Luxury Hotels in India

A riot of noise, colour, history and culture, intoxicating India offers fantastic places to stay: from lakeside palaces to city centre gems, these are our favourite luxury hotels. 

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Taj Mahal Palace

Location: Mumbai & Western India | India

From maharajas and princes to celebrities and entertainers, the century-old Taj Mahal Palace is a Florentine-influenced icon, as famous as the guests who have checked in. Fronted by the Gateway of India, the palace is the cooling cucumber raita to the spicy vindaloo that is Mumbai’s chaotic streets - a palatable balance of calming oases and opulent interiors.

Best for: Luxury Hotel, Service & Hospitality, Cultural Immersion, Setting & Views

Sher Bagh

Location: Rajasthan | India

Taking the idea of a 1920s safari encampment and catapulting it to new levels of luxury, the Sher Bagh is our favourite choice for lodging along the border of Ranthambore National Park. With tigers, leopards and wild boar frequently spotted nearby, you’ll be cocooned in a cotton cloud of tented bliss in between authentic game drives and special sightings.

Best for: Luxury Hotel, Honeymoon, Romantic, Seriously special

Taj Lake Palace

Location: Rajasthan | India

This ornate 18th-century marble palace sits on the serene Lake Pichola, against the backdrop of the Udaipur skyline and the Aravalli mountains. From arriving by boat to rooftop dining, you are guaranteed a unique and luxurious experience.

Best for: Luxury Hotel, Setting & Views, Romantic, Honeymoon

Glenburn Tea Estate

Location: The Himalaya | India

Glenburn Darjeeling is a friendly, family-run hotel on a plantation estate near Darjeeling, which has been producing tea for over 150 years. In the foothills of the Himalaya, the eight suites, spread across two traditional bungalows, have some pretty spectacular views over the rolling tea fields. Hikes, walks and tea tastings are available, as are a range of spa treatments using tea-based products.

Best for: Setting & Views, Peace & Quiet, Romantic, Seriously special

Amanbagh

Location: Rajasthan | India

Amanbagh is a luxurious resort hotel in Rajasthan, in the foothills of the Aravalli mountain range. Constructed like the palace of a Maharajah from pink sandstone and marble, this desert fort is impossibly atmospheric and a beautiful place to feast on Rajasthani cuisine, explore haunted cities and tribal villages, and be pampered in the spa.

Best for: Luxury Hotel, Honeymoon, Romantic, Seriously special

47 Jobner Bagh

Location: Rajasthan | India

47 Jobner Bagh was once part of the Maharaja of Jobner’s gardens, and this boutique guesthouse offers the best of both worlds – it’s in the heart of Jaipur, just beyond the walls of the old city, yet is a charming hideaway with spacious antique-filled rooms, surrounded by a tropical oasis, where you can enjoy India’s intoxicating mix of old-world charm and colourful culture.

Best for: Setting & Views, History & Heritage, Cultural Immersion, Service & Hospitality

Alila Fort Bishangarh

Location: Rajasthan | India

The stunning Alila Fort Bishangarh rises dramatically above Rajasthani hill country, a luxury hotel housed in a 230-year-old fortress. During your stay here you’ll understand why Rajasthan is known as the Land of Kings – this region of plains and deserts is home to countless forts and castles, and you’ll be living like royalty yourself thanks to the hotel’s luxurious rooms, indulgent spa and superb food.

Best for: History & Heritage, Landscapes & Scenery, Cultural Immersion, Unusual

RV Orient Pandaw

Location: Calcutta & Northeast India | India

The RV Orient Pandaw is a luxury riverboat which plies India’s Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, taking in historic cities like Calcutta and the traditional villages of the Indian countryside. The boat itself is an homage to colonial style, with beautiful teak-panelled cabins, vintage artworks and superb international cuisine, ensuring your Indian adventure is as comfortable as it is memorable.

Best for: Cruise, Landscapes & Scenery, Off the Beaten Track, Cultural Immersion

Shahpura Bagh

Location: Rajasthan | India

A former residence of the rulers of Shahpura, this regal hotel has long welcomed travellers. Set in 45 acres of beautiful gardens, mango trees, a working farm and tranquil lakes, with peacocks strutting past and birdsong in the air, Shahpura Bagh is a blissful rural retreat. 

Best for: Off the Beaten Track, Village Life, Peace & Quiet, Seriously special

The Oberoi, New Delhi

Location: Delhi & Around | India

The Oberoi is a landmark luxury hotel in New Delhi, India’s capital, set in acres of lush gardens in the heart of the city. Many of the lavish guestrooms overlook Humayun’s Tomb, one of Delhi’s great Mughal masterpieces, while the serene Lodhi Gardens are nearby and the city’s other attractions are within easy reach. 

