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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Udaipur: A real life fairytale

I am a terrible liar. I can't say with any ounce of truth that I am ok with roughing it. I'm not. I have zero interest in camping, in sleeping on the ground in a tent, or even sleeping in anything less than a 4 star hotel.  Princess much? Yes I know, and I'm ok with it. But alas what is a princess to do? She truly needs to find her palace. Maybe one that is in the middle of a lake? Cue The Taj Lake Palace - also known as the most luxurious place I've stayed. I have officially been spoiled, someone warn my husband (and my banker), that there is no turning back. The Taj Lake Palace  was the jewel in the crown of our spectacular 3 day stay in Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Where: Udaipur, Rajasthan is known as the city of lakes in the western Indian state of Rajasthan. It is popularly known as the "city of lakes".  So it is no coincidence that the spectacular Taj Lake Palace sits in the middle of Lake Pichola.

How: Aproximately a 2 hour flight from New Delhi to Udaipur's Maharana Pratap Airport. Then about a 30 minute drive to the centre of Udaipur by Lake Pichola. To get to the Taj Lake Palace, the hotel picks you up in a royal boat to take you over to the palace.

When to go: The best time to visit Udaipur is September to March during their winter season. The weather is still very warm, with no rain. But it is high season.

Why Go:  Maybe because it is called the most romantic city in India, so it makes for a perfect honeymoon spot.
Or maybe because this mama wanted to be spoiled with luxury and cross off a bucket list item? In that case, I had no choice but to take my kids! So romantic eh?
But Udaipur is perfect for kids to discover real life fairytales, princes, princesses and palaces. The Taj Lake palace was the summer palace for Maharana Jagat Singh II, where they treated us like royalty.
The hotel accomodates families with incredible service. They offer cooking classes for the kids, movies and popcorn to be set up in the evening, a beautiful pool, arrange tours and the chef happily offered to make anything the kids wanted to eat. Because sometimes they just want a cheese pizza.
Go, if not to only to channel your inner princess

What to do: If you can stay at the Taj Lake Palace, you'll be reluctant to leave the property. Other than sitting poolside you can eat spectacular cuisine, find quiet spots around the property to take in spectacular views of the city, or indulge in spa services at their Jiva Spa on a boat! (especially handy if you really need to escape the kids - ha!)

But more than just what the Taj Lake Palace offers, Udaipur has lots to keep kids engaged:

  • Lake Pichola - take a boat ride around the lake. I recommend a sunset ride for some spectacular views.
Ghats of Udaipur

  • City Palace - a large palace complex sitting on the banks of Lake Pichola, it offers a look inside the life of royalty from centuries ago. 
Architectural Details at the City Palace

City Palace

  • Monsoon Palace -the hilltop Palace of the Maharana, it sits within a wildlife santuary. So you can see peacocks, birds, reptiles and monkeys (who can get quite close - just ask my 6 year old who was opening up a snack!)
View from the Monsoon Palace

Monsoon Palace

  • Jag Mandir - also situated on Lake Pichola, another complex of palaces that showcase Rajasthani architecture. Plus there's plenty of space for the kiddies to safely run around and explore.
  • Take in Rajasthani culture: India has so much diversity, and the distinct folk music, dance and food of Rajasthan is colourful in every way. Take in some local performances and indulge your tastebuds in delicious food. 

Where have you travelled to that was like a real life fairy tale?


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