Fateh Prakash Palace located within the City Palace complex by the edge of Lake Pichola offers one of the best boutique luxury experiences in Udaipur. Built by Maharana Fateh Singh in the 1800’s at a stunning location at the edge of the Lake Pichola, this luxury hotel oozes opulence and offers enviable views of the lake. The location and the interiors coupled with the privacy that comes with staying within the City Palace complex easily makes it one of the most romantic hotels in Udaipur.
However the most captivating essence of the rooms are the views they offer. In 1828, Lieutenant Colonel James Tod, then political agent to the Western Rajput States, described the city in his Annals and Antiquities as the “most romantic spot on the continent of India”. It is easy to see why. The icy white Lake Palace best known for its cameo in the 007 blockbuster Octopussy is one of the most searched Indian monument after the Taj Mahal and can be seen in its full glory with a backdrop of the Aravalli’s from the rooms. Through the little touches of luxury, its heritage shines through without looking old or dated and hints that we are in a hotel which is many notches above the rest.
Grounds & Accommodation:
Situated within the City Palace complex, the hotel is as exclusive as they come. One has to pass through numerous checkpoints and guards wanting to see your security pass (yes, all guests get one per room) before you’re ushered in to your hotel. The most convenient way to explore the Palace grounds is through the golf carts offered as a complimentary service to the guests of Fateh Prakash & Shiv Niwas Palace. The hotel was once a palace and it looks the part with its luxurious interiors, plush sofas and frames after frames of the royal family. Check-in is a smooth and somewhat embarrassing affair with us being garlanded on arrival and but the welcome drink and the wet towels offered helped hide the blush. We were then asked to fill a customary document with our particulars and were then escorted to our room for a brief tour highlighting the presence of the mini bar, the room service menu and the breakfast timings. Our first impression of the room was a big wow.
The living room and the bed room was separated by three small arches, there were big TV’s in both the areas, though who would want to watch TV in a room with such a view, was beyond us. The interior designer might know their stuff a bit though, given that they had added in a small sitting area by the window which was by far our favourite part of the room.
The bathroom offered a similar view should one wish to soak in the views while relaxing in the generously large tub. The minibar was well stocked and as with all minibars generously priced. Guests are provided with a small fruit basket daily as well as a small box of yummy cookies in the afternoon and chocolates in the evening. The bed is gigantic and among the softest we’ve had the pleasure of sleeping upon. Given the rigours of our urban 9 to 6 lives it was definitely a great way to get some much needed beauty sleep in.
Fateh Prakash offers access to what is arguably one of the most scenic restaurants in Udaipur, the Sunset Terrace. Though it is thronged by tourists during the evening and quite understandably chaotic, we enjoyed our breakfast in peace and quiet. The breakfast spread is huge with both Indian and continental offerings available and with the serene waters of the lake for company. We can see how the place gets its name and quite rightly the sunsets should be spectacular with a glass of bubbly in your hand to go along.
The location is quite unbeatable when you consider that the City Palace is right at your backyard. If you wish to go beyond the doors, a quick golf cart ride later you can find yourself at the Tripoliya gates which lead to a small marketplace and the very famous Jagdish Temple, about 100 metres ahead. If you’re in the exploring mood, you can take a short walk through the smaller lanes, packed with shops selling clothes, accessories and paintings and plop down in one of the small café’s on the way. The ghats are all reachable by foot and provide a peek at the real Udaipur. If you’re not in the walking mood, the tuk-tuk’s are available at every crossing and uber/ola on every phone. However do remember to haggle before jumping in a tuk-tuk as the rates quoted are more likely than not very inflated especially if they see you exiting the city palace complex. In our experience, it’s best to start at about 50% of the rate quoted and work up.
Ending note & Tips:
We stayed at the spectacular premier suites but the lake facing dovecote rooms can provide equally enticing views should budget be a constraint. One should always go for the continental plan given the huge breakfast spread on order. Plus having the breakfast in the sunset terrace is an experience in itself. Though there is no swimming pool at Fateh Prakash, guests can use the one at their sister hotel, Shiv Niwas Palace which is a short 5 minute golf cart ride away. However the timings are a bit odd and better checked with if swimming is on your mind. The views from all lake facing rooms should be similar but try to get a room on the higher floor for a better experience. For restaurant visits or a trip to the monsoon palace call up an uber/ola. The rides are cheaper and faster than the ones called up by the front desk.
- Fateh Prakash Palace is right at the edge of Lake Pichola and in the heart of the city of Udaipur. It offers a choice between 21 Dovecote rooms and 44 Dovecote Premier Suites.
- The best time to visit would be just after the monsoons when the lakes fill up and/or in the winters when it is much cooler. However given its close proximity to the state of Gujarat, it has evolved into a yearlong tourist destination.
- We stayed in one of the top floor premier suites however, to our knowledge all lake facing rooms share a similar view and only differ in the size of the room and possibly the amenities on offer (Not bath tubs with lake views)
- Fateh Prakash is great for couples given its romantic setting and families given the easy access to all the sights and should be in the consideration set if you’re looking for a luxurious stay in this beautiful lake city. You can book a room at their website for the best prices