Best for: Setting & Views, Luxury Hotel, Cultural Immersion, History & Heritage

The Oberoi, Mumbai

Location: Mumbai & Western India | India

The Oberoi is one of Mumbai's finest hotels, with Art Deco-style architecture to rival Miami’s and a sophisticated atmosphere, complete with a grand red piano and floor-to-ceiling windows that drown out the hubbub of this lively city.

Best for: Luxury Hotel, Chic Design, Service & Hospitality, Cultural Immersion

Jamtara

Location: Central India | India

Jamtara adds a whole new meaning to glamping – this luxury camp is an idyllic retreat on the edge of Pench National Park, surrounded by the lush forest landscapes and thrilling wildlife of the Jungle Book tales. See tigers in the fields, share stories round the campfire and sleep outdoors under the stars.

Best for: Off the Beaten Track, Eco-tourism, Cultural Immersion, Wildlife & Nature

Shakti Sikkim Village Walk

Location: The Himalaya | India

The tiny state of Sikkim was the last Indian state to integrate into the Republic – in 1975 – and continues to fiercely hold on to its distinct, Himalayan-Buddhist culture. On this trek you will walk through beautiful mountain landscapes and stay in traditional, authentic Sikkimese houses in remote villages, and get to know local people and experience their distinctive way of life up close.

Best for: Private Groups, Setting & Views, Off the Beaten Track, Village Life

Maharajas' Express

Location: Delhi & Around | India

One of the most luxurious ways to travel by train anywhere in the world, the Maharajas’ Express is one of the world’s leading luxury trains, and it’s not hard to see why, with its lavish interiors, multiple restaurant and lounge cars, and team of attentive butlers. With itineraries taking in the likes of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Mumbai, this is a truly extravagant and unforgettable way to take in some of India’s most iconic destinations.

Best for: Train Journey, Landscapes & Scenery, Service & Hospitality, Romantic

The Oberoi Amarvilas

Location: Delhi & Around | India

The Oberoi Amarvilas is an extravagant luxury hotel in Agra, hewn from white marble and black sandstone and lying just 600 metres from the majestic Taj Mahal. With a range of top-class dining options, an opulent spa and views of the Taj from every one of its 102 rooms and suites, this is an incredible way to experience the jewel in India’s crown.

Best for: Honeymoon, Luxury Hotel, Romantic, Setting & Views

Mihir Garh

Location: Rajasthan | India

A luxury desert fort hotel built from scratch using the expertise of local craftsmen and time-honoured techniques – fireplaces are made from cow dung, for instance – Mihir Garh is an uncompromising homage to the extraordinary cultural heritage of Rajasthan. Lonely Planet named Mihir Garh the world’s most extraordinary hotel in 2014, having been open just five years, and it’s not difficult to see why.

Best for: Village Life, Eco-tourism, Romantic, Cultural Immersion

Shakti Ladakh Village Experience

Location: The Himalaya | India

You don’t have to rough it in Ladakh to authentically experience the Himalayan way of life. At Shakti Ladakh you stay in sophisticated village houses, built in the traditional standards of the region yet given a luxurious edge for maximum comfort.

Best for: Private Groups, Setting & Views, Off the Beaten Track, Village Life

SUJAN Jawai Camp

Location: Rajasthan | India

SUJAN Jawai is a luxury safari camp in the heart of rural Rajasthan, halfway between Udaipur and Jodhpur. Leopard sightings are almost guaranteed, and part of the profits go towards ecological initiatives, so you can rest easy in your stylish, luxurious tent. The camp also works closely with the local community, and you’ll have the chance to meet the local Rabari people.

Best for: Wildlife & Nature, Setting & Views, Off the Beaten Track, Eco-tourism

SUJAN Rajmahal Palace

Location: Rajasthan | India

With more past lives than a cat since its inception in 1729, the SUJAN Rajmahal Palace has been a garden retreat, a British residency and the home of Indian royalty, and has welcomed celebrated figures through its marble-clad lobby for centuries. Now a regal hotel, it employs a contemporary take on the palatial Indian style and couples the impeccable personalised service expected of a SUJAN hotel with decadent interiors and sophisticated decor.

Best for: Luxury Hotel, Chic Design, Service & Hospitality, Romantic

Imperial

Location: Delhi & Around | India

Reminiscent of the halcyon days of the Raj, The Imperial Hotel is a historic five-star hotel situated in the heart of the multifaceted capital of New Delhi. Built in the 1930s, the hotel features lofty ceilings, marble floors, Burmese teak furniture and the largest collection of colonial and post-colonial art in Delhi.

