A lakeside hotel in Udaipur is the obvious choice for many, but we wanted something different and stayed at “Fateh Garh”:http://www.fatehgarh.in/, a heritage hotel (i.e. over 100 years old) high on a hill overlooking the town, a 20- minute drive away.
We received a literal red carpet treatment which also involved two ladies, in colourful sarees, singing and scattering rose petals in front of us. This was perhaps done to distract us from the steep marble steps and slope to reception, where formalities were conducted over an unusual, pale blue welcome drink.
Our room (44) was on the second floor but there was a lift. It was absolutely enormous: around four times the size of our bedroom at home, with 15-foot high ceilings. The equally large bed had good quality white cotton bedding. Everything was marble, including the floor and marble-topped desk which looked impressive but, to plug in my laptop, I had to pull the heavy desk away from the wall and get down on hands and knees (getting down is the easy bit, getting up requires a helping hand). There was a large wall-mounted TV, empty fridge and three chairs, sofa, small table and free standing wardrobe. But considering the size of the room, only one suitcase rack. Robes and slippers were provided and complementary Wi-Fi was available, but only in reception and the pool.
Our balcony, with three arches overlooking the hills and surrounding countryside, for some reason only had one chair with the table.
The bathroom was large with a marble double sink and plenty of space for toiletries (which were supplied and of good quality). But considering the space available both in the room and bathroom, there was only a regular bath with shower over it and although the water was very hot, because the shower head was so high, it wasn’t very powerful. There was also a hairdryer and decent shaving mirror.
There were two restaurants but only one was open due to the low occupancy rate.
The communal areas were vast expanses of marble, local stone and antique architectural elements culled from abandoned historic buildings which according to the blub in the room, Conde Naste Traveler described as “A confection of bulbous domes, sugar-white pillars, crenellations and intricate jail screens, it escapes the kitschy through its graceful proportions and airy reception areas, courtyard and verandas – all of which are graced with antiques and delicate frescoes inspired by the style of Rajput miniatures”.
An outdoor bar by the side of the swimming pool overlooked the town and lakes. Although you could eat alfresco at Calor gas heated, candle-lit tables, with the twinkling lights of the city below, we’d been scarred by a chilly dinner at Ratan Vilas and chose to eat in the restaurant.
There was a nice atmosphere and a buzz about the place with distressed wooden chairs and polished dark wooden tables. Unfortunately, we’d had big lunches on both days and on our first night, shared an appetiser of chicken tikka (8 large pieces) and vegetable rice and on the second, chicken chow mein and salad nicoise although I managed to succumb to mango ice cream. Just as we were getting ready to leave one night at 9.30pm, a group of 20+ Indians with kids galore arrived and surrounded a couple dining on their own. Poor couple and poor chef who probably thought his night had finished.
Breakfast was probably the most spectacular breakfast setting ever, with an outside table, with the sun rising high over mist shrouded trees in the valley with mountains in the background and view of Udaipur city and the lake. The buffet was outside and we had green tea, orange juice, fruit and yoghurt followed by a south Indian vegetable curry, cous cous and potato stuffed paratha although a chef stood ready with eggs and bacon to be cooked to order.
Whilst the hotel had a few minor quirks, we enjoyed staying somewhere a little different.