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The Leela Palace Udaipur: Where Tradition Meets Opulence | Travel With LSA

Perched on the banks of the iconic 13th-century Lake Pichola, The Leela Palace Udaipur is one of India’s most iconic and respected properties. Much has been said and written about the Palace’s grand architecture and impressive views but the soul of The Leela Palace Udaipur is its celebration of Rajasthani culture and outstanding hospitality.

The Leela Palace Udaipur

We recently had the privilege of experiencing the mesmerizing Palace property during our stay there and from the moment we arrived, we were swept away by the beauty and charm that this culture holds. Upon our arrival at the Maharana Pratap Airport in Udaipur, we were warmly greeted by our Palace butler and whisked away in the comfort of a luxurious BMW. The journey took us to the jetty on the banks of Lake Pichola, where a boat awaited to transport us to the palace. The anticipation grew as we approached The Leela Palace Udaipur, a modern-day marvel that evoked the grandeur and opulence of the Mewar region.

The Leela Palace Udaipur

Our stay at the Chand Mahal Suite

For our three-day-two-night stay at the property, we were accommodated at the luxurious Chand Mahal suite. Spread over a sprawling 1250 sq. ft., the suite was expectedly lavish but we were thoroughly impressed by the attention to detail that adorned every corner. The exquisite embellishments and traditional artisan crafts showcased the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan. The suite also comes with stunning views of Lake Pichola and the majestic mountains that surrounded it. Another highlight on arrival was a delicious mango tart served by the culinary team. A marriage of taste and health with the goodness of chia seeds, the delicacy brought across the essence and nostalgia of the seasonal fruit with fresh cream, greek yoghurt and no added sugar.

The extraordinary culinary journey at The Leela Palace Udaipur

Throughout our stay, the culinary experiences at The Leela Palace were nothing short of extraordinary. The Dining Room and the Sheesh Mahal offered a delightful journey through world cuisines, where every meal was a masterpiece of flavour and presentation. From the aromatic spices to the exquisite desserts, each dish was a testament to the culinary expertise of Chef Rupak Debnath, the Palace’s Executive Sous Chef and his team.

Upon arrival, a delectable lunch awaited us in the Dining Room. The journey began with the refreshing Avocado Tartare, complemented by lime and chilli cream, alongside sesame sago crisp. Steamed Edamame Truffle Oil Dumplings delighted the taste buds with potato flakes, edamame, and truffle oil. The Pumpkin Water Chestnut and Shitake Gyoza brought a pan-fried symphony of creamy pumpkin, shitake, and chestnut. Savored were the Chicken Coriander Crystal Dumplings, featuring spring chicken mince and coriander stalks. Classic Prawn Hargow pleased with a crunchy tiger prawn, bamboo shoot, and water chestnut filling. The Asian Bowls section impressed with Hunan Style Greens and Tofu, incorporating green leaves, sesame oil, and Enoki and shimeji mushrooms. The main course was a tantalizing fusion of flavours, including Chicken Black Bean Pepper, Hong Kong Prawns, and Burnt Garlic Edamame Fried Rice.

The Leela Palace Udaipur

An enchanting high tea was enjoyed at The Library of The Leela Palace Udaipur, relishing delightful delicacies like petit croissants, confit chicken sandwiches, and tomato basil tartlets. Indulgence continued with dark chocolate truffles, white chocolate and raspberry truffles, and an oats and sunflower seeds granola bar.

As night fell, the majestic Seeshmahal revealed its allure. The dinner presented the chef’s interpretation of classics, showcasing sustainable Indian produce. Each plate was a story in itself, with dishes like Dum Ki Gucchi, featuring the Himalayan Morel, and the Jaipuri Goat—a pride of India. Sheesh Mahal Signatures, including Nalli-E-Awadh and Murgh Badam Qorma, added a touch of grandeur. The dining experience concluded with an Italian lunch at the Dining Room on Day 2, tantalizing taste buds with Goat Curd and Quinoa, Textures of Mushrooms, White Cheddar and Spinach Cannelloni, and more.

