PRICE: Worth maxing out for
The Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur was the world’s best hotel in 2015. What more is there to be said? It really is that brilliant. And in the couple of years that have passed since it won this accolade, it’s only got better.
Located on the western bank of Lake Pichola in the grounds of a 200-year-old hunting estate, The Oberoi Udaivilas really is in a league of its own. It’s a sensational creation of Mughal style domes, charming pavilions, reflection pools, ornate fountains and wind tunnels to provide ventilation. Throw in stunning views over the lake to The Lake Palace and beyond to the City Palace, opulent interiors and exquisite dining, and you’ll find it difficult to take it all in.
The rooms undeniably set the standards in Udaipur and provide stiff competition elsewhere in India. Private pools are the order of the day but there is scope for rooms sharing a semi-private pool as well. In fact, there are rooms without pools too.
Pools aside, what is guaranteed is superbly designed spaces to maximise light and views. The interior decor is fresh, elegant and crisp. Dark woods contrast with light floors and an assortment of scatter cushions create a colourful feast for the eyes. Bathrooms are spacious, exquisitely appointed and are the kind of place where you’ll want to take your clothes off and luxuriate for hours.
The urge to linger is a temptation you constantly have to tussle with at Oberoi Udaivilas. Whether at the expensive breakfast buffet, in the signature indian restaurant, at one of the pools or whilst expert hands soothe you during an Indian head massage in the spa. And at every turn you’ll find domes, sweeping stone staircases, deep chaises with scroll cushions to take a moment on and such perfect views that postcards don’t even come near.
Our favourite rooms are the Premier, with semi private pool. You’ll step out from your own little courtyard into a 73m long pool with the most perfect lake views.
On your doorstep
The hotel has its own pier and operates a flotilla of beautiful wooden boats that will whisk you to the other side of the lake from where the old part of the city is at your feet.