Best for: Luxury Hotel, City Hotel, Service & Hospitality, History & Heritage

Oberoi Rajvilas

Location: Rajasthan | India

Built around an 18th century temple to the Hindu god Shiva, Oberoi Rajvilas has been painstakingly restored to reflect the history and aesthetics of the Pink City of Jaipur, with Mughal arches, soaring domes and intricate gold leaf frescoes. Rooms are opulent and colonial in design, with a choice of luxurious rooms, villas and tent accommodation.

Best for: Service & Hospitality, History & Heritage, Cultural Immersion, Food & Wine

The Leela Palace, New Delhi

Location: Delhi & Around | India

Delhi’s leading five-star hotel, Leela Palace, is an aesthetic delight, bedecked in custom-made décor and modern art. With everything from Venetian chandeliers twinkling overhead to fragrant fresh flowers injecting life into the rooms, Leela Palace is a truly exquisite hotel.

Best for: Couples, First-timers, Chic Design, Luxury Hotel

Suryagarh

Location: Rajasthan | India

A luxurious, palatial hotel in the style of a sandstone desert palace, Suryagarh is a gateway to Jaisalmer fit for a Maharajah. Sitting in the Thar desert just to the west of the Golden City of Jaisalmer, Suryagarh is perfect for exploring this ancient desert city and the rolling dunes and ruins which surround it. It’s also home to authentic Rajputana cuisine in its restaurants, yoga and meditation sessions, and luxurious accommodation in traditional Rajasthani style.

Best for: Luxury Hotel, City Hotel, History & Heritage, Cultural Immersion

Oberoi Grand, Calcutta

Location: Calcutta & Northeast India | India

The grand dame of Calcutta’s hotels, the colonial Oberoi Grand is a luxurious hotel in the heart of the city, which radiates its refined heritage in its opulent rooms and suites, its fine restaurants and its luxurious spa. The hotel’s central location makes it perfect for exploring the city’s myriad of historical, cultural and religious attractions.

Best for: Luxury Hotel, City Hotel, Food & Wine, Spa & Wellness

The Serai

Location: Rajasthan | India

The Serai is a luxury tented safari camp near Jaisalmer, perfect for experiencing Rajasthan’s Thar Desert in regal style. The ancient Golden City of Jaisalmer lies nearby, and you’re surrounded by rolling sand dunes, ancient ruins and the rich animal and bird life of the Desert National Park.

Best for: Romantic, Setting & Views, Luxury Hotel, Chic Design

Diphlu Lodge

Location: Calcutta & Northeast India | India

Diphlu Lodge is a luxury wilderness lodge overlooking Kaziranga National Park in Assam, northeast India. Famed as the home of most of the world’s remaining one-horned rhinoceros population, there’s also the planet’s highest concentration of Asian elephants as well as Bengal tigers and a rich variety of primate and bird life. You’ll spot these and many more creatures on game drives into the park and boat cruises down the river, and get the chance to meet local people on visits to nearby villages.

Best for: Setting & Views, Off the Beaten Track, Private Groups, Wildlife & Nature

The Lodhi

Location: Delhi & Around | India

With cooling stone floors, intricate jaali screens and peaceful courtyards that connect to secluded gardens, The Lodhi is a refreshing and contemporary sanctuary set in the leafy district of Delhi’s cosmopolitan centre.

Best for: Luxury Hotel, Spa & Wellness, Chic Design, City Hotel

The Leela Palace Chennai

Location: Tamil Nadu & the Andaman Islands | India

The Leela Palace, which sits on the seafront in Chennai, offers a luxurious retreat, as is characteristic of the Leela brand, from its opulent accommodation and impeccable service to its sweeping views over the city and the Bay of Bengal.

Best for: Spa & Wellness, Family-friendly, Luxury Hotel, City Hotel

Umaid Bhawan Palace

Location: Rajasthan | India

Both an homage to Rajasthan’s royal past and a symbol of its future, Umaid Bhawan Palace was built between 1929 and 1943 and, as the home of the former royal family of Jodhpur, is one of the largest private residences in the world. One wing of this magnificent palace is now an opulent luxury hotel, meaning you can enjoy a taste of the regal life.

Best for: Luxury Hotel, Service & Hospitality, History & Heritage, Food & Wine

Ramathra Fort

Location: Rajasthan | India

Ramathra Fort, which sits majestically on a hilltop, surrounded by countryside, is a destination in itself. It is full of character and has a fascinating centuries-old history, with a palace on several levels, and numerous shrines and marble sculptures – but this is also a thoroughly modern hotel, with contemporary style and exceptional service as well as historic charm.

Best for: Setting & Views, Peace & Quiet, Romantic, History & Heritage

Taj Rambagh Palace

Location: Rajasthan | India

Built in 1835, Taj Rambagh Palace has played many roles over almost two centuries of history, having been a royal guesthouse, a hunting lodge, and the home of the last Maharaja of Jaipur in the 20th century. Now part of the Taj portfolio of incredible luxury hotels, it has been lovingly restored to its original, regal grandeur.

