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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Best and Worst Hotels of the Year


Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

The Good

Good is an understatement: exceptional would be more apt when describing the best hotel Chopstix checked into this year: the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, India.

There are some hotels that have such a stellar reputation that staying at them can be a disappointment. Not so the Lake Palace which actually exceeded  our expectations.

We checked in at a very chic private jetty and were then whisked across the lake by speed boat, the iconic hotel seemingly floating in the distance.

Mooring alongside the island hotel, we were given the Lake Palace’s royal welcome before being shown to our room: the stunning khush mahal suite.

taj lake pool.jpg

Behind the walls and hidden from anyone but Lake Palace guests, the hotel has a series of courtyards, roof terraces, an outdoor swimming pool and several good restaurants.

It’s not just the setting that makes this hotel special – the service we encountered was superb.

Special mention also to the Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur and both The Peninsula Hong Kong and The Peninsula Shanghai for our favourite hotels of the last 12 months.

The Bad and the Ugly (Behaviour)

It’s with a heavy heart that we write this as Llangoed Hall in Wales has previously been a special place for us however our most recent stay changed all that.

The hotel is still gorgeous and we can’t say it’s a bad hotel though in general is not quite up to price point (we paid £350 a night) but it was the rude and unprofessional behaviour of the managing director Calum C Milne that left a bad taste.

We gave Mr Milne the opportunity to discuss this privately – writing to him twice – but he failed to respond on both occasions.

It seems we were not alone. A look at Trip Advisor around the same time as our stay found Mr Milne had a track record in failing to respond to complaints and guests variously called him: “arrogant and uncaring”, “extraordinarily difficult to deal with” and “the rudest man you can imagine.”

There are a lot of fabulous, well run hotels in the world  to check into in 2017 and beyond so we won’t be staying here again.

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