Hotels in India
The choice of luxury hotels in India is overwhelming, as you'll find properties from all the top international brands, as well as homegrown ones like Taj and Oberoi. In the north, don't miss Wildflower Hall in Shimla, in the foothills of the Himalayas, for its historic colonial charms and breathtaking panoramic mountain views. In popular Rajasthan (aka the "Golden Triangle'), choose between resort-style properties like Oberoi's Rajvillas (in Jaipur) and Vanyavillas (near the Ranthambore tiger reserve), or historic places-turned-hotels like the floating Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur. In Agra, Oberoi Amarvillas is the only hotel with Taj Mahal views, making it one of the best hotels in India. Both Taj and Oberoi have historic properties in cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai, as well.
Other urban options include the recently-opened Park Hyatt Chennai, which offers a great spa, buzzy restaurant, and popular nightclub / lounge, and the sleek, all-glass Trident Hyderabad, located in the heart of the booming HiTech City enclave.
For resort hotels in India, look into Kerala's The Park on Vembanad Lake, a combination hotel and luxury small cruise ship, at which guests can enjoy cultural activities, excellent dining, and cruises along the backwaters.
The 19 cottages are filled with teak furniture sourced from renewable forests, and the showers have skylights and are open to the elements. A short path through the mahua trees leads to Beach No. 7, where you can stroll along the white sand or swim with Rajan, the resort’s resident elephant.
The 12-room property, on Havelock Island, part of India’s Andaman archipelago, is reached by ferry from Port Blair. This is an oasis of style in the region: hand-carved beds, dark wood ceilings, rattan wall hangings. The menu at the open-air restaurant changes daily.
In 2003, Mumbai-based fashion photographer Denzil Sequeira opened up his ancestral compound to paying guests.
Casa Palacio Siolim House, which Kate Moss, Sadie Frost, and their entourage took over for two weeks a few years ago, is on an outlet of the Chapora about 10 minutes inland.
Deep within a sprawling fourth-century fort near Jodhpur, 10 mansions that once belonged to a maharajah’s wives have been restored to create one of the region’s most stylish new retreats.
Located in the foothills of the Himalayas and surrounded by cedar forests and snowcapped mountain ranges, Wildflower Hall was the former residence of Lord Kitchener, a commander of the British army.
Madonna’s visit in 2007 helped cement Rajasthan’s place on the global style scene, but the new Serai Jaisalmer has just increased the vogue factor.
India’s ancient healing tradition of Ayurveda is sweeping the spa world. To experience it at its purest, head to the source: Karnataka, India’s holistic heartland.
If the Imperial encapsulates Delhi’s past, the Park offers a vivid glance into Delhi’s future—and the future looks uncannily like Miami Beach crossed with Islington.
The Grand has been a source of civic pride and a landmark of social arrival for more than a century.