Places to stay

Dreamy de­sign in Morocco, beauty in In­dia, a Thai re­treat and old-school Bri­tish charm

Food and Travel (UK) - - Contens -

From the mo­ment you step foot on the boat that sweeps you across Lake Pi­chola to the Leela Palace, you get the im­pres­sion you’re about to ex­pe­ri­ence some­thing spe­cial. That ini­tial feel­ing is con­firmed when you’re greeted by a flurry of rose petals float­ing down from a bal­cony be­fore you’re whisked off to one of the 80 stand­out rooms or suites. Each faces on to the fresh­wa­ter lake, which is the largest in the bustling city.

Ex­pect el­e­gant, lux­u­ri­ous decor and tra­di­tional rugs, an ex­ten­sive pil­low menu, an im­mense mar­ble bath­room with sunken tub, plus views to the Aravali moun­tains and breath­tak­ing City Palace. Geo­met­ric de­sign is at play through­out the ex­quis­ite grounds; there’s a daz­zling cen­tral court­yard, large pool, well-equipped gym and 900sq m out­door spa com­plex with treat­ment tents and ther­apy suites.

Wake up early for a yoga ses­sion in the guava or­chard or have the ho­tel’s chefs take you into the cen­tre of the city as part of its Culi­nary So­journ pack­age. Here, you can visit the fruit and veg­etable mar­kets and sam­ple au­then­tic street food be­fore head­ing back to the ho­tel for a pri­vate cook­ing class in the open kitchen or veg­etable and herb gar­den.

Be­fore you make your way to one of the two restau­rants for din­ner, be sure to em­bark on the sun­set cruise for canapés and chai. Sheesh Mahal, the open-air ter­race restau­rant, serves up re­fined In­dian clas­sics such as lamb ko­rma, an out­ra­geously light and fresh dhaal, and gatta curry, a Ra­jasthani gram flour dumpling in yoghurt gravy. Din­ing Room, the all-day restau­rant, of­fers in­ter­na­tional dishes and boasts a state­ment walk-in wine cabi­net. It’s not dif­fi­cult to wile away the rest of your evening with a drink in The Li­brary Bar. AD. Dou­bles from £669, 00 91 294 670 1234, pre­ferred­ho­ Jet Air­ways flies from Lon­don Heathrow to Udaipur from £408pp re­turn. je­tair­

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