Projects

Back to projects
Interiors
Lake Palace Hotel Udaipur
Originally built in 1746 as the pleasure palace of Maharana Jagat Singh II, Taj Lake Palace is one of the most recognisable residences in the world.
Client
Taj Hotels Resorts Palaces Safaris
Category
Interiors
  • Project finalised in 2004
  • Phased renovation of former Maharaja's palace
  • Guestrooms & suites
  • Three F&B outlets
  • Public areas & Meeting facilities
  • Heritage spa
From a palace to a hotel

Originally named Jag Niwas, the Lake Palace is located on an island on Lake Pichola, Udaipur. Built in the 18th Century it continued to serve as the summer residence of the Maharanas of Udaipur until 1955, and in 1959 reconstruction work began to convert the palace into a hotel.

Comprising of 86 guestrooms, of which 23 are suites, the palace also offers two restaurants, a bar, reading room, courtyards with performance areas, swimming pool, treatment rooms, conference room and the Gangaur Boat for functions and fine dining on the lake.

Before renovations commenced, the majority of the hotel's standard rooms had very basic finishes and furnishings, which failed to capture the essence of a palace for visiting guests. Combined with public areas that were also lacking the palatial feel, the experience for the visitor was a little disappointing.

Working with local artists to bring back original details

JPA’s brief was to bring a palatial ambience which would exceed the guests’ expectations. Our designers spent time in Udaipur and elsewhere in Rajasthan researching local crafts, skills and artefacts, as well as the architectural vernacular, and many details of the Lake Palace now reference the original palace and the adjacent City Palace.

The interior schemes emphasise the high ceilings and focus the guest's attention towards the spectacular views outside.

Interiors are rich in detail, decorative plaster-relief friezes with intricate corbels, timber grid ceilings with cast brass bezels and delicate frescos. In contrast, furniture has been kept simple so as not to make the spaces overpowering. Traditional colourways are introduced in the wall panelling, finished with milk paint and distemper, and in the rich fabrics, most of which were sourced locally.

Underlying the historical ambience of these guestrooms, new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems have been unobtrusively introduced to enhance guest comfort and provide the amenities expected of a hotel of this standard. Entertainments and amenities are housed in colonial-style armoires, air conditioning grilles are concealed in the plaster friezes, heritage bathroom fittings are manufactured to the highest, modern standards.  All of this has been achieved without compromising the aesthetic in any way.

The original quarters of the Maharaja are now occupied by the hotel’s historic suites and by dramatic public spaces.

Jharokha, the hotel’s coffee shop, room’s structure comprises intricately carved marble columns, arches, corbels and ceilings, and enjoys some of the finest views of the lake towards the City Palace. The palace’s fine dining restaurant, the Neel Kamal, looks out on the property’s main lily pond courtyard where visitors get the sense that they were dining as guests of the Maharaja himself.

The palace’s main entrance lacked a sense of arrival, and local legislation precluded any new construction to the building’s exterior. The solution was to create an entrance porch internally with the repetition of the original exterior columns in a second, internal colonnade. The sense of arrival is further improved by marble flooring with warm gold and cream tones laid in a traditional chevron pattern.

Thoughtful and well researched interior renovations ensure the experience for visitors to Lake Palace Hotel is an authentic and memorable one.

Related projects

Interiors
Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai
View project
Rail
Venice Simplon Orient-Express
View project

Related articles

Thought pieces
Design trends 2017
Read article