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.
You’ll trade your car for a horse and carriage at the gate of the Taj Falaknuma Palace, which crowns a hill above the city, and be showered with rose petals when you ascend the marble steps.
Set on 25 acres alongside Lake Vembanad, the resort features 49 villas that were created with materials sourced from century-old ancestral homes and are full of traditional details: wooden gables, carved doors, massive brass locks.
The Taj Mahal, the epic monument less than half a mile away, is undoubtedly the focal point at this 102-room luxury resort.
Sandstone-hued splendor on Lake Pichola with a supervised kids' buffet and play zone during Sunday brunch. Guests of the 80-room property arrive by private launch. Suites are appointed with gilded, locally made furniture.
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.
Located midway between Jaipur and Udaipur, the once the summer residence of the rulers of Shahpura, is now a small boutique hotel still owned by the same family. The hotel is situated in a verdant wetland, and has incredible bird-watching opportunities.
Taj's latest brand, Vivanta (unveiled in 2010) stands for laid-back luxury, as reflected by this South Indian retreat, perched comfortably on Lake Kochi.