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Floating the in the middle of Lake Pichola in Udaipur, Rajasthan is India’s iconic Taj Lake Palace hotel. This Lake palace stands in all its glory covered in white marble and surrounded by crystal clear waters. Udaipur is home to many luxury hotels but Taj Lake Palace hotel comes highly recommended. Not only was the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy filmed here, Taj Lake Palace hotel is always been frequented by celebrities and royal family from all over the world.

Coined as one of the most romantic hotel in the world, offering picturesque 360-degree views of the lake and surrounding Udaipur city. The hotel is only accessible via a short boat ride, you will be whisked to the hotel from the banks of Lake Pichola to Palace’s grand lobby. Upon arrival expect a Maharaja (Royalty) welcome with a shower of flower petals, refreshments and on a sunny day you will be escorted under a sequinned, embroidered umbrella.

Originally built in 1743 this stunning white marble palace was built as a pleasure resort by a young prince, today this luxury hotel in Udaipur has been tactfully restored to its former glory, maintaining the original fountains and other decorations. Taj Lake Palace oozes decadence through out and retains much of its original palace charm, with arched galleries, high ceilings, marbled terraces, whitewashed courtyards lined with tropical plants, lily pond and water features. As soon as you enter you will be treated like a Maharaja.

Home to 65 luxurious rooms and 18 grand suites, given the hotels location every room has breathtaking views of the surrounding city, lake, Aravalli Hills, Machla Magra Hills and Jag Mandir. Each room captures a different period from its history, decorated in rich colours featuring local Indian textiles and exudes a regal ambience. All the rooms come with round-the-clock butler service. The heritage suites in particular are worth splurging over and enjoying life like a Maharaja even if it is for a day.

Taj lake palace features a lovely outdoor courtyard pool and a row of chic sun loungers surrounded by colonnade of latticework overlooking Lake Pichola and the surrounding Udaipur city. Alongside the pool sits a 273 year old mango tree, which provides shade from the Indian sun during the afternoons. The swimming pool is so picturesque that is the most ‘Instagrammed’ part of the whole hotel. 2 covered jacuzzis sit on either end of the pool and during the winter months the pool is heated for us. The Spa – ‘Jiva spa’ at this hotel is unlike any other, the Jiva spa boat in particular which is anchored in the Lake. Offering treatments  inspired by the ancient wellness heritage of India.

Dining is an extraordinary affair at Taj Lake Palace, it features 3 restuarnts and a rooftop bar. Spend the evening watching the sun set over the lake from Amrit Sagar bar which offer a great selection of wine, fine single malts and cigars. Your butler can set up dinner just about anywhere you like, from floating platforms, 150 year old boat to setting up in your room. The private dining setup feels like a fairytale.

Luxsphere recommends: Mewar terrace for a private dining experience

Bhairo restaurant is a rooftop restaurant which offers views around the palace and overlook the sparkling waters of Lake Pichola beautifully lit in the dark. Open just for dinner it offers contemporary western cuisine.

Neel Kamal is the restaurant to try if you are after authentic Indian specialities. Over looking the picturesque lily pond, this restaurant is only open for dinner it serves signature dishes from India especially Rajasthani cuisine.

Jarokha is the informal dining spot which is open throughout the day offer cuisines from all around the world.

Our favourite is the dinner package which takes place on board the Royal Barge (Gangaur Boat) at sail on Lake Pichola. The views of the palace lit beautifully in the background and the  enchanting lake makes the whole experience magical. Serving the finest of Rajasthani cuisine by your own private chef we recommend having dinner at the upper level where the views are simply breathtaking. It also include private dance performers making the whole dinner experience unforgettable.