We all have a soft corner for a little bit of luxury once in a while, if not every time. We imagine the best places to stay with extraordinary hospitality; unique experiences, privacy and romance can only come with a vacation on some exotic island outside India. That’s exactly where you are wrong. There is a pool of luxury hotels in India, which you haven’t heard of.
One of the most defining characteristics of Indian culture is hospitality. We have all been brought up with the saying “Atithi Devo Bhav” and hold guests in the highest regard even in our homes. So how can we not have hotels & resorts, which offer the same or more for their guests?
When we talk about luxury stays in India, the first names that come to our minds are The Taj, The Oberoi and The Leela among a few. And when we come to making a list of the most luxurious hotels in India, we cannot skip these names, so here I give an honorary mention to them as the most luxurious hotels in India –
- Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
- The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
- Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad
- Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
- Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
- The Oberoi, New Delhi
- Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai
- The Leela Palace, Udaipur
- The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra
- The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur
But again these are names that are not new to you. You have heard of them at some point. If you want a unique, offbeat or lesser heard of a holiday and of course without compromising on any bit of luxury, we bring to you the 10 most luxurious hotels and best places to stay in India that most of you haven’t heard of.
1. Ananda in the Himalayas
Located on a 100-acre Maharaja’s palace estate at the foothills of the Himalayas, Ananda is a luxurious destination spa. With an exotic selection of aromatic baths, expansive spa spread and private dining experiences with seating overlooking the vast landscapes and Ganga Valley, it is a perfect getaway to help you rejuvenate.
How to reach: 25 kms from Dehradun Airport
Ananda in the Himalayas
The Palace Estate
Narendra Nagar, Tehri – Garhwal
2. The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa
A 10 minutes walk from The Gulmarg Gandola, the world’s highest ski lift, The Khyber is spread in the pristine pine valley cocooned by the majestic Himalayas. It is the best place to enjoy some Kashmiri kahwa with unparalleled views of the snow-clad mountains. The warm hospitality and spectacular views of Gulmarg, make this place one of the best places to stay and is definitely among the top hotels of India.
How to reach: 60 kms from Srinagar Airport
The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa
Forest Block, Gulmarg
Kashmir (J&K), India
3. Wildflower Hall, Shimla in the Himalayas
A remote retreat on the foothills of the Himalayas, Wildflower Hall lets you experience the heights of luxury, literally. With the Himalayas as a backdrop, loose yourself amidst nature, enjoy personalized spa experiences and indulge in various activities like cycling, rafting and nature walks in one of the most luxury hotels in India. Yes, this is a part of the Oberoi Group, but it still makes it to the list, as it’s one of the offbeat and among the lesser-known hotels in India.
How to reach: 30 kms from Shimla airport
Himachal Pradesh, India
4. Shakti 360 Leti
Another favourite retreat in the Himalayas but the most unique one in the list of luxury hotels in India, Shakti 360 Leti is located on a stunningly remote mountaintop, but getting there isn’t easy. A long car ride and a 1-hour walk along a narrow track (porters carry your bags) brings you to this sumptuous hideaway. (Luxury with a little bit of adventure, maybe?) The glass and stone cabins give you an unbroken, once in a lifetime view.
You can choose only to stay or combine it with the Shakti Kumaon Village Walk: a Himalayan hiking trail through remote villages with this luxury cabin as your base. Experiences like exploring secluded mountain paths, picnic by waterfalls & spending evenings by your private fire pit makes this on the list of best places to stay and luxury hotels in India.
How to reach: 260 kms from Pantanagar Airport
Shakti 360 Leti
Leti 360, Bageshwar
5. Rajmahal Palace
Looking for a place to sleep like a king? Most of us don’t live like a royal but we can definitely holiday like one at Rajmahal Palace, Jaipur. Home to the Maharaja of Jaipur, it is a fairytale palace with 14 rooms, each designed distinctly with every corner of this palace being a treat to the eyes.
