Take a look at the best kid-friendly hotels in India.
The Leela Palace Udaipur is a gorgeous luxury property on the banks of Udaipur's centerpiece Lake Pichola. This purpose-built palace hotel features 80 gorgeously furnished rooms and suites, all with big marble bathrooms and a mix of modern amenities and Rajasthani touches. Even the entry-level rooms have beautiful lake views and many come with private balconies. The grounds and features are equally impressive and include large interior and exterior courtyards, an elegant lobby, a decent assortment of conference facilities, and a well-equipped gym. There are a spa with its own private pool, a larger main pool flanked by palm trees, and three bars and restaurants (food quality varies). Travelers should also consider the city's two other main luxury options: the historic Taj Lake Palace in the middle of the lake and the super posh Oberoi Udaivilas.
Taj Lake Palace Udaipur is a luxury hotel occupying a gorgeous 18th-century whitewashed palace (you may recognize it from the James Bond flick, "Octopussy") in the center of Udaipur's Lake Pichola. The hotel offers 66 rooms and 17 suites, all with traditionally inspired regal Rajasthani furniture and beautiful lake views. Features include a luxury spa, three restaurants with Indian and international fare, a small fitness center, a lovely pool deck, and a series of gorgeous outdoor common areas with lots of seating. Jiva Spa offers all sorts of massages and beauty treatments. With its prime location and luxurious rooms and amenities, this is arguably the best place to stay in town. However, the purpose-built The Oberoi Udaivilashotel on the opposite side of the lake is a close contender, and arguably a tad more luxurious.
Set on 50 acres of beautiful lakeshore grounds that include a wildlife sanctuary, the five-pearl Oberoi Udaivilas is a regal property with decadent architecture and elegant interiors. Rooms and suites are some of the largest in the city and come with flat-screen TVs, DVD players, iPod docks, and espresso machines, plus some have private pools and large living rooms and dining rooms. The expansive grounds include two attractive outdoor pools, plus there's a luxe spa and a modern fitness center. Two elegant restaurants have lovely alfresco dining spaces, and there's also an impressive bar. Other features include a variety of activities like boat tours and cooking classes. For a comparable -- and a bit less expensive -- alternative, check out the nearby Leela Palace Udaipur.
The Rambagh Palace is a luxury hotel housed in the former summer palace of a Maharaja, in the upscale area of Jaipur. Keeping up with the high standards of the renowned Taj brand, this property exudes royal luxury throughout. Attention to detail is what makes this hotel so special. The 45 rooms and 33 suites each feature their own individual design and come with amenities like air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and free Wi-Fi. Features include five specialized dining facilities, a full spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a fitness center. The grounds are massive and include a total of 14 event and meeting spaces. The major downside here is that rates don't include breakfast. While Rambagh Palace is unrivaled in most regards, The Raj Palace Grand Heritage Hotel is another luxurious and elite option in Jaipur.
ITC Maratha, Mumbai is a four-and-a-half-pearl hotel within a 15-minute drive from both the international and domestic airports. Its location is ideal for business travelers and tourists not concerned about visiting the main attractions of the city. The 380 guest rooms are spacious and come with flat-screen TVs, minibars, and free Wi-Fi -- selected rooms have butlers and massage chairs. Its seven dining facilities serve traditional and contemporary Indian and Asian cuisine, and all rates include a free buffet breakfast. There's also an outdoor pool, a full spa, and fitness center. Business facilities include a business center and seven meeting rooms, plus a ballroom and garden event space. Travelers looking for an even more luxurious experience for a similar rate may wish to check out The St. Regis Mumbai.
The Taj Mahal Palace is an iconic luxury hotel in South Mumbai. The hotel is most well-known for its amazing location overlooking the Gateway of India as well as its reputation for offering some of the most luxurious hospitality in Mumbai. Attention to detail is what makes this hotel so special, with nine specialized dining facilities, two spas, an outdoor swimming pool, and a fitness center. The 550 rooms have elegant and sophisticated decor with air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and sea views. Rooms in the Palace Wing include a personal butler service. The major downside here is that not all rates include breakfast. While The Taj Mahal Palace is unrivaled in most regards, The St. Regis Mumbai is another luxurious and elite option in Mumbai.
The 203-room Holiday Inn Resort Goa is a large upscale property on Mobor Beach's beautiful sands. Rooms have some dated elements, but they're largely contemporary and comfortable, outfitted with coffee- and tea-making facilities, bathrobes, and furnished outdoor spaces. Extensive features include an outdoor pool, a full Ayurvedic spa, kids' club, and a large ballroom that draws frequent wedding parties, which can unfortunately disturb the otherwise peaceful setting. Four dining options include a 24-hour cafe, a Mediterranean eatery, lobby bar with romantic sunset views, and beach spot. There's not a ton aside from the beach in the immediate area, and note that beach loungers aren't provided during monsoon season. For a more luxurious stay, check out the next door Leela Goa, but expect higher rates.
