Over-the-top opulence can be expected at this palace that serves as its own fantasy island.
Rising like a mirage from the center of Lake Pichola, this lustrous white marble landmark was originally built in the 1740s as a pleasure palace — an island escape from Udaipur's landlocked, main royal residence. Guests arrive by boat and are immediately ensconced in a kind of ornate opulence unimaginable in today's Philippe Starck-styled hotel world. Romantic is the defining mood here, from the meticulous gardens and lily pond to the bedrooms adorned with silks, mosaics, frescoes and gorgeously carved furnishings. With stained-glass windows and magical views from to-die-for terraces, some of the suites will take your breath away. Among the dining venues, Neel Kamal pays tribute to the royal cuisine of Mewar. At Jiva Spa, treatments incorporate ancient Indian healing practices.