Disclaimer: Top 10 Lists are created keeping in mind only my opinion. Rest assured that IH Aviation and Travel is not biased whatsoever.
India, a country with diverse topography is one of the most popular destinations amongst foreign tourists. Stretching from the mighty peaks of the Himalayas in North India to the beautiful beaches and backwaters of South India, the nation has it all. It is home to one of the 7 wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. As the country receives a major influx of tourists and businessmen alike, almost all major hotel chains present in the world have presence in India. Indian hospitality is famous all across the globe and the country has some of the world’s most beautiful hotels and resorts. Let’s take a look at the Top 10 5 star Hotels and Resorts in India.
10. The Leela Palace, New Delhi
The Leela Palace New Delhi is located at the very heart of the capital’s prestigious Diplomatic Enclave and exemplifies the magnificent architecture, grace and elegance of Lutyens’ Delhi. The heritage of the city, along with modern design elements, is beautifully reflected in the design of this modern palace hotel in New Delhi. The hotel offers state-of-the-art amenities in a rich and royal setting, right in proximity to the New Delhi Airport. The 254 guestrooms, as inviting as they are opulent, offer top-end comfort, service and technology, and rank among the largest in the city. Dining options include The Qube (all day dining); Jamavar (signature Indian restaurant); Megu (Japanese restaurant); Le Cirque (fine-dining Franco Italian restaurant); The Library Bar and The Lobby Lounge. Facilities include Banquet Venues spread over 21000 square feet (1954 square metres), a rooftop infinity swimming pool, a Spa and a Salon.
Hotel Website: The Leela Palace New Delhi
9. The Oberoi, New Delhi
The Oberoi New Delhi, reopened in 2018 after an extensive refurbishment, reflects the spirit of India’s capital city in a harmonious blend of tradition and contemporary sophistication. The hotel enjoys views of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Humayun’s Tomb on one side and a calming view of the forested golf course on the other. Guests can choose from 220 rooms and suites with spacious walk in closets, Italian marble bathrooms, teak floors and oak wood desks. Restaurants include Threesixty for all-day fine dining, a contemporary Indian specialty restaurant and a rooftop Chinese restaurant. There is also an open-air rooftop bar, a wine cellar and a new cigar lounge. Facilities include a swimming pool, multiple events and meeting venues, The Oberoi Spa and Fitness Centre.
Hotel Website: The Oberoi, New Delhi
8. The Leela, Goa
The Leela Goa is a unique property set amidst the sprawling 75 acres of lush greenery and beautiful lagoons with a winding river on one side and the azure blue sea on the other. The resort offers 206 rooms and suites that are elegantly furnished and balconies that open up to majestic views of the lagoons and the Arabian Sea. For guests seeking unparalleled luxury, The Leela Goa has its very own – The Club. Private and exclusive, The Club has twenty lavish suites, each with a personalized 24-hour butler, all-day dining at the Club Lounge and private access to a 25-metre swimming pool and beach. Built around the concept of ‘A Hotel within a Hotel’, The Club within The Leela Goa epitomizes luxury and offers exclusivity beyond imagination. Leela Goa offers 7 food and beverage options served buffet style, with cuisines ranging from local Indian dishes to Italian food, namely The Restaurant (all day dining); Riverside (fine-dining Italian restaurant); Jamavar (signature Indian restaurant); Susegado (Beachside Sea food restaurant); Aqua (Entertainment lounge), The Pool Bar and Yali Lounge. Guests may enjoy Ayurvedic massage and yoga sessions at the spa, or arrange a sunset cruise at the tour desk. The Leela also provides a tennis court and pottery making classes. Over 20000 square feet of event spaces, a 12 hole golf course and a outdoor swimming pool are available at the hotel.
Website: The Leela, Goa
7. The Leela Palace, Udaipur
Located beside the tranquil Lake Pichola, The Leela Palace Udaipur is flanked by the rolling Aravalli mountain ranges. It is a modern palace hotel in Udaipur which evokes the grandeur and opulence of the Land of the Mewars. All of the 80 guest rooms and suites are stately lavishly appointed with exquisite embellishments and traditional artisan crafts inspired by the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan. Soft breezes and views of a starlit sky accompany fine Indian specialities at the Sheesh Mahal. For an international dining experience, guests can head to the Dining Room at The Leela Palace. The Library bar offers fine wines, single malts and time refined cognacs as well as an array of well-crafted cocktails and delicious starters. A exclusive spa, an outdoor swimming pool, a hot tub, a tour desk, a business centre, event spaces and a fitness centre are some of the facilities present at the hotel.
Hotel Website: The Leela Palace, Udaipur
6. Aman-i-khás, Ranthambore
Open from October through May each year, the best season for wildlife spotting, Aman-i-Khás is a wilderness camp located in a rugged brushwood forest on the fringes of Ranthambore National Park. This intimate tented camp offers incomparable privacy and daily safaris seeking out the reserve’s wildlife. Aman-i-Khás sits on a sun-dappled landscape of dhok trees and brushwood. Aman-i-Khas’ ten Mughal-inspired tents overlook a ruggedly beautiful landscape that is home to abundant wildlife. Each one is filled with light and offers an expansive 108 square metres (1,162 square feet) of space, with a soaring bedroom, living area with daybed, dining area and bathroom with free-standing bathtub and shower. Elegantly furnished, the tents are positioned to ensure utmost privacy, each with their own sun deck, ideal for watching passing birdlife. Aman-i-Khas is the only Aman property that operates on an all-inclusive formula, with rates including all meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) that are served either in the dining tent or outdoors (weather permitting). A small swimming pool which is modeled after a ‘baori’ or ancient step-well, a spa and a library are present at the property. Aman-i-Khás offers 3.5 hour tiger safaris that take place twice daily, one early in the morning and another in the afternoon in open-top jeeps which seat a maximum of 6 guests.
