The 5 Best Resort Hotels in India in 2018

Rambagh Palace
Photo: Courtesy of Rambagh Palace

Travel trends may come and go, but bucket-list destinations like the Taj Mahal tend to go the distance. That may explain why our readers chose Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, a fixture on any high-end Golden Triangle tour, as their favorite Indian resort hotel. The property offers grandstand views of India’s most iconic monument from all 102 rooms and suites. “Absolutely stunning grounds,” remarked one fan. “It was a treat to stare at the Taj all day.” 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.

Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards

Oberoi Hotels & Resorts are regularly high achievers on T+L’s survey of our readers’ favorite travel experiences around the globe (the company itself is No. 4 on our list of the top 20 hotel brands in the world). For 2018 the brand secured the top two spots among Indian resort hotels, with its Jaipur property, Oberoi Rajvilas, coming in second. “We stayed in a huge, beautifully furnished tent,” said one fan. “The staff was particularly nice.” Taj’s Rambagh Palace, a sprawling heritage building in the heart of the city, placed third. Rajasthan’s capital is in fact having something of a moment, with cultural events like the Jaipur Literature Festival drawing a bigger, more global crowd each year and new attractions like the contemporary sculpture park at Nahargarh Fort enlivening the city with a new creative energy. Taj’s supremely romantic Lake Palace in Udaipur (the No. 1 city in Asia this year) ranked at No. 4, proving that an unbeatable location — in this case, an island in the center of Udaipur’s Lake Pichola — is hard to upstage. A newcomer to the list was Taj Exotica, Goa, which readers voted No. 5 — perhaps a reflection that increasing numbers of international visitors to India are choosing to round out their trip with a beach vacation in this relaxed coastal state. Read on to see how all the winners scored this year.

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5. Taj Exotica, Goa

Taj Exotica
Courtesy of Taj Exotica

Score: 96.18

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4. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

Taj Lake Palace
Courtesy of Taj Lake Palace

Score: 96.27

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3. Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

Rambagh Palace
Courtesy of Rambagh Palace

Score: 96.33

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2. Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur

Oberoi Rajvilas
Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Score: 96.69

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1. Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

Oberoi Amarvilas
Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Score: 97.02

With the Taj Mahal less than half a mile away, Oberoi Amarvilas offers each guest an uninterrupted view of the monument — an experience that can often elude visitors to the extremely crowded site. This unique vantage point, combined with Oberoi’s legendary service and an excellent restaurant, has ensured Amarvilas’s long-standing presence on the list of favorite Indian hotels and resorts. One reader summed up the experience of many respondents, saying, “For our first trip to India, we stayed at Amarvilas and incredibly, our Oberoi experience outshone the Taj Mahal itself!”

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2018.

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