The Best Boutique Hotels to Book in Kolkata

Enjoy Kolkata and its spectacular sunsets from these hotels
Enjoy Kolkata and its spectacular sunsets from these hotels | Courtesy of Polo Floatel Kolkata / Expedia
Jo Fernandez-Corugedo

The former capital of colonial British India and the country’s third-largest city is often overlooked in favour of metropolises such as Delhi or Mumbai. However, a visit to the West Bengal city of Kolkata (Anglicised as Calcutta pre-2001) reveals an engaging mix of cultures and cuisines – it’s the only city in India to have a Chinatown. Haggle your way through the sprawling New Market, marvel at the imposing colonial architecture of Victoria Memorial Hall Museum and the intricate nine-spired Bengal Dakshineswar Kali Temple, pay homage to Mother Teresa at Mother House and catch a game of cricket at Eden Gardens. Once you’re exhausted, rest your head at one of these welcoming Kolkata boutique hotels, all bookable with Culture Trip.

Polo Floatel Kolkata, for charming cabins on the river

Hotel

Polo Floatel Kolkata lobby with nautical theme, tile floor and lots of frames on wall
Courtesy of Polo Floatel Kolkata / Expedia

If you crave the cosiness of a cabin without setting sail, this floating hotel is for you. Snugly moored on the Hooghly River by the Strand Road, the floating property will charm you with rooms like the Heritage Cabin, featuring nautical duck egg tongue-and-groove, walls hung with historical city maps and dinky outside decks with potted palms. Dine al fresco by candlelight on smoked dried pork, koftas and lychee martinis on the Sky Deck overlooking the traffic-jammed, cantilevered Howrah Bridge, just a short walk away.

AltAir Kolkata, for polished perfection

Boutique Hotel

Rooftop terrace with city views and distinct tile design at AltAir Kolkata
Courtesy of AltAir Kolkata / Expedia

High up on the 20th floor of the Eco Centre, 15 minutes’ walk from Nalban Park, this hotel manages to be both homey and sleek, with rooms featuring dark green walls, wooden floors and hints of local heritage in fabrics and prints. Some overlook Nalban Lake, others the sprawling city, either way, you can admire the view with a room-service bento box. Naturally, there’s a sky bar for sipping mimosas with a side of pan-fried Dirty Mushrooms as a DJ entertains you. If you overdo it drinking and throwing shapes, wake up and immerse yourself in the infinity pool where you can pick out your sightseeing top ten as you front crawl.

Raajkutir – A Boutique Hotel, for elegant luxury

Boutique Hotel

Interior courtyard pool with ornate design and plants at Raajkutir
Courtesy of Raajkutir / Expedia

This exquisite luxury hotel in Kolkata is the gift that keeps on giving. From the cooling courtyard with a narrow turquoise-tiled pool to the Loafers Cafe that peddles bagels, macaroons and Victorian-style cakes, there’s a space for every whim. The Swig is a fancy spot with velvet-and-gold seating for quaffing champagne and cigars (luckily there’s an outside space). Sleep in polished half-tester and four-poster beds set on shiny marble floors before nosing around New Market, Kolkata’s colonial-era hub where you can buy everything from clothes and jewellery to meat, 6.4km (4mi) away.

The Sonnet, for contemporary convenience

Hotel

The Sonnet room with wood floor, traditional blanket on bed and desk
Courtesy of The Sonnet / Expedia

Smack in the middle of Kolkata’s Salt Lake City, or Bidhannagar district – part tech-hub, part leafy new town – this contemporary hotel offers cavernous rooms. Large windows flood the space with jet lag-busting light to wake you for a swim in the slender outdoor pool. Get your energy up again on fragrant mutton biryani at the glassy all-day restaurant. If you forget to pack a toothbrush, it’s a two-minute walk to the Salt Lake City Centre Mall.

