Experience a different side of Udaipur away from the city on an island in the middle of Udai Sagar Lake
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city life and situated on a 21-acre private island in the middle of picturesque Udai Sagar Lake surrounded by the magnificent Aravalli Hills, Raffles Udaipur is a workation/bleisure/family holiday (whatever suits your vacation itinerary) paradise. It's the first Indian outpost of Raffles, created in Singapore in 1887. The hotel touts itself as a magnificent country estate for the curious and well-travelled. And if you are in the mood to discover a different side of the City Of Lakes away from the tumultuous city vibe near Lake Pichola, then this property could be your answer.
We travelled to the City Of Lakes on an April afternoon. Reached by a 20-minute drive from the Maharana Pratap Airport Udaipur, followed by a calming iced tea to beat the heat and an electric boat ride to cross the peaceful waters of Udai Sagar Lake, Raffles Udaipur unveiled itself. At first look, the property boasted a European aesthetic mixed with French, Mughal and Rajasthani architectural techniques complemented with freshly manicured gardens, numerous belvedere points and hand-painted frescos. (Also Read: Ladakh to develop Sumoor desert, upgrade Nubra valley for tourists)
The accommodation, divided into 101 luxurious rooms, suites and signature suites, came decorated with handcrafted furniture and other crafts by local artisans. While some suites had private gardens, cabanas and pools, others got balconies. A definite plus was the uninterrupted views of the Udai Sagar Lake that changed colours according to the time of the day - blue in the evening, turquoise in the afternoon.
A few other magnetic draws of this place included a Verandah dining experience, the Raffles signature Writers Bar and iconic Long Bar, and Sawai Kitchen. While a high tea experience teamed with locally-inspired snacks amid countless books (a nod to the celebrated authors who've stayed at the Raffles Singapore) awaited at The Writers Bar, Long Bar offered a deep dive into the chemistry of spirits. A session with their in-house mixologist introduced us to the property's signature drink, the Udaipur Sling - an iteration of the famed Singapore Sling. It included guavas grown on the island, homemade rose liqueur, and a lal maas bitter - a complicated concoction, but somehow it worked. The bar even offered decadent Asian and Mediterranean side dishes to pair with the customised cocktails.
On the other hand, the Sawai Kitchen (open only for dinner) offered lost recipes of the Rajputana, Mewar and Sailana dynasties. The Hare Chane Aur Doodh Ka Nichod (a soup that may sound unappetising but tastes quite delicious) and Sailana Murgh Ki Chaamp are must-haves.
While the property boasts of its commitment to providing personalised experiences for the guests, the surrounding serene lake views and the scenic mountains stood out the most. So, in case you want to explore a fresh side of Udaipur - after all, there's nothing new that has not already been said about the City Of Lakes - then a weekend at this resort is a considerable option.