World through my eyes
City of Lakes- Udaipur has always been popular among tourists- domestic as well as overseas for its sheer beauty. It always had some of the top notch hotels in the world to its credit. As the latest list from reviewing site TripAdvisor shows Udaipur is getting popular for its classic hotels worldwide. TripAdisor list for top 25 heritage hotels in India consists of three hotels from Udaipur. Actually when it comes to heritage properties Rajasthan in general is far ahead from any other state in India. Rajasthan has nine hotels in this popular category claiming the top four positions.
Umaid Bhawan palace in Jodhpur, the erstwhile palace of Jodhpur royal family gets the maximum votes in this category. Considered to be one of the most beautiful hotels in India Taj Lake Palace at Udaipur is pitched second. This astonishingly beautiful hotel made in white marble is located in centre of Lake Pichola in heart of the old city. At the 3rd position is a rather new entrant to the category, which obviously is gaining popularity with every passing day- Rawla Narlai. Rawla Narlai is situated midway between Jodhpur & Udaipur. It is a 17th century “villa” with 30 exquisite rooms renovated over the last decade. Narlai is a village in Desuri tehsil of Pali district in Rajasthan state in India. It lies 36 km to Ranakpur and is at base of a hillock crowned by a colossal statue of an elephant. At 4th position is Jaipur’s eternal Taj Rambagh Palace, always a favorite among top class travelers.
Another hotel from Jodhpur- Ratan Vilas is at 9th spot. This too is a new name trying to make a place in the top list. Samode palace at Samode near Jaipur is ranked no 14 in the list. Historical Jai Mahal Palace in Jaipur is at the 20th position. Two havelis from old Udaipur- Jaiwana Haveli and the Amet Haveli are ranked at 23rd and 24th position among the top 25. Interestingly many more heritage properties from Rajasthan are missing the list; few of them have been immensely popular. These include Devigarh, Neemrana (perhaps the oldest heritage property in India), Ranbanka Palace near Jodhpur and Raj Palace in Jaipur, which was awarded as Best Heritage Hotel in the world at the World Travel Awards.
Nonetheless, this TripAdvisor list has some very exclusive Indian hotels including- Chapslee at Shimla (5th), The Oberoi Grand at Kolkata (6th), legendry The Taj Mahal Palace at Mumbai (7th), Kalmatia Sangam Himalaya Resort at Almora (8th), The Imperial Hotel at New Delhi (11th), The Lalit Great Eastern at Kolkata (15th), Kumarakom Lake Resort at Kumarakom in Kerala (16th), The Spice Village at Thekkady in Kerala (17th), Netuk House Hotel at Gangtok in Sikkim (19th), Fortune The Savoy at Mussoorie (21st) and The Naini Retreat at Nainital (22nd). Kerala has its six properties in the list including Niraamaya Retreats at Kovalam (12th) and Coconut Lagoon at Kumarakom (13th). Colonial Brunton Boatyard at Kochi (Cochin) also makes the list at no 18th.