Shanti Morada is an upscale boutique hotel with 20 air-conditioned rooms, all with bay windows, ornate wooden furniture, and furnished balconies. Its location in the inland town of Saligao might deter some guests from staying here, but getting to Calungate takes less than 10 minutes by car. The hotel features a good array of features for a small boutique property, including a large outdoor pool, a smaller kids' pool, a huge whirlpool hot tub with its own bar, and a restaurant with 24-hour room service. The grounds are particularly impressive, with lots of beautiful landscaping and plenty of grassy areas with benches to sit out and relax. Those wishing to be closer to the beach may want to consider The Village Square in nearby Anjuna, which also has a pool table and a swimming pool.
Jai Mahal Palace is an upscale heritage hotel housed in a beautiful palace complex dating back to 1745. There are 100 rooms and suites in total, all with traditional touches such as Rajasthani artwork and classic furniture, though some past guests have complained that the old-fashioned vibe can feel a bit tired. Facilities include 18 acres of beautiful lawns and courtyards that can be used for weddings and other events, along with a lovely outdoor pool, an upscale spa, and a variety of restaurants serving Indian and international food. The location near the railway station makes the Jai Mahal Palace convenient for rail travelers, but those wishing to be right in the Pink City may want to consider Samode Haveli instead.
Nahargarh Haveli is a 30-room budget hotel just south of the railway station and a short walk from the shops and restaurants of M.I. Road. There's not a whole lot in terms of amenities, though the hotel does have a relatively spacious rooftop restaurant with 24-hour room service, plus a massage room. All three room types here have air-conditioning and flat-screen TVs, and the suites have an amusing peacock-themed decor scheme. However, past guests have complained about street noise and some rooms lack windows. Travelers may want to consider a stay at Krishna Palace instead, which is in the quieter Bani Park neighborhood, but a bit further from the railway station.
In the heart of Delhi's Diplomatic Enclave, a short drive from the U.S. Embassy, the ITC Maurya is a sprawling luxury business hotel with multiple wings. Some of the 438 rooms are allergen-friendly and come with air filters, and there's an entire floor of rooms just for women. All rooms have contemporary, elegant decor and beautiful marble bathrooms. The hotel is primarily aimed at business guests, with 11 meeting spaces, a high-end gym, and a large pool, but there are also services for families, such as rollaway beds, cribs, and babysitting. The hotel also has a number of excellent restaurants and is home to Bukhara, which serves rich subcontinental cuisine and has hosted many a celebrity and statesman. Travelers may want to compare rates at the Taj Palace, another luxury property right next door.
Sunder Palace Guest House is a small budget hotel located near the railway station. The 22 rooms here vary a fair bit, and while only some have air-conditioning, all feature beautiful hand-painted decorative trim on the ceilings. Note that traffic noise may be an issue in some units. Amenities are unfortunately limited, however, and there's really just a simple vegetarian rooftop restaurant and an activities room, though the hotel can also book excursions and such at the front desk. Travelers looking for a spot with a bit more to offer may want to compare rates and amenities at the nearby Nahargarh Haveli, which has similar features and prices, plus a small massage room for guests.
Among Chennai's popular luxury properties, and one of the most opulent, The Leela Palace attracts well-heeled leisure and business travelers with its high-end offerings and tranquil, sea-facing setting. Its coastal location is removed from Chennai's hustle and bustle, although magnificent temples and business districts are a short drive away. Swanky style includes lots of marble, rich fabrics, and bold hues, and palatial aspects continue in the 326 rooms and their huge bathrooms. Restaurants are fancy, and a top-of-the-range spa is lush, as are manicured poolside terraces. Lighter on the wallet, but still luxurious, the Part Hyatt Chennai is a good downtown alternative.
Perched on a hilltop overlooking Mahabaleshwar, Bella Vista Resort is a three-pearl vacation resort popular with families and walkable to Lingmala Waterfall. The 36 rooms here are simply decorated but well maintained, and come with air-conditioning and balconies; many have lovely views of the valley below. Features are particularly attractive for kids and include a lovely pool with floats, outdoor playground, and a covered outdoor game area with table tennis. There's also a large conference room along with a business center and free Wi-Fi. Continental breakfast is included in room rates and room service is available around the clock. Travelers shopping around may want to also consider Valley View Resort, which has similar rates and amenities.
The Leela Goa is a 204-room luxury property located in Cavelossim, right on South Goa's quiet Mobor Beach and about an hour's drive from the airport in Vasco de Gama. The rooms, suites, and villas here are elegant but simple, and all have lovely marble bathrooms; some also have private plunge pools. Amenities are top-notch and aimed at both vacationers and business travelers, including a huge lagoon pool, a couple of tennis courts, a par-3 golf course, a kids' club, a spa with Ayurvedic treatments, extensive events space, and multiple restaurants serving Indian and international fare. Travelers looking for a luxury alternative may also want to consider the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa, which is a bit farther north up the coast and thus more convenient to the airport.