Signature Experiences

Time Travel at Champaner-Pavagadh
At a 60 minutes drive from the hotel, the Champaner Pavagadh Archaeological Park in the Panchmahal district of Gujarat is one of India’s most important UNESCO World Heritage site. Apart from the historical significance, it is a stunning landscape that is ideal for a day trip to soak in the state’s glorious heritage, architecture and stories of great adventure. The hotel will pack a lunch for guests to enjoy during a guided tour of the site. You can spend many hours taking in the ruins, forts, ancient mosques, temples and palaces of the 16th century capital of Gujarat and a crucial port city that flourished at the base of the Pavagadh volcanic peak. The region is a wonderful showcase of the confluence of Hindu, Jain and Islamic architectural styles. Whether it’s the Wada Talao, the Jami Masjid or the Kabutarkhana Pavilion, you’ll be engrossed by one picturesque location after another, transporting you to another time and era.
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Royal Heritage – Lukshmi Vilas Palace
Our Concierge will advise you to not leave Vadodara without at least one visit to Lukshmi Vilas Palace, one of the most magnificent colonial-era palaces in India. The 170-room wonder – four times the size of Buckingham Palace - was designed by Major Charles Mant and built over 12 years by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III at a reported cost of £180,000. An awe-inspiring confluence of Indian, Jain and Western architecture styles – the Maharaja and his family travelled all over the world and developed an unusually broad aesthetic – the palace interiors are replete with Venetian mosaic, Belgium stained glass windows, a wealth of art bought from Europe and a dedicated elevator! You can spend an entire day entranced by the palace and later by its grounds which hold a private golf course, a baoli (step well) and the Maharaja Fatehsingh Museum which was once a school for the king’s children and now houses a beautiful art collection which includes portraits of the royal family painted by famed artist Raja Ravi Varma. Visiting Hours: 9:30 – 18.00
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Explore a Maratha Mansion
While Lukshmi Vilas Palace is a testament to the Gaekwar family’s riches sourced from across the world, there is plenty of architecture in Vadodara that showcases the prowess of local artisans. Of these, Tambekar Wada is worth a visit. Once the residence of Bhau Tambekar - the Diwan of Baroda - the multi-storeyed wooden building is a fine example of a Maratha mansion. You’ll be enchanted with the beautiful, colourful murals within the residence which depict scenes from the Mahabharata, stories from the life of Lord Krishna, and the Anglo-Maratha War. Visiting Hours: 8.00 – 18.00
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Icons of Vadodara
Our Concierge desk arranges a customized city tour and day trips based on your interests. From historical monuments and beautiful lakes to modern entertainment spaces for the entire family, Vadodara has something for everyone. For architecture lovers, we recommend visiting the Hazira Maqbara, a double-domed Mughal-style mausoleum which has a vav (stepwell) that is typical of the region. The Dakshinamurti or EME Temple (run by the Indian Army Authorities) has an unusually modern structure that houses symbols of all religions. Explore Vadodara’s multi-faceted culture further at the serene Auro Nivas, former residence of India’s finest philosophers and freedom fighters Shri Aurobindo. Shop at the bustling markets near Mandvi Gate in the centre of the old walled city, before spending a lovely evening boating at Sursagar lake. For longer excursions, treat your family to an exciting day at Aatapi Wonderland, Gujarat’s biggest theme park. Towering above everything, of course, is the Statue of Unity. Just 100 kms from Vadodara, this colossal sculpture of Indian statesman activist Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was inaugurated in 2018 and is the tallest in the world, at a lofty 597 ft.
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A Grand Walk in the Park
Located on the banks of the Vishwamitri River, Sayaji Baug (also known as Kamati Baug) is no ordinary expanse of green. Stretching over 113 acres, it is the largest garden in Western India and home to more than 98 species of trees. The park was built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad in 1879 and later gifted to the citizens of Vadodara, quickly making it one of their favourite haunts. Spend a pleasant afternoon strolling along the tree-lined promenade between visits to the planetarium and zoo and a ride in the toy train named ‘Sayaji Express’. Another attraction within the park is the Vadodara Museum and Picture Gallery, which was modelled along the lines of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The museum has benefitted from Sayajirao’s extensive world travels and boasts of an engrossing collection of objets d’art ranging from Mughal miniatures to glazed ceramics from Ahmedabad, textiles from the Far East and European paintings from the Maharaja’s private collection. Visiting Hours: Sayaji Baug: 5:00 - 23:00 Vadodara Museum and Picture Gallery: 9:30 - 17.00
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Shop for Local Crafts
Vadodara is well known for the art of woodblock textile printing. Our Concierge will help you in mapping a souvenir hunting trip in the city to shop for beautiful garments featuring traditional methods like block printing – especially the signature mango print - and tie and dye combined with contemporary prints. Our recommendations include boutiques like Baroda Prints in Salatwada/Alkapuri and Bodhi on Old Padra Road, as well as Sejal Handicrafts for traditional home decor and fashion accessories.
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Feast on a Vegetarian Extravaganza
The vegetarian (and often vegan) cuisine from Gujarat is famous across the world and is increasingly in the spotlight for its health benefits and impressive variety that doesn’t compromise on great taste. Vadodara has long enjoyed a reputation of being a foodie’s paradise. At Vivanta Vadodara, we’re proud to present our cuisine in a fine dining ambience at Mynt, the all-day diner. Mynt’s mighty vegetarian thali (a traditional large platter with individual servings of multiple curries, vegetables, rice, flatbread and farsan/snacks) is one of the city’s best. Make more than one reservation to relish rare local recipes that are prepared with the same love and care seen in the simplest of Gujarati households. Fresh, seasonal ingredients, traditional recipes that lay low on piling on spices and oil and a team of experienced cooks make sure that every dish – from a simple potato and brinjal curry to the legendary oondhiyo and endless servings of hot-off-the-griddle bajra rotis and phulkas - makes it a meal to remember.
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