Best for: Service & Hospitality, Romantic, Luxury Hotel, History & Heritage

RAAS Devigarh

Location: Rajasthan | India

Housed in an imposing 18th-century palace in the Aravalli Hills near Udaipur, Raas Devigarh is a luxurious heritage hotel with beautiful landscaped gardens. With a serene countryside location which is still within easy reach of the beautiful lake city of Udaipur, Raas features an indulgent spa and a range of dining options with beautiful views over the Rajasthan countryside.

Best for: Honeymoon, Luxury Hotel, Setting & Views, Village Life

Banjaar Tola

Location: Central India | India

Consisting of 18 luxury tents spread across a forested riverbank overlooking the Kanha National Park, a stay at Banjaar Tola is about complete immersion in the environment in a beautiful corner of Madhya Pradesh. The camp’s team of trained naturalists will help you spot the rich wildlife which live in the park, including one of India’s most prominent populations of Bengal tiger.

Best for: Lodge, Romantic, Seriously special, Eco-tourism

Tree House Hideaway

Location: Central India | India

The Tree House Hideaway is a luxury tree hotel sitting in 21 acres of land near Bandhavgarh National Park. While the main draw of the stay is the park’s tiger population – the most concentrated in the world – the hotel itself is beautiful: a collection of rustic yet luxurious huts high in the trees of a remote forest. Expertly-led game drives give you a great chance of spotting tigers as well as the many other creatures that call this park home.

Best for: Setting & Views, Romantic, Wildlife & Nature, Walking & Trekking

Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat

Location: Central India | India

The lodge is a labour of love for owner Sunny, who comes from nearby Kawardha and is committed to the protection and preservation of local communities, whose villages dot the surrounding jungle landscape. Sunny’s ties with the villagers mean that your trips to meet them will support rather than damage their culture and way of life, and his knowledge of the local area – which he has been helping guests explore for the best part of 20 years – means he will come up with endless ideas for things to do.

Best for: Off the Beaten Track, Village Life, Secret / In the Know, Cultural Immersion

Taj Falaknuma Palace

Location: Central India | India

Taj Falaknuma Palace is a luxurious hotel in Hyderabad housed in a beautiful 19th-century palace. Originally built in 1893, Falaknuma Palace was once the home of the Nizam of Hyderabad, who at one time was said to be the richest man in the world – and it shows, in the opulent suites, beautiful dining rooms and landscaped gardens which surround the palace.

Best for: Luxury Hotel, Service & Hospitality, History & Heritage, Food & Wine

Lakshman Sagar

Location: Rajasthan | India

Lakshman Sagar was originally built as a hunting lodge in the 19th century by a Rajasthani nobleman, Lakshman Singh Ji. Designed to house other noble families and British emissaries, the resort retains a rarefied and luxurious air while also paying tribute to, and allowing you to experience, local culture: turban-tying, pottery classes and village visits are all optional activities here.

Best for: Setting & Views, Peace & Quiet, Romantic, Cultural Immersion

Noor us Sabah Palace

Location: Central India | India

Noor us Sabah Palace is a luxury hotel in the city of Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh. Built I the 1920s by the Nawab of Bhopal as a gift for his eldest daughter, this whitewashed palace has an air of regal splendour and is perched on a hilltop overlooking the City of Lakes. The hotel has beautiful views over Lake Bhopal and is perfectly located for exploring the historical and cultural attractions of the city.

Best for: History & Heritage, Cultural Immersion, City Hotel, Off the Beaten Track

The Claridges

Location: Delhi & Around | India

The Claridges is an elegant luxury hotel in the heart of New Delhi, with traditional colonial-style rooms and suites and a range of superb international dining options. Built in 1952, it has a long association with luminaries from various fields; the landscaped lawns were once a favoured evening tea setting for Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.

Best for: Family-friendly, Luxury Hotel, City Hotel, History & Heritage

Earth Lodge

Location: Central India | India

Kanha Earth Lodge is a luxury wilderness resort on the borders of Kanha National Park, a tiger reserve in the heart of Madhya Pradesh. The resort has a commitment to preservation of the environment and protection of local communities. Not a single tree was felled during the lodge’s creation, and 80% of the staff come from local villages. The lodge’s team of wildlife experts will make sure you have the best experience possible in Kanha, which is home to tigers, leopards and sloth bears among many other species.

Best for: Off the Beaten Track, Eco-tourism, Wildlife & Nature, Walking & Trekking

Malabar House

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

With a long history dating back as far as 1755, Malabar House has by turns been owned by spice merchants, tea traders and bankers, before becoming one of Cochin’s first boutique heritage hotels. This is a characterful and friendly hotel, with each of the 17 rooms and suites decorated in a unique style, and is the perfect base from which to explore this charming corner of Kerala.

