We stayed at the Shiv Niwas Palace Hotel for one night in Feb 2010 and the experience was enchanting. True to its name, we felt like royal guests invited to stay at the palace compound. The hotel is reached through two security gates all the while scaling up the side of the fort-like structure. The entrance brings you through inter-connected courtyards into a cute but fancy lobby. Upon check-in, we were greeted with flower lei and delicious lychee juice in champagne glasses.
We had a “Palace Room” room type. It was not lake-facing but that did not matter to us. We entered our living quarters through a private outdoor terrace. They provided two keys – one got us into an outdoor terrace with café-style table and chairs, and another got us into our room via a giant padlock. What a unique feature! There was a gold rod that slid into metal loops attached to each of the double doors that lead into the room. A huge golden padlock held the rod into place and physically secured our room. The process to learn using an old-style metal hotel key was quite amusing. The room had a sitting area, desk, king-sized bed, luggage racks, dresser, and generous closet space and still never gave the impression of being over-furnished or crowded. In fact, it was roomy and coupled with the high ceilings, the room felt cavernous at times. Likewise, the bathroom was spacious. The hotel delivered nicely with double sinks, luxury complimentary toiletries, and huge fluffy towels.
I strongly recommend that the hotel rename their advertised “Palace Room” room type to better establish guest expectation. A more appropriate name would be Palace Junior Suite. The room undoubtedly qualified with ample square-footage and furnishings worthy of junior-suite standards and prices.
The location was great as most attractions were a relatively short drive away. All major sites could be seen within a day. As part of the City Palace complex, a major attraction in itself, any rickshaw could easily return you to your hotel. A bonus was that transport prices in Udaipur were markedly lower than bigger cities in India.
Half of me loved this hotel, half of me didn’t. My practical budget-minded side cringed at the $200+/night price tag that failed to get the most bang for the buck. The dreamer in me didn’t mind paying a premium to be whisked away into a novel experience. This was an Indian fairy tale come to life—an escape from reality.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Shiv Niwas Palace offers beautiful, yet differing suites and rooms to choose from 17 individually decorated suites carry original furniture and portraits that have been with the royal family for generations. All the suites look out onto the natural panorama of Udaipur. Unparalleled splendor and spaciousness characterise each room.Guests to Shiv Niwas Palace like to return time and again. The hospitality is unchanged from the not-so-distant times when Shiv Niwas Palace was a royal guesthouse. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shiv Niwas Palace Udaipur
- Hotel Shiv Niwas Palace