India is peppered with hotels from world-renowned premium groups like Taj, Oberoi and Marriott that offer fantastic hospitality. In 2018, readers of Travel+Leisure magazine voted the Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra—a property with amazing views of the splendid Taj Mahal—as their most favourite hotel in India. Additionally, the hotel group is ranked at no. 4 on the magazine’s list of best hotel brands from around the world. Other properties belonging to the group are just as grandiose. Some of them include the Oberoi Bengaluru, Oberoi Sukhvilas, Oberoi Mumbai, Oberoi Grand Kolkata, Oberoi Rajvilas, Oberoi Udaivilas, and Oberoi Vanyavilas. The HRH Group of Hotels are also worthy of mention as it is India’s largest chain of privately-owned heritage hotels: their properties are some of the most fantastic lake-front hotels in Udaipur like the Shiv Niwas Palace and the Fateh Prakash Palace. While these are homegrown brands, almost every international luxury hotel chain has set up a property in India. This should give lovers of luxe-living an inkling of what to expect from a five-star stay in the country.  

Metro cities have grand properties too for business travellers who want a rejuvenating stay in between work meetings. These include the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and ITC Grand Central in Mumbai, the Ashok Hotel in New Delhi, The ITC Grand Bharat in Gurgaon, the ITC Grand Chola in Chennai, and the Leela Palace Bengaluru.  

Owing to its rich royal legacy, India is also home to many palace hotels: these are old palace estates that have been restored and converted to gorgeous hotels. Some examples include the Raj Palace and the Mundota Fort and Palace in Jaipur, Gorbandh Palace in Jaisalmer, Ratan Vilas and Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, Brijrama Palace in Varanasi, Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad, and Samode Palace in Jaipur. For those looking for an exotic escape by the waterfront, the luxe hotels of Goa like the beachside Taj Exotica and sprawling properties near the backwaters of Kerala like the Kumarakom Lake Resort are unmissable. The Oberoi Motor Vessel Vrinda is also a great way to explore Kerala’s backwaters. For mountainous magic, the Wildflower Hall in Shimla and the Oberoi Cecil Shimla are top-notch abodes.