Rich in local heritage and custom, the gorgeous Leela Palace provides a tranquil and beautiful base for even the most business-heavy trip to India
Mark Twain described India as: “The one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the globe combined.” As we approach the twinkling lakeside of the Leela Palace, Udaipur (the city known as the Venice of the East), its lamp-lit domes rising majestically out of the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola, it’s easy to see where the great man of letters was coming from. We take in its spectacular Mughal-inspired architecture and watch the warm, glowing lights that burn like sunrise when the sky falls dark.
Located in Rajasthan, it’s no coincidence that Leela Palace chooses to site its grand entrance on the waterfront, for it is surely this floating jewel’s defining feature. Every one of the palace’s 79 rooms and suites has a lake view, while the pool, guava gardens and onsite restaurants all afford panoramic sights of this picturesque man-made lake, which itself dates back to 1362.
Of course, it would be remiss to visit India without immersing yourself in its ineffable culture – and truthfully, there is no country or experience like it. And even if business meetings consume your day, Leela Palace is so infused with Mewari culture that you will still leave with rich and colourful memories, of candlelit evenings filled with music and dancing in the 14th-century-style mosaic courtyard with its kaleidoscopic walls of mirrors and glasswork. Or of an alfresco dinner of Indian thali on the waterfront overlooking neighbouring palaces, and hotels that speckle the landscape. And, as Twain says, you wouldn’t swap it for anything else.
Leela Palace Udaipur: view the gallery (click to expand)
A return from London Heathrow to Delhi with Jet Airways costs from £490 per person in economy class.
A multi-city trip from London Heathrow to Delhi, Udaipur and onwards to Goa (returning to London) with Jet Airways costs from £870 per person in economy class (Goa and the return journey to London Heathrow are via Mumbai).
Jet Airways, India’s premier airline, flies daily from London Heathrow to Delhi and twice daily to Mumbai. Flights are also available from various UK regional airports via Amsterdam. Jet Airways has the largest domestic network and flies to 68 destinations across India and beyond. For more information and to book visit www.jetairways.com or call 0808 101 1199.
To learn more about the Leela Palace, Udaipur, and its sister five-star resorts, from Goa to New Delhi, visit theleela.com
Preferred Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest independent hotel brand, representing more than 650 distinctive hotels, resorts, residences, and unique hotel groups across 85 countries. The Legend Collection is the ultimate portfolio of exceptional independent properties in the world’s most remarkable destinations. Globally sophisticated and culturally refined, these singular properties feature exquisite accommodation, stellar and intuitive personal service, renowned dining, and exceptional spas, setting the stage for the most unforgettable experiences.