The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra
What We Love
- Spectacular views of the Taj Mahal from all rooms
- Design and decor transport you to the splendor of 17th-century India
- Swimming among the columns in the outdoor pool, which is set in a Mughal era–inspired terraced garden
- Intuitive staff with an enthusiasm for the Taj Mahal that never wanes
- Live Indian music and dance performances that add to the romance of an already impossibly romantic setting
What To Know
- The Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays — keep this in mind when choosing your dates
- Dress sharp. The Amarvilas’s bellhops are better dressed than most businessmen
- Book two nights if you want to have time to explore the opulent hotel grounds
- The house restaurants are popular with non-guests, so make reservations
- The hotel is within walking distance of the Taj, but nothing else. You’ll need a car and driver to explore Agra
- Parking On Site
The Oberoi Amarvilas is the place for travelers who want to see the world’s most famous mausoleum from all sorts of angles, and to live (at least for a night or two) in a state of luxury fit for a Mughal emperor. From the marble lobby to every elegant room, the world’s greatest tribute to undying love is always on show, and the resort’s splendid architecture and rich interiors are a throwback to a time when princesses were aplenty in Agra. Just 600 meters away, it’s the closest hotel to the Taj, and it gives guests an exceptionally intimate encounter with the world wonder.
Bed and Bath
The 102 guestrooms echo the art and history of the Mughal Empire, with decorative marble inlay tables and hand-knotted carpets. The interiors showcase meticulous traditional craftsmanship and attention to detail, but all eyes are drawn to the Taj, which can be seen from every room. Mod cons including flat-screen TVs, DVD players and walk-in closets are standard, as is personalized butler service. The spacious marble bathrooms are stocked with a basket of ayurvedic products.
The pool and gardens embody the same sublime aesthetic found in the grounds and fountains of the Taj. The lone traces of contemporary design are in the restaurants: Bellevue, which serves a breakfast buffet of dizzying variety, and Esphahan, where diners can try fine Indian food accompanied by live sitar and tabla performances. Before dinner enjoy a glass of champagne on the terrace bar at sunset as a dancer performs her nightly salute to the mausoleum from across the pool. If the luxe accommodations don’t make you feel like royalty, the super-attentive staff surely will. You can count on it for expert tips about visiting the Taj, which vary depending on the season and the latest preservation regulations.
In the Area
The Archaeological Survey of India offers about five night tours of the Taj Mahal a month (around the full moon). Tickets are very limited, so book as far ahead as possible. Take the one-hour trip to Fatehpur Sikri; the onetime capital of the Mughal Empire was abandoned 14 years after its construction in the late 16th century, and it retains an air of mystery today. If you don’t want to haggle over the price of souvenirs, visit the Marble Emporium. You’ll spend a little more, but you won’t have to wonder if you’re paying for marble but getting soapstone. Agra Fort would be the signature monument in any other city, but it inevitably gets overshadowed by the Taj Mahal. See where Shah Jahan, the creator of the Taj, lived and ruled. A nightly light and sound show takes place at 7:30 p.m.
How to Get There
What a stunning hotel!
We chose this hotel as every room has a view of the Taj Mahal. Yes it's expensive but we looked at it as being part of the Taj Mahal experience and a once in a lifetime visit.
The hotel and grounds are beautifully kept and everywhere you turn there's a photo opportunity.
On arrival we were taken to a balcony for a drink and our first glimpse of the Taj. We were then shown our room which had a very large window for further views.
The room was luxurious and staff were keen to ensure we were happy and had everything we needed.
We ate all our meals in the hotel and service was excellent. Food was beautifully presented and delicious. Coffee and pastries are available very early in the morning before you head for the Taj Mahal and then you are driven there on a golf cart - all part of the experience!
We managed to fit in a stroll round the immaculate gardens and a swim in the pool where you get a box with cold water, cloths and a spray to keep you cool and refreshed.
This hotel really pays attention to detail and staff are all friendly and helpful- we really felt they treat you like a VIP.
It may be one of the most expensive hotels we've stayed in but we now have life long memories of it and would highly recommend it! You only live once!
We have just returned from the most incredible stay at this wonderful hotel. The setting is stunning, the staff and food was incredible ( thank you to the chef and his team). The views of the Taj Mahal are spectacular. Our suite was amazing. I had surprised my Husband with a Hindu wedding vow renewal ceremony which the hotel arranged, followed by a private dinner in our suite , it was so special. Thank you to the whole team for making us feel like Family. Everyone should stay here once in their life and visit the Taj. It is beyond incredible.
This Oberoi is the only place to stay when visiting the Taj Mahal.
The view is unparalleled, the pool garden is magical. Reminds one of the step wells.
The chef is excellent and food comparable to other Oberoi.
The dinning room however was not comfortable or welcoming, if felt temporary, an inside room with no view and a bit out of date visually. Felt more geared to conferences.
The pool terrace could have been a lovely spot for breakfast or dinner but the opportunity seemed to be missed.
The major difference I suspect here is guests stay such a short time, one night, maybe two, so the staff seems not accustomed to building a rep-ore with guests. Everyone is lovely and polite and obviously very well trained, but not as heart warming as other Oberoi.
The spa feels like an after thought.
Set up In former guests rooms. The massage therapist had no clue how to give a Swedish massage. The steam room was pitch dark, no lite.
The spa should be down next to the pool in an elegant restful dedicated space.
The brand makes a huge mistake not having at least one male therapist on staff. I am a large man and only a man has the strength to provide a truly therapeutic deep tissue massage. This seems to be a brand wide policy. This mistaken policy is a strong preventative for booking at this brand on many levels. They also offered no manicure or pedicure, a basic spa item.
Our room was amazing and beautiful, with an unparalleled view. A bit dated but still amazing and comfortable. The large terrace could have had comfortable furniture and A suite like this could have had a full self serve bar set up at all times to be enjoyed on the well furnished terrace looking at the greatest landmark this country has to offer.
Over all I find hotels always suffer, even great ones, when guests are not encouraged to stay longer by not offering more than a meal and a view. These guys are expert hoteliers so I know they will fix what needs to be fixed at this property, so it is in par with their other India properties.
Our hotel organized guide was terrific and highly recommended.
Mohsin at Elite Solutions, Agra and Delhi.
Because there is little else to do, in or out of the property, we cut our stay short one day.
All in all, the stay was what it should’ve been, a very comfortable way to visit the great @Tajmahal and I highly recommend it.
The brand is, for good reason, one of the great hoteliers so you’ll never go wrong staying with them, aside for this spa policy.