The Top 5 Resort Hotels in India
This year's World's Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules have always allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three-year period. We hope that this year's honorees will inspire your own travels as you get back out into the world.
A bucket-list destination for many T+L readers, India mesmerizes with its riot of colors, centuries-old traditions, and geographical diversity, from the mountains of Ladakh and the beaches and rivers of Kerala to every frenetic city in between. With hospitality and warmth so much a part of the culture, it's no surprise readers continue to rank several resorts on the Indian Subcontinent as among the top 100 hotels in the world.
Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.
Four out of five of our readers' favorite India hotels this year are in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, where visitors can lodge in either tented camps or grand palaces. No. 3 the Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort sits just outside Ranthambore National Park, which is known for its resident Bengal tigers. Along with 25 spacious tents with four-poster beds and soaking tubs — one reader noted they're more like "elegant, air-conditioned rooms under canvas"— the property boasts dining, spa, and a bar too, bringing top-tier luxury to the middle of the wilderness. Drives through the park are understandably popular (and worthwhile) excursions, but the hotel can also arrange several other types of experiences, from cooking classes to block printing.
This year's No. 2 spot went to the Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa. One reader described it as "the best hotel in Goa," while another touted its lush garden setting and excellent location near Sinquerim Beach, a popular spot for watersports. The pool is a big hit with families, and the Jiva Spa is not to be missed.
Moving up to the No. 1 spot this year, the Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, was readers' top choice. Set on 30 acres overlooking Lake Pichola and the Aravalli Hills, the property's gorgeous Mewari-inspired architecture and impeccable service are just two of the reasons it claimed the top position. See below for what T+L readers had to say.
1. The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
Features like interconnecting domes and palatial courtyards at this 90-room property transport travelers to the days when the Sisodia dynasty ruled the land. Many T+L readers remarked on the Oberoi Udaivilas's otherworldly setting (as one noted, "the location is dreamy"). Another called the hotel "heaven on earth," praising "the architecture, the location, the service, the food, the rooms, the facilities." Standout experiences include curated dinners at the lakeside pavilion, cooking and painting classes, visits to thekri glass-inlay workshops, and private city tours. A third T+L reader simply called it a "must" experience.
More information: oberoihotels.com
2. Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa, Goa
More information: tajhotels.com
3. The Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort, Ranthambore National Park
More information: oberoihotels.com
4. The Leela Palace Udaipur
More information: theleela.com
5. The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur
See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2021.