A little sun kissed, a little wind-blown and decidedly lazy, the romantic lake city of Udaipur has effortlessly always left me smitten by its beauty. While I had already stayed at reams of Rajasthani hotels, I had a feeling that this time it was going to be something different. After all, I was to unravel a royal odyssey at The Oberoi Udaivilas- a hotel which has time and again made it in the ‘Best Hotels of the World’.
Set within rampant gardens with romantic views of the sparkling lake Pichola with the backdrop of green hills, the hotel stands majestically, surrounded by the Aravalli hills. The 30 acre property that stands on 200 years old hunting grounds of the Mewar dynasty includes 20 acres wildlife sanctuary housing peacocks, deers and wild boars. My first encounter with the beauty started off with a sight of some prancing peacocks and the chanting of birds.
The hotel spells out Rajasthani palace architectures and evokes the grandeur of Udaipur’s rich and royal heritage. Embarking in I was showered by rose petals and greeted with the puja thali by the gracious staff. And the welcome did not fail to add personal touches wherever possible. Gazing up from a rooftop at sunset, the majestic interconnecting domes and corridors exhibits the layout of Udaipur itself whose seven lakes are linked by canals.
Being recognized as a luxurious award winning hotel with 87 elegant and ravishing rooms with in-room infinity pools, resident yogis, Ayurveda treatments a powerhouse collection of top restaurants, bars and a lot more, I can only remark that the property is like all your favourite stars come together to create one mega blockbuster.
I noticed that the beautiful architecture evokes the grandeur of Udaipur’s rich and royal heritage with elegant interiors with minute detailing of the Rajasthani design and artistry. My accommodation for the course of my two-night stay was the Premier Room with semi-private pool. My room was furnished with a two poster, king size bed, a luxurious sofa, armchairs and a wooden writing desk. It featured a bay window seating, with views of Lake Pichola, a teak personal bar with an espresso machine and was decorated in a palette of neutral tones, earthy ochre and vibrant peacock blue.
However, wait for the best! My favourite of all this was that I could step out of my room through a latched, wooden gate, down to an amazing, 240 feet long, semi private pool. I spent my days taking in the superb views across Lake Pichola and enjoying the comfort of the sun lounger on my private poolside terrace.
Gastronomy and experiences
My mornings began with a soulful yoga session with the beckoning views of the lake. The beauty of the hotel and its addictive energy made me feel more balanced. This was followed by a hearty but guilt-free cold breakfast at the Suryamahal. Just as the name suggests, the daytime dinning space showcases the flavors and spices across Asia with some continental and Chinese options. From fruits to fluffy and perfectly whipped up pancakes, here I was left indulging in one of best meal experiences of my life.
Most of my time was spent swimming in the temperature controlled pool or attending fun cooking sessions. The hotel also offers a tour of the historic heritage which depicts the deep rooted history of the royal emperors, the antiques, the exclusive paintings hanging on walls, the hunting grounds of the Maharanas where the kings organized fights of the wild boars and tigers which is now converted into a wildlife conservatory.
I also had the time of my life while revelling in the stunning boat cruise rendered by the hotel where I watched the sun go down. It was a visual retreat as I found the city lit up and this adds up to the beauty of the royal palaces offering a great view from the lake. The final touch was a Maharani Ritual at the spa where I was spoiled silly with a blissful massage, facial and the milk and rose-petal bath. This was followed by an incredible romantic dinner setup at Chandni (moonlight) which was a culinary affair unlike anything else. Who won’t feel like a Maharani after all this pampering?
I have to admit that Udaivilas provides a fairytale setting for a royal Mewar experience. While the food matches up to all this fabulousness, it is the staff which make all the difference by being at hand to fulfil your every need. From surprising you with your favourite desserts to taking even the slightest feedback seriously, they make the Oberoi odyssey the stuff that royal dreams are made of.
Rates: From Rs 30,000 onwards
Where: The Oberoi Udaivilas
Haridas Ji Ki Magri, Mulla Talai,
Udaipur, Rajasthan 313001
Phone: 0294 243 3300