Hotels reviews are everywhere. Everyone has an opinion--did I just say that? Here is a different spin on what are considered India's top five hotels.
Amanresorts Amanbagh, Alwar
Forbes has placed this hotel on its top 10 list. What makes this hotel so noticeable is the fact that, according to Forbes, you might not find a "more tranquil spot than this soft-sandstone hotel surrounded by graceful palms, fragrant eucalyptus and frangipani trees and manicured jade green lawns."
I, think you should consider staying here knowing your room is standing on the remains of a hunting lodge owned by the Maharajah of Alwar who ruled during the Moghal period. What was so unique about his hunting lodge is the exquisite pleasure garden he created. Pleasure gardens, for those who had money, were created to be the epitome of grace, style, and beauty. While this garden may well have been created for the hunt, it does lend thoughts as to what he was hunting--women perhaps, as he did own a harem. What kind of naughty was played out under your room? Shooting for a tiger or shooting for the stars?
The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower
When a hotel is rated five stars, you don't always know if it really is until you have stayed there. When the Beatles, Jackie Onassis, The Obama's, Oprak Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Mick Jagger, and other famous icons have stayed here, you know they must have a great staff when famous person after famous person is giving this hotel thumbs up.
However, you might want to consider staying here just for the historical significance. This hotel was built in 1903 because Bombay has a rich and colorful history, and the editor of The Times of India thought it should have a hotel to match the city's splendor. Just as the Titanic rocked the ship building industry, so did this hotel rock their industry. This was India's first hotel to have a steam elevator, butlers, American fans, and Turkish baths. Since its opening, this hotel has offered nothing but the best ever since. Whether you are wondering if you are walking the very same path as Angelina Jolie or drinking in the very spot Mick Jagger sat, you will always know that wherever your footsteps take you in this building, you are walking in history.
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
We have the Kama Sutra to thank for its section on love, and we have the Maharana Jagat Singh II to thank for disobeying his father and building his own palace, Jag Niwas. Yes, one of India's young princes became enslaved to the ladies of the harem or Zenana. By royal right, these ladies belonged to Jagat's father, and when he was discovered sampling their wares, he decided to finally build his own palace, with his own ladies of the bedroom.
This fine palace is now a very romantic hotel, and out in the middle of the lake, what more can a couple ask for--the Kama Sutra?
Devi Garh Hotel
This palace was built as a basic living area, but when the Maharani of Udaipur was coming to visit, the palace took on a whole new look worthy of entertaining a royal person. It was not until 1984 that the property was purchased and seriously renovated. Fifteen years, and 750 construction people later, the hotel is now considered one of India's best designed hotel and boasts five star accomdations.
Money was used to bring about a superior make-over, but the love of history and architecture saved this palace.
You can find these, and a whole list of Heritage Hotels on the Heritage Hotels website.
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