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
If you come to Agra it is to see The Taj Mahal, because the rest of Agra is a very sore sight. At The Oberoi Amarvilas, every room has a view of the monument, just 600 meters away. It is a surreal experience to see it there morning and evening from your balcony. While everyone else must walk, a hotel golf cart will take you to the outer wall of The Taj as the heat of the day begins, and return you to your haven once you have experienced enough. The rest of the Oberoi Amarvilas is also phenomenal, from the welcoming drink from the wonderful staff - who are immaculately presented and very helpful and sweet - to the hotel layout that works beautifully as a relaxing oasis. The overflow pool is gorgeous with its deep blue tile. Breakfast choices are vast, the best of the other Oberois we stayed in this trip. Live, regional music plays in the lobby. The room we had was on the smaller side with a balcony (- an older style in-room that I liked, with dark wood - lovely bathroom). But there are lovely, spacious common spaces if you are planning to be around the hotel for long. Highly recommended if you want to experience Agra at its best.
Words don’t do justice to the kind of service the hotel provides you. Out of the world hospitality and service. All the hotels should take a lesson or two on how to run their properties from the staff here.
If you visit Agra you must visit this property and enjoy your stay here.
What can I say about the AmarVilas. It's just beautiful. The fact that it's the closest hotel to Taj and that every room offers a breath-taking view of the Taj.
What's nice: hospitality! Of course the signature Oberoi hospitality is out of this world.
What's over-rated: food clearly! I think the chefs do a better job with non Indian food. Because they cater to interbational crowd - the non Indian food is nicer than Indian.
Overall room asthetics and hotel feel is over-rated.
Wonderful hotel. From the greeting to the dinner on the balcony to the time by the pool. Amazing to see the Taj from every window of the hotel and to hear the prayers of nearby temples and mosques in the evening. The staff was one of the friendliest we've ever experienced! The only place to stay in Agra!
This hotel is stunning! We spent two nights there and the service was top level. The staff went above and beyond to satisfy every request. We forgot a medicine in the fridge and they sent it to Jaipur free of charge in one day. We will never forget this amazing hotel, its great staff, fantastic hospitality and of course that incredible view on the Taj....