India has a long and illustrious tradition of luxurious living. We certainly know a thing or two about the comforts of the flesh and how to satisfy them. From ancient times to the very recent past, India was famed for its grandeur, elegance and attendance to the creature comforts.
This list of India’s most lavish hotels testifies to its famous legacy of regal opulence – the best that money can provide. These boutique hotels combine faultless, personalized guest services with the most sophisticated and advanced facilities and elegant conveniences.
Join us on an unforgettable tour to the pinnacle of India’s hospitality.
1) The Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur (TripAdvisor Rating: 5/5)
Starting from the wonderful welcome and exceptionally thoughtful personal service to its immensity, The Umaid Bhawan Palace will overwhelm you. Like the city of Jodhpur, it represents grandeur and an illustrious history. Its combination of eastern and western architecture is also indicative of what you will experience.
The hotel, which is also one of the world’s largest private residences, is made of golden yellow sandstone. The magnificent exterior is matched with its plush interiors. Opulence and hospitality seamlessly blend with elegance and consummate artwork and murals.
Within its boundaries, there is an amazing and romantic spa, where you can luxuriate and soak up the ambience. Some of the fabulous amenities include marble-floored squash courts and a richly furnished billiards room.
The Umaid Bhawan royal experience even extends beyond its 26 acres of landscaped gardens. You can take a drive through historic Jodhpur, like a royal, in one of the Maharaja’s vintage cars, accompanied by a butler.
Everything about The Umaid Bhawan Palace is inspired and inspiring. Or in the words of one guest, “a living dream.”
2) The Leela Palace, Udaipur (TripAdvisor Rating: 5/5)
We are talking fairy-tale here! Not the Disneyland but the exotic, colourful, oriental variety. You will be picked up in a smooth running BMW from the airport or the railway station. You arrive in leisurely regal splendour, courtesy a ride on a gossamer curtained boat, to a fragrant rose petal welcome.
Positioned on the shores of the placid, reflective and magical Lake Pichola, The Leela Palace, Udaipur has the ancient Aravali Hills acting as a rugged, picturesque backdrop. The walls of the palace are adorned with bright paintings and portraits. The elaborate furnishings; intricately carved panels; rare and beautiful artefacts; satiny-pillows and cushions; golden-threaded carpets and rugs; arched apertures and doorways will widen your eyes in awe. All designed and incorporated with the wonderfully, richly colourful and distinctively Rajasthani motif!
Lounge on your balcony overlooking the crystal clear pool and the lake beyond and it is a picture out of your favourite childhood fantasy land.
You could almost expect to see kings, queens, horses and royal processions at every turn. You, though, will certainly feel and be treated like royalty.
3) The Oberoi Rajvilas (TripAdvisor Rating: 5/5)
Surrounded by more than 32 acres of landscaped gardens and sculpted shrubbery, the Oberoi Rajvilas is absolutely amazing. You will feel like you are in another world far, far away. It is a luxurious setting that exudes a feeling of being in an exclusive community. The battlements of the surrounding Aravalli Hills heighten the sensation while adding a magical charm.
The Oberoi offers international and Indian cuisines served in fabulous outdoor and indoor dining spaces accompanied by the unique sounds of Rajasthani folk music. The Oberoi Spa is an experience of both traditional Ayurvedic and Oberoi speciality treatments in the precincts of an exquisitely restored haveli.
The Oberoi Rajvilas is a combination of traditional Jaipuri lime plaster walls and Mughal architectural styles. The blend is best epitomised by the arches and numerous domes that recreate the magnificence of princely Rajasthan.
The Oberoi Rajvilas is an amalgamation of a fabulous regal setting, elegant decor, superb food and fantastic service that anticipates your every need. These attributes and features have ensured that The Oberoi Rajvilas is among the top hotels/resorts in the world.
4) The Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur (TripAdvisor Rating: 5/5)
Heaven on Earth! There is no other fitting way to describe The Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur. Gleaming white, it seems to float like a grand regal lady on Jag Niwas Island in the middle of Lake Pichola. Built as the summer home and pleasure retreat of the Mewar Maharajas, it is justifiably the most romantic hotel in the world.
This 18th-century marble marvel is a Heritage Hotel. Guests are transported to the hotel by a beautifully decorated speedboat. There is every indulgence you could imagine and probably some that are unthinkable. From the rose petal greeting at the Lily Pond; the butlers who seem to anticipate every need; the personalised dining experience; the fabulous rooms – each with a story of its own; incredible frescoes; period furniture; rooftop dining; amazing cuisines at three speciality restaurants to a sunset ride in a 150 year old barge on the lake. The pleasures never seem to end.
This heavenly place gently resting on land, sky and the water is where you will be treated like old world maharajas and maharanis.
5) Evolve Back, Coorg (TripAdvisor Rating: 5/5)
How does one even begin to describe the beauty, charm and tranquillity of this gorgeous resort? It is situated in one of the greenest parts of the country – among the coffee estates of Coorg (Kodagu), Karnataka State. With about 300 acres of coffee and spice plantations and rice paddy fields surrounding the soul-soothing Orange County Resort, it is a hideaway and getaway rolled into one. Add to this the Kaveri River meandering nearby and it is a true picture of paradise.
The accommodation and facilities are other treats. Everything shows a remarkable attention to detail and attractiveness. The luxurious villas and bungalows reveal Kodava’s finest architecture. The layout ensures maximum privacy and blends harmoniously with the greenery of the encompassing plantation.
The accommodations are private villas that include a living room, bedroom and courtyard. There is a sit-out equipped with planters’ chairs adjoining a personal swimming pool. Among the facilities are soothing Ayurvedic treatments and delicious food served in dining spaces – indoor and open-air – afford stunning views of the country around. You could also choose to dine privately at your own villa
True luxury does not come any better, prettier or relaxed.
6) Aahana Resort, Jim Corbett
Located in the lush forest wilderness of the Jim Corbett National Park border, the Aahana Resort is a dream location for nature and conservation lovers. Aahana sits very close to the confluence of the Palain and Sonanadi Rivers. The resort occupies 11 acres that abut the Corbett Park, which is an ideal 15 minutes away.
Aahana Resort pays homage to the memory, influence and history of the area that is closely linked to the great Jim Corbett. The architecture, design, decor and furniture of the rooms and other living units reflect the Victorian times of the great hunter and conservationist. The rooms and suites are welcoming, luxurious and superbly comfortable ensuring privacy while you relax and enjoy your holiday.
The resort features a swimming pool, usable all year round, and a fitness centre.
The Aahana Resort is in perfect harmony with its superb surroundings. It is eco-friendly in the way that it recycles water and solid waste. Water is heated mainly by solar energy. Care is ensured to not burden, pollute or endanger the environment.