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Udaipur, in India’s North West region, is one of the country’s most evocative and beautiful cities. The City of Lakes and the jewel of the Mewar Empire has an interesting history, which combined with a culture rich in folk music and dance make for a vibrant city. Though crowded, it still manages to retain a small town, old world charm.
The once-royal city has many havelis (traditional townhouses/mansions) and palaces that have now been fitted with modern amenities and turned into luxury hotels. The focus of attention is Lake Pichola, with many heritage properties based on its banks or at least in viewing range. Views are commonplace in Udaipur and every property, budget or luxury, will have one of the Aravalli Hills, the lake, and the City Palace. Below, our pick of the best hotels in which to experience this romantic city.
Best Overall: The Oberoi Udaivilas
On the banks of Lake Pichola and looking out onto the City Palace, this 50-acre property resembles a grand palace itself. There are landscaped gardens —with decorative fountains, reflection pools, intricate Mewar arches, and lots of marble — where peacocks roam freely. The style is Indian, traditional, and royal. Rooms come with private terraces, marble bathrooms, walk-in closets, butler services, and views of the lake or the gardens; luxury suites have private infinity swimming pools.
Facilities are plenty at The Oberoi Udaivilas — a gymnasium, two temperature-controlled pools, and a luxury spa are ready to welcome all. Meals can be had al fresco, by the pool or overlooking the lake. The breakfast buffet aside, there’s a menu of rich, intensely flavored Indian food at SuryaMahal and UdaiMahal. There’s a high tea served on a boat while cruising the lake, morning yoga sessions, guided walks on the grounds and terraces, and romantic dinners under lakeside domes. Those seeking some culture can avail private city tours by boat, a visit to the Mewar School of Art, or visit the nearby wildlife sanctuary.
Best Budget: Hari Niwas Guest House
The family-run Hari Niwas Guest House, in the center of the city, is housed in what was once a haveli. The structure keeps its heritage charm but has modern upgrades. It’s affordable and ideally suited for solo travelers and backpackers; longer stays get discounts. There are six rooms that are practical, clean, and comfortable, decorated with traditional wall art, furniture, and collectibles. Just note that they are small and cannot store too much luggage or accommodate a third person. Breakfast is complimentary, home cooked, and served on the terrace or your room’s balcony. Hari Niwas also offers lunch, dinner, and tea for an additional fee.
The family behind the hotel is capable of arranging your itinerary, a car and driver, and airport transfers. Location wise, it is close to the Palace, shops, and markets. Some things to keep in mind: the ground floor rooms don’t have ACs or a view and the hotel is located down a small alley which can get noisy during the day.
Best Boutique: Madri Haveli
This property dates back 300 years, but after a six-year renovation, it was transformed into boutique haveli that marries traditional design with modern amenities. Madri Haveli is located on a hill in a quiet alley — cars cannot enter, but the staff will send porters to help with luggage upon your arrival. A short walk away is Lake Pichola and the Jagdish temple.
The hotel is comprised of 14 rooms and suites; the latter have king-sized beds on raised platforms with painted glass windows, alcoves, and arches. Rooms are fitted with ACs, televisions (not all), and modern baths (though hot water is available for only three hours). Breakfast is complimentary, made-to-order, and served on the rooftop restaurant. Though small, the restaurant has a 360-degree view of the lake and the city, and serves Mughlai and Rajasthani food; at night, dinner is served by candlelight. Activities on-site include cooking classes, yoga sessions, and massage services. Staff can offer travel guidance and arrange transportation.
Best for Families: Trident Udaipur
A private sanctuary on the banks of Lake Pichola, Trident Udaipur offers easy access to the city’s most famed sites. The 137 rooms and four suites are done up in earthy tones with green marble, traditional window frames, artifacts, and vegetable-dye artwork; they look out onto the garden or the pool. The hotel’s main restaurant, Aravalli, serves dishes from the Kingdom of Mewar; barbecues and grills are at the al-fresco The Terrace, and Amrit Mahal bar is ideal for a nightcap. Guests can take a walk in the gardens, listen to stories at the 150-year-old wildlife conservatory Bada Mahal, and take a boat ride in the evening.
Children have their own special place here with games, a play area, and an AC-equipped tent. There are special activities for them, from baking, pottery, and painting classes, to nature walks, video games, and movie sessions. Parents can rest easy knowing doctors and babysitters are always on call.
