India as a fast developing country has grown well in the hospitality sector, thanks to the ever increasing tourist affairs and the country’s wonderful attractions. With the advent of the commercialization in the country, there was great conversion of the royal palaces, forts, havelis, and holiday homes into hotels and resorts. With time these hotels and resorts saw transformation and to keep ahead of competition were modernized to a good extent keeping in mind the comfort and ease of the guests yet keeping its glory and heritage essence intact. Here are some handpicked heritage hotels in India which are real retreats and are quiet popular among tourists:
- Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur: this grand marble monument set amidst the pristine waters of the Pichola Lake is majestic. The hotel is placed in an 18th century palace in Udaipur Rajasthan and is a real architectural gem. As legendary is the palace, the background of the Aravalli ranges increases the impact of serenity and charm which is beyond words. One of the top ranking heritage hotels in India, the Taj Lake Palace offers rooms with lake and palace views. Addressing class and tradition, there are 66 rooms that are splendidly royal. The palace also offers special venues for meetings, conferences and corporate events. Among other attractions of the palace are vintage car drive and cruises and Jiva Spa Boat.
- Chapslee, Shimla: set in the Queen of Hills, Shimla, this heritage hotel was once the abode of Raja Charanjit Singh of Kapurthala. One great feature is that it is located in Shimla the other half credit is taken by its incredible architecture accompanied by Mughal ceramics, beautiful Afgan carpets and of course the fabulous interiors and the royal furniture. The building was opened for guests in the year 1976 and has royal suites, deluxe and standard suites. There is a restaurant, a tennis lawn and a library which are other highlighting aspects of the place.
- The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai: a brand in itself, the Taj Mahal Palace over the years since its inception has served many great personalities across the globe and has given a new face to the Indian hospitality sector. A landmark to the city of Mumbai, there are over 500 rooms put under 6 categories and 44 suites. Any luxury facilities that you can think of are available in the Taj. It offers business center, lounge, spa, fitness center and salon. What’s even more amazing is that you can shop here at the outlets offering items from leading brands across the globe.
- Taj Rambagh Hotel, Jaipur: awarded the ‘Best Hotel in the World’ by Conde Nast Traveller in the year 2009, the Taj Rambagh Hotel of Jaipur is owned by the Taj group. Should you want a taste of refined class and sophistication with splendid architecture and interior, this is the place to be. This spectacular palace houses 79 rooms classified under different heads such as Historical, Luxury & Palace Rooms, Royal Suites, Grand Royal and Grand Presidential Suites. A real royal experience where each rooms is elegantly decorated and the interiors are simply splendid. Great traditional thalis are an extra height to this place and the hotel also offers facilities such as outdoor swimming pool, golf course, spa and a gym.
- Prospect Hotel, Panchgani: well not a palace or fort, but the Prospect Hotel in Pachgani Maharashtra is one of the best awarded heritage hotels of the country. Considered to be the first hotel in Panchgani, this place was built in the year 1912. A great place for a weary traveler and amazing family vacation spot, this hotel boasts scenic view of nature and the great food you can find. There are 26 rooms in total which are again categorized under different heads like Oakwood Cottage, Sunset Cottage, Woodside Cottage, Poolside Cottage and the King’s Cottage. Amazingly there are 5 deluxe tents and all the rooms and tents are equipped with modern facilities. If you are one of those chasing adventures, the hotel also arranges fun activities like mountain climbing, trekking and cycling.
- Niraamaya Retreats, Kovalam: drunk into the lush greenery overlooking the Arabian Sea, the Niramaaya Retreat in Kovalam, Kerala is one of the best heritage cottages in the country. What you’ll find here is effortless charm alluring you into a retreat you’d rejoice for long. Set in the mould of a perfect Keralian traditional outlook, this place has excellent architecture and splendid interiors with hospitality to fall in love with. Presently there are 31 rooms in classified under Heritage Classic, Heritage Premium, Rock Garden, The Octagon and the Banyan Tree Bunglow. A perfect fusion of class and modernity, there are two restaurants and an in house bar with a catchy name ‘Madira’. Well you got to be here to enjoy the panoramic view amidst the coconut haven.
- The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata: located in the cultural city of Kolkata, the Oberoi Grand is a classic British building with a very refined taste of class and modern interior. This place has been an epitome of class and sophistication and has been a favorite among the well to do class since ages. The hotel is the winner of the Top Hotels in India prize, the Best Business Hotel in Asia and also the Best Hotel in the Five Star Deluxe Category in West Bengal. The building dates back to 1800 and offers 8 different categories of rooms including deluxe rooms and suites, luxury rooms and suites, classic suites, premier rooms with balcony are some of the offerings you’d love to book. As it may please, you can sit by the open pool side, or go get some spa and massage therapy, this place is just the one perfect for relaxing.
- The Imperial Hotel, New Delhi: one of the top 5 star hotels in Delhi, the Imperial Hotel was built in the year 1931 and is the recipient of the Top City Hotels in Asia award. If you love colonial era ambiance and architecture than this place should adorn your bucket list. Ever since its establishment, The Imperial has become an epitome of hospitality and has been serving highly revered guests since then. The hotel houses 235 guest rooms and 42 suites under several categories like the Imperial Room, Heritage and Grand Heritage Room, Heritage Suite, Deco Room and some more of the alluring categories. There is a conference room, a spa room and a royal ballroom that features the elegance of the hotel. There are 6 restaurants, 2 bars and 1 bakery completing almost every need of the guest.
Probably you can’t be a king or a queen now but can surely enjoy the elegance of the majesty in these beautiful and highly desirable heritage hotels in India. Which do you choose to visit next time?