The Leela Palace Udaipur

The grand journey continued with a Mewari Thali at Seeshmahal, where appetizers like Maas Ke Tikkad and Murgh Ke Shooley took centre stage. Liquid Gold was savoured through Makke Bajre Ka Raab. The Royal Rajasthan Thali highlighted the indigenous spices and ingredients of the region, presenting delicacies such as Junglee Maas, Murg Ka Mokul, and more. Sweet memories were created with Kesar Ka Ghevar. Dining at the famed Sheesh Mahal was an experience beyond compare. Rated among the most romantic restaurants in the world, it offered a perfect blend of ambience and cuisine.

Finally, a Thai Cuisine lunch on Day 3 delighted our palates with a refreshing interpretation of Pomelo Salad, Chicken Satay, Prawn Satay, Tofu Satay, and a variety of Thai curries. The culinary sojourn came to a close with Tap Tim Korb, a delightful Thai dessert. At The Leela Palace Udaipur, every meal was a chapter of indulgence and refinement, leaving lasting memories of extraordinary flavours.

A land of culture and tradition

Rajasthan is noted the world over for the vibrancy of its folk forms and The Leela Palace Udaipur pays homage to them in every crevice of the property. One of the definite highlights of our experience there was the Leela Ceremonial Ritual. The mesmerizing candle lighting at the Inner Courtyard created an enchanting atmosphere, and we were transported to the world of traditional Mewar. The rhythmic beat of the Rajasthani folk dances filled the air, and guests couldn’t resist tapping their feet to the captivating music. The performances told tales of the heroism of the men and women of Udaipur, tales of love and loss, peace and war – the entire experience brought forth the charm of Udaipur.

One of the most enchanting experiences, however, was the Palace Art Walk at The Leela Palace Udaipur. Taking a stroll through the palace, we were captivated by the aesthetic wonders that blended contemporary décor with traditional architecture. The hand-carved marble lotuses, silver elephants, and vibrant puppet paintings depicted mythological adventures, leaving us in awe of the rich history and culture of Rajasthan. The intricate marble carvings, paintings, and artefacts showcased the famous Mewari art, showcasing the ornate exquisiteness that the region is renowned for.

The Leela Palace Udaipur

It was also our deep privilege to witness the Holy Aarti at the 16th Century Omkareshwar Temple which was a truly divine experience. The in-house priest performed the ritual with grace and devotion, and the distribution of the sacred grace left us with a profound sense of peace.

Our journey of peace and wellness continued with curated experiences at The Spa. Nestled in the courtyard gardens overlooking Lake Pichola, the spa provided a serene retreat. The treatments, using organic plant extracts and oils, rejuvenated our senses, and the fusion of ancient Ayurvedic and modern European therapies created a truly luxurious and caring experience.

During our second day at The Leela Palace Udaipur property, we embarked on a Spice Walk with Chef Rupak Debnath and our trusty Palace Butler. The spice walk introduced us to the magic and power of Indian spices and the history they hold. In Chef Rupak’s hands, the spices came alive with stories where we discovered the hidden flavours and techniques that make Rajasthani cuisine so extraordinary.

We left with a part of The Leela Palace Udaipur in our hearts, grateful for the enchanting experiences and eagerly looking forward to our next visit. Udaipur and The Leela Palace truly cast a spell on us, with their timeless beauty, rich heritage, and impeccable hospitality. It was an ode to Udaipur and a memory we will cherish forever.

The Leela Palace Udaipur: Where Tradition Meets Opulence | Travel With LSA

Mayukh Majumdar

Entertainment Editor

Mayukh Majumdar lives life in Bollywood dialogues and has previously worked with media channels like Filmfare, Rolling Stone India, Man's World India and Mirror Now. He aspires to travel like Freya Stark and retire in New Orleans one day.

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