Best Resorts in India 2013
List is solely made by me, but trust me, you would find it very genuine, and helpful.
I have also considered cost of stay and value for money for making the list, but the cost i checked in 2012-2013. And they wont be relevant after some time. But they can give some idea. But most important is Hotel will remain at same place and amenities will only improve with time. They are simply best not only because of 5 star but also because of their perfect location and surroundings. So they will be worth visiting and staying for coming many decades.
Some of the pictures I have captured, but mostly I copied form Hotel website, since i wanted to place the best picture so i found good to post the picture form hotel website.
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
A resort or palace within lake is amazing. It has got very nice surrounding, a lake. They offer some small cruise also, like sunset cruise, spa boat and a costly one. A very dining experience over lake. And a very nice pond inside the palace.
Room Rates - start from 350 USD per night,
Location - Udaipur is excellent. Its a city of Forts and lakes. And there are many places nearby for a day journey.
Activities - Cultural, Udaipur City tour, cruise, spa, fitness, shopping, vintage car drive, animal excursions, etc.
The Oberoi (UdaiVillas), Udaipur -
They got most swimming pool, very beautiful location, lake side.
Room rates start from 350 USD p.n. Location is Udaipur, and acyivities are similar to Taj Palace.
The Leela Palace, Udaipur -
Another very beautiful palace resort in Udaipur. A lake side palace resort.
Room Rates - Start from 330 USD p.n., and they might advance purchase 10% discount.
Location is again Udaipur, and activities similar to Taj Palace, Udaipur.
The Oberoi (RajVillas), Jaipur -
Another amaziing resort from Oberoi's in Jaipur.
Jaipur and Udaipur are in the same state of India, Rajasthan. A 32 acre countryside land full of gardens, pool, and fountains.
Room rates - 350 USD p.n. onwards
Activities - Tennis court, spa, yoga, fitness, city tours, etc.
Location - Jaipur is called pink city, its famous city with lot of forts. Also capital of Rajasthan, got lot of monuments.
The Oberoi VanyaVillas, Ranthambore National park, Rajasthan
Ranthambore is in rajasthan. This luxury Jungle resort is located on the edge of Ranthambore National forest, famous for Tigers, leopards, and many more. It is 130 km from Jaipur, an ancient city famous for forts. The resort has got luxury tents. And they arrange for jungle safari.
Rates - 850 USD p.n.
Activities - Spa, fitness, jungle safari.
Location - Not much to see within Ranthambore, except the Jungle, Valley, a fort. Well, Ranthambore is not far from Agra and Jaipur.
Aman-i-Khás, Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan -
A camp of ten tents, on the edge of Ranthambore National park, not far from jaipur, an alternate option to Oberoi's Vanyavillas in Ranthambore. camp is surrounded by arravalli hills. Not much activities inside the resort, but big national forest to explore. They have packages like aman india( 6 night, which indludes stay in aman, delhi and amanbagh and aman-i-khas and costing 4750USD) and aman rajasthan( 6 night, which includes 3 nights in amanbagh and 3 nights in aman-i-khas and starting from 6375 USD)
Big problem here is availability, I never found them available
Oberoi Amarvillas, Agra
A luxury hotel in agra offering private view of greatest monument of live and one of seven wonders Taj Mahal, with rooms starting at 420 USD p.n.
Umaid BHavan Palace, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
And I am waiting for
W, Goa to open.
Second Best resorts in India - 2012
This is list of some really very good resorts in India. I have also included some hotels, which are at a very best location.
The list also includes some very luxury hotels with all amenities.
Jammu and Kashmir -
Vivanta By Taj, Dal View, Srinagar-
Located on hill, 6 acer campus overlooking Dal lake and golf course. March is good time to visit Srinagar, and rates for hotel starts at 240 USD p. n. if booked a lot in advance, and probably like 270 USD p. n. is booked few months in advance. Not much activities in resort apart from excursions, fitness, and spa.
If you dont find reservation here, OR you are looking for something more affordable OR something exactly on bank of dal lak, check this - http://www.centaurhotelsrinagar.com/
IF you dont know, then there are house boats also available in Dal Lake, they are really good and really affordable. They are above Dal lake. Gurkha House boats(http://www.welcomheritagehotels.com/hotel/gurkha-houseboats-srinagar) are famous. Rates are also cheap for Suite they charge 180 USD per night, and they have cheaper rooms also.
If you are visiting Sonmarg, then place to stay can be - http://rah-villas-kashmir.com/
Himanchal Pradesh -
Span Resort, Manali
An isolated beautiful resort on rocky bank of river. Generally I prefer rooms to be river facing or sea facing when they are on ground floor, and no floor above it. I also like top floor rooms which offer a nice view of hills and lakes. I like resorts which offer cottages, and this resort offers river view cottages. I like the Elite rooms here, which have private sitout, they are river facing, and one can enjoy sunset. The resort offers lot of activities like indoor games and out door games like badminton, tennis, minigolf, etc. apart from cycling, fishing, rafting, paraglading, skiing, etc. Several types of rooms, but they dont differ much in price, costliest one is premier big room with private garden and river facing, rates for primier are 260 USD p.n.
