One of the world’s most well-known luxury hotels, the Taj Lake Palace was the film set for a major part of the James Bond motion picture ‘Octopussy’. This decadent hotel was portrayed as the Bond girl’s secret lair, and appears to be floating in the middle of Lake Pichola. Reached only by a short boat ride from the banks of Lake Pichola, the secluded Taj Lake Palace boasts endless courtyards and verandas, a grand rooftop pool, stunning lake views and an air of opulent sophistication.
Emerging from the shimmering waters of Lake Pichola, the Taj Lake Palace evokes a magical aura of dreams and fairy-tales. The luxurious floating palace is a vision of white marble, glistening in the moonlight, reminiscent of one of the most romantic monuments in the world; the Taj Mahal. The Taj Lake Palace is arguably the most lavish hotel in Udaipur, challenged only by the Oberoi Udaivilas.
From the moment you arrive at the Taj Lake Palace, you will step into a world where needs are met before desire has even been realized. Guests are greeted ceremoniously with a rose petal shower, traditional Rajasthani welcome and refreshments, before being introduced to the wonderfully elaborate world that is Taj Lake Palace. Everything is possible here, you only have to ask – that is, if your Royal Butler has not already predicted it.
The breath-taking palace was built in 1746, by Maharana (Prince) Jagat Singh II. Legend has it that the young prince enjoyed romantic moonlit picnics, entertaining ladies of the Zenana, on the lake island of Jag Mandir. A most delightful hobby for the young prince – until his father found out, promptly putting an end to his romantic shenanigans. For the Maharana, there was only one option; build his own extravagant love palace on another lake island. The opulent palace was conceived in passion and named Jag Niwas (later to be known as Taj Lake Palace).
What may have started as an unruly young prince’s grand gesture was later converted into one of the world’s most opulent hotels, by Maharana Bhagwat Singhji, in 1963. The luxurious Taj Lake Palace is now run by the Taj Group of Hotels, who continue to carry on the royal traditions of the sumptuous Lake Palace.
The Taj Lake Palace is located in the middle of Lake Pichola, the heart and soul of Udaipur. To reach this magnificent palace hotel, a boat collects you from the river bank. As you get closer, the enchanting palace begins to emerge from the mist; a vision of marble, a picture of what once was, a true representation of regal Rajasthan.
Perhaps the grandest suite in India, the Grand Presidential Suite boasts 1734 square feet and is lavishly decorated in a style reflective of the Mewar dynasty’s indulgent tastes. The suite is sure to exceed its guest’s expectations, and has arguably the best lake view sunset in the world.
Guests of the Taj Lake Palace can choose to dine by the lily pond, poolside or rooftop. Royal butlers are always on hand to arrange a private table at any location of your choice.
The Taj Lake Palace starts at approximately £198 per night for Luxury Rooms during off season (May – September).
Madeleine Hann is CEO and Co-Founder of Indian Excursions Co.