Take a look at the best luxury 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.
Housed in a huge 20th-century palace (the royal family of Jodhpur still reside in one wing), Umaid Bhawan Palace is a stunning five-pearl property with a regal lobby, sprawling grounds, an upscale spa with Ayurvedic treatments, and a gorgeous underground swimming pool (there's also an outdoor pool for beating Jodhpur's many sweltering days). The 42 rooms and 22 suites here are undeniably luxurious, and most feature lovely Art Deco decor along with big marble bathrooms. However, smoking is allowed in some rooms, which may put some guests off. The two restaurants are equally upscale: one serves fine-dining and the other options serves Champagne at breakfast. There's really nothing comparable to the Umaid Bhawan in all of Jodhpur, though the Vivanta by Taj - Hari Mahal, run by the same group, is a lovely and more affordable alternative.
With 287 rooms, The Oberoi, Mumbai is a luxury property with a prime location on Marine Drive overlooking Back Bay. Finely polished rooms and suites are spacious and beautifully decorated, and come equipped with flat-screen TVs in the bedroom and bathroom, minibars, and private butlers. Some have gorgeous views over the water. Dining options include two specialty restaurants and another more casual venue that's open 24/7. For drinks, there's a champagne lounge, wine library, and stylish bar. The spa and fitness center are also open around the clock, and the heated outdoor pool is a lovely place to relax. The property is only a quick five-minute ride to lively Colaba. For lower rates, travelers could check out the nearby InterContinental Marine Drive, but it lacks a spa.
The Oberoi, Bengaluru is a luxury hotel located on the prestigious Mahatma Gandhi Road in central Bangalore (AKA Bengaluru). The 160 rooms feature modern and classic interiors with private balconies overlooking the beautiful gardens; plus extensive list of modern amenities and 24-hour butler service. There are three restaurants, including Thai and Chinese cuisine, and a bar. There is an extensive buffet breakfast available, though not included in room rates. The century-old Rain Tree next to the swimming pool is a highlight here, along with the list of wellness facilities that include a spa and fitness center. For business travelers, there are three meeting rooms and a 24-hour business center. Travelers looking for an even more central location can also consider Shangri-La Hotel Bengaluru which is within walking distance from Bengaluru Palace.
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.
Among Delhi's most popular five-pearl hotels, and easily one of the most opulent, The Leela Palace New Delhi attracts business travelers and tourists alike with its luxurious interiors and convenient South Delhi location. The look is regal-done-right, with lots of polished marble and elegant dark tones throughout the property. The 254 rooms and suites all have enormous marble bathrooms, and many suites include private plunge pools and butler service. Amenities here are top-of-the-line and include fine-dining restaurants serving Indian and Franco-Italian food, a beautiful rooftop infinity pool with city views, and a luxury spa with a huge array of treatments. Travelers looking for something more central and with easy metro access may want to compare rates at the Lalit, a luxury property in Central Delhi's Connaught Place.
The five-pearl Suryagarh is a luxury castle-like hotel that’s surrounded by the Great Indian Desert. The decor here manages to be luxurious and romantic without being over-the-top, and the service is extremely intimate. The 72 rooms are spacious and come with beautiful desert views, flat-screen TVs, and free minibars. Some rooms lack coffee- and tea-making facilities. With a variety of amenities like restaurants, a gourmet breakfast, indoor pool, spa, gym, and explorative activities, there’s something for nearly every kind of guest. Though the hotel might take a tiring trip to reach, most guests note that it’s well worth the effort. You’ll find a similar experience at the nearby four-pearl Hotel Rang Mahal, though it has an outdoor pool.
The Oberoi Grand is one of Kolkata's best luxury hotels, set in the heart of the city and within easy reach of Park Street and the Maidan. It's a sumptuous hotel with a rich history, known locally as The Grand Dame. The acclaimed Thai restaurant is the oldest in the city, and interiors throughout the hotel are packed with classic details. Landscaped gardens house a massive swimming pool, and other facilities include a spa, gym, beauty salon, and boutiques. There's elegance in spades here, and the 209 rooms and suites feature modern amenities like extensive minibars, plus butlers and balconies in some. Guests with smaller budgets could check out the suites at The Astor Hotel instead, which also has some top restaurants, though it lacks a pool or spa.
The Leela Palace Bengaluru is a luxury hotel in Bengaluru (aka Bangalore) built inside a former palace. Wellness is a central focus here with a large outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, and spa with salon, hot tub, sauna, steam room, and yoga classes. The 357 guest rooms feature luxurious, antique-themed decor, along with minibars, private balconies, and free Wi-Fi; the higher end rooms have a dedicated butler. There are four restaurants, a bar, and a bakery; note that the buffet breakfast is not included in all room rates. Meetings and events are catered for in the 21 event spaces. The location on the Old Airport Road means that it's within a 30-minute drive to many of the city's attractions. The Taj West End is another luxury hotel to consider, with a more central location in Bengaluru.
The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel is a five-pearl business hotel designed with large conferences and similar events in mind. Its location in northeastern Delhi makes it a poor choice for tourists, but those who want to plan an upscale event and need room for upwards of a few thousand guests are well catered-to here. The 480 rooms and suites have marble-top desks, and gorgeous marble bathrooms, all with soaking tubs and walk-in showers. Features include a fitness center with modern equipment, a pool, a beauty salon, and a gorgeous spa with all sorts of treatments, plus three restaurants serving food from around the world. Tourists looking for a place to stay closer to Delhi's major sights may want to consider the Leela Palace instead, though rates will be higher.
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.
Trident Hyderabad is an upscale hotel located in the center of Hitec City. Its close location to several businesses within the IT sector make it a popular choice among business travelers. The 323 guest rooms are modern and stylish and include amenities like flat-screen TVs, minibars, and free Wi-Fi -- high-end suites have a 24-hour butler service. The dining facilities are a highlight with three restaurants (including international, Indian, and Italian cuisine) and a stylish bar. All guests receive a free buffet breakfast. Features are mostly aimed at business travelers and include an infinity swimming pool, spa, fitness center, meeting and event rooms, and business center. As a lower priced alternative, guests can also consider The Park Hyderabad which has similar features and overlooks the Hussain Sagar Lake.
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.