Moksha Himalayan Resort, Parwanoo
A luxury resort with 62 suites located in Mountains offering spa, infinity pool, yoga, meditation, outdoor jacuzzi, massage and hair saloon, sauna, library, fitness, cable car, and shopping.
Windflower hall, shimla
A luxury resort in Himalays. Private spa suites, outdoor jacuzzi, surrounded by forest. Enjoy trekking, mountain biking, archery, rafting, golf and in winters ice skating. A magnificent resort by Oberoi's.
Room rates start from 500 USD p.n.
Tree of Life resort & spa, Jaipur -
Another luxury, amazing resort in Jaipur. A resort in true sense. 14 luxury villas surrounded by arravali hills, and truly rajasthani architecture. Nice pool, spa, gym, bar, library, city view, evening performances, 100 statues of Ganesha, elephant tour, city tour, ngo & school tour, village tour on vintage jeep, etc. Check with them regarding room rates.
Private Villa with pool.
Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa, Goa
45 acre resort on beach, and nice architecture. Resort has got lot of activities like spa, fitness, yoga, bicycle resort tour, cooking, beach, city tour(monuments, villages, church, temple, etc.), and night life. Room rates in off season(June, sep.) start from 100 USD p.n., and 200 USD in season(feb, march, etc.). Resort has got many dinning options. Resort has got Park View, Pool View, Sea View rooms, and villas/suites. I would rpefer Sea View Room, which starts from 250 USD p.n. in peak season, excluding(Dec. last to Jan start).
Taj Exotica, Goa
5 star resort overlooking arabian sea. 56 acre sea shore, garden resort. Plenty of activities like spa, fitness, beach, beach sports, cricket pitch, golf, workshops, tennis, archery, city tour, bird sanctuary, plantation, etc.
room rates in off season start from 150 USD p.n., and for my fav. Sea View Villa room is 250 USD p.n.
In March rates start from 200 USD, and for Sea View Villa room rate would be 335 USD p.n.
Vivanta By Taj - Fort Aguada
Its very nice resort with lot of play activities like tennis, golf, and even cricket. Room rates in off season would start from 160 USD p. n.
The Leela, Goa
This is my favorite destination in Goa, with private beach, golf course, and casino. Best in Goa, and one of the best resort in India. There are other nice resorts in Goa like Taj, etc.
Room Rates - Rates in Goa differ according to season, and in high season rates start from 320 USD p.n. and in low season it would start around 160 USD p.n.
If you are visiting coorg, then you might consider staying the in of the TATA Tea Banglows, which offer tea plantation trails. Banglows are situated in Tea Gardens owned by tata tea. Best part is they are located in popular destination(most of them in coorg). In coorg there are golf course, tennis, and badminton, and they are close to some banglows. Check out more on http://www.plantationtrails.net, and select your plantation destination. But I must tell you the they are just banglow, and a resort.
The Taj West End, Banglore
Its is difficult to find a lush green resort in the middle of the metro. Taj West End has heritage and history, A 20 acre garden, next to golf club and turf club, can offer you a relaxing stay in the middle of city. Leisure choices include pools, fitness, golf, tennis, gardens, massage, and nature walk. Located in middle of city, there are plenty of dinning options. Check for promotions. Room rates start from 220 USD per night.
The Serai, Chikmagalor-
Located between Banglore and Manglore in Chikmagalor, famous for coffee estates. Chikmagalore has got some places of ineterest, and resort also has something to offer. The combination of resort and location is not the best, but its good. They offer cottages with amenities. 2N/3D package costs 600USD.
One might consider staying in Orange County, Coorg.
Radisson BLU Resort, Tamil Nadu
Located on the sea coast of Bay of Bengal. Beachfront 44 acre resort. Resort offers lot of activities like Spa, basketball, volleyball, boat ride, sea diving, mini golf, etc. Location has got some local attractions. Resort is not so outstanding, but its good. Room rates are affordable, and a sea view room costs 200 USD per night.
Kumarakom Lake Resort, kerala
I cant say, but I like this resort. I must say, It is not one of the best, but its really very nice, and one of the best in kerala. House boat style Villas on the backwater of kerala, with activities on lake like cruise, and water sports. Room rates start from 120 USD p.n. and House boat rates start from 240 USD p.n.
Vivanta By Taj, Kovalam -
A nice hill resort layout on sea side and backwaters. They offer garden view, sea view, and suites with pools. Fitness, yoga, sightseeing, library, billiards, boating, volleyball, cricket, golf, archery, salon, cooking, cycling, private dinning, indoor games, and spa. Check for promotions. Room rates start at 150 USD per night. Rates for Suite starts from 350 USD per night.
