India has its fair share of luxury hotels and resorts however do they really provide a luxurious stay or its all just hype and marketing gimmick? In this review series by ReviewItIndia.com, our team of editors hop on the journey to stay in luxury hotels and resorts all over the India to tell you the real truth behind them. This is a curated list of personal (fully paid from our own funds & not sponsored) luxury stays experiences in India which will keep on growing as we cover more and more properties across India to bring you the real story behind them so do bookmark this page. If there is any luxury hotel or resort which you would like our team to visit and review or if you have any feedback related to our review series, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.
Click on the hotel/resort name below to read the detailed review of the property if the review is not below the name.
The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
Set up in breathtaking landscape beside lake “Pichola”, this Oberoi property is made up of fairytales, experiences which you can never forget. We were promptly picked up from Udaipur airport and driven to the other side of lake from where their in house boat was ready to take us across the lake to the property whereas our luggage came by car from the other side by road. Upon arrival at property, we were given a traditional welcome with tikka and mala. We selected the premier room with semi private pool access and enjoyed a lot. From food to each staff to all the on site and off site experiences, everything was done without hassle. All in all, we had a great stay and can expect them to provide the same to everyone.
Taj Bangalore (Airport)
Situated just outside of the Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru, this Taj property saves you from the hectic traffic of the city and relax luxuriously just outside the airport itself. While the rooms are just OK and food is too, you get complete silence proof rooms to sleep. We were driven from airport to hotel in just a minute by their in house vehicle and were quickly checked in to our airport view room. We had dinner in one of the in house restaurants, ambience was OK so was the food. We slept a good night sleep and then checked out quickly before they drove us to airport again under a minute 🙂 Overall, it was a nice transit stay near one of the busiest airports of India.
Taj Bekal Resort & Spa, Kerala
Situated at around 2 hours of drive from Mangalore airport, the location of this Taj beachside property is a hidden gem. We were picked up by their in house vehicle and driver from the airport promptly and then driven to the property. The driver was one the nicest we have got in our trips so far in India. We were travelling with a toddler and he anticipated all her needs without us telling him to stop here and there for rest and refreshments. When we arrived the property, we were given a warm welcome by everyone at front office. Check in was done quickly and we were taken to our private pool villa which was good though was not maintained properly including the pool. Upon complain, they tried to clean everything but maybe due to the location and less footfall, it was not easy to maintain. We enjoyed the location, beach, food and our interaction with staff very much. Our private dining set up was good too. One of the few hotels where we felt like family members when every staff waved goodbye to us during checkout. If you are looking for a nice peaceful family holiday in Kerala, this is the place to be.
Taj Malabar Resort & Spa, Cochin
This Taj property is situated at the Malabar coast of India in Kerala and while at the property, just sitting in your room, watching from your window all types of ships coming and going from the port is definitely an experience that takes you back to colonial era. So we were picked up from Kochi airport by the in house car and driver of hotel who was courteous enough to explain about the city en-route to the hotel. Upon arrival at the property, we were greeted by the GM and checked in quickly to our sea view room. We then went for city tour and bought local sarees and ornaments which you can only find here. Thereafter we had a lovely candle light dinner on the deck, gazing at the backwaters and ships. Next morning, we had breakfast on Yacht which took us near the port and ships along the backwaters. It was an experience which we will never forget. Staff was good, food was good and the next day speed boat transfer to Taj Kumarakom was an adventure in itself. It was a great stay overall, nothing to complain at all.
Taj Kumarakom Resort & Spa, Kerala
So we were transferred from Taj Malabar Cochin to Taj Kumarakom by a speed boat which took us around 40 minutes whereas by road, it would have taken us double the time so for the thrill of it, we opted for speed boat transfer. And it was an amazing experience, going by the route residents still take by the ferry boats and experiencing the life alongside backwaters. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a traditional welcome and coconut water. The check in formalities were quickly completed and we were taken to our villa which had private pool inside. While rustic and a bit too old for our liking, the villa was good enough for a relaxing stay though lighting could be improved. The pool was good too though could be more cleaner. We had a private candle light dinner with a local dance performance and it was great. However the food was standard and could be better including the south Indian delicacies. The staff was not interested in making our stay better except a couple of them at restaurant and house keeping. We checked out and were transferred by their in house vehicle and driver to the airport. And then we got the shock. We received a message that said they messed up during billing at checkout and did not charge us approx Rs.600 for a food order even though we paid over 50,000 for 2 days stay. They said they will charge the associate in error if we did not pay up (LOL can you imagine) so we paid online to their bank account this amount and this remains the only instance in our life so far where a hotel followed us for any amount post checkout and threatened recovering that money from their own employee. All in all, this hotel can be avoided as there are better alternatives nearby.
