Luxury, the word conjures up images of extravagance and bliss in the finest of the lot. When used in the context of hotels, you immediately visualize extraordinary décor, immaculate service, and an eclectic abundance of paraphernalia and facilities to make your stay more than impressive. From not so distance in the past, say 15-20 years ago to the India of now, the hospitality industry in India has come a long way. Today India boasts of some ultra-luxury hotels dotted across various destinations. Entry of the Hoteliers from around the world and path breaking hotels from indigenous groups like the Taj and the Oberoi have changed the perception of and have redefined the meaning of luxury hotels in India.
Taj Palace, Mumbai
Refurbished and revitalized, the iconic Taj Palace near the Gateway of India is arguably the grandest 5 Star hotel in India. This eponymous hotel is an architectural spectacle and one can only but marvel at the seamless blend of Moorish, Oriental and Florentine styles. The hotel is renowned for its amazing hospitality, immaculate services and comfy accommodation. Taj Mahal Palace and Hotel also happens to be the favored hotel of celebrities and state dignitaries with the list including Beatles, Bill Clinton, Roger Moore, Deep Purple and Barack Obama amongst others. There’s an interesting story about the construction of this hotel. It is believed that Jamsedji Tata decided to build the the Taj Palace after he was refused entry to one of the city’s grand hotels of the time, Watson’s Hotel, as it was restricted to ‘whites only’.
Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
After a stay in this hotel and exploring the city, you’ll be amazed to discover that history of this land of maharajahs is as intricate as the royal façade of the Rambagh Palace. The hotel traces its royal lineage to the erstwhile King of Jaipur and has now been converted into a luxury Taj Palace hotel. The hotel maintains a grace befitting its royal past. Rambagh Palace offers panache of a royal living with elegantly appointed rooms, veined corridors and regal gardens. In short the hotel is a walking gallery of royal grandeur and definitely one of the best in the world.
Leela Kempinski, Kovalam
Ensconced between two sweeping beaches just a short drive from Trivandrum, Leela Kempinski Kovalam is the largest beachside resort in Kerala. Offering a panoramic view of the famous Kovalam coastline, Leela Palace Kempinski is a veritable urban oasis nestled amidst 44 acres of lush landscape. You can find here the amenities which are standardized with the best in the world. What characterize this hotel besides the avant-garde amenities is the traditional Indian hospitalities and its in-house spa, Divya. With an array of therapeutic massages and wellness regimes which combines the best of traditional Indian therapies, Ayurveda and wellness treatments from around the world, this 5 Star hotel is definitely rates as one of the top for discerning travelers looking forward to a rejuvenating jaunt in luxury.
The Imperial Hotel, New Delhi
Serene and stately, no other word can describe this heritage hotel in the heart of the country’s capital New Delhi. The Imperial Hotel is not only one of the best luxury hotels in India but it is also recognized as one of the top hotels in world. Its history is as remarkable as its interiors. Planned by Lutyen himself, this hotel happens to have the honor of the first luxury hotel in India. The hotel possesses a dazzling historical past and a truly international allure. Blending seamlessly the colonial elegance and contemporary panache, the Imperial is definitely there at the top when it comes to luxury hotels in India.
The Oberoi, New Delhi
Overlooking Humayun’s Tomb and nestled amidst verdant landscape, Oberoi Hotel is a suave business hotel in Delhi. The Oberoi, New Delhi, a part of Oberoi hotels and resorts, is a mix of historic lavishness and modern amenities. The Oberoi was the first hotel to feature 24×7 personal butler services. Elegant décor, impeccable services and succulent cuisines make it one of the most charming and elegant hotels in India. Golf course in the vicinity of the hotel adds to the experience of a plush stay.
The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
In the ‘city of lakes’ as Udaipur is fondly referred to as is located this splendid work of architecture. The Oberoi Udaivilas is a resplendent retreat nestled on the banks of Lake Pichola in Udaipur. This palatial hotel is the place for indulgence for you if you think luxury can never be overdone. Silken parasols, lush gardens, sweeping panorama of the Aravali Hill Range and breathtaking interiors; Oberoi Udaivilas truly redefine luxury and excellence. With an array of avant-garde amenities, spotless hospitality, business center and a rejuvenating spa, this hotel is certainly up there at the top.
Ananda in Himalayas, Rishikesh
Ananda is located in the serene Himalayan foothills and is best known for its traditional Indian wellness regimes of Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta. A perfect place to reclaim the harmony of your body, mind and soul, Ananda in Himalayas is a tranquil retreat far from the din of bustling city life. With the highest values of services, deluxe accommodations and magnificent mountain views, Ananda is the place where you can pamper yourself in nonchalant languidness. A stay in this spa resort in Rishikesh adds to the flavor of your himalayan adventures.
Devi Garh, Udaipur
Devigarh Fort Palace has a minimalist modern design that completely defies its 18th-century palace exterior. It would not be wrong to say that the Devi Garh, Udaipur is a palace where the past meets the future. The materials used in making the astonishing 39 suites of the palace are local marbles and semi precious stones, is the talk of the interior-design world and has been used for fashion photo shoots. Devi Garh offers Ayurvedic treatments, Jacuzzi, gymnasium and much more that optimizes your well being.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
Set amidst 26 acres of lush green gardens Umaid Bhawan Palace is a seamless fusion of the Oriental and the Occidental architectural motifs. This resplendent palace is the part of the renowned Taj Resorts and Palaces. The one thing, which separates it from all other luxury hotels, is its majestic cupola. Influenced by the Renaissance architecture, it stands majestically at a height of 32 meters.
Wild Flower Hall, Shimla
Wild Flower Hall, Shimla is a fairytale resort. Offering a serene sanctuary in the mountains of Himalayas, Wildflower Hall offers a unique luxurious retreat. Part of the Oberoi hotels, the resort recreates the grand style of colonial era. The interiors of the resort are aesthetically designed. Sylvan furnishings, elegant tapestries and bona-fide works of art radiate an unparalleled élan of this luxurious retreat nestled amidst the scenic mountains. You are guaranteed to have a rejuvenating and calming jaunt in this luxury haven in Shimla.
You can also read about best luxury beach resorts in India.