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“Charming place”
Review of Udai Bilas Palace

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Udai Bilas Palace
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dungarpur
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 20, 2013

Stayed here during Diwali 2011 and not 2012. I was driving from Baroda, picked up my wife from Ahd airport and by the time we reached the palace it was almost 2 am. But the guards and maybe the caretaker were waiting for us and graciously showed us our room and we slept for the night. The morning view from outside the room, overlooking the lake was marvellous. The birds, the vintage car collection, the food and above all exploring the palace interiors, ensured that we wouldn't step outside the property during our stay. Though would definitely recommend taking a short trip down to the purani haveli. And if the weather is good, maybe cycle around and explore the nearby villages.

So what ticked me off and made me give this an average rating. Definitely checking out was not a smooth affair. When we paid our bill, our packed bags were in the rooms. Just before driving back, we decided to see the car collection. While coming back, much to our horror, we discovered that the manager had got our bags placed on the dirt road next to our car. Definitely not. A ver welcome sendoff. And to top it, he was none too apologetic. Somehow there was that lingering feeling that our presence was merely secondary. Maybe after almost 2 years, the memory isn't too fresh, but the manager's attitude is still annoying.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Shalin_Shroff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 - 89 of 163 reviews

Reviewed July 6, 2013

Charm of this Palace is its open restaurant and swimming pool facing a pond and small temple between that pond.
This palace have one of Garrage which is converted into a Vintage Car bar. You can see some lovely running condition cars in ths Garrage and enjoy your drink while watching them.
They have lovely huge and very much heritage rooms.
Most of the herirage hotels in rajasthan has renovated their rooms, but this hotel has just refurbished them.
You will enjoy staying at this hotel as they serve home cooked excellent food.

Room Tip: Try to stay at their suite rooms, as they are really huge in size secondly their furniture is sill a...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank REGISTHANTOURSINDIA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We started our 5 day Rajasthan trip in Dungarpur, when we stayed with family for one night at Udai Bilas Palace during the Holi-Good Friday long weekend. We drove straight there from Udaipur airport and reached late afternoon. The drive was very interesting, because clumps of the adivasi (tribal) people of the villages along the way, having a gala time dancing, playing holi, in their drunken stupor kept stopping our car at regular intervals threatening us with sticks and swords for money (it is a different matter that they would be happy with a mere 10 Rupees) but it was quite an experience.

Once we got to the property though, it was a quiet haven. We had a snack lunch by the lake and poolside, where, while it was sunny, there was a nice soft breeze blowing and that added to the serene atmosphere. The aaloo parathas served to us were out of the world (we ordered them again the next day!) and so were the masala omelettes, sandwiches etc. We visited the village in the evening and stepped into a Shrinathji temple (where the idol is larger than its more famous namesake in Nath Dwara) and walked around the Udai Bilas property, soaking it in. Weather was absolutely perfect. We returned to the poolside to get a few drinks later in the evening and ended up dozing on the daybeds in the fantastic breeze, lulled by the soft santoor music playing in the background.

The architecture of the center courtyard is superb, as is the mirror work in the rooms facing the lake. The rooms were huge, like in old heritage homes with high ceilings and mattresses with bolsters by the window to just sit and stare into oblivion. There may have been an odd peeling paint or withering wall but that just added to the charm of the place. The bathrooms were large with running hot water and a tub. One of the bathrooms had a separate shower area too. We loved the mini khadi soaps. There is a steep flight of stairs leading up to some of the rooms so it may not work for those who have trouble climbing up. There is no room service for food, no tv and no internet - which worked perfectly well for us since it served our purpose - to completely relax.

Dinner was buffet style at the main dining area where the dining "pool" table has exquisite inlay work and the walls self-designed with white and grey river bank pebble stones are nothing short of amazing. Food was very good and homely and service was impeccable. The manager Kalvendraji was very mindful of our needs and paid attention to detail such as asking us if we needed anything extra, making sure we had enough bottles of water, etc. Breakfast was also very good. Eggs, made to order, fresh fruit, cereal and the likes. We took a short boat ride to the Shiva temple in the middle of the lake across from the property. Lots of ducks that have dirtied the place but gives a good view of the property from the Gaibsagar lake side. Juna Mahal was rather rundown but worth visiting just because you're already there. Can be covered within an hour. Then came the pièce de résistance - Dungarpur Mews, or what they call, the Garage Bar. Awesome collection of vintage cars and motorbikes, with memorabilia and witty quotes all over the walls. Precious stuff.

