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“Quiet old-style luxury”

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Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel
Ranked #33 of 101 Hotels in Mysuru (Mysore)
Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Quiet old-style luxury”
Reviewed 19 March 2013

I stayed here for a week for a conference, and it is as fantastic a place as you expect. The hotel and the staff do everything to make you feel like a royal.
It is a bit outside of Mysore and the surroundings are not so exciting, but from the royal terrace you can look down to Mysore, especially see the illuminated palace on Sunday nights.
The building has the old-style charme you expect, both the beauty and the barely visible wear of time.
The hotel seems to have many overnight guests, and the in house shops try to lure you into there shop whenever they see you - that got a bit irritating already on day 2.
They also have a "beauty parlor", but prices seem high, and the "parlor" is a simple room without decoration or windows.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank Maritian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2013

Before considering Lalitha Mahal itself, a small history lesson is needed. Mysore is a good antidote to the driving imperative of modernist Bengaluru, and many Bengaluru workers are prepared to commute from Mysore (4hr car journey despite a good highway desecrated with a savage variety of speed bumps) due to the garden suburban feel of all Mysore city. It is an historic city, the centre of an 18th century kingdom controlled by Haider Ali and his son Tipu Sultan, both of whom gave the English East India Company many a bloody nose in the Mysore Wars. But there is also the history of the Maharajahs of Mysore (reinstated by the British after 1799 and Tipu’s death) who were reputed to be the 2nd wealthiest of the Indian princes. In particular the 24th Maharajah used his wealth to rebuild his own palace in the early 20th century (and an essential must-visit while in Mysore), and as an act of friendship to the British to build Lalitha Mahal for the use of visiting British dignitaries and others who enjoyed meat in their diet.
Lalitha Mahal is a colossus from the outside, a superb example of the Indosarcenic architecture that was the apogee of British Raj architecture. You would be mistaken to think that by the size and imposing façade that this must be a seat of Mysore power (possibly it can be construed as that, through the Raj connection). One could well imagine Viceroy Curzon at home here (though built two decades after his return to Britain) but it was built as a form of ‘hotel’ from its inception. It is this role that is now maintained and offers a visitor an exquisite perspective on grandeur of Raj style. This is a MUST stop for anyone who is interested in the wonder of that past relationship between Indian kings and British Raj rule. Built about 5km outside of Mysore at the foot of the sacred Chamundi Hill, it had surrounding ‘park’ land and imposing approach drive (now overgrown and disused) to make you fully aware of the power and prestige of its owner and his generosity to his British friends.
This a place for all, though the “business and corporate’ traveller may soon opt for the modernistic Radisson style hotel and mall emerging in Mysore. That means that the travellers who value an independent style and a sense of past glories must come to Lalitha Mahal.
The entrance foyer is small but sweeps upwards to the roof. Reception is efficient, and then the joys of the oldest lift in Mysore. Originally hand pulled (and not by the guest), the Otis shuttered lift is straight from London c. 1890. It became the first electric powered utility in Mysore. Does anyone know a lift with a cushioned bench seat in it – this is it, if for only one floor up! There is a beautiful colonnaded double staircase at the rear of the building, which also connects the building’s wings and must lie under the great dome (with a false inner ceiling). To either side is a meeting hall and the dining room, the latter is a beautiful vaulted room decorated in blue and carries an aura of its own. The verandas at first floor run the full length of the building and present a magnificent frame for a photograph, but please not with a smart phone, which does seem out of character with the style and grandeur of Lalitha Mahal.
The original rooms seem to have been built through the façade to link the two imposing colonnaded verandas, so that one could enjoy the morning and evening sun, at either end of the apartment. Inevitably the demands of the hotel meant that these straight through suites have been divided, but the gem is room 23 which still has a sense of the through suite and has the biggest bathroom I have ever seen in an Indian hotel (Heritage Suite). The original Hind bathroom ware is there with a wonderful standing Maharajah bath / shower and enough pipe work to satisfy any plumbing instinct. There is an alternative modern shower cabinet that has full options of water direction! There is a dressing room and a bedroom with a full king (maharajah?) sized four-poster bed, which has beautiful lace curtains drawn by the room service each evening. A/C has imposed itself, a demand of modern life given the often hot and humid conditions in Mysore. The working of which, seems to be something of a mystery. The one in the rear dressing room is much like the old 1960’s box set in the window that can only be on or off, while the bedroom and entrance A/C unit had a hand-held remote control, which for this oldie, did not respond. Kettle and complimentary bottled water are available, the latter which probably the foreign traveller is advised to use. A TV with 60+ channels (all but 4 in Hindi and other Indian languages – which begs an interesting question as to why three of the English channels are football!). A good-sized safe is available. Laundry is good with the collector knocking at your door each morning to enquire if you have laundry and is returned the same evening. Room service can be variable; I had to ask twice for soap and shampoo to be sent up. But now for the best bit, this hotel offers the fastest and most open Wi-Fi from one’s room that I have ever found in an India hotel, and is free, none of this miserly 300INR per 30mins that the ‘big’ >5 star hotels insist on. If this hotel can do it, then the others should follow immediately!
Now for the food! Breakfast is disappointing. Open buffet with hot food prepared by order – eggs and chicken sausage, but no bacon by design. There is a limited choice, mango juice or mango juice from the pack; one cereal type; and continental cuisine which tends to include Danish type pastries made with heavy short crust pastry, coffee is brewed and is strong (good) and breakfast tea only (choice of teas is needed). But get past breakfast and eat at night, when most of the locals appear and fill up the otherwise cavernous dinning room, then the real food appears. A delightful buffet of Indian tradition: as little, or as much as you wish. Mostly vegetarian but cheese and sea fish are included, as are a range of Indian sweets. Exciting stuff for the foreign traveller to India, the evening more than makes up for a disappointing breakfast.
So who goes to Lalitha Mahal? In my limited stay, I saw about 3 other guests (non-Indian), and on that basis alone, Lalitha Mahal is a Mysore legend known only to a few at present. However the hotel is locally well known and used by Mysore inhabitants, and they certainly come in the evening to the restaurant. The hotel needs more travellers and they are still refurbishing rooms in anticipation. There is a more ‘modern’ wing with smaller standard type rooms, that could be used by the limited budget traveller, but the act of entering and proceeding through this establishment adds a value that is hard to find elsewhere. Those interested in the heritage of India need to come, not just to the hotel but to see something of the heritage of the British prior to the Raj around Mysore. This is the long-neglected period of Lord Clive, Lord Cornwallis and even of a young Arthur Wellesley (later the Grand Old Duke of Wellington) who cut his military teeth in the final Mysore War. This is definitely the place (and palace) to base yourself, to see the remnants of some fascinating aspects of south India history.

