Luxury Stays In India (Personal Experiences By CEO & Editors) – Part 3

Note: This is the third part of ReviewItIndia.com series “Luxury Stays In India”.

Whenever we Indians think of a lavish and luxury holiday, we think of places outside of India. But India is full of surprises. Why to go abroad when you can find what you are looking for in our own country? Our CEO has taken upon himself to go and find such places in India with our editors. In this ever growing list of such places, the count has reached 50 plus (in 3 parts of this series so far)!

So many places in India itself where you can enjoy a luxury holiday. However there is a twist. Touted as a luxury holiday destination, many of these places do not meet the criteria of a luxury stay due to the lack of efficient service and various other factors. So here you will learn only the truth about the luxury stays in India. No hype, no selling and no partnerships, we are spending our own money to explore these places to bring out the real truth for you. Its not curated from the web, these experiences are personal experiences.

The first & second part of this series covered 20 + 20 = 40 luxury stays in India. Here are more for you, exposing the big names and real truth behind them so you as an Indian consumer can make better choices.

 

41.The Taj Mahal Hotel New Delhi

With iconic brand of five star hotel in iconic place of India and in an iconic building, you expect a regal stay. We had huge expectations from this property and we were almost ready to give it top spot in our list for luxury stays in India even before experiencing it as the brand Taj with a palace in its management in a central Delhi location cannot go wrong, right? But the shock started as soon as we entered. First of all, no one, absolutely no one was there to open gates for us. We pushed it and went inside with no one to guide us to the reception. All this when we had them arrange the airport pick up in a luxury car for 5 times the price we could have got with a cab or outside travel agency. So they knew we were coming but no one was there to even open gates for us. We saw few desks a bit way when we went inside and then went there for check in formalities. The check in was quick however it was not a very warm welcome for which the duty manager did send a sorry message in the evening with pastry and a rose flower but the mood was set. We went out and in and out and in and every time the experience was same, no body bothered. The saving grace was the gracious F&B manager who was the only one trying to make our stay good. Even though they knew we were staying during a special occasion, nobody apart from the F&B manager greeted us. When we ordered in room dining late at night, he came with the candle light set up and complimentary deserts to make it a night to remember for us. Apart from him, everything else was not of any standard let alone the Taj standard were expecting. And then in morning when we went for the breakfast and wanted to ask the restaurant manager something, he was busy talking to someone else and asked us to wait outside of the restaurant! Can you believe this? He later apologized but the damage was done. The worst luxury experience you could get would be in this hotel. Highly recommended to avoid unless you have no other option.

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42.The Gateway Resort Damdama Lake Gurgaon

Situated at an hour drive from the main Gurgaon, this is a place situated away from the hustle and bustle of NCR region and one can go here to experience a bit of peace away from the daily hectic life of the urban area. The staff were good, the facilities were OK and the food was great. However apart from the property nothing else to do around it (the famous Damdama lake is not maintained well and is not a place to go and relax). Overall a relaxing stay for a day or two for luxury travelers in NCR.

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43.Taj City Centre Gurugram

A complete business hotel in a crowded city where no one actually cares for you. We went there expecting a great and calm stay amid the chaotic traffic and city of Gurugram only to find that its a property good only for business stays and meetings. If you expect a luxury stay with service, it would be too much. The check in was quick and the suite had a good view of the city from the bathtub. The food was good and the F&B people tried to serve us well. Nobody cared to ask for our feedback during stay or checkout and the worst part was that we had asked them to arrange a car for airport transfer but when we arrived at the gate with our luggage nothing was there. We went to travel desk who did arrange something for us ultimately before we missed our flight but he was not ready to listen to our feedback about this. For the first time, a Taj employee just left us with our car without listening to what were complaining about. This ruined the mood and the whole experience. Definitely not recommending this property for luxury travelers. But if you have a business commitment in the city and looking for a place good enough for meetings, a quick nap and good food, this could be the option.

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44.MAYFAIR Lagoon Bhubaneswar

Situated in the posh locality of Bhubaneswar city, this property is an experience in itself. The rooms are on ground and first floor situated among lush greenery and a lagoon in between. There is also a temple on site. The staff is quick and try their best but some lack the training in maintaining the high standards for a five star experience. Rooms are OK but could be a lot better for the price they charge. Overall a nice option for luxury travelers for a quick stay in the city.

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45.MAYFAIR Spa Resort & Casino, Gangtok

Labeled as the only luxury hotel in Gangtok, this place by the looks and location can challenge the best luxury resorts of India but the service is not anywhere close. The check in takes time, the room service or house keeping won’t come until you remind them by phone few times, the rooms are not centrally heated and one can feel the chill inside, the staff at restaurant takes no interest in serving you and no one except one or two people care to know to about your feedback. May be we visited at a wrong time but if you are paying so much for luxury, you expect a luxury stay. Definitely not worth the money they charge.