Best for: Food & Wine, Spa & Wellness, Cultural Immersion, Honeymoon

Fragrant Nature

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

Housed in the former office of the East India Company, Fragrant Nature reflects its and Cochin’s colonial past, while exhibiting modern standards of comfort and luxury. With beautiful rooms and suites overlooking Cochin’s famously picturesque harbour, a range of dining options and even its own open-air traditional Keralan theatre, this is a beautiful spot from which to explore the rich melting pot that is Cochin.

Best for: Spa & Wellness, Cultural Immersion, Boutique Hotel, City Hotel

Aanavilasam

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

Aanavilasam is a luxurious hotel near Thekkady in rural Kerala, set on a former plantation estate and surrounded by seven acres of private estate dotted with pepper and cardamom plants. The hotel is the brainchild of Salim Pushpanath, a photographer whose beautiful black-and-white prints adorn the walls throughout.

Best for: Honeymoon, Service & Hospitality, Peace & Quiet, Food & Wine

La Villa

Location: Tamil Nadu & the Andaman Islands | India

La Villa inhabits a 19th-century mansion, and epitomises Pondicherry’s charming French colonial style as well as showcasing a range of eras and influences from across India and beyond.

Best for: Boutique Hotel, Service & Hospitality, History & Heritage, Food & Wine

RAAS Jodhpur

Location: Rajasthan | India

In the shadow of the imposing Mehrangarh Fort, RAAS Jodhpur is a luxury boutique hotel with unique architecture which blends the ancient and the contemporary. Spread across red sandstone buildings, some modern and some part of the 18th-century walled city, rooms are sleek and modern and promise stunning views of Jodhpur and its famous fort.

Best for: Honeymoon, Romantic, History & Heritage, Setting & Views

Nadesar Palace

Location: Central India | India

Built for the East India Company in the 18th century but later acquired by a Maharaja, the exquisite Nadesar Palace is a tranquil haven on the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi, surrounded by mango trees, jasmine fields and rows of marigold. Part of the Taj Group, this magical, wedding-cake white hotel still showcases delicate nods to the Raj with its crystal chandeliers, antique-strewn living rooms and immense columns.

Best for: Cultural Immersion, History & Heritage, Food & Wine, Spa & Wellness

Carnoustie

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

Carnoustie Ayurveda & Wellness Resort is a luxury spa resort near Alleppey, Kerala, on the shores of Marari Beach. The resort is committed to being as eco-friendly as possible - this is reflected in the construction of its luxury beach villas, with jute, rattan and bamboo used extensively throughout. 

Best for: Spa & Wellness, Luxury Hotel, Setting & Views, Beach

Purity

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

As if positioned by a landscape painter and designed by a minimalist gallery owner, Purity is an artwork of vernacular antiques, contemporary furniture and lakeside gardens, all housed in a white stucco and red terracotta building. With a spa and wellness centre as well as a massage parlour, this peaceful retreat will submerge you in a holiday spirit thanks to its calming atmosphere and romantic waterfront setting.

Best for: Setting & Views, Village Life, Peace & Quiet, Cultural Immersion

A Beach Symphony

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

Stay in traditional Keralan cottages with large verandas and private gardens right on the beach at this boutique hideaway, where you can truly relax in style. The team at A Beach Symphony is also behind the beautiful Vismaya on Vembanad Lake, where the same principles of creating a slice of paradise apply.

Best for: Family-friendly, Romantic, Service & Hospitality, Peace & Quiet

Ahilya Fort

Location: Central India | India

Ahliya Fort is a regal palace in the town of Maheshwar, on the banks of the Narmada River, which dates from the 18th century. From the terrace, you can watch the hustle and bustle of daily life on the riverside ghats, where pilgrims and locals come to bathe and worship. The hotel is owned and run by the flamboyant Prince Richard Holkar, whose ancestor built the fort, and you’ll feel like a guest in someone’s opulent, but friendly, home.

Best for: Service & Hospitality, History & Heritage, Cultural Immersion, Peace & Quiet

Singinawa Jungle Lodge

Location: Central India | India

Singinawa Jungle Lodge is a luxury eco-lodge on the fringes of Kanha National Park, the real-life inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. Accommodation is spread across beautiful cottages, and the lodge’s team of naturalists will ensure that you get the most out of game drives into Kanha to spot the park’s wildlife. Cultural visits to local tribal communities, who the lodge works to support, are a unique and unforgettable experience.

Best for: Wildlife & Nature, Cultural Immersion, Village Life, Walking & Trekking

Brunton Boatyard

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

The Brunton Boatyard sits on Cochin’s historic harbour, and evokes the charms and atmosphere of another era: recreated from a Victorian shipbuilding yard, it is full of history and character, blending English, Dutch and Portuguese influences, from its décor to its food.

