Why you’ll love the Oberoi Udaivilas
The magical Oberoi Udaivilâs is the kind of luxury boutique hotel that you dream about staying in at least once in your lifetime. The winner of countless accolades, including ‘Best Hotel in the World’, this modern day Indian palace offers every conceivable indulgence in a truly magical setting.
The hotel was designed to incorporate traditional regal designs including grand courtyards, bubbling fountains, reflection pools and hand-carved stone columns. The interiors are just as ornate with hand-painted ceilings to reflect different moods – a night sky in the Udaimahal restaurant and birds and clouds on the inner dome of the Suryamahal. But the real highlights are the carefully sculpted golden domes that glitter on the edge of Lake Pichola.
Not surprisingly you’re every whim is catered for by an impeccably turned out staff. Indulge in the sublime spa, retreat to your own private pool or simply bask in sunshine, safe in the knowledge that it doesn’t get much better than this.
Why the kids will love the Oberoi Udavilas
It seems that the Best Hotel In the World is also brilliant with kids and you’ll find that lots of families choose to stay here, particularly multi-generational families exploring India together. There is a lot for children to do but let’s start with the journey. Guests to the Oberoi Udaivilâs are ferried across Lake Pichola by private gondola, a trip that is sure to win over any guest, no matter how big or small.
Once on dry land children can be kept as busy as they (or you) like. There are elephant and camel rides, organised treasure hunts where everyone’s a winner and kite-making and flying lessons. Be a Junior Chef for the day and learn to bake cookies or try your hand at hotel management with the Junior Hotelier program that introduces children to the world of hotel operations.
What we love best about this hotel, however, is that in spite of all the glitz and the glamour children are treated the same as adults – as guests that deserve to be looked after properly. Wait for the pink milk and personalised biscuits to arrive at bedtime and you’ll see exactly what we mean.
Rooms: The Oberoi Udaivilâs has 87 beautifully appointed rooms; 63 Premier Rooms, 19 Premier Lake View Rooms, 4 Luxury Suites with Private Pool and 1 Kohinoor Suite with Private Pool. The different categories of room are all positioned within a different part of the hotel. The rooms are, as you would expect, gorgeous with crisp white linens on the kingsize beds, accented by colourful Indian textiles. Victorian freestanding bathtubs take centre stage in the large marble bathrooms and there are separate shower stalls with wonderfully powerfully showers.
All guest rooms come with the following amenities: LCD TV, DVD player, satellite television, wired and wireless broadband internet access, electronic safe, direct dial telephone with voice mail and personal mini-bar.
Premier Rooms: These rooms come with their own private, bougainvillea-filled walled courtyards complete with colourful, silken parasols.
Premier Lake View Rooms: These rooms open onto a semi-private moated pool that meanders past the terraces.
Luxury Suite with Private Pool: The Luxury Suites have private infinity pools, tented dining pavilions and unrivalled views of the City Palace horizon. Guests in these rooms also enjoy the privilege of having a private butler on call 24-hours-a-day.
Kohinoor Suite with Private Pool: Reached through private wooden doors is palatial, two-bedroom suite that offers 2,650 sq ft of pure luxury. Enjoy fountained courtyards, a living room with a real fireplace and a master bedroom that opens directly onto your own private 20-metre swimming pool. The second bedroom can be arranged according to your requirements – with twin beds or as a private spa room for massages and treatments. The views over the City Palace and Aravalli Hills are sublime.
Best rooms for families: Only one extra bed is allowed per room providing that the child is under 12 years of age; children above the age of 12 will be required to take a separate room (an extra bed will not be provided for anyone over the age of 12). Two children up to 8 years of age can stay in their parents’ room without an additional charge, however only one extra bed will be allocated. If you have two children aged between 8 and 12 then an additional room is also necessary and the rate of this room will be 50% of the parent’s applicable room rate.
There are no inter-connecting rooms but some of the Premier Rooms inter-connect via a shared courtyard. These ground floor Premier Rooms work well for families as they offer easy access to the pool. Udaivilâs provides baby cots.
Food: There are three restaurants at Udaivilâs. Suryamahal is open all day and serves western, Mediterranean, Indian and Thai-style dishes. Udaimahal is the hotel’s speciality Indian restaurant and open for dinner only. Chandni is the dining courtyard adjoining the restaurants where guests can dine al fresco accompanied by traditional music and dance performances in the evening.
