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Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Rajasthan, India, Asia
Pichola Lake
Tel: 91 294 252 8800
Tel: 866 969 1825's insider take:

One of the most photographed hotels in India, the 83-room Taj Lake Palace rises from a rock foundation within the green waters of Udaipur's Pichola Lake. The 250-year-old former palace, one of India's best heritage hotels, is built of polished white marble, but as seen from the shore of the lake, it looks like a painted ship upon a painted ocean. Guests arrive in grand fashion aboard a shiny, polished hotel launch with a scalloped sun canopy. (Make an even grander entrance by rolling up to the boat in the hotel's chauffeured vintage car, on call for airport and train station pickups.) The Taj Lake Palace's unique location doesn't limit guest activities: There's a pool, a spa, and all manner of shore excursions, from shopping for Udaipur's famous miniature paintings to horseback riding in the Aravalli Hills. For romantic lake dining, opt for a private dinner on a pontoon platform anchored some distance off the hotel (that way you can enjoy the views of the hotel, too). When choosing your accommodation, enhance the feeling of being at sea by opting for an outside room, facing the city. Even the smallest, trimmed in natural wood, are reminiscent of the glory days of the P&O steamers.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
Overall Score: 94.4
  • Design: 96.5
  • Food: 90.4
  • Location: 98.2
  • Rooms: 94.7
  • Service: 92.1
"Flower petals rain down on you" as you enter this former royal palace, "a marvel of marble" atop a man-made island in Lake Pichola. Accommodations "vary in size and style"—Grand Royal Suites come with carved Rajasthani moldings and miniature paintings. Dinners at Jharokha feature views of City Palace and the lake and "great non-Indian dishes." "The service is extraordinary—staff even polish your apple!"

(83 rooms)
—2011 Gold List

Amenities: Pool, Spa

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.