The leela, Kovalam -
A 5 star deluxe resort offerring panaromic view of the sea shore. Resort offers many activities like spa, badminton, volleyball, excursions, fitness, tennis. Beach view rooms are at 150 USD, and Club at 250 USD, and Club Suite at 400 USD (Bed & breakfast per night).
If you are looking resort with lake, beach, backwater, and also cheap. I believe Cherai Beach Resort(http://www.cheraibeachresorts.com/) would be worth considering.
Also amazing -
http://vaamika.com/ in Kerala
Vaamika Island (formerly known as Green Lagoon)
And also in Kochi is heritage - http://www.cghearth.com/brunton-boatyard
Barefoot at Havelock, Andman & Nicobar Islands -
Sea Beach, cottages, forest, and water sports, these we typically expect from a resort on sea shore, and you can get all these here. Resort is not so excellent, but its good. They offer choice of cottages, and I like Nicobari villa, which costs 200 USD per night in low season, and 320 USD in high season.
Best Jungle Resorts in India - 2012 - 2013
I should start with Ranthambore National park, which has got the best reort/speciality lodging in any jungle in India, and those are Oberoi's VanyaVillas and Aman-i-khas.
I have already discussed them in my previous posts, but they are very costly
Below is the list of best resort and wild life combination.
Diphlu River Lodge in Kaziranga National Park -
River side affordable(5000 INR for Indian and 12000 INR for foreign nationals) lodge on World heritage site. Limited number of cottages and a machan. National Park is just on the opp. side of river, and very famous for Rhinoceros. Location Kaziranga, is one of the best in India with some best scenic beauty around. And close to Bhutan(few hrs journey)and Gangtok.
Banjaar Tola at Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh -
Its a new resort, and it is by TAJ. Currently Taj group has four safari lodges and all are in Madhya Pradesh, and if any national forest has got Taj, and probably the lodge by Taj would be best in that park. The lodge is on the bank of Banjaar river, overlooking national park, which is famous for Tigers. May be one would stay only for a day or two. Also check for some promotional offers, rates starting at 160 USD(Bed&breakfast) per night per person and 330 USD for full inclusive plan.
Few tips common for all Taj Safari Lodges - Book Early, otherwise you might go through some agent and pay exactly double, please pay attention while booking online also, You might be booking from wrong place. Check for promotional offers first while booking any Taj Sarafi lodge like one here - http://www.tajhotels.com/Luxury/Taj-Safaris/Banjaar-Tola-Kanha-National-Park/Special-Offers.html
Pashan Garh at Panna National Park, Madhya Pradesh -
Pashan Garh is also one of the four Taj Safari Lodges in India. Located in Panna National Park famoius for tigers, also Panna is very close to world heritage site Khajuraho famous for kamasutra. Panna is located in hills and ken river flows inside, and waterfalls. National is famous for scenery, but remember might be no waterfalls when no monsoon and too dry. No guaranteed tiger sight. Pashan Garh has got 12 cottages build of stones and operational from July to Oct. They offer jeep jungle safaris, nature walk, library, and shopping. Check for promotional offers, and I saw B&B rates starting from 110 USD per night per person. Book Early.
Bhagvan at Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh -
It seems I like all of the Taj Safari lodges, they got very nice accommodation with private sit-out, outdoor shower, rooftop sleep-out, and private machan. Generally places in India are crowded, and you might find the national parks also crowded, and there are lot of paper works everywhere. The park can be crowded, and noisy. National park is famous for tigers. Under promotion you might find BnB rates starting at 100 USD per night per person.
Tree House Hideaway at Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh -
There is a Mahua Kothi, Taj Safari lodge in Bandhavgarh national park. But I like this one more. Because here they have wooden Tree house, and taj they have cottages made of stone, tiles, etc. Tree House Hideaway is a 21 acer private jungle merged into the Bandhavgarh national park famous for tigers. Resort only has 5 tree houses spread across htier private jungle, one can watch wild life from tree house balcony. Activities like Jungle jeep safari, elephant safari, fort visit, village visit, workshops, etc. Resort is closed from July to sep. They come up with some nice promotional offers, but normal accommodation rates are 280 USD for double and 240 USD for single per night. All inclusive jungle plan is 460 USD per night for double.
Temple Tiger Jungle Lodge in Chitwan National Park, Nepal -
Its in the center of the national park, this is good, and has good record of sighting of Tiger, Rhino, and crocos. The resort is really nice with around 30 villas. Offering safaris. elephant rides, bars, lectures, boat ride, and really comfortable wooden villas. The lodge is only 200 KMs from Katmandu. All inclusive package is 250 USD per person per night, and their itinerary suggests 2 night stay.