The Oberoi, Bengaluru
Situated in the middle of a hectic Bengaluru city, this property gives you the calm you will need after navigating through the mad traffic of the city. We were picked up by the in house vehicle and driver of the hotel from airport and spent a good amount of time in traffic jams on roads and finally arrived at the hotel after feeling exhausted but as soon as we entered the hotel, the refreshing sight of a century old raintree in compounds of the hotel coupled with the calmness of the welcoming staff made us feel at home right away. The suite was modern with iPad control, the food was great and staff did everything we asked them for but just that. Staff unlike other superior Oberoi properties we stayed in, was happy in doing what we asked but not trying to do something from their end which makes the stay more luxurious but overall it was a good stay at heart of Bengaluru city.
Ri Kynjai – Serenity By The Lake
Situated a bit far from Shillong city (before reaching it from Assam side) alongside the beautiful and breathtaking Umiam lake, the view is all that you will get here. We opted for the highest category of rooms they have which is “Lake View Cottage” and view was awesome. But other than that, it’s not worth the price we paid. No proper cleanliness, bugs in the room and room too cold to sleep in winter. Food was average too. Staff was OK. Overall, if you wish to stay for view then you can but other than that, there is nothing much to experience here.
The Oberoi Sukhvilas Spa Resort, New Chandigarh
The newest addition in the Oberoi properties in India, this luxury property is situated at the outskirts of Chandigarh. This property has the best of all Oberoi properties in India and even more modern facilities including temperature controlled automatic WC in the bathroom! What else you need when its so much cold during winters in north India. The tent style cottages with and without private heated pools along with impeccable food and good service makes you feel like king. A nice Oberoi property to relax and unwind from your hectic schedule when you are in and around Chandigarh.
Jiva Resort Cherrapunjee
Due to the lack of luxury properties in Cherrapunjee, we selected the one which looked closest to those standards. And while staff, food and Internet can surely be improved, the location was breathtaking on a cliff with clouds hovering alongside you outside the window. And our suite had a huge king size bathtub, overlooking the mountains and clouds out of the glass window. This was the only luxury we felt over there, other than the location, you can opt for another property too.
Taj Ganges, Varanasi
Old rooms, staff who does not care, food is just OK and AC and Internet just works. It’s hardly a star hotel but it’s in a good location of Varanasi and get bookings due to the Taj brand. It could be an option for a overnight business stay but for a staycation, there are many options in Varanasi that’s worth the money.
Radisson Blu Hotel Indore
Nice hotel in the cleanest city of India. When we arrived, we were quickly taken to our suite where the check-in formalities were done. The suite had nice city view and was on the top floor. Overall, the staff was courteous, food was good, location was perfect and sleep quality was good too.
The Leela Palace Chennai – Seaside Modern Palace Hotel
A royal stay in a seaside palace! What more you could ask for a dreamy vacation. We were promptly picked up from Chennai airport and driven in a luxurious car to the property where we were given traditional welcome (they can arrange more grand welcome for an extra cost). We were quickly escorted to our sea facing suite, decorated with not only flowers and balloons but with frames of our pictures around the suite. It was a surprising experience on a quick stay.
Diphlu River Lodge
Ever since we heard the Royals of UK go here, we always wanted to visit and review this. We had the opportunity of doing that in winters. Booking was handled by their head office and the transfers were promptly arranged by them too. We booked 3 days and on arrival, we felt a bit letdown with the river facing cottage because it was not what we expected for the huge price they charge even considering they are operational only half an year. There could be more cleanliness and a room service at least because if you stay for 3 days, you may not want to go to dining area every time of the day. But having said that, we loved the food, so fresh with local ingredients, I rarely eat 3 times a day but here I did not miss a meal. Kudos to the team on that. And then after dinner, there is a guard who shows you torchlight and escorts you to your cottage even though the beautiful light of stars are more than enough. Nature wise, you cannot find a place better than this though if you are paying so much you expect few things: courteous front desk, smiling welcome and checkout, a better Safari vehicle and maybe, just maybe a wi-fi if possible. Overall a good stay but I believe everyone will find it a bit less value for money and the effort it takes to reach here.