BH Boutique Hotel, for colourful rooms

Boutique Hotel

Room at BH Boutique Hotel in plain style with tile floor, red design and desk
Courtesy of BH Boutique Hotel / Expedia

From turmeric yellow to pistachio green, the colourful rooms at this bijou hotel will make your stomach rumble with their foodie shades. Luckily, Bengali cuisine is available at the onsite restaurant, from rotis filled with grilled kebabs to spiced vegetable dishes. The rooftop terrace means space to sip a sundowner as you look across the city spots you’ll visit tomorrow. Located on a quiet street, 8km (5mi) from the airport, this hotel is ideal for post-flight stays.

Kenilworth Hotel Kolkata, for contemporary historic elegance

Hotel

Kenilworth Hotel Kolkata room with wood floor, tv and shaggy rug
Courtesy of Kenilworth Hotel Kolkata / Expedia

Pretty rooms with plenty of plants, pictures and tropical fruit bowls will make you feel right at this hybrid modern-colonial hotel in the business district. As you plan your day in Kolkata, nibble freshly-baked goodies in the onsite cafe. Tourist sights are within easy reach, from the Victoria Memorial, a 13-minute walk away, to the Indian Museum and Kalighat Kali Temple, around 30 minutes away. Reward all that walking with a tootsie-pleasing pedicure at the hotel’s spa followed by a reviving drink in the English-style pub.

Lynq Aero, for a soothing stay close to the action

Hotel

Lynq Aero room with towels arranged in swan design on bed, modern art and wood floors
Courtesy of Lynq Aero / Expedia

Neutral rooms with plush, padded headboards are a soothing sight when you check into this city centre hotel, a 15-minute walk from Nicco Park, a solar-energy powered theme park. Once you’ve rested, join the crowds on thrill-seeking rides such as Moon Raker, Cyclone and Flying Saucer. Otherwise, take time out to sit on a bench in the hotel’s peaceful garden after your pastry-and-coffee-fuelled continental breakfast.

Aauris, for sleek city style

Hotel

Aauris room with modern decor including leather headboard, wood floors and design light fittings
Courtesy of Aauris / Expedia

At this sleek hotel, the rooms and suites feature a red-and-black theme, sink-into easy chairs and pretty lattice screens. If you like the bold colour combination, you’ll love the rooftop pool clad in red mosaic tiles and the neon-lit sky bar. Blu, the coffee shop that never closes, mixes things up with – you guessed it – turquoise blue seating, where you can hunker down as you tuck into burgers, pizzas and Chinese-style noodles. If you want to eat out, you’re only a four-minute walk from Park Street, home to buzzy restaurants and shops.

The Elgin Fairlawn Kolkata, for bygone-era grandeur

Hotel

The Elgin Fairlawn Kolkata room with ornate style including chandeliers, pattern floral sofas and rile floors
Courtesy of The Elgin Fairlawn Kolkata / Expedia

A four-minute walk from the Indian Museum, this central stalwart has hosted A-listers from Patrick Swayze to Sting. Fan yourself in a wicker chair in the lobby lounge, where colonial-era columns, faded Persian rugs and chintz textiles hark to a bygone era. Clustered memorabilia and framed portraits of celebrity guests line every inch of the 1780s property, including the dining room where a cake-laden afternoon tea is served each day. Rooms offer a pared-back take on this decor, with framed prints livening up pale walls.

Hotel Casa Fortuna, for veggie cuisine

Hotel

Hotel Casa Fortuna room with double bed, tile floor, desk with fruit plate, kettle and tv
Located 20 minutes’ walk from Victoria Memorial and around 30 minutes from both New Market and Mother House, this contemporary hotel is well-positioned for exploring the city. After a day of sightseeing, you’ll appreciate the comfortable rooms and friendly service. If you’re hungry, fill up on tasty vegetarian cuisine at the onsite Casa Kitchen, where you can order veggie kebab platters, dal makhani and vegetable biryani.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Sridevi Nambiar.

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