Memos from Asia

Best Places to Stay in Agra, India

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Agra has forever been among India’s most visited destinations, primarily because it is home to one of the seven wonders of the world, The Taj Mahal. A busting and crowded metro, tourists often visit Agra as a day excursion from Delhi, stopping at the Taj and then heading back home.

While the Taj Mahal is undoubtedly a masterpiece not to be missed, Agra demands at least a few days’ worth of exploration. During this time, travelers can discover some of its other wonders, like the Agra Fort, the Roman Catholic Cemetery, Akbar’s Church, and Agra Bear Sanctuary.

For enthusiastic explorers who prefer to unearth the crux of a city before moving on to their next destination, there are several hotels in Agra to suit different budgets. Below are some of the very best that stand out for their convenient location, impressive architecture, and excellent service.

The Oberoi Amarvilas

By far the most extravagant hotel in Agra, The Oberoi Amarvilas will wow you from the moment you step foot on the property. An idyllic spot in the city to endlessly stare at the Taj, which stands merely 600 meters away, Amarvilas’ own beauty lies in its Mughal architecture, gardens, fountains, wide-open spaces, and reflections pools. Among the hotel’s many amenities is a spa that offers “sensorial treatments,” restaurants serving continental and regional cuisines, and an Instagram-worthy swimming pool.

The rooms at Oberoi Amarvilas are posh abodes that are true works of art in their own right. Pick one of the deluxe rooms with a balcony where you can have a private dining experience with views of a lit-up Taj. For something out of this world, the Kohinoor Suite offers a pillow menu, in-room dining, a walk-in wardrobe, two 40″ LED TVs, a “freestanding bathtub” with Taj Mahal views, and 24-hour butler service.

Address: Taj East Gate Road, Paktola, Tajganj, Agra

ITC Mughal

ITC Mughal guarantees a luxurious stay in Agra that surpasses the typical hotel experience substantially. Inspired by the Mughal architecture of Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, ITC Mughal is an award-winning property that spreads over 23 acres. An integral part of the city, it has been welcoming guests since 1976. In its vast spacious interiors, the hotel packs in 233 well-appointed rooms, a beautiful swimming pool, swanky landscaped gardens, and four dining options, including the famous Peshawri that serves delicious North-West Frontier dishes.

The guestrooms at ITC Mughal use rich royal color schemes, the very best in furnishing, and contemporary conveniences to provide comfortable abodes that are a delight to stay in. When traveling with family, look into booking one of the suites that come with butler service, in-room breakfast, use of a 24-hour boardroom, and personalized check-in.

Address: Fatehabad Road, Tajganj, Agra

The Grand Imperial

Step back in time at Agra’s top heritage hotel that has now been an iconic part of this ancient city for over a century. A property brimming with amusing and interesting nooks and corners, you’ll find exploring The Grand Imperial as fascinating as the city it calls home. Expect nothing less than a royal treatment when you stay here. The Grand Imperial prides itself on giving exceptional service and also facilitates cultural events like traditional dance performances and puppet shows in the evening for all its guests.

There are 15 suites and 15 deluxe rooms at The Grand Imperial. Each dwelling is meticulously decorated using antique furniture that includes gorgeous four-poster beds, vintage writing tables, and ornate light fixtures. Adding more oomph to the hotel’s luxurious rooms are en-suite bathrooms with bathtubs, air-conditioning, 24-hour room service, and complimentary breakfast at the in-house restaurant.

Address: Mahatma Gandhi Road, Chhipitola, Rakabganj, Agra

The Coral Tree Homestay

Travelers who want to be a part of the local scene should look into booking a room at The Coral Tree, an ideal sojourn located only a few minutes away from the Taj. This colorful, family-run bed and breakfast has oodles of character and a welcoming, warm-hearted temperament. The garden of this boutique stay in Agra provides a lush background to a chatty evening drink, while the communal dinner table comes alive during meals with animated stories shared between the hosts and their guests.

The Coral Tree is a small property with only four bedrooms. Featuring basic furniture, the d├ęcor consists of bold colored walls that liven up the interiors. In-room amenities include large en-suite bathrooms, free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, and a kettle. The property has a library and can arrange for cultural activities and a guide for your stay.

Address: 4, Amar Lok Colony, Paktola, Tajganj, Agra

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