If you think you’ve seen it all, you’ve not been to Aman-i-Khas. The feel is so different to any other sort of wildlife holiday. Not only are you in an old Royal hunting ground, you’re treated like a Maharaja too; and the surroundings include the ruins of the fortress of Ranthambhore, built in 944. It’s like a set from Indiana Jones. Then of course, there’s all the wildlife: birds, crocs, bears, big cats, whatever your preference the guides won’t rest until they’ve found them for you – and that includes the magnificent tigers in the Park. Absolutely unforgettable.
The Oberoi Amarvilas
Anywhere else in the world, this would stand out as absolutely stunning. But next to one of the world’s most beautiful buildings, it’s got an uphill task. Still, at night it holds its own, lit up like a pure Arabian Nights fantasy. The area around the Taj can be chaotic with hundreds of peddlers and beggars; so the Amarvilas is an even more welcome sanctuary at the end of the day (particularly the excellent spa). We’d recommend a balcony room too, to get the most romantic view of the shimmering monument subtly changing colour at sunset
The Leela Kempinski, Goa
There’s a lovely ‘go-with-the-flow’ feel here, which mixes the laid-back atmosphere of Goa with lots of things to do. Because of that, a break here can be anything you want it to be: quiet and restful, or busy and active. The grounds, like the rooms, are vast and beautiful. And the excellent service is all you’d expect in India (they’re so good at it in this country!). Popular with families too. We particularly like the Club Suites with their own outdoor Jacuzzi, exclusive pool and individual butler service. Very decadent!
The Oberoi Udaivilas
If ever there was a romantic image of a Raj palace, this must be it. It’s lavish, magnificent and manicured; and only 8 years old. Maybe that’s what makes it so perfect. From the elegant rooms to the vast tiled pools, it’s breathtaking. There’s so much we love: the lake view rooms that open on to a semi-private infinity pool that stretches along the hotel like a moat; the lovely outdoor dining courtyard; the gorgeous spa. If you’re on a romantic trip, we’d recommend a private dinner on the lake: literally, on a floating pontoon lit by candles.
The Oberoi Rajvilas
There’s something about the service in India that’s unlike anywhere else. It’s so sincere, so intimate; it’s almost intrinsic to everything they do. The hotels too, are unlike anywhere else. And the Rajvilas is no exception. From the elephants at the gate to the swimming pool that feels like bathing in a temple, it’s truly astonishing. Perhaps even more astonishing though, is this hotel was created almost from scratch, less than 10 years ago. And what we like about it most is that, like Indian service, it goes to such lengths to make sure everything’s just right.