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The hotel opened in 2009, and its latticed balconies, museum-like hallways and opulent rooms with views over the Aravalli mountains still make for one of the most romantic lakeside hotels in the world. With just 80 rooms in a fairy tale setting, the Leela Palace Udaipur recreates the bygone era of when Rajasthan’s City of Lakes had maharajas. The dream starts with the boat ride from town, and once you get off your traditionally decorated transfer and into the palace, you’ll realize just how unabashedly opulent it is. The interiors are traditional but elegant, courtesy of a collaboration between architect Bill Bensley and interior designer Jeffrey Wilkes, and it’s a place where old-world Indian cultural quirks live on. Like the palace astrologer you can consult about your forthcoming plans or the traditional dancing and puppet shows that end the day. For the modern traveler, there’s the hotel’s picturesque pool flanked by stone peacocks, and the palace tuktuks, which can take you to the city’s temples and heritage palaces. The Leela Palace is also home to an ESPA spa with brilliant Ayurvedic treatments while on the culinary front, al fresco Sheesh Mahal serves Indian cuisine to views of the lake and The Dining Room, with its walk-in wine cellar, offers an eclectic mix of flavours from all over the world.