By Flora Stubbs
July 10, 2019
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Courtesy of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts

India is an enormous nation, as anyone who has traveled there will attest. Home to everything from the palm-fringed tropical beaches and Portuguese-colonial churches of Goa to the snowcapped Himalayas and Tibetan Buddhist shrines of Ladakh, the country is rightfully celebrated for its cultural and topographic diversity.

Yet when it comes to your favorite places to visit (and, specifically, your favorite resort hotels) one part of India rises above them all. Rajasthan — the north Indian state defined by its royal heritage, opulent palaces, and extraordinary artisanal traditions — is the destination you can’t get enough of, as evidenced by this year’s list of Top 5 India Resort Hotels.

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.

RelatedThe World's Best Awards 2019

For 2019, all of your top three India resort hotels were in one location. Udaipur: the uber-romantic City of Lakes in southern Rajasthan, which has for decades been an essential detour from the classic Golden Triangle itinerary of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. One of the key reasons? Its extraordinary collection of luxury hotels and resorts.

The classic, of course, is the Taj Lake Palace — the legendary property floating in the middle of Lake Pichola that was featured in the James Bond movie Octopussy. There’s also the iconic Oberoi Udaivilas, set on 30 acres of lush lakeside gardens — the 200-year-old hunting grounds of the Maharana of Mewar. The Leela Palace Udaipur, the most recent addition to the scene, also offers grandstand views of the lake, but has brought a more contemporary sensibility to this ancient city.

Read on to discover which property you selected as the top India resort hotel.

5. The Oberoi Rajvilas, Rajasthan

Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 95.71

More information: oberoihotels.com

4. The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 96.08

More information: oberoihotels.com

3. The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur

Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Score: 96.20

More information: oberoihotels.com/hotels-in-udaipur-udaivilas-resort

2. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

Courtesy of Taj Hotels

Score: 96.48

More information: tajhotels.com

1. The Leela Palace Udaipur

Courtesy of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts

Score: 98.89

More information: theleela.com

Udaipur is known for its legendary hotels, so for a relative newcomer like the Leela Palace to be voted the best India resort hotel is quite an achievement. But since its launch 10 years ago, this contemporary property, with its extraordinary views of Lake Pichola, the City Palace, and the Aravalli Mountains, has received nothing but accolades. “One of the best hotels in India,” one respondent wrote. “The view of Lake Pichola is breathtaking.”

“Excellent service and customer-oriented attitude,” noted another reader. “Glamorous and romantic, this hotel is ideal for a honeymoon or special celebration.” The Leela’s contemporary take on Rajasthani design was a quality several respondents identified as a selling point. It is, as one put it, a place of “modernity and tradition and sharp taste.”

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2019.

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