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5 of the best luxury hotels in India

When you think luxury, India is not the first destination which pops up to the mind. With a great diversity in climates, vegetation and terrain to shape it, luxury travel has taken off in a big way. However it is the local culture steeped in hospitality which lends it the character to rate it amongst the best. Mountain retreats to beach front villas to heritage hotels to rejuvenating spas, each of them comparable in quality and service to the best in the world.

1. The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur

Think of the majestic forts and palaces of India and chances are you will find yourself straining toward Rajasthan. The Oberoi Udaivilas on the banks of Lake Pichola, Udaipur, seeks to embody all the different aspects of the bygone era of Kings and convert your stay into one fit for one. You have fountains, sprawling gardens, reflection pools and regal architecture with hand painted frescoes, intricate mirror work and decorated domes, more than enough to transport you to another era. If you tire of the surroundings, you can always take a boat ride across the lake, grab a bite of authentic Rajasthani food with views of the lake and the royal palace or treat yourself to an evening of pampering in its luxurious spa.

Oberoi Udaivilas

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2. Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kumarakom

Nestled on the serene banks of the Lake Vembanad amidst the backwaters of Kerala, is the small town of Kumarakom, home to arguably one of the best resort spas India has to offer. With its exquisite traditional architecture, murals and antiques, it also offers the best private views of the lake, especially ones had in the infinity pool leading up to it. The Ayurveda spa housed inside the resort is yet another reason to visit.

Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kumarakom

3. The Bison Resort, Kabini

Situated on the shore of the River Kabini at the confluence of Bandipur and Nagarhole National Parks in Karnataka, the Bison Resort is the only resort in the area which overlooks the forest. A mix of colonial hunting lodge and African architecture it lends a feel of a true explorer camps while not losing out on the luxury. The grasslands beyond provide excellent views of grazers like deer, elephants and boars as well as regular sightings of predators like tigers and leopards in the National Park. The starry nights are yet another memorable take away from this forest retreat.

Bison Resort

4. Coco Shambhala, Goa

The party capital of India, Goa has something for everyone. Frequented by people of all ages and ethnicity, this coastal city with its fabulous beaches does not lack for want of luxury hotels. Amongst those, stands out a gated resort of just 4 villas, Coco Shambhala. With a 24 hour concierge, dedicated car and driver as well as a master chef who creates magic with his fingers (there is no set menu, you get what you order) this is a paradise home for those who seek its refuge. If one wishes to escape the verdant surroundings of this resort, there is always the beach, a mere 10 minutes walk away, and wildlife sanctuaries as well as one of the best waterfalls in India, Dudhsagar falls, a short drive away.

Coco Shambhala, Goa

5. Wildflower Hall, Shimla

Situated in the majestic peaks of the Himalayas, Wildflower Hall in Shimla is a fairy tale luxury resort. Offering amazing views of the Himalayan range which in itself is a deal cracker, it lends a spiritual character to the setting making the rooms a personal retreat in the already private setting of the mountains. The wooden paneling and rich furnishings lends it an old world charm very hard to replicate by stone and concrete buildings. We would recommend meditating in this serene atmosphere, if you would rather not, the outdoor Jacuzzi is yet another way to relax after walking in hidden mountain trails, river rafting or mountain biking around the hotel.

Wildflower Hall, Shimla, India

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17 Comments

  1. Beautiful properties! I thought most of the entries would be in Mumbai-Delhi circuit, so I’ve got to check out these destinations as well.

    Cheers!

  2. When it comes to luxury hotels one can only think of India as it mix luxury with rich culture and heritage. You did put up a great list of luxury hotels there. Good Job!

  3. Super list… I absolutely LOVE the Bison and the accommodation in the Machans… truly making the visit worth while. After a long time we now have some awesome hotels in the South – the most favourite part of my country!

  4. Nice list of luxurious hotels. I love to stay in Shimla. If you are talking about luxury hotels don’t forget to add JW marriott Chandigarh.

    1. Yes, JW Marriot is amazing. I have been their and their service and view was remarkable. No wonder it is one of the most luxurious hotels.

  5. I Think Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani movie, Kalki married in Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur. It will be so nice to have marriage party there. Also recently I visited kingssanctuary.com for my honeymoon and I just loved it as its a wildlife resort in Nagarhole, probably close to Bison

  6. Nice list of luxurious hotels. I love to stay in Shimla but i think you have missed THE JW Marriott Hotel Chandigarh

  7. Best List Of Hotels. India has the finest list of hotels to deal with. I loved the Oberoi and JW <3.

  8. Great list of properties. But, still thinking why isn’t the JW Bengaluru considered here. Nevertheless, truly a finest architecture.

  9. Udaipur is next in my bucket. Planning to visit very soon once this Covid will get settled . I am amazed with the beauty of Oberoi udayvilas. Gonna visit this one for sure.

  10. We have recently been to Shimla on an office trip and i must say, the wildflower hall is must to visit place if you are visiting shimla.

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