Udaipur is one of India’s most magical cities – a bastion of Rajasthani tradition – with its creamy-white palaces beside a shimmering lake, rambling old havelis and romantic luxury hotels that pull in honeymooners and more than a few wedding parties.
Here’s our pick of some of Udaipur’s best lakeside haveli hotels.
Hotel Rampratap Palace (Ph 0294 2431701/2432961; Fateh Sagar Lake): This compact, heritage-style hotel has a classy ambience with an open courtyard and wide marble balconies. The rooms are done up with kitschy handicrafts, paintings and bright linen and 11 rooms have views of the Fateh Sagar Lake. The rooms on the ground floor don’t have lake views.
Amet Haveli (ph 0294 2431085/2434009; outside Chandpole, Lake Pichola): Green, serene and well spread out, the Amet Haveli has spacious rooms done up in traditional carved wooden furniture. Some rooms face the courtyard and the garden, while those with the lake views have seating in the alcove. The hotel also has a lovely Mughal style garden, which has several seating areas from where you can almost touch the lake’s waters.
Udai Kothi (ph 0294 2432810–1; opposite Chandpole, Hanuman Ghat Marg, Pichola Lake): Miniature paintings, walls inlaid with coloured glass and period furniture feature in this stylish and artistic hotel. The rooms – many of them lake facing – are large and done up with bright Rajasthani linen and upholstery. An exclusive honeymoon suite with a 360-degree view of the Pichola, temperature controlled pool, dining area, Jaccuzzi and private terrace is best suited for couples.
Karohi Haveli (ph 0294 24300269; outside Chandpole, Lake Pichola): A bright courtyard invites the guest into this former family home. All rooms are aesthetically done up and the entire property has a serene feel to it. There are three categories of rooms – the base category does not have lake views, but the other two do. The mid-category is value for money, since it has almost the same decor and amenities as the top category. There is also a small spa.
Jagat Niwas Palace (ph 0294 2422860; 23–25 Lal Ghat, Lake Pichola): Let the narrow entrance to this hotel not be your yardstick for judging this wonderful lakeside property. A 17th-century haveli with a central courtyard, sit-out areas and open terraces is divided into two wings and five categories of rooms. The decor is simple yet classy with touches of traditional arts and crafts.
Swaroop Vilas (ph 0294 2430207/2430240; 6 Ambavgarh, opposite Lake Swaroop Sagar): A short drive up a hilly road takes you up to Swaroop Vilas, a haveli hotel with an impressive facade, overlooking Lake Swaroop Sagar. The whole place is artistically done up with gorgeous paintings and interesting artefacts and the ceilings are adorned with Usta paintings. Rooms in the old wing here have balconies with lake views.