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.
A British-run rental agency with numerous houses in North Goa. Ask for a condo at Coco Shambhala, decorated by Panchavatti’s Loulou Van Damme; the author Frank Simoes’s quirky former home Rockheart; or Kiranpani, in Mandrem, the backdrop for many a fashion shoot.
The hotel, a series of rambling structures on one of the city's four prominent hillsides, was built in 1891 to house a British magnate who ran a global trade in goods from local cotton mills.
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.
Modern Rajasthani retreat made up of well-appointed tents, villas and an Oberoi spa. The luxury tents are air-conditioned, decorated with traditional Indian block printings, and canopies woven with golden thread.
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.
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.
A tasteful colonial theme park, this Art Deco icon—built in 1936, at the arrogant height of the Raj—is soaked with the ambiance of what writer Ranjana Sengupta calls “the whole tea-on-the-club-lawns and bugles-at-sunset world of Delhi in the 1930s.” An apt description for a pleasantly coddling ye