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.
Modern Rajasthani retreat made up of well-appointed tents and villas and an Oberoi spa. The new restaurant Rajmahal uses herbs and vegetables from the on-site garden.
Taj Hotels won us over last year with the Umaid Bhawan Palace, so we couldn’t wait to see how they’d transform another former maharajah’s palace, this one in the holy city of Varanasi.
Channel a modern-day maharajah in one of 40 futuristic tented cubes at this cutting-edge Rajasthani compound. Each canvas-walled structure comes with wrought-iron lanterns, an oversize four-poster bed, and an open-air pavilion, with the awe-inspiring Amber Fort as backdrop.
With 26 acres of landscaped gardens where peacocks display their plumage, and 76 guest rooms, including 40 raj-worthy suites the palace is purportedly one of the world’s largest residences. A 105-foot central cupola sheds a golden light that appears to waft through the long corridors.
In the heart of the city, yet set back from the chaotic neighborhood of Colaba; the posh hideaway of choice among Mumbai’s glitterati.
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.
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.
263-year-old white marble palace that rises from a rock foundation on its own island in Lake Pichola.
Simple but immaculate lodgings in a Ladakhi family’s ancestral home.
Set on a crescent-shaped stretch of sand in Goa, Ciaran's literally rebuilds its 17 thatched-roof cottages after the annual monsoon. And with each iteration, the hotel adds luxuries such as rooftop daybeds and an open-air library.