Udaipur accommodation - Shiv Niwas Palace

Shiv Niwas Palace

The majestic crescent-shaped Shiv Niwas Palace is situated at the southern end of Udaipur’s magnificent City Palace complex on the shore of Lake Pichola. Once the maharaja’s own spectacular residence, the nine original suites around the courtyard later played host to the royal family’s personal guests – further royalty and dignitaries among them.  Additional rooms and suites were added when the palace was converted into a heritage hotel in the 1980’s, together with the wonderful swimming pool.

One of the best things about staying here is the access it gives you to the entire City Palace complex (though non-residents are not permitted in the hotel area), the freedom to wander through courtyards whenever you please and the opportunity to soak up the regal atmosphere outside of the museum visiting hours. Udaipur’s main highlight is quite literally on your doorstep so instead of using a guide to show you the way, you can wander at your leisure, plug into an audio guide when you choose or dip into a book on the palace’s history while sitting on your private terrace.

If you really want to live like royalty there is nothing to match one of the Imperial suites; quite enormous, they feature 18 foot high ceilings, crystal chandeliers, marble floors, glass inlay borders and antique furnishings. The entrance is into a 50-foot-long formal sitting room with adjoining service bar- once used for grand receptions- which leads to a huge square twin-bedded room with several sitting areas. Off the bedroom is a small study and in another direction, a large dressing room and marble bathroom with shower and bathtub.

In the centre of the crescent, the Panera Bar is the perfect spot for a cocktail while in the Paantya Restaurant (from the Mewari ‘sitting in line, in protocol’) a variety of cuisine is served in a beautiful room adorned with original paintings of the Mewar school of art, gold latticework, antique chandeliers and fabulous views of the city.

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