Enter into a dreamland of Maharajas and Maharanis by staying at the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, Rajasthan, often called the Venice of the East. From the airport pick-up to the wave goodbye on the journey home, the Lake Palace will comfort you with grace and style. Be revived with a cool towel and a history lesson as you ride in an AC car to the dock for your boat ride to the Palace which seemly floats on the water in the centre of Lake Pichola.
After a refreshing bottle of water and a smooth and simple security check, you board the boat for the beginning of your stay as a guest of the Maharaja at his summer home. Stepping off the boat you are greeted with a smiling curled moustached man wearing his gold turban and shining personality. He escorts you carrying an umbrella to shade you from the sun when suddenly rose petals fall from the sky paving under your feet into the welcome of staff with hands joined saying “Namaste”. If you look up before entering, you just might catch a glimpse of the man on the roof who after tossing handfuls of rose petals to greet you, peers over for a peek with a cheshire grin.
Upon entering your room at the palace, you are aware of being enveloped into a time and place of the royal family. Adorned with ornate Rajasthani details the senses are overcome with the art of beautiful wall paintings and alcoves. Every detail pleasing to the eye as colours swirl and flow through pillows, furniture and walls setting the mood for relaxation and luxury, stress and tension begone. Now you are a guest of the Maharaja, and your only concern be to enjoy the food, spa, lounge, and smiles provided by the staff, who are genuinely happy to make you feel like royalty.
A flutist sings a soulful tune at dusk, highlighted by the setting sun behind him as he sits atop the terrace. Rajasthani dishes are presented and detailed by joyfully knowledgeable servers, each taste savoury of spices, lovingly simmered for hours. Sipping “Octopussy” martinis (the Bond flick was filmed here) infused with Jasmine, go down way too easily leaving an exotic aroma under your nostrils as you gaze across the lake at the lights and life of the city of Udaipur, music tickling your ears. This is life at the Palace. Swimming in its charming pool, visiting the City Palace, home to the Maharaja and his family, shopping in little stalls for marble, silver, books and textiles, and watching local dancers and singers perform, makes up your days. It’s a visit that will remain with you long after you’ve departed.
Inspirational? Completely. India is a place I often tell people they must visit at least once in their lifetimes. The Taj reputation for service is unsurpassed. The meaning of five-star is truly actualized by a staff who know your desires before even you. The Lake Palace is in a place of its own, spirited by beauty, history and tradition. The magic of the Taj Lake Palace is something not to miss.
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