Room Tip: Room 23 the heritage room
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Littoral744
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Le Lavandou, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2013 via mobile

You ll dive in the 19th century in this incredible palace, quite far from mysore downtown the palace is located at the foot of sacred Chamoundi hill great view , very peaceful , beautifully furnished with antics and old fashion painting . The large dining room with its painted roof and high arches offers amazing buffet style lunch menu animated by delicate traditional musicians and singers. The food served is divine. I will always remember the exquisite taste of an organic muscat grape juice ... the staff is kind and discreet.

  • Stayed June 2012
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Helpful?
Thank caroleindia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2013 via mobile

What else to say? Hotel needs to be refurbished ASAP. It could be amazing as it is a very nice palace from the outside. Now inside... Terrible, depressing, old, unsafe electrical wiring, plumbing etc. We decided against having dinner there and asked our driver to drive us back to town.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank claire-w8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Mysuru (Mysore) hotels

Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
150 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2013

We spent two nights at the Lalitha Mahal Palace hotel in February 2013. It was previously the Maharaja's Guest House for VIPs such as visiting royalty or senior administrators.
We had a warm welcome at the entrance, a cool drink, and then were taken up to our rooms in the Maharaja's lift - formerly worked by hand, now electrically, but still with a sofa seat for passengers - in case they are wearied during the journey up one floor!

Our rooms were truly palatial, and richly furnished with silk drapes and upholstery, and writing-desk equipment bearing the royal ensignia of a double-headed eagle. The bed, a king-sized four-poster with lace curtains to keep out any mosquitoes (we didn't encounter any), was very comfortable, and the bathroom had been re-tiled, but as well as a modern multi-way shower unit, had the original victorian-era rolltop bath with shower, and period wahbasin.

The dinners were served as a buffet, and the food was superb. Breakfasts were a little skimpy compared to most hotels, but a range of cooked courses was available on order.

There are plenty of places of interest in the area, and the main Ambas Vilas Palace in Mysore is well worth a visit. The remains of Tipu Sultan's era can be seen in nearby Srirangapattana - the history of his struggles with the British is fascinating.

We heartily recommend this hotel to anyone who is interested in heritage sites, and wants to feel like the guest of a maharaja. The rooms in the main building are old but comfortable and well-maintained, and if you can afford to get one of these suites it is well worth it. Newer rooms are available in a more modern extension.

Room Tip: Suites in the main palace building are exceptional and atmospheric. More modern rooms are available...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank StephanieO34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newark, California
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2013

I spent 3 days at the Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel back in 2009 and was fortunate enough to enjoy the beautiful second floor porches, the historic art, and the beautiful location. The hotel is a historic site on its own but its proximity to the cultural and historic sites in Mysore make it a great, but somewhat expensive, place to stay. I stayed on the recommendation of a co-worker when I worked in Chennai and rode an overnight AC train up. I journeyed through Mysore for each of the 3 days and the hotel was a great base camp. During the time I went, it must have been non-peak because the dining rooms and common areas were almost empty.

Really enjoyed the stay and recommend the hotel for travelers wishing to engage their need for luxury and history!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Michael P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Davis, California
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2013

Don't get me wrong, this was a pretty nice place to stay, but the cost led us to believe it was going to be fantastic. Our room was quite small, though the bathroom was very nice and well maintained (full tub). The grounds are quite beautiful. Food was delicious, but again, pricey. Especially since there are many options in Mysore. Don't expect it to be like one of the Taj palace resorts - it's not as upscale an experience.

Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank RGHAR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel

Property: Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel
Address: Lalitha Mahal Road, Mysuru (Mysore) 570028, India
Region: India > Karnataka > Mysore District > Mysuru (Mysore)
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Mysuru (Mysore)
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Classic Indian-style Hotel, formerly a Maharaja's Palace. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lalitha Mahal Palace Mysore
Mysore Lalitha Mahal Palace

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