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The Taj Lake Palace of Udaipur is a rose - an elegant blossom in the city's crown as India's most romantic city. Built originally as a pleasure destination by a young prince, the island hotel now serves as a nightly escape for travelers to the lake region.
Situated in the middle of Lake Pichola, the palace is entirely its own island, accessible only by boat. Those stealing across the water for the evening aren't likely to forget the sight of its looming white walls, nor are they apt to to leave its premises once they walk its sunny courtyards or catch sight of charming Udaipur waving from the lake shores.
A history of escapes
Despite what its reputation may suggest, the resort is not the first lake island palace of the region. According to the hotel, its origins may be traced to the legendary appetites of a young prince. As the story goes, Maharana Jagat Singh II was a common sight on the nearby island palace of Jag Mandir, where he would take women for moonlit picnics. The evening rendezvous eventually caught the attention of his father, effectively putting a stop to his Jag Mandir escapes. His solution was to build a palace of his own, situated on a different island in the lake. Construction started in 1743, and was opened in three short years. It wasn't until 1963 that Maharana Bhagwat Singh Ji transformed the palace into a hotel. By 1971, the palace was handed over to the Taj Hotels, which still upholds a tradition of royal-grade luxury and indulgence.
A room with a view
People who haven't been to the palace may still be able to recognize it as the decadent hideout featured in the James Bond film "Octopussy." While the resort has bled into the pop culture mainstream, its elegance and beauty has by no means diluted with popularity. Ornate, exotic rooms, rooftop patios and unparalleled views throughout the entire hotel make for a breathtaking stay. True to its origins, guests will also be able to indulge world-class food, drink and spa treatments all with the assistance of royal butlers. The hotel will even set up a private table anywhere in the hotel that best suits your wants and needs. Should anyone tire of the island - which doesn't seem likely - the city of Udaipur is just a short boat ride away.
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