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The Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur, Rajasthan

by Michele Griffiths |

I challenge anyone not to fall in love with the Lake Palace upon first sight.  It was built in such a way that it seems to float in the middle of the Pichola Lake like an exquisitely carved stone ship.  Could there possibly be a better location for a summer palace?  The Northwestern Region of India is called Rajasthan and it is famous for many things including being brutally hot in the summer.  When it was built in 1746 it would have been cooled by the surrounding lake and gentle summer breezes like no other palace in Rajastan. 


The palace was restored as a hotel and is now such an amazing, magical place words really do not do it justice.  The fact that the only access to the palace is via a small launch just adds to the sense of the wonderful and exotic.  Once you have arrived the surrounding view of the City Palace, Aravalli Hills, and Machla Magra Hills is just breathtaking.


The hotel is almost always festooned with garlands of fresh flowers and with the delicate scents of incense, flowers and exotic oils the palace is a destination for all the senses. The hotel interior is exquisite with carved wooden furniture, rich silk upholstery, bright mosaics and stained glass.


Fun fact:  A lot of people already know the palace without realizing it since it was used as a Bond villain lair for the Octopussy movie in 1983, but the palace really does exist and is so much more than a movie backdrop.


So finally the most important reason the Lake Palace is an amazing place to me is that back in 2002 my now husband and I scraped up all the cash we could find and eloped to India where we were married at the hotel, under the stars in the middle of the lake…