Breakfast is served in the Suryamahal restaurant and is fantastic. Enjoy a generous buffet of hot and cold dishes with both western and Indian meals available. Freshly baked breads and pastries, cold cuts, fresh fruit and homemade yoghurts, smoothies and more are all offered. An a la carte menu is also available.
Lunch is served in the Suryamahal or Chandni although you can choose to dine almost anywhere in the resort – in your room or by the pool. The daytime menu features western, Mediterranean, Indian and Thai-style dishes and you can take your pick from a variety of salads, pastas, sandwiches, kathi rolls and curries. Or you may choose to take a picnic lunch basket with you on a private gondola ride instead! The Udaimahal is the hotel’s speciality Indian restaurant, open for dinner only, and both the food and the setting are fantastic. Traditional music and dance performances are held in the evenings.
For Kids: There is a children’s menu (with very good pizza) and room service is available for children who want to eat earlier in the evenings. The kitchen also likes to whip up milkshakes for kids. Highchairs – the smartest your child will probably ever sit on – are also available. Pink milk and personalised biscuits, with your child’s name written in icing, are delivered at bedtime. Room service is available 24 hours a day.
Take advantage of the luxurious spa and make an appointment or three. The treatment rooms have views of Lake Pichola and the City Palace and the holistic therapies are divine. There are also three couple’s suites for his and hers treatments.
Learn to cook your favourite dish with a cooking lesson from one of the hotel’s chefs.
Start your day with a sun salutation overlooking Lake Pichola during a complimentary yoga class.
Ask the hotel to pack up a picnic lunch and set sail in a private gondola for a tour of Udaipur by water.
Lie by the main swimming pool – or by your own private pool – and soak up the sunshine and serenity of this beautiful hotel.
Play a game of croquet on the hotel lawns.
See what the future has in store for you during a palm reading session with the hotel’s astrologer.
Enjoy a tour of Udaipur including a guided walk around the magnificent City Palace.
Play in the main swimming pool – there are shallow black and white chequered steps for novice swimmers – and then lie under one of the Technicolor sun umbrellas.
Ask the hotel to arrange an elephant ride and lumber along in the hotel’s grounds or opt for a camel cart ride instead.
Follow the carefully placed clues around the hotel on an organised Treasure Hunt where everyone gets a prize.
Learn to bake chocolate-chip cookies as part of the Junior Chef program run by the hotel chefs.
Turn into a Junior Hotelier and take a complete tour of the hotel and its various departments to discover the world of hotel operations.
Learn how to make your own kite and then watch it swoop and glide in the sky.
Jump in a boat and tour the city by water; see how many James Bond locations you can spot along the way!
A/C, babysitting, common rooms, baby cots available, doctor on call, the nearest hospital is 1km away, 1 extra bed is allowed per room, kids’ activities, kids’ menu, laundry, pushchair-friendly, shop, spa, two swimming pools, travel desk, wheelchair access, WiFi.
When to go:
Udaipur’s climate remains relatively warm throughout the year. The best time to visit is between November and February when the days are sunny and temperatures range between 22C – 29C. Evening temperatures during this period can drop to as low as 8C. From March the mercury starts to rise and the summer months (April to June) see temperatures soar to 37C and higher. The monsoon usually arrives in late July and lasts until September. September and October are also good months to travel, it’s warm and muggy, but the crowds are smaller and good hotel deals can often be found.
Location & Travel:
The Oberoi Udaivilâs is located on the banks of Lake Pichola in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. Udaipur’s Dabok airport is 27 kilometres from the resort and the drive takes 45 minutes. Udaipur is well connected to New Delhi and Mumbai with daily flights operated by Jet Airways and Indian Airlines. The hotel is approximately 8 kilometres from Udaipur railway station. The travel time by train from New Delhi to Udaipur is approximately 12 hours by Mewar Express.
1) The Oberoi Hotels aren’t for budget travellers but if you can stretch to stay here you should DO IT! It is honestly amazing.
2) Take a boat ride, a trip on the lake is the best way to get a feel for the town.
3) Find out what activities the hotel is running for kids, the hotel regularly has new classes that are guaranteed to keep your little ones busy for an hour or more.