performances. Rooms, though smaller than those at the Oberoi Udaivilas, still pack in plenty of artifacts, miniature paintings, and of course high-tech amenities (flat screens, iPad and iPod docks, Bose surround system). And the property’s entirely tented 10,000-square spa is also a big draw. Even if you don’t stay, the lakefront Sheesh Mahal restaurant should not be missed.

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pool with an indian style pagoda

RAAS Devigarh

When Devigarh opened its doors on December 31, 1999, it marked a new decade to come of storied properties across Rajasthan being renovated and restored into relaxing and authentic escapes. More than ten years on, the trendsetting 39-room property, all of them suites, still delivers on all accounts.

Walking around the property, there’s both a feeling of grandness and intimacy. Guests can wander and discover fragrant flower-filled courtyards, marbled terraces and jewel-encrusted corridors. The suites, for their part, are all slightly different based on the dimensions of the space, but many offer balconies or at least bay window alcoves overlooking the surrounding mountains and village. From the living area to the bathrooms, marble practically covers all surfaces, giving the room an overwhelming feeling of tranquility. Inlayed semi-precious stones, such as lapis lazuli, malachite or jasper, though add ample luxury and color, and pay homage to the region’s gem-cutting heritage. For those that want to truly feel like royalty, consider the two-bedroom Devigarh Complex, which has its own black marble pool.

The restaurant and open-air bar on property, which partly overlook the temperature-controlled pool, are also fantastically designed, blending the original palatial bones of the building with modern furnishings and décor. The menu features Indian dishes, such as the typical Rajasthan thali, where small portions of a variety of vegetables and breads are offered in small circular bowls, along with Western fare such as pastas. At the bar, cocktails often feature housemade juices such as pomegranate and jasmine syrup.

While the RAAS Devigarh has a serene setting, the property is best visited in addition to another in Udaipur, as they both offer different but worthwhile experiences. The property is a great stop for a quick countryside experience, and is easily combined with time in the city. Another bonus is the hotel's proximity to a small Indian village that is home to locals of many faiths including the Jain religion.

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