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46.MAYFAIR Himalayan Spa Resort Kalimpong

Giving good views of hills from the hill town of Kalimpong in West Bengal, this property looks aged. The rooms are nothing to write much about except the views from some rooms in sections of the property facing the hills. Again in this Mayfair property as well, there is no central heating and the heater they provide is not enough in winters. The bathroom can make you ill with cold. The food was not up to mark for a five star hotel and the staff while trying their best could be trained better. The welcome was great and so was the timely arrangements for pick up and drop. Overall a disappointing experience for luxury travelers.

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47.Mayfair Waves Puri

Situated just on the sea beach of Puri, this Mayfair property is opposite of its sister property Mayfair Heritage. The rooms are modern as compared to the sister property cottages and some provide a great sea view from the balcony. The staff listens to you and try to make your stay good but in terms of overall comfort of stay and luxury rating, they fall behind. The main culprit is the restaurant where nobody even care to serve you water let alone the food items you request. A disappointing F&B experience would be the main reason for not recommending this property for luxury travelers.

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48.The Tree of Life Resort & Spa Jaipur

Around one hour drive away from the pink city of Jaipur in Kukas, you get this hidden gem. When you compare this to the big luxury chains of hotels, you will definitely find shortcomings but if you look at this property with fresh mind, everything works well for a luxury traveler. There was a delay in getting us our pool villa so we were offered to take lunch and also later another villa to freshen up. Thereafter when we entered our pool villa, we were pleasantly surprised by the awesome decoration to welcome us for celebrating our special occasion in the property. The villa was very spacious including the bathroom but the pool in the backyard was even more good. We had a great time in there. And then they offered complimentary foot massage to us in our own villa which was great too. The special private dining arrangements they made around the main pool and the next night in our backyard were great experiences with good food. Overall we can recommend this for luxury travelers if you are only looking for peaceful stay away from the main pink city.

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49.The Rangers Reserve Corbett

Situated around forest area inside a secluded spot, this place is hard to reach but when you do, you will feel like standing amidst nature with a luxury home of yours. The rooms are comfortable with everything required for a good stay. The staff is courteous (though could be more professional) and food is really good even though expensive but that is acceptable at such a remote place. Please keep in mind there are no mobile networks available here and hence you are totally cut off from the outside world except the television and landline phones. If you wish to enjoy a peaceful jungle stay in the lap of nature without outside world disturbances, this is definitely the place to be. Overall a good option for luxury travelers in Corbetter area.

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50.Clarkes Hotel Shimla

Located just around the mall road of Shimla, this luxury hotel of the old era makes you feel royal with its room and suites along with the old world ambiance and charm which is still maintained in this hotel. The view of the city from your room is good and you can always visit the mall road anytime without worrying for traffic or anything else. No matter what the temperature outside, you will not feel cold inside your cozy room or suite. The food is great, staff is good and the overall stay would be good if your main purpose is to visit the hill city of Shimla. Recommended for luxury travelers for Shimla city.

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51. Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Mysore

One of the 2 options for luxury travelers in city of Mysore, this Radisson property is good for a quick stay. While service levels left much to be desired at all fronts (F&B, Front Office, Travel Desk, Room Service), it was still value for money stay if you manage to get a good deal. We cancelled our second stay here because we expected much better as an option for luxury travelers.

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52. Evolve Back, Coorg (Previously Orange County Coorg)

Coorg is a beautiful hill station in south India in Karnataka. Its beauty is enhanced when complimented with a luxury stay. Having previously experienced Taj property in Coorg, this time we decided to spend our time at another famous for luxury traveler property known as Evolve Back, Coorg. The trip was planned in detail with the coordinator from their Bangalore office and even then, the associate taking care of us in the property itself did not know much about our schedule until I asked to talk to their Bangalore office and get things arranged. Beautiful property, good private heated pool in front of our cottage, great room service and house keeping but something felt amiss. May be no warm welcome at arrival or hectic checkout was the reason but for the price you are paying, you certainly expect better standards. So when in Coorg, the Taj would win the race for luxury travelers.

Have you traveled to Coorg and stayed at this property? If so, your fellow Indians would appreciate your review on ReviewItIindia.com where you also get a chance to make money with your reviews and win various rewards.

53. Evolve Back, Kabini

Situated on the banks of river Kabini, this resort is one of the luxury stays option in Kabini. Better welcome, better facilities and better staff as compared to their Coorg property. They have lots of experiences for travelers although most are chargeable if you wish to enjoy it at your own pace. Then they also take you to the boat and canter safari in the nearby tiger reserve and national park. They manage to get their own guide in however vehicle or boat is shared with the tourists of the other resorts. This is a government setting s they cannot do anything about it. Food could have been better. The private heated pool here was amazing too. Its not a value for money neither a resort where you will feel like a king but it does enough to be an option for luxury travelers in Kabini.

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Stay tuned as we continue in our search for luxury stays in India. More properties to be added real soon exposing the real truth. In the meantime do let us know what you think of these options and post a review on ReviewItIndia.com to help others and also make money for life.

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