Sit on one of many rooftop terraces of Udaipur, India, and sip tea while gazing out to the Lake Palace.
Known for its lakes and palaces, Udaipur is stunningly beautiful. Sit on the rooftop of Jaiwana Haveli¸ one of many rooftop terraces, and sip tea while gazing out to the Lake Palace; take a gondola up Machla Magra (Fish Hill) for a view overlooking the city; put away the guidebooks and walk the streets mingling with the locals as they go about their daily lives before watching the setting sun while cruising Lake Pichola. Udaipur is one destination that makes India unforgettable.
Address: 14 – Lal Ghat, Near Jagdish Chowk, Udaipur – 313001, Rajasthan – India
Phone: +91-294-2411103 mobile 0091 9829005859, 9414168151
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Travelin’Ted review for Trip Advisor
Jaiwana Haveli was everything we expected after reading Trip Advisor’s reviews and the hotel’s website … plus more.”
Accommodations by the lake is, in our estimation, ideal; not only for the views but for ease of access to the lake tour boats and Old Town.
The well-appointed Room 51, of Jaiwana Haveli, was spacious with large bed. A sitting area at the bayed window permitted a limited view of the lake and overlooked the quiet winding road where it met the docks. The bathroom was a luxurious space with excellent shower and in-room hot water tank. It had two windows: one to the outside and one into the bedroom. Two small rolls of toilet paper were appreciated as were the hangers in the clothes closet. As beautiful as the room was, one drawback was accessing the rooftop restaurant; it meant going down two flights of stairs, across an alley to the reception area and up four flights of stairs to the roof top.
The rooftop restaurant has a commanding view of the lake and the Lake Palace; as well as looking north to the Daiji Bridge. The food, both morning and evening, was appetizing and the wait staff most attentive. All staff members of the hotel were outgoing and helpful, including the manager, Mr. Yash.
If this report ended here we would be pleased to give Jaiwana Haveli top marks. Regretfully this is not the case. When we realized we would be unable to make train reservations from Jaipur to Udaipur, having instead to take an overnight bus, we immediately e-mailed Mr. Yash to advise that we would not be arriving as planned that afternoon but would be arriving instead very early the next morning. We also explained that being hoteliers ourselves, we appreciated that although the rooms were paid for, should he have an opportunity to rent out one or both of the rooms we had reserved, we would hopefully receive some compensation. He responded, “We are holding the rooms for you. You will have your rooms as you arrive tomorrow. There will be a retention charged for tonight. There is an unlikely chance of selling the room on the same day as almost all bookings are internet based. However if we are able to then you will know.”
We arrived early the following morning, rather travel weary, from our overnight bus journey. One couple in our party was shown to their room (42) immediately – after all we had been paying for both rooms since the afternoon before. “We will show you to your room in just a couple of minutes,” we were told. The minutes turned into hours and as tired as we were, we made the most of it by enjoying the rooftop views, then having tea and when the restaurant opened for breakfast; breakfast. Over breakfast we had a most interesting conversation with two ladies at the adjoining table. Mr Yash, at first, tried to have us think the hotel had not rented our room, but when we told him we just had breakfast with the people who stayed in it last night he agreed to reimburse us, only to renege on his word and end up charging 50% of the room rate for a room he had rented to others. Disappointing Jaiwana Haveli.
SIGHTSEEING IN UDAIPUR
Jagdish Temple, Lake Pichola (both on and off the water), City Palace, Machla Magra (aka Fish Hill) city and lake views after short gondola are only reason to go. Taking some time to have a quiet tea on a terrace overlooking the lake and walking the web of streets within the Old City walls will provide lasting memories.
FOOD & DRINK IN UDAIPUR
To the palate of many Westerners, the highly flavourful, spiciness of Indian cuisine can be unagreeable. But even for those who prefer a blander diet, India is still doable.