Best for: Setting & Views, History & Heritage, Cultural Immersion, Water activities

Royal Orchid Metropole

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

Royal Orchid Metropole is a luxurious heritage hotel in the heart of Mysore. Built by the former Maharajah in 1920 to entertain guests, the regal pillars, ornate arches and imposing corridors which make up the hotel betray its distinguished history.

Best for: City Hotel, Service & Hospitality, History & Heritage, Food & Wine

Vivanta by Taj Gomti Nagar

Location: Central India | India

Vivanta by Taj Gomti Nagar is a luxury hotel in the heart of Lucknow, the largest city in Uttar Pradesh. With stylish, contemporary rooms, a beautiful outdoor pool and a fantastic central location, this hotel is a stylish and luxurious base from which to explore the rich historical and cultural attractions of one of India’s major cities.

Best for: Romantic, History & Heritage, Cultural Immersion, Food & Wine

The Machan

Location: Mumbai & Western India | India

As green as the forest that surrounds it, the dedicatedly eco-friendly Machan is an architectural wonder, with glass-encased treehouses constructed 45-foot above the ground.

Best for: Setting & Views, Off the Beaten Track, Unusual, Romantic

Heritage Madurai

Location: Tamil Nadu & the Andaman Islands | India

This century-old resort sits in 17 beautiful acres in historic Madurai, surrounded by ancient trees, tumbling bougainvillea and strutting peacocks. Heritage Madurai has been elegantly designed to reflect a distinctive South Indian style.

Best for: History & Heritage, Spa & Wellness, Cultural Immersion, City Hotel

Serenity

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

Once a plantation estate from the 1920s, this villa is now a small boutique hotel which maintains its colonial roots while providing luxurious amenities like an outdoor pool. Awash with dark timber, warm colour palettes and ornate furniture, Serenity is a beautiful little property overlooking the Blue Mountains.

Best for: Family-friendly, Boutique Hotel, Setting & Views, Village Life

Taj West End

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

Taj West End is a luxurious hotel in Bangalore, set in a European-style manor and surrounded by 20 acres of beautiful green gardens. Originally opened as a 10-room inn by a British lady in 1887, in the early 20th century it was transformed by the Spencer family into the fully fledged country club and luxury hotel that you see today.

Best for: Family-friendly, Luxury Hotel, City Hotel, Service & Hospitality

Vismaya

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

Vismaya (which means ‘a magical place’) is a traditional Keralan villa in a beautiful setting on the shores of Vembanad Lake, surrounded on three sides by water. From the same people behind the equally lovely A Beach Symphony on Marari beach, this truly exclusive hideaway has just two bedrooms, guaranteeing a tranquil escape.

Best for: Peace & Quiet, Secret / In the Know, History & Heritage, Cultural Immersion

Windermere Estate

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

Windermere Estate is a charming boutique hotel in the Keralan hill station of Munnar, with accommodations spread across colonial-style bungalows. A historic centre for tea, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the days of the Raj as you sit enjoying a brew and gazing out over the Western Ghats mountains and the three rivers which give Munnar its name.

Best for: Setting & Views, Peace & Quiet, History & Heritage, Food & Wine

Ahilya by the Sea

Location: Mumbai & Western India | India

Every nook and cranny of this delightful hideaway in Goa is filled with something old, something beautiful and something a bit quirky. Stuffed with exotic treasures from the owner’s lifetime of travels, the much-talked about bougainvillea-draped Ahilya by the Sea is spread across two Portuguese-colonial mansions and combines a superb location with fabulous rooms to produce an original hotel on the furthest most edge of Coco Beach.

Best for: Service & Hospitality, Peace & Quiet, Boutique Hotel, Setting & Views

Leela Goa

Location: Mumbai & Western India | India

The Leela is a beautiful luxury resort in south Goa, sitting on Mobor Beach and surrounded by tropical gardens and lagoons. Its beautiful location makes it very tempting to do nothing more than sit and relax, but culture vultures will be rewarded for making the effort to head out to cultural attractions nearby, particularly relics of Goa’s Portuguese colonial history.

Best for: Family-friendly, Spa & Wellness, Water activities, Honeymoon

Taj Vivanta Aurangabad

Location: Mumbai & Western India | India

A palatial hotel set amid five acres of landscaped gardens, Taj Vivanta Aurangabad is a luxurious property in the heart of Aurangabad, and a stylish gateway to nearby UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Ajanta and Ellora Caves. The hotel is also home to delicious Indian and international dining and a luxurious Ayurveda spa.

