“A 17th-century palace with glittering mirror-work and murals, twinned with a romantic lake-encircled fort, 80 miles from Udaipur”
Seductively secreted around the building, the 50 rooms and suites vary in size and shape, but all are tastefully embellished with stars, murals and glitter in local Rajasthani style. You’ll find queensize, kingsize or twin beds, air conditioning, fans, heaters, minibars and hairdryers, as well as WiFi for those who can't live without it. Many rooms also come with romantic balconies or beautiful internal arches, and some look out over the village and nearby lakes.
The standard Deluxe Rooms can feel a little dark, although one, Chundra Ji Ri Chopar, has wonderful views. The suites are larger and have their own sitting areas, so we’d recommend splashing out for one of these if you can. On our most recent visit in 2012, we stayed in Gokul Ajara, one of the Royal Suites, which is formed from a series of connecting rooms encompassing a lounge, a dressing area and a bedroom. The most lavish of all is the sumptuous Maharana Suite, which dates back to 1670 and is decked out in colourful mirror-work that reflects the Rajput era.
Bathrooms throughout are fun and quirky. Many feature alcoves, murals or frescoes, and there's a plentiful supply of hot water, though the pressure can be low at times. All have showers, and you’ll find mosaicked tubs in most suites.
The 4 rooms at Seengh Sagar (3 doubles and 1 twin) are simpler in style but wonderfully tranquil, with private lake-view balconies for reading or evening sundowners. You can book an individual room (all have ensuite bathrooms, complete with beautiful copper sinks) or take the whole place for groups of up to 8. The fully staffed fort also has separate living and dining areas, a bar, a gorgeous terrace overlooking the water, and a pretty little garden with a heated swimming pool and a Jacuzzi set into the rocks. You can use all of the facilities at the main palace, though guests staying at the hotel are, thankfully, not allowed into the fort.
The hotel's main restaurant, Chandra Mahal ('Moon Palace'), is a cavernous dining room with intricate arches and various levels. It offers a mix of Indian, continental and oriental cuisine (sometimes as a buffet, sometimes table d'hôte) - we particularly enjoyed the Mewari home cooking, which is based on old family recipes and is absolutely delicious. The family prides itself on offering home-grown fruit and vegetables, so tuck into seasonal jams, marmalades, salads and fruit juices, and stock up in the on-site shop if you want to take a supply of your favourite back home with you. Gala evenings of folk music and dance are often organised to accompany your meal.
If you'd prefer a more intimate setting, head to the smaller Surya Mahal ('Sun Palace') restaurant, which has an à la carte selection of similar dishes, or ask for a private dinner to be set up on one of the many balconies. You can also order snacks by the pool or choose from a 24-hour room service menu.
Meals at Seengh Sagar are à la carte, served either on the idyllic terrace overlooking the lake or indoors in the open-sided dining room. Candlelit meals can be arranged on your balcony if you'd prefer more privacy, and there's a bar for lakeside sundowners.
Children are welcome and will love scrambling about the place or splashing around in the kids' pool, though the many steps mean this isn't the ideal place for toddlers (and there are no special facilities for them, either). Babysitting can be arranged on request and extra beds and cots are available. Children under 6 stay for free; those aged 6-10 pay half price.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking