Where to stay in India
One of the great joys of a trip to India is the amazing range of hotels that you can stay at along the way. You can spend the night in a grand four poster bed in a huge room tucked in the turret of a former Maharaja’s palace, complete with old family photographs on the wall. Have dinner in the formal dining room of an old hunting lodge as old stuffed animal heads stare down at you from the walls. You can sip a G and T from the battlements of a fort, watching the sun set over the plains of Rajasthan or enjoy a freshly brewed cup of local tea from the balcony of a small family home nestled in the hills of the Kerala mountains.
Some of these boutique hotels are very luxurious whilst others are a little ramshackle. In the latter the water pressure may not be great but this doesn’t matter when you are able to join the Maharaja for afternoon tea by the croquet lawn!
What is a typical Indian hotel like?
One of our favourite hotels in India is the Bhanwar Vilas Palace in Karauli, a remote village in rural Rajasthan. The Maharaja is still in residence and will often welcome guests personally such that this can feel like a large house party rather than a hotel. Each room is individually furnished and stuffed with antiques that have been handed down through the generations. Dinner is held by candlelight in the dining room and the food is delicious, cooked by the Maharaja’s personal chef. The gardens are extensive (perfect for younger children) and car-lovers will enjoy the collection of 1930s classic cars.
The village of Karauli is also wonderful to explore with a bustling bazaar full of local craftsmen making clay pots, stone carvings, handmade wooden toys and brightly coloured bangles. You can take a camel cart through the village to the City Palace, a wonderful old ramshackle building where you can get completely lost and where there is seldom another soul. Younger children will play hide and seek for hours here, searching out hidden staircases and shaded courtyards.
How do high-end and mid-range hotels compare?
We will always tailor our accommodation suggestions to your requirements and budget, but to illustrate the difference between the standards of hotels available, Agra is a great example. If you want luxury then there is nowhere more enticing than the Amar Vilas Hotel, situated in an enviable location with superb views of the Taj Mahal. You arrive at the hotel via a sweeping driveway lit at night by flaming torches and the delightful staff will lead you to your sumptuous rooms. You will struggle to get the children out of the pool, one of the nicest we have visited with tiered steps leading down to it and beautiful archways that dip into the water. It doesn’t come cheap but it is a fabulous place to stay.
For travellers who are on more of a budget, the Coral Tree Homestay is the ideal place to stay, a wonderful small hotel that is just a stone’s throw from the Taj Mahal. Vandna and Gopal Singh welcome you into the family home, beautifully decorated in bright colours with family knick-knacks and an inviting garden full of birds.
Rooms are simple but spacious and all offer views over the garden. The food is home-cooked and delicious and if you are interested you can help make your dinner, learning some of the secrets of Indian cuisine.
These are just a few examples of places to stay in India that past travellers have loved. All our holidays are tailor-made, so once we have found out a bit more about you and your family, we will suggest a range of properties that we think will suit you best. Get in touch for firsthand advice on all aspects of family travel in India.
Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.
India in pictures
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