The Best Resort Hotels in India in 2017

Rambagh Palace, Taj HOtel
Photo: Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

If you’re looking to stay in a hotel that exudes glamour and grandeur, there’s perhaps no better place to visit than India. This year’s list of the country’s best resort hotels range from magnificent former palaces in Rajasthan to a luxury tented camp near the jungles of Ranthambhore National Park. 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. On the banks of Lake Pichola, with views of the centuries-old City Palace complex, the Leela Palace Udaipur is this year’s runner-up. Readers were won over by the personalized service, which includes a welcome greeting by local musicians under a flurry of rose petals (after arrival by private launch), and butler service for all 72 rooms. One of its three food-and-beverage options, Sheesh Mahal, offers standout Indian cuisine and views of Lake Pichola. Oberoi Hotels & Resorts made a strong showing this year, with three resorts making the list, including the winner, the Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore. Its collection of 25 supremely luxurious tents sits less than 10 minutes from Ranthambhore National Park, within 20 acres of landscaped gardens. One reader described the experience here as “romantic, exotic, and beautiful. I dream about returning.” Transportation between the resort and the park’s tiger reserve is seamless, offering guests unparalleled access to big-cat spotting. Set near the Taj Mahal, the Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, offers incomparable views of the iconic monument — all in opulent Moghul- and Moorish-inspired surroundings, where rooms are decorated in silk and traditional Indian fabrics. Meanwhile, the Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, impresses with a 32-acre compound that feels like your own private palace. Bathrooms, which have claw-foot tubs and big sandstone showers, are a favorite feature of the 71 rooms. Read on for the full list.

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5. Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

Oberoi Amarvilas Agra India
Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Score: 95.84

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4. Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur

The Oberoi Rajvilas Jaipur
Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Score: 95.84

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3. Rambagh Palace, a Taj Hotel, Jaipur

Rambagh Palace, Taj HOtel
Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Score: 96.41

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2. Leela Palace, Udaipur

The Leela Palace Udaipur
Courtesy of The Leela Palace Udaipur

Score: 96.73

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1. Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore

The Oberoi Vanyavilas Ranthambhore
Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Score: 97.50

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said one reader of a visit to this year’s winner, the Oberoi Vanyavilas — the gateway to India’s Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan. In addition to easy access to the park, the resort offers 25 luxury tents featuring four-poster beds, claw-foot bathtubs, and polished teak floors. “It’s an oasis,” said another respondent. “Each tent is fabulous, and the outdoor private patio made the experience perfect. We also loved the outdoor bar, which had live local music in the evenings.”

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