India’s population has the lowest individual consumption of meat in the world and animal based ingredients, other than milk products and honey, are seldom used in traditional dishes. Ghee (clarified butter) is the traditional cooking medium. For the traveller who wants their animal protein most restaurants have meat options unless they advertise themselves as vegetarian. Most popular meats are chicken, lamb and goat as religious practices forbid beef products to Hindus and pork to Muslims. Finding truly fresh fish in Northern India may be challenging. In place of animal protein most of India turns to dhal (curried lentils or pulses). Yogurt and other dairy products also play a big part in providing protein.
If a steady diet of Indian spices and dhal are not appealing the traveller will find, on most menus, an oriental style noodle dish with influences from Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet.
In Northern India, flat bread and rice are the staple starches. Bread, more commonly referred to as roti and chapati (the latter being a thinner unleavened, whole-wheat version) is often used as a vehicle to get food, such as dhal, from plate to mouth.
Vegetables are plentiful and inexpensive. Other than in American style hotels, salads are a rarity and the savvy traveller would be best to avoid anything which is not cooked or, in the case of fruit, peeled.
Vegetable pakoras are a popular finger food in India and can be ordered spicy or non-spicy. Made from chickpea flour and a variety of vegetables, then deep fried, pakoras are a tasty option for the non-spicy traveller and can be accompanied by yogurt or sweet & sour sauce for dipping.
For some excellent recommendations on restaurants consult a Lonely Planet guidebook – money well spent.
It is advisable for travellers in India to consume only bottled water. A nice change, when available, is bottled carbonated water. Buying water in large two litre bottles from a small vendor is usually the least expensive. With the proprietor watching, check the cap to ensure it is sealed.
Chai (tea) is a much consumed beverage often accompanied by heaps of sugar and generous pours of milk. Although tea is by far the most popular drink, coffee is gaining in acceptance.
Street stands offering fresh squeezed juices can seem tempting however lax hygiene practices – reusing cups which have been sloshed through a basin of tepid water – can ruin a vacation.
Lassi is a traditional drink of blended yogurt and water available ‘savory’ or ‘sweet’. The savory contains spices such as ground roasted cumin, whereas, sweet is made with sugar, honey or fruit. Sweet lemon, a variety of citrus, tastes more like orange to Western taste buds than lemon.
GETTING AROUND UDAIPUR
Train travel is a great way to experience India. Day travel will allow you to see the countryside as it whizzes (sometime plods) by. Night travel can get you to where you are going and provide an inexpensive place to sleep. If you have limited time in India it may be best to make reservations prior to leaving your home country.
Lonely Planet India
Note: There are very convincing scam artists at railway station entrances ready to ‘help‘ you by telling you the ticket office for foreigners has changed locations, after which they put you in a rickshaw and then hop in for the ride to their ‘travel office’ some distance away. The real foreign office was exactly where it should be, inside the railway station.
The motorized auto-rickshaw provides an exhilarating experience and offers a wonderful way to get around a city while affording some protection from the elements. The driver is supposed to use a meter but generally a bartering exchange is carried out before you get in … if the price is not agreed to BEFORE the cost at the end of the ride could be substantial. We were often able to squeeze four people and four backpacks into an auto-rickshaw.
Bicycle-rickshaws offer a slower paced view of a city and are good for short distances. They have limited protection from poor weather. The pedal-drivers work hard for their money.
Taxis are best for longer distances, wet weather conditions or for transporting over-luggaged tourists. Like the auto-rickshaws, taxis have meters which are seldom used. Before getting in, or putting luggage in the trunk, agree on the total cost to get to your destination.
Insisting on hiring another cab or rickshaw usually either “fixes” the meter or lowers the price. If your hotel offers to make transportation arrangements for you, it may be cheaper to decline and walk out to the street and flag down a rickshaw or taxi.
If you like your driver you can make arrangement to have him pick you up at another time and/or place; most often they will be there, particularly if you paid them fairly or tipped above the agreed price. For sightseeing you can arrange to be taken from place to place for the day at an agreed price payable at the conclusion of the day’s travels. Drivers may also be a good source of information as to where to go and what to see.