The young Maharaja, Padmanabh Singh sleeps here from time to time and who knows, you can catch a glimpse of him during your visit. It is definitely on my bucket list to be sharing a palace with a king, even if it is for one night. Travel goals much?
How to reach: 10 kms from Jaipur Airport
Sardar Patel Marg
Shivaji Nagar, Jaipur
Looking to Plan a Luxury Holiday? Check our Explorester Holidays.
A fortess in the Thar Desert, Suryagarh is not just one of the top hotels in India, but as they say, it is a way of life. Remember building those sandcastles when you were young? You can now stay in one, with the most luxurious amenities along with experiencing their traditional past and the bygone era. To make the most of this place, stay in the Thar Haveli, the one with an infinity pool looking out on the vast scrub desert. And at midnight take a trip to the forgotten sites in the desert in search for spirits called chudails. Without a doubt, this is going to make it to your list of best places to stay.
How to reach: 30 kms from Jaisalmer Airport
Kahala Phata, Sam Road
7. Mihir Garh
Isolated in the wilderness of Thar, Mihir Garh palace holds 9 magnificent suites. Each one of them is pure luxury with private terraces, courtyard, jacuzzi or plunge pool. From village safaris to royal picnics, from riding some of the finest specimens of horses, to simply gazing at the starry night sky, Mihir Garh will keep you yearning for more and surprisingly tick many of your travel goals. The indulgence at this place makes it a perfect fit for top hotels in India.
How to reach: 64 kms from Jodhpur Airport
At the foothills of the Aravalis, Amanbagh is set at a lush green landscape, in an otherwise arid Rajasthan. This secluded, rural retreat is standing on a former hunting ground and far far away from civilization. You will wake up every morning with the sound of chirping birds and chattering monkeys. Our favorite room is the Pool Pavilion with its private pool and a spacious garden. This place boasts of understated luxury and minimalism and surely is one of the luxury hotels in India.
Aman‘s other Indian outpost, Aman-i-Khas is a luxury safari tented camp in Ranthambore and a good choice if you are in a mood to splurge and get away from the forts and palaces.
How to reach: 94 kms from Jaipur Airport
9. Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace, Hampi
Located close to the historical ruins of Hampi, the architecture of this palace hotel tells a story about the history and culture of the Vijayanagara Empire. Evolve Back resorts are renowned for their warm service and personalized attention, and royalty is too less a word to describe the experience offered by this ultra-luxurious boutique hotel. Rejuvenate your mind & soul at their traditional Ayurveda Spa. Pick the Zenana Suite if you are on a romantic getaway and this hotel is surely our top choice for the best honeymoon resorts in South India.
Their sister property in Coorg, Evolve Back Chikkana Halli Estate is a replica of their extraordinary hospitality and another one of the luxury hotels in India.
How to reach: 29 kms from Hampi Airport or 198 kms from Hubli Airport
Evolve Back, Hampi
Hallikere Village Kamalapura Post,
Hampi, Bellary District
Ever wanted to fly off to an island and isolate from the world? You can now do that at Jalakara. Unplug and log off from the digital excess and reconnect with yourself. No wifi or TV, instead, sink into the beautiful surroundings of this remote, off the grid, island. They offer a rare luxury of staying somewhere authentic, raw and beautiful. Pick the Jalakara Villa coz cmon, who doesn’t love a private villa with a plunge pool. The bespoke possibilities of a private space make this hideaway one of the unique & best resorts in India.
How to reach: 90 minutes by ferry from Port Blair
Village No. 4
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India
Do you still feel India lacks luxury & extra ordinary hospitality? And do you still feel luxurious hotels in India is limited to big brand names like Taj & Oberoi? I know you are screaming “No Wayyy!” So now how soon are you planning a holiday to one of these luxurious hotels in India?
We are going to give you tons of travel goals and have lots of fun together!! Till then, stay tuned, keep saving, keep exploring, and Happy Travel!!