Hotels in India

At this 14-room retrofitted hotel, the staff is inconspicuously attentive - dinners appear by the hen house or on a mid-river island as if by an invisible hand. The food comes mostly from the property's gardens and livestock, fully in line with the precepts of Slow Food.

Business-district hotel on landscaped grounds.

At this lavish, 402-room behemoth, ten minutes from the city center, no task is out of reach for the warm and knowledgeable staff, whether it means repairing a broken suitcase or arranging for a private charter to any of the more far-flung tourist sites.

To find the Leela Goa among the clutch of hotels along Goa’s palm tree-lined stretch of sand, keep an eye out for a pair of carved-stone elephants that will greet you in the lobby; they’re the first hint what you’ll discover at this secluded escape along India’s western coast.

The four-bedroom island villa is set within a moat and accessible by bridge. A sweeping terrace and turreted balconies punctuate the exterior, while the interiors are fit for a maharajah and queen: Indian rosewood beds, red-and-gold quilts, copper washbasins.

Aniamma Philip and her daughter-in-law Anu Mathew hold multiday classes centered on treasured family recipes for chutney, appam bread, vegetable thoran, and curries redolent of spices from their garden.

The common areas include a soaring open kitchen; a broad living room filled with teakwood Indian antiques, groupings of club chairs, and stacks of art books; an infinity pool ringed with shaggy greenery; and a wide veranda.