It was our second visit to the ‘City of Romance’ or the ‘City of Lakes’ as Udaipur the city in the Rajasthan state of India is popularly known. The city of Udaipur has a rich cultural heritage and the best way to experience this would be to stay in a haveli style hotel in the old city of Udaipur.
Poonam Haveli is a marvelous haveli style hotel situated in the heart of the bustling old city of Udaipur. Fifteen years back the family home was converted into a hotel by the Mr.K. L. Soni father of the present owner. Mr.Soni was one of the best artists of Miniature Paintings in Udaipur of his times which is evident from the beautiful painting adorning the hotel walls and ceilings.
The Haveli today is managed by Hemant Soni and his wife Sonia who stay in the basement of the same building. The owners speak Hindi, English, French and German languages which would make it easy to accommodate foreigners and make them feel at home. With a total team of fifteen including three managers, the hotel provides with 24 hours of service.
Our flight landed in Udaipur early morning and we hired a taxi to our hotel. Initially, our plan was to drop our luggage at reception and do some sightseeing in and around the area as we would reach well before the check-in time. But the manager was kind enough to offer us an early check-in to freshened up before starting our sightseeing.
We are glad he did. As we had started in the wee hours of the morning to catch our early flight we were drowsy and exhausted. Our room on the first floor was spacious and minimalistically designed with a pleasant ambiance.
In-room amenities included phone, television, free wifi access and a coffee table with chairs.
The attached bathroom was spacious and clean with hot water facilities and basic toiletries.
We freshened up and soon dozed off.
The Poonam Haveli offers 16 rooms which include 13 double, 2 triple bedrooms with attached bathroom. The Haveli also offers a large family room which has a double bed and the room opening into an alcove through arches housing 2 kids beds. As the family room wasn’t occupied the manager allowed us to have a peek into it.
The lobby is lined with easy chairs and coffee tables for relaxed outdoor seating.
We woke up rejuvenated and decided to have an early lunch. We met the owner Sonia in the restaurant who was having lunch with her kids. Sonia and her husband are very amicable hosts who will ensure to make your stay comfortable and homely.
The top two floors of the hotel serve as a restaurant named ‘Bon appetit cafe and restaurant’. The lower floor is roofed terrace which has a kitchen and the upper floor is more of a secluded open terrace. None of the rooms have a view of the Lake Pichola but the restaurant makes for this with a commanding view of the Pichola Lake, Lake Palace and Jagmandir Island Palace and the old city with the backdrop of undulating Aravalli range.
Above is the view of the old city at sunrise from the Restaurant and below is the Lake Palace in the Pichola Lake.
This multi-cuisine restaurant serves Indian, Chinese, French and Italian cuisines. After some good rest, we were famished and devoured on some appetizing traditional Rajasthani dishes taking in the wonderful views of the old city.
Poonam Haveli is situated close to Lal ghat on the banks of serene Lake Pichola. Ghat is a promenade with stairs leading to the lake. The old city of Udaipur is surrounded by Lake Pichola hence providing proximity to several ghats on the shores of the lake where you can spend your evening watching the illuminated traditional buildings of the old city.
The area around the hotel is jam-packed with shops for souvenirs, handicrafts, and traditional Rajasthani stuff. This is a perfect location as all the major attractions are within a walkable distance. The City Palace of Udaipur perched on the hill on the shores of largest Lake of Udaipur Lake Pichola and is just around 10 minutes walk from the hotel.
We planned to spend the evening experiencing the heritage program at the Bagore ki Haveli which was just 5 min walk from the hotel. The owner offered to help arrange the ticket as the seats fill up very soon but as we had enough time we decided to get the tickets ourselves.
Back to the hotel, we decided to have dinner on the top floor under the open starry sky. The top floor had marble seatings illuminated with candle lights.
The views of the old city bathed in golden light and its reflection on the calm lake were mesmerizing. As the night got chiller the hotel staff offered us a warm quilt to cuddle up while we savored the delicious dinner taking in the views.
Next day morning we had our breakfast which is complimentary with the stay. Our plan was to do city sightseeing and visiting the city palace and other popular sites. The hotel arranged for an auto at a reasonable price. The auto would show us around the city briefing about the attractions we visit which we believe is the best way to Udaipur sightseeing. We checked out, left our luggage at the reception and hopped onto the auto to explore the beautiful city.
The old city of Udaipur has narrow streets winding through the snuggled up buildings hence parking could be a problem. If you are visiting with your personal vehicle then request assistance from the hotel management for an availability of parking facilities.
Have you been to Udaipur and stayed in a haveli style hotel? We would love to hear your experiences.
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Disclaimer: Our stay at Poonam Haveli was not sponsored. All opinions and views are our own.