Are you planning to stay at Lalitha Mahal Palace in Mysuru? It celebrated it’s centenary in 2021.
About the Lalitha Mahal Palace in Mysuru
The Palace was commissioned by the then Maharaja, Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, to treat his guests. The architecture was inspired by the St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. In 1974, the palace was taken over by the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) to be run as a heritage hotel. It has 52 airy and spacious rooms that you can book here.
Lalitha Mahal features a projecting porch, spherical domes, a large central dome and iconic columns. Interiors are done with immaculately polished marble floors, highly crafted rosewood furniture, majestic staircases, imported carpets, intricate chandeliers and curtains. Stately upper floor offers breathtaking views.
The Karnataka state government has decided to give the management of the heritage property, the Lalitha Mahal, in Mysuru, a go ahead to turn it into a world-class luxury hotel and increase its worth among niche tourists. Till it goes into renovation, it can be still accessed and you can stay in the second largest palace in Mysuru.
How to reach Lalitha Mahal Palace
Mysuru is well connected by Air, rail and road network from all over Karnataka.
Air: Mysuru airport is 11 km from the city centre and has flights from select cities such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Goa and Kochi. Bengaluru and Kannur are two nearby international airports with better flight connectivity. (180 and 160 km from Mysuru respectively)
Train: Mysuru has a railway station and is connected to Bengaluru and Mangaluru by train. Shatabdi Express covers the distance between Bengaluru and Mysuru in about two hours.
Bus: Mysuru has excellent bus connectivity from major cities of Karnataka. I took a Golden Flybus from Bangalore airport and reached Mysore Bus Stop within 4 hours. From there I took an auto to reach the palace that is 15 mins away from the bus stop.
You can also hire a taxi to reach Lalitha Mahal Palace. It is located just 4 km from the Mysore Bus Station and the historical Mysore Palace.
My stay at Lalitha Mahal Palace
I stayed for two nights at Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel in Mysore in 2016 and I can assure you that the experience is worth your time at pocket friendly price. The palace is simple yet elegant.
I stayed in the Deluxe Room that included breakfast in the pool wing. For a solo traveler, it was big enough. The room was fairly large with vintage décor. It had a balcony overlooking the Chamundi Hills.
I liked the room though it wasn’t anything like a stately room. (But suites are definitely stately, more on that later in this post.) The bathroom in the deluxe room was unkempt with old fittings. (You will find details about the room in the video posted below).
The flush was not working. And in one of the rooms the lock was broken. So when I checked in, I was rather disappointed. But the staff was prompt enough to change the room.
The outdoor pool and a fountain was visible from the large room windows. Though, I found the pool was average, without any pool manager or a life guard. The lounging chairs were kept haphazardly. And I was suppose to carry room towels to the pool area.
So after a bad start why do I still recommend this over other hotels? Well, the answer lies in the overall princely experience. The property still retains its royal grandeur.
About the rooms at the Lalitha Mahal Palace
Maintained by ITDC, this palace turned hotel is near to many landmarks of the city. A beautiful property tucked in the lap of nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the main city gives panoramic view of the Mysore city as well as the Chamundi Hills.
The former stately rooms are individually decorated with antique-style furnishings and plush fabrics. All have TVs, and most have balconies. There’s an opulent fine-dining restaurant, an al fresco eatery and a grand bar.
Other amenities include a fitness room, an outdoor pool, tennis courts and a billiard room, plus landscaped gardens and a helipad (under construction).
There are two wings in the Lalitha Mahal Palace – Palace wing and Pool wing. The palace also has grand suites. Viceroy suite is the most luxurious of them all.
The interiors are decorated with elaborate carvings, immaculately polished venation marble floors, priceless carpets, ornate Rosewood furniture and the stately balustrade staircase that sweeps up to the upper floor.
It reminds you of the beauty of the bygone era when royal guests would throng the palace on occasions demanded by the king.
The central hall is adorned with life size portraits of the royalty, lithographs portraying Tipu Sultan’s skirmishes with the British, decorative motifs on the walls and ceiling, carved wood shutters, wall panels and myriad touches of regal embellishment.
The accommodation at this heritage hotel consists of 52 stately suites and rooms. The Viceroy, Vicerine, Duplex Suites and rooms of the hotel are of princely proportions. They are cool, airy, with high ceiling and plenty of natural light.
The rooms are decorated with period furniture, four poster beds, deep velvet covered arm chairs, gilt framed Belgian mirrors, etc. The huge awe inspiring bathrooms are equipped with original shanks of Scotland plumbing fixtures in the suites.
To reach the suites, guest are taken in a vintage elevator which operates rather swiftly.
Food and restaurant at the Lalitha Mahal Palace
The erstwhile ball room has been recreated into a gourmet restaurant called Sapphire, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The stunning ‘Durbar’ like ambience with rich lace curtains and jharokas of the restaurant are mesmerizing.
In the porch you will find pictures of all the Kings in the Wadiyar Dynasty (24, down the line) in malleable gold.
Service staff is usually in traditional ethnic attire. Amongst the most sought after dishes is the Mysore Maharaja Thali which I tried but couldn’t finish. A must try for people with serious appetite.
‘Mysuru Silver Thali’ is the most royal and exquisite meal one can have in Mysuru, served on silver cutlery.
I would highly recommend that you stay in this heritage hotel than other commercial five star properties for an exclusive experience. The city is very beautiful and stay with Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel is like icing on the cake.
Can I visit the Lalitha Mahal Palace, if I am not staying there?
It is also open to visitors not staying at the hotel for a nominal fee. Yes, you can do a day visit at the palace. You can also take a royal horse carriage ride in its compound for Rs 100/person.
You can also read about the Mysuru travel details here and plan your itinerary.
Have you every stayed in a heritage hotel? Do give your recommendations for my next trip.
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