Best for: History & Heritage, Spa & Wellness, Cultural Immersion, City Hotel

Visalam

Location: Tamil Nadu & the Andaman Islands | India

Visalam is a beautiful heritage hotel in a restored merchant’s mansion in the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu. The hotel encapsulates Chettinad’s rich and unique cultural history, characterised by the wealth and cultural fusion brought about by the area’s prosperous mercantile class. Situated between Trichy and Madurai, this hotel is perfectly located for exploring the region and for experiencing the famously complex and distinctive flavours of Chettinad cuisine.

Best for: Cultural Immersion, Village Life, Food & Wine, History & Heritage

Svatma

Location: Tamil Nadu & the Andaman Islands | India

Svatma is a beautiful showcase of Tamil Nadu style, while exhibiting sleek contemporary luxury, and as well as ornate rooms and exquisite food, you can indulge in memorable experiences from culinary classes to cultural demonstrations.

Best for: Village Life, Service & Hospitality, History & Heritage, Food & Wine

Ananda Spa

Location: The Himalaya | India

Set in the foothills of the behemoth Himalayas, the Ananda Spa is the ultimate base from which to go on a journey of personal health, wellness and rejuvenation. Overlooking the holy Ganges River, the hotel is best known for its award-winning spa, but throw in superb views, a serene mountain atmosphere and divine cuisine and you’ll soon see that this place is much more than just a spa retreat.

Best for: Spa & Wellness, Luxury Hotel, Setting & Views, Service & Hospitality

The Ultimate Travelling Camp - Chamba Camp, Diskit

Location: The Himalaya | India

The Ultimate Travelling Camp – Chamba Camp, Diskit, provides luxury amongst breathtaking scenery in the corner of the charming village of Diskit. Staying at this camp will give you the opportunity to step back in time and discover the tales and hidden secrets of intertwined cultures from a time gone by.

Best for: Cultural Immersion, History & Heritage, Off the Beaten Track, Multi-activity

Barefoot at Havelock

Location: Tamil Nadu & the Andaman Islands | India

Fully embracing its ‘barefoot’ motto, take your shoes off at reception and wriggle into the beach bliss blanket that Barefoot at Havelock casts. A secret paradise on the off-the-beaten-track Andaman Islands, this resort uses environmentally sensitive and indigenous materials, making it one of the first ecologically-friendly resorts on these secluded islands.

Best for: Off the Beaten Track, Beach, Rustic, Honeymoon

Leti 360

Location: The Himalaya | India

A rare combination of luxury and extreme mountain seclusion, 360 Leti offers the best of both worlds in stunning Himalayan surroundings. You’ll stay in one of four cabins uniquely designed from wood, timber and stone, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering unrivalled views of the mountains, and eat delicious Himalayan, Indian and international cuisine courtesy of the Tibetan chef. Guided walks will take you across mountain paths to nearby villages, shrines and countryside.

Best for: Private Groups, Lodge, Setting & Views, Off the Beaten Track

Kumarakom Lake Resort

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

Kumarakom Lake Resort is a beautiful luxury resort on the shores of Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom, Kerala. Named by the BBC as one of the most luxurious holiday destinations in the world, Prince Charles, no less, chose Kumarakom as the place to celebrate his 65th birthday, and you’ll be left feeling like royalty after a stay here.

Best for: Setting & Views, Village Life, Peace & Quiet, Eco-tourism

Oberoi Wildflower Hall

Location: The Himalaya | India

Wildflower Hall, Shimla in the Himalayas, is a luxury hotel in Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh and a former summer retreat of the colonial British. In fact, the hotel is the former home of war hero Lord Kitchener, and it’s not difficult to see why he chose it: surrounded by acres of cedar forest and perched on top of a hill with incredible views across the Greater Himalaya, this is a truly stunning hotel.

Best for: Luxury Hotel, Setting & Views, History & Heritage, Peace & Quiet

The Ultimate Travelling Camp - Kohima Camp, Nagaland

Location: Calcutta & Northeast India | India

The Ultimate Travelling Camp's Kohima Camp, Nagaland, is a temporary collection of luxury suite tents in the forest near Kohima, in the northeast Indian state of Nagaland. Surrounded by greenery and wilderness, this is an area of rich local Naga culture and is home to the famous Hornbill Festival. This camp is only open between the months of November and December specifically for the Hornbill festival, the largest festival of the indigenous warrior tribes of Nagaland. 

Best for: Honeymoon, Luxury Hotel, Lodge, Setting & Views

The Ultimate Travelling Camp - Kishkinda Camp, Hampi

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

Kishkinda Camp, Hampi, is a luxurious eco-friendly camp on the fringes of the fascinating UNESCO-listed ruins of Hampi, which include impressive, richly-carved temples and palaces, with giant boulders scattered over the hills amongst palm trees, banana plantations and paddy fields. Enjoy expert guided tours around Hampi and beyond, and indulge your passions on a photography or cooking class, before retreating to your safari-themed tent and tucking into a delicious evening meal.

