The drive from Udaipur airport to our hotel, we felt like we got to see a bit more of the real India. The air was clouded with sand from the roads, genuinely making it hard to see out the windows. Tuckered out, just in generally, I drifted off a bit on this ride, and awoke to our car sitting stationery beside a beautiful lake and our driver advising us to take a tuk tuk he pointed out the rest of the way to the hotel.
Our driver claimed he couldn’t drive any further with his car, and I feared this was beginning of a terrible charade in which we would end up ‘Taken’. After some excellent conflict resolution from Miwa, our hotel agreed to send a tuk tuk for us. Our driver drove us a bit further, and we made the connection with the hotel tuk tuk there.
If staying at Lake Pichola Hotel; bear in mind that if you will be driving there, at some point you will likely need to connect with a tuk tuk. A car cannot take you all the way there due to the winding narrow streets.
We squeezed in with our luggage and take off through winding, cobbled streets, peppered with elegant women in sarees, and artisan shops selling everything from paintings to shoes.
If I had a chance to revisit, I’d spend days wandering through these streets looking at the handicrafts on offer. The vibe amongst these vendors was much more subdued and relaxed than that of those in Delhi. It didn’t seem that they would pressure you to make a purchase, but rather just be happy to see you taking some delight in the products they have an offer.
Our tuk tuk driver was handsome, cool and calm. He pointed out people on the way, nodding ‘That’s my friend’, then said friend would smile and wave, and we’d do the same. It was a sweet surreal ride. Our cases, or rather my case, weighed so much I feared it would drive the little vehicle into the ground, but it ticked along regardless. Over the bridges, up hills, and around cows. The little tuk tuk that could.
We were relieved once we arrived at Lake Pichola hotel and placed our feet back upon solid ground. The courtyard was picturesque. I want to say it felt a like the setting Romeo would beckon for his Juliette, but perhaps that’s just the romantic in me. Nevertheless, the Shakespearean yard was an adequate introduction to the ornate beauty we could expect to find around this hotel.
The reception looked over a fantastic room, which doubled as a lounge, and breakfast area. Intricate mouldings crowned the high ceilings of the room, which hung colourful chandeliers down into the space. The walls were lined with so much art, you could spend hours devouring it all. Trying desperately to see all there is to see. That to say, with the mixture of furnishings, décor, and plants it doesn’t feel as overwhelming as it might look. It feels harmonious, and you feel a great sense of balance in the space.
The room opens out to, what I’ll call the terrace, right on Lake Pichola. You couldn’t ask for a better vantage spot from which to view this lake. We took a boat right from our hotel, all around the lake.
Our personal room, number 100, firstly opens with an impressively large lock and key, it genuinely felt fairytale-esque. The door was so grand, giant me felt like shrunken Alice, after having eating the cookie that makes you small. The ornate door, gave way to a hall which held a large wooden wardrobe, mirror and desk. Taking a right lead you down a short hall to the bedroom, and the all-encompassing view. In the sunlight of the morning this view really sang. So much so, that we took a bajillion photos and videos.
The bed was lovely and comfortable. However after our beautiful dinner, I had a camera scare, in which I couldn’t find my camera so I can’t say I had the most restful night’s sleep. However, all was well again first thing in the morning when I got it back from reception. I had left it on the roof in all my excitement! I couldn’t believe it. Perhaps it’s the London cynic in me, but I would’ve assumed any misplaced camera would’ve been swiped away. I was ecstatic. My hotel review was already going to be 5 out of 5, but after this, another 5 on top feels appropriate!
After our shoot, breakfast in the lobby was full of fan favourites. I’m not sure if Miwa and I ever got that much on board with Indian breakfast. We’d take some fruit and paratha here and there, but we never really filled our plates at this time of day. I loved proper food breakfast in Thailand, and a Jamaican breakfast is always hearty. Maybe it was the spice that stopped me from diving in head first. All the above said, breakfast this day, was as enjoyable as any other.
And before we knew it was time to leave. If you are planning a trip to Udaipur, I would tell you to stay at Lake Pichola Hotel with no reservations. Whilst it was the only place we stayed, so it’s all we know. It was a beautiful stay. Staff were all too willing to help at every opportunity. The food was great, and honestly, I don’t even need to keep rambling – the views speak for themselves.