Hotel Website: Aman-i-Khás, Ranthambore
5. Evolve Back, Coorg
Evolve Back Coorg is ensconced in the cocooned comforts of a lush 300-acre plantation paradise, the resort is perfumed with the subtly intoxicating aroma of coffee and spice. This resort consists of 63 guest villas categorised into Heritage Pool Villa, Lily Pool Villa, Lily Pool Bungalow and Lily Pool Cottage spread out in delightful clusters around this working coffee and spice plantation. Dining options include the Granary, a multi-cuisine restaurant, or Pepper Corn – Barbecues & Grills Restaurant and Plantain Leaf, which offers pure vegetarian delights. Hunter’s Lodge features refreshing drinks. The Machan – ‘restaurant for two’ offers a completely private and elevated dining experience. By the Lake, Moonlight for Two and Kodava Twilight are another private dining options. Evolve Back Coorg offers an array of facilities. An infinity swimming pool, a family pool, reading lounge, an Ayurvedic Spa, a gym and a children’s activity centre are present at the hotel. Plantation Walk, Bird Watching, Village Visit, Worker’s Trail, Coracle Ride and exploring Bylekuppe Tibetan Settlement are some of the things guests can experience at the resort.
Hotel Website: Evolve Back, Coorg
4. St. Regis, Mumbai
Experience traditional elegance with a modern touch at The St. Regis Mumbai. Situated in Lower Parel, in Mumbai’s tallest building, the hotel brings the storied history and exceptional service of The St. Regis to this vibrant area. The hotel offers 368 exquisitely styled and lavishly appointed guest rooms and 27 residential suites. At Seven Kitchens guests can savor Italian, Oriental, Indian, Japanese and Mediterranean cuisines from a variety of live cooking stations. Inspired from the lavish and vintage decadence of the colonial era, The Sahib Room boasts robust Indian delicacies and flavors. Leading into the restaurant is the aptly named ‘Kipling Bar’, inspired by the iconic writer and philosopher Rudyard Kipling. Awarded the city’s finest Asian restaurant, Mekong takes you on a culinary journey through the districts of Yunan and Sichuan in China, and through Thailand and Vietnam. While in residence, guests enjoy discreet signature 24-hour St. Regis Butler Service and extensive dining offerings. The St. Regis Mumbai boasts the height of relaxation and rejuvenation in the form of a dedicated wellness floor. This exquisite oasis on Level 10 captures the Athletic Club, outdoor swimming pool overlooking the cityscape, Iridium Spa and the Salon by Jean-Claude Biguine.
Website: St. Regis, Mumbai
3. The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra
The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, is located just 600 metres from the Taj Mahal, the world’s most exquisite testimony to undying love. The hotel stands amidst nine acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, minarets, pavilions, fountains, reflection pools and terraced lawns inspired by traditional Mughal designs. The property consists of 102 exquisitely appointed rooms and suites, each with uninterrupted view of the Taj Mahal and complemented by Oberoi’s warm, personalized hospitality. Many rooms of this elegant five-story building have private terraces. Bellevue restaurant serves international dishes and local favourites, while Esphahan offers traditional Indian specialities. Overlooking the Taj Mahal, the bar offers fine wines and cigars. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, The Oberoi Spa and a fitness centre. The hotel also offers guided tours to the Taj Mahal.
Hotel Website: The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra
2. The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai
The Taj Mahal Palace opened in Mumbai, then Bombay, in 1903, giving birth to the country’s first harbour landmark. Strategically located in Mumbai’s prime historical and commercial hub, The Taj Mahal Palace is walking distance from Colaba Causeway, known for its touristy tiny roadside shops. Each of the 285 rooms & suites are a striking blend of nostalgic elegance, rich history and modern facilities. Guests can choose from 9 restaurants and bars, renowned for delectable cuisines from India, Europe, the Middle East and the Orient. Facilities include Jiva Spa, an outdoor swimming pool, Taj Salon and a 24-hour fitness centre.
Website: The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai
1. The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur is a premier 5 star hotel located on the banks of Lake Pichola and is spread across 30 acres of luxuriant gardens, with an intricate layout of interconnecting domes and corridors that reflect the layout of Udaipur itself. The property is built on 200-year old hunting grounds of the Maharana of Mewar. The 87 rooms and suites reflect a thoughtful harmony of Mewar inspired motifs, elegant furnishings and modern technologies and feature lake, pool or garden views. Udaimahal Restaurant specialises in traditional Indian food including Rajasthani and North Indian dishes. Order Western, Mediterranean and Thai food at Suryamahal or enjoy open-air dining with traditional music and dance evening performances at Chandni. Guests can enjoy a spa treatment at The Oberoi Spa, unwind by the two heated outdoor swimming pools, burn calories at the fitness centre, practice yoga, borrow movie and audio CDs, learn a Rajasthani Folk Dance, attend a cooking session with the in-house chef or relax in wooden boat ride with wine and canapé.
Hotel Website: The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
Featured image by The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
If you think that I have missed any of the hotels present in India that you think should be included in the list, let me know in the comments section below.