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Stroll through the Taj Mahal, unwind in a Goan beach resort or explore vibrant New Delhi from these five-star hotels in India.
India is a diverse country, rich in culture and traditions. The hospitality industry here is renowned the world over, especially with the ideal of ‘athithi devo bhava’ – the guest is like god – at its heart. Here are the finest luxury hotels in India where you’ll receive nothing but the best service.
Located less than a kilometre away from the Taj Mahal, the Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra is the most sought-after hotel in the region. The highlight of this five-star hotel lies in the uninterrupted views of the Taj Mahal that each room offers. Book the Luxury Suite for 24-hour butler service, walk-in wardrobe and private terrace. Hop on a golf cart to the historic monument during the day and indulge in a romantic candlelit dinner by night.
Once the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur, Rambagh Palace gives an authentic royal experience amid the beauty of a bygone era. Constructed in 1835, it has impressive gardens, marble colonnades and opulent guest rooms. Catch a polo match at the adjacent Rambagh polo grounds, hire a vintage car to explore the nearby Amber Palace or book the Baradari Experience, which includes a private dinner and a live music performance.
Nestled in the vast depths of Coorg at 1km (3,500ft) above sea level, the Tamara Coorg is the epitome of a quiet retreat in the lap of nature. The property is surrounded by lush greenery, including coffee, cardamom, and pepper plantations. Listen to the birdsong from your private cottage, complete with a plush king-sized bed and terrace overlooking the rolling hills. With an ecologically sensitive outlook, the hotel minimises its impact on the environment by using electric golf carts around the resort and reusable slippers for guests.
A five-star asset, Taj Falaknuma Palace exemplifies 19th-century splendour. Dating back to 1894, it was formerly the residence of the Nizam of Hyderabad, who was the richest man in the world at the time. You will be ushered into the resort on a horse-drawn carriage, before strolling through the richly decorated interior. Book the Nizam suite with its private pool and exclusive access to the Jiva spa.
Experience the heart and soul of India’s smallest state, Goa, with a stay at Alila Diwa. While the region is known for its party culture, this resort offers a tranquil, family-friendly stay. Take a dip in the infinity pool overlooking the rice paddies, while your kids are happily entertained at the on-site kids’ club. Dinner at the restaurant is a must, featuring traditional Goan family recipes. Finish the day with a smokey Manhattan at the speakeasy bar.
The Taj Mahal Palace is a legendary sea-facing jewel of Mumbai. More than a century old, the hotel is renowned for its grandeur and spectacular views of the Arabian Sea and Gateway of India monument. Each luxury room and suite harks back to colonial times with four-poster beds, plush bedding and chandeliers. Eight eateries are available on site – ranging from Japanese to eastern Mediterranean cuisine. Book afternoon tea in the Sea Lounge for a truly regal experience.
This is an updated version of an article originally by Charishma Thankappan.