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.
On the wild plains of Rajasthan— just an hour south of Jodhpur—the Mihir Garh is a palatial fortress hotel with an impressive stable of indigenous Marwari steeds. Take one on a maharajah-worthy journey through the desert or on a staff-guided picnic safari to a Bishnoi tribal village.
Hidden in a gated suburb, a 25-minute drive from Connaught Place, this whitewashed 16-room boutique hotel is carved out of a two-story 1950s bungalow. It started life as a “rural” hunting lodge, which gives you an indication of how rapidly the city has expanded.
On 35 beachfront acres in the southern Indian town of Pondicherry, on the Bay of Bengal, the new Dune hotel has 47 stylish thatched-roof bungalows, plus an eco-friendly vibe.
There's a nice restaurant on the roof where they have live music every night at six.
Tipping the indulgence scale, Taj Hotels’ Rambagh Palace, in Jaipur, has two spa suite tents patterned after a 16th-century Mughal encampment. When India’s royalty went camping, their tasseled tents were made of velvet and embroidered silk.
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.