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.
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.
The Location: The regal Rajasthani town of Udaipur is known as the “city of lakes”—and Udai Kothi sits right across from the most famous of them: glittering Lake Pichola, where the waters are rimmed by towering palaces, serene temples, and bathing ghats (stone stairs tha
25 luxe jungle tents outfitted with four-poster beds, freestanding bathtubs, and teak floors, on 20 acres next to Ranthambhore National Park and Tiger Reserve.
The property is an old riverside warehouse in the inland village of Britona that in 2003 turned into a 10-room property with brightly painted walls and lovely antiques.
Inspired by the Mughal designs of Agra’s princely-era, this stunning 35-acre property scored the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2010. Accommodations feel like miniature palaces with pastel interiors bordered by jharokas, intricate, over-hanging balconies.
Delhi’s top business hotel is also an Indian society favorite, and the nightly arrivals in the lobby attests as much; several excellent restaurants—including the ever-popular threesixty—make this a place to be seen as much as to stay.
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.
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.
In 2003, Mumbai-based fashion photographer Denzil Sequeira opened up his ancestral compound to paying guests.