Best for Romance: Bujera Fort
A newly built fortress in the Aravalli Hills, Bujera Fort is a 40-minute drive away from the city. The fortress is blush pink, encircling Moghul gardens with lawns, courtyards, fountains, and a heated swimming pool. The master suites, bedrooms, and two smaller houses have marble baths, four poster beds, balconies, plunge pools, walled gardens, and dining pavilions. The interiors blend classic English country house fabrics with Indian traditional elements like hand-carved stone columns and salvaged window frames and doors.
Common areas include a library, reading nooks with working fireplaces, and a drawing room with a grand piano. The kitchen is open to guests and chefs are available for cooking demonstrations and visits to the onsite vegetable garden. The property offers village walks, treks to the surrounding hills, and bicycles for hire. There is also a spa that offers couples treatments, yoga sessions, and even physiotherapy.
Best for Luxury: The Leela Palace
The Leela Palace, on the banks of Lake Pichola, offers opulence of a bygone era. There are 72 Grand Heritage lake-view rooms (some with balconies) and eight suites. The latter enjoy complimentary airport transfers, discounts on spa, laundry, and dining facilities, a fitness instructor, and butler. Well-appointed and luxurious, they come adorned with traditional Rajasthani art and craftwork, fabrics embroidered with regal designs, and furniture embossed with tarkashi art work.
The Dining Room serves world cuisine and has a walk-in wine cellar, while the open-air Sheesh Mahal doles out Indian fare and customized destination dining. The Library Bar is more of a luxurious den, with dark wood paneling, a fireplace, and a collection of art, books, artifacts, and liquor from around the world. Leela offers different experiences: guided on-site art tours, day trips and city tours, sunset cruises, culinary classes, and traditional ritual ceremonies at nearby temples.
Best for Business: Ananta Udaipur
A fairytale-like setting against the Aravalli Hills seems an unlikely place to do business. But Ananta Udaipur has a 42,000-square-foot lawn and the state's largest divisible banquet hall — at 47,500 square feet — which is available for corporate events and off-sites. Beyond work, the property has 206 villas spread over 75 acres. The suites, which come with complimentary Wi-Fi and breakfast, are more expansive than the deluxe rooms — done up Balinese style with balconies, bathrooms with skylights, separate living areas, and in some cases, a private pool.
Guests can avail of indoor and outdoor activities like sports, board games, and golf. For leisure, there’s a spa, gym, and outdoor pool. Food is a mix of Rajasthani and international cuisine, served at the rooftop Ananta Tara, the Oasis pool deck and restaurant, and Float bar. Kids have a separate outdoor playground and indoor playroom. Getting around the property requires a cab; there’s no parking for outside vehicles and they are charged entry. As the hotel is located on the outskirts of the city, there’s not much to see or do outside it, but you'll find plenty to do onsite.
Best Heritage: Taj Lake Palace
This marble palace was built in 1746 and has played host to royalty, poets, and writers. The royal grandeur still remains and is reflected in the rooms’ floral motifs, delicate frescoes, decorative wall niches, and antique wooden fans. Situated in the middle of Lake Pichola, Taj Lake Palace offers 66 rooms and 17 suites. In-room amenities include 24-hour butler service, a pillow and quilt menu, balconies, personal libraries, and jacuzzis.
Royal trappings abound and include arrival by boat, vintage wines and cigars, and a spa experience on the hotel's boat. Guests who don’t want to explore the city can enjoy free boat cruises in the evening, folk dance performances, a heritage walk around the palace, or dinner on a 150-year-old boat. The cuisine offered covers traditional Mewari and North West Frontier specialties, Indian, and European.
Best Hostel: The Hostel Crawl
Located in the heart of the city, close to the City Palace, restaurants, and markets, this hostel is ideal for backpackers, solo travelers, and those traveling with pets in tow. Hostel Crawl boasts great views from the terrace/rooftop restaurant, which looks out onto the city, Lake Pichola, and the distant hills. The private rooms and dormitories are basic and have no view, but they are clean and offer big lockers and attached baths. Breakfast, again, is basic but complimentary and made to order. There’s a community kitchen for those who want to cook.
The décor theme is largely Harry Potter, and there are fun paintings of scenes from the books on walls. Guests can mingle and relax on the terrace or in the common room, which has a fireplace and library. For a treat, the owner takes guests on a bike ride through the surrounding hills and lakes. Other organized activities include picnics and walking and food tours. Indoors, there are game sessions and movie nights for entertainment.
Our writers spent 5 hours researching the most popular hotels in Udaipur. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 18 different hotels overall, read over 65 user reviews (both positive and negative), and stayed in 1 of the hotels themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.