One downside: The ancestors of the owners though seemed to have shot a lot of animals - several tiger heads, deer, wild boar, jackals and the likes, stuffed, now "adorn" a lot of the walls. I hear the current owners don't support hunting anymore but it was sad to see... There is a dining room full of these heads, adjoining the main hall. Another downside I'd say was the markups on bottled soft drinks - but then again, one pays a price for the service too (the markup eventually turned out to be relatively lower compared to our Udaipur hotel that charged us more than 10 times the MRP!).

Since there isn't much else to do in Dungarpur, if you're looking for a lot of activity. But our experience at Udai Bilas Palace was wonderful, to say the very least!

Room Tip: Lake facing rooms and suites have a better view and are very large
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank LifeandLeisure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

In fact I shouldn't write a word about the Udai Bilas Palace because then more guests would come and you won't be able to dine by yourselves at the long marble table surrounded by amazing people taking good care of you! Feeling like a princess in a great palace!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank SandraCh23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

A wonderful experience, more like staying as a house guest than in a hotel.
We had a huge room just behind the 'reception' room, though it's the only hotel reception I've seen with stuffed tigers heads on the wall, the desk being the only clue as to the room's purpose. Our room was like a time-warp back to the 1930's: period furniture, art deco ceiling, wallpaper in keeping. Nice views over the lake. There was room for a few armchairs, desk, large twin beds, wardrobe, and still enough room to swing a cat (even a tiger). A lovely, huge ensuite with giant stand-alone bath and washstand.
The setting is lovely, right by the lake: a bird-watchers dream with lots of wildfowl. The swimming pool area was nice for lunch and to relax.
The best was saved for the evening. First, the old stables now house the Maharajah's car collection, and has been lovingly restored as a motor museum, with the added bonus of a bar at the end for pre-dinner drinks. Then dinner itself was served at the giant marble 'water-table' - and we were the only people eating, so we had it to ourselves for the full Maharajah treatment! Lovely food - mainly veg, with a meat option on the hot buffet. Soup, hot buffet, 2 deserts. Just enough attention to not feel uncomfortable. A wonderful if slightly surreal experience.
The Old Palace on the hill is a must: it looks like the people have just walked out of the door, and gives a glimpse into the era before the 'new' palace.
Overall, worth a detour just to stay in here. We regret not staying more than 1 night.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank BoringOldGit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2013

We were a group of 11people who visited this rather unexplored hideout. The stay of everyone was memorable, the service was par excellent. The food was above our expectation, we were getting a full butler service.

Overall it was a good decision taken by us to visit this palace and stay there.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank jassiAhmedabad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

This place is not five stars, it has the feel that the previous residents have just left. However, the ancient Maharaja is still living upstairs watching his TV (cricket) at a volume suitable to his age adding another nice touch to a living museum.

I had the art deco suite but hardly stayed inside as we were either at the pool or walking around the friendly village of Dungapur. The suite was enormous and had an extra room so we cancelled a room for our daughter. The bathroom had great older fittings and there was plenty of hot water. If you want 5 star don't come here, one of the best things about this place is that it is authentic.

The staff are wonderful and the food is good. We requested a turkey for xmas which they located and we showed them how to cook it.

The painting in the old palace are amazing in colour and detail must be visited if you are there. The location next the lake is a perfect place and the differing locations for the evening drinks was a wonderful touch.

I would come back anytime.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank smithcomyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Udai Bilas Palace

Address: Dungarpur 314001, India
Location: India > Rajasthan > Dungarpur District > Dungarpur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dungarpur
Price Range: $133 - $184 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Udai Bilas Palace 3*
Number of rooms: 23
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Udai Bilas Palace Dungarpur

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