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A trip to India is on many people’s travel bucket list, and it’s a place that can really open your eyes to foreign lands and diverse cultures. India is colorful, chaotic, natural, modern, and spiritual – with excellent accommodations for both luxury and budget travelers. You can find intriguing architecture, history, food, service, festivals, and shops all across this vast country – from the Himalayas to the beaches, desert and tribal territories. It’s an enormous country with so much to see and do that several trips may be needed to get the full experience.
To make your stay as authentic and accessible as possible, these are some of the best resorts and hotels to consider booking for your stay in India.
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Established in 1934, The Oberoi Group is a company that manages dozens of hotels and luxury cruises in several countries – including India. One of the best Oberoi hotels is the Rajvilas in Jaipur, which is nestled in between gardens and reflecting pools. Jaipur, also known as the “Pink City” is a must-see on any traveler’s to-do list in India. Rajvilas is a small luxury hotel about five miles from the city center, offering a variety of accommodation types. Most notably, the hotel has air-conditioned luxury tents that are anything but rustic.
Travelers looking for an authentic getaway more than a sightseeing hub will enjoy staying at Bungalow on the Beach in Tranquebar. There aren’t a whole lot of attractions (or distractions) in this part of Tamil Nadu – just a restaurant, a local store, and a couple of houses of worship. In fact, there’s an early 14th century Pandya temple on one side and a 17th-century Danish fort on the other!
There are lots of great eco-friendly resorts in India, including the Wildernest Nature Resort, which is located where Goa, Karnataka, and Maharashtra meet. There are rooms here that offer stunning views of the nearby waterfall, with lots of flora and fauna in all directions. This is a peaceful place with few distractions and plenty of quiet time to marvel at the beauty of nature. Ask the hotel staff for trekking recommendations in the area so you can breathe in some of the fresh mountain air and enjoy a sunrise or sunset. Some of the animals you may see around the property include the sloth bear, Indian gaur, barking deer, and sambhar.
RAAS Jodhpur is a boutique hotel with a blend of modern and ancient styles. It comprises four buildings, each adorned with ornate architectural carvings and modern designs. Take a dip in the outdoor pool and enjoy the view, as the whole complex is overlooked by Mehrangarh, an awe-inspiring 15th-century fort that is set 400 feet above the skyline of Jodhpur. Every room in the hotel offers spectacular views of the fort.
Oberoi Group also operates the Wildflower Hall hotel in Shimla, which is a wonderful place to stay if you’re looking to be near the Himalayas. Majestically positioned in the mountain range, this is the former home of Lord Kitchener and in the Shimla Reserve Forest Sanctuary. This is a great place for active travelers since rafting, cycling, hiking, and yoga are right at your fingertips when you stay here. There’s an on-site restaurant that serves local Himachali, Indian, and other types of Asian cuisine, and the open-air whirlpool offers stunning views out across the mountains. If you’re looking to splurge, consider booking the Lord Kitchener Suite, which has a living room, fireplace, two bedrooms, 1450-square-feet of space, and panoramic views.
Also an Oberoi hotel, The Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort in Ranthambore is highly rated. The main reason to stay in this area is to experience the amazing wildlife at Ranthambhore National Park, including the Royal Bengal Tigers. You’ll enjoy panoramic views of the jungle and the opportunity to view wildlife from the hotel’s observation tower. Luxury tents are recommended and incredibly comfortable with a triple canopy design that keeps rooms nice and cool. Take a guided nature hike in the morning or evening to see some of the over 80 birds and 100 plant species that live in this area.
India is known around the world for its flavorful tea, and one of the best places to experience it is around Darjeeling. The Glenburn Tea Estate is surrounded by beautiful scenery and there are suites decked out in luxurious colonial style. Glenburn was started by a Scottish tea company in 1859 and was later passed over to one of India’s pioneering tea planting families, the Chaiwalas. The tea you’ll drink here is harvested from leaves that grow right outside your window, which you’ll be served with cookies each morning. Popular day trips from the estate are Darjeeling town, 1.25 hours away, and Kalimpong, about 2 hours away.
Located in South India and on the banks of Lake Mala, the Fragrant Nature Hotel & Resort Kollam is truly authentic place to stay. You can start your day with a traditional Ayurvedic massage, book a private boat to explore the lake, and catch a live Keralan music or dance performance at the onsite amphitheater. This is a great place to get in touch with nature without sacrificing the comforts of fine dining and a pampering spa. There’s even a honeymoon cottage here that has its own private pool and garden. Some of the most popular excursions in the area include fishing, local cooking classes, shopping for traditional crafts, and visiting coconut and cashew processing facilities.