The Leela Kovalam, a Raviz Hotel
Beautiful setting, good rooms, great sea view and then it stops there. If you compare this with any other Leela hotel, you will be disappointed. Check in takes time, staff aren’t that happy to serve you and it just feels like a city hotel. We checked out in one day instead of two and stayed at the nearby Taj property.
Taj Green Cove Resort & Spa, Kovalam
After been disappointed with the Leela hotel above, we wanted to have a rest of good holiday time here and hence booked the presidential villa with pool and it truly was luxurious! Staff was awesome, food was super and everyone seem to care a lot for their guests happiness. So when in Kovalam, stay in Taj.
Taj Corbett Resort & Spa, Uttarakhand
A complete disappointment though we were very excited to go here when it started. You will have better safari and stay experience in normal jungle lodges here than this. While some staff do try to make your experience better, it feels like a corporate city hotel experience. Not worth the money they charge.
Taj Swarna, Amritsar
We stayed here when it was newly launched. It is grand and we had the best SPA experiences in India here, even better than the Oberoi’s famed spas. Food could have been more local and better but other than that, we had a good stay in Taj Swarna Amritsar.
Lemon Tree Hotel, Dehradun
Situated inside Pacific mall Dehradun, this hotel is a good choice for Dehradun city stay. You get to visit the mall anytime and their typical lemon smell throughout the hotel corridors will make you fall in love with the surroundings 🙂 Food and breakfast experience could have been better and despite few hiccups in room, the GM was more than willing to take our feedback and do the things as necessary.
A bit too old for our liking but you get the royal feeling when you stay at Taj Bengal. Staff was OK OK but food was great and location is good too. But with other luxury options in Bengal, we will surely opt for them instead of Taj Bengal.
Renaissance Lucknow Hotel
A good looking hotel nearby Taj Mahal Lucknow (the Taj Hotel) and you get a different feeling by staying at the top most floor suite which they reserved for us, the good things end there. Staff are just OK and do not ask for your feedback even once during stay, let alone at the time of checkout. It feels more of a metro city no feeling robot kind of hotel. There are better options in Lucknow.
Fairfield by Marriott Lucknow
While four star, this is better than the five star hotels available in Lucknow so luxury travelers can select this. Staff care for you, listens to your feedback and do the changes instantly. Food is awesome, room is OK and price is very reasonable for the value you get so we liked this stay better than Renaissance.
Guwahati was in search for a good luxury hotel when Taj opened Vivanta here. We went to see the location and service plus experience 2 days stay. Booking process was smooth and the hotel management responded to our queries well in time. They arranged for airport pick up and picked up promptly on arrival even though we were delayed. Check in was good and our suite was well lit, decorated and spacious. We had hill view suite (or whatever view is left of it). Hotel arranged for local sightseeing, romantic dinner and provided great care and service to us. We also went for swimming in the big pool which is great too. Overall, a very nice and luxury stay experience in Guwahati.
Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi
An iconic building in the hands of Taj at an iconic place, you expect royalty, right? We did too when we booked to celebrate our anniversary here. They offered BMW airport pick up only so we booked expecting more royalty. But nothing was royalty. Upon arrival, we got out of the car, pushed the gate and went inside. No welcome, no drinks and not hot towels. Nothing. Robotic check in, old room and a sorry card later, nobody except the F&B manager wished us happy anniversary. To add icing to the cake, we were promised a free breakfast next morning but was charged for it (which was removed when we confronted the duty manager). Such a disappointing experience, go at your own risk.
The Gateway Resort Damdama Lake Gurgaon
Good place way from hustles and bustles of Gurugram. Nice rooms, OK staff and good food. You can plan a couple of days get away close to Gurugram here. Nothing extraordinary and luxurious but OK enough for 2 days relaxation in their large premises consisting of park, play area and romantic dinner outings.
Taj City Centre Gurugram
Another robotic city hotel. Our suite was nice though but the service left us disappointed. No welcome, no wishing and nobody to drop us to airport till last moment even though they knew we needed airport drop. Casual, taken for granted behavior of staff knowing that being a central city hotel, they will get clients regardless of the service. Can be avoided.
Strategically located, nice looking resort in the city of Bhubaneswar. But the good things end there. Staff is lacking the training, the hotels though rustic, also feels too old. Need improvement in rooms as well as more training to staff to make it a good luxury experience.