Best for: History & Heritage, Cultural Immersion, Walking & Trekking, Wildlife & Nature

The Ultimate Travelling Camp - Chamba Camp, Thiksey

Location: The Himalaya | India

The Ultimate Travelling Camp – Chamba Camp, Thiksey, offers a luxurious camping experience next door to the Thiksey Monastery, in an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Built on local traditions and knowledge, the campsite is organic and sustainable while offering first-class comforts including en-suite bathrooms. 

Best for: History & Heritage, Cultural Immersion, Multi-activity, Off the Beaten Track

Sukoon Houseboat

Location: The Himalaya | India

Sukoon is the finest luxury houseboat on Lake Dal. Graced with teak finishes, silk blinds and vintage chandeliers, it is timeless northern India, yet modern touches like solar panels and water purification give it a sophisticated edge.

Best for: Cruise, Setting & Views, Unusual, Cultural Immersion

Evolve Back Kuruba Safari Lodge, Kabini

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

Housed in a collection of rustic but luxurious thatched huts, Evolve Back Kuruba Safari Lodge, Kabini is all about making the most of the beauty of the surrounding countryside, with Nagarhole National Park within easy reach. Your neighbours during your stay at Orange County will include the world’s largest population of Asian elephants, one of whom, Meenakshi, is friendly with hotel guests.

Best for: Luxury Hotel, Lodge, Eco-tourism, Off the Beaten Track

Old Harbour

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

This elegant hotel occupies an attractive 18th-century Dutch/Portuguese colonial building in the heart of historic Fort Kochi, with characterful interiors of stone arches, whitewashed walls, colourful artworks and sculptures, surrounded by lush tropical gardens.

Best for: Boutique Hotel, History & Heritage, Food & Wine, Cultural Immersion

Marari Beach Resort

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

In an idyllic beachfront setting, nestled in tropical gardens with lotus ponds, coconut groves and swaying palms, the Marari Beach Resort is a tranquil and beautiful retreat, where you can relax in a hammock, stroll along the beach or meander along the serene waterways of Kerala in a traditional boat. 

Best for: Beach, Setting & Views, Water activities, Eco-tourism

Neeleshwar Hermitage

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

Neeleshwar Hermitage is a luxury hotel in northern Kerala, on the beachfront of the town of Neeleshwar. With sandy beach on one side, the Western Ghats on the other, and the famous Keralan backwaters within easy reach, this is a perfect place to experience the varied natural beauty of the Malabar region. Accommodation takes the form of luxurious cottages spread throughout the hotel’s beautiful gardens.

Best for: Setting & Views, Off the Beaten Track, Beach, Peace & Quiet

Philipkutty's Farm

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

A family-run, luxury homestay on a secluded island in the backwaters of Kerala, at Philipkutty’s Farm you’ll feel like a guest in a friend’s home. Accommodation is spread across charming villas which blend traditional Keralan style with modern comforts, and the hotel is ideally placed for enjoying traditional boat cruises on the backwaters as well as spotting the local wildlife and exploring nearby villages, churches and temples.

Best for: Setting & Views, Village Life, Peace & Quiet, Food & Wine

Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace, Hampi

Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace, Hampi is a luxury hotel with an unrivalled location next to the famous ruins of Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Designed in a style reminiscent of the regal palaces once lived in by Hampi’s kings, the hotel features extensive use of stone and marble and distinctive Indo-Islamic architectural features.

Best for: History & Heritage, Luxury Hotel, Setting & Views, Off the Beaten Track

Chambal Safari Lodge

Location: Delhi & Around | India

Best for: Lodge, Off the Beaten Track, History & Heritage, Cultural Immersion

The Ultimate Travelling Camp - Jaagir Lodge, Dudhwa

Location: The Himalaya | India

When it comes to wildlife experiences, destinations don’t get much better than the Terai region of India and Nepal. Tigers, elephants, leopards, rhinos - with any luck you can spot them all, and a stay at Jaagir Lodge Dudhwa combines expertly-led safari trips with luxurious accommodation in a colonial-style 1940s lodge. 

Best for: Wildlife & Nature, Walking & Trekking, Cultural Immersion, Off the Beaten Track

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans

Location: Tamil Nadu & the Andaman Islands | India

The first luxury resort on the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa allows you to explore one of the most unspoilt regions of India in supreme style. This chain of islands in the Bay of Bengal is home to beautiful mangroves, rainforest and a teeming underwater world, which you can explore on excursions from the resort. There’s also superb fusion cuisine at two restaurants, and a luxurious spa which sits atop a serene lake.

Best for: Luxury Hotel, Beach, Eco-tourism, Water activities

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