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
I decided I would surprise my girlfriend by taking her to India for the weekend and proposing to her in front of the iconic Taj Mahal, a place she had wanted to visit for a some time. From research it was clear that the Oberoi was head and shoulders above its competition in Agra and it was important I had booked the best for such an important weekend in my life.
The service was incredible throughout our stay - nothing was too much. They even arranged for tickets to the Taj Mahal to be at the front desk waiting for us when we came down in the morning - we really didn't need to worry about anything.
Our room was incredible with the most amazing view of the Taj Mahal - it was absolutely breath taking. I decided I would book 'Dining Under the Stars' which had come highly recommended by the Oberoi staff. This turned out to be the most romantic dining experience of my life due to the beauty and privacy of the setting. We had our own santoor player who set the mood as well as waiter who made us both feel very special. An especially nice touch was our waiter wrapping a turban on me which we loved! The food quality was exceptional and after the 6 or so courses we we retreated back to our room extremely full.
When we got back to our room we saw that they had left us a cake to congratulate us and had put rose petals in the bath. It was clear they care about their guests and that they were genuinely happy for us.
This was an incredible experience and one neither of us will forget for the rest of our life. We hope we will be lucky enough to be able to come back in the not too distant future to celebrate with you again.
I would highly recommend the Oberoi to anyone visiting Agra- there is not a better place to be.
Thank you so much Oberoi for making everything so perfect for us.
Richard & Amy
This is the PERFECT hotel to stay at in Agra! Le palais des milles et une nuit !! We have the feeling to be in the Disney movie Aladin!
Perfect and clear view of the Taj Mahal from the hotel and the rooms. A warm welcoming ceremony by the staff in front of the Taj Mahal.
Few minutes away from the Taj Mahal, the hotel arranges tickets, guide and drive to the Taj Mahal to make it memorable. Do not hesitate to wake up early to visit the place at sunrise!
I think that most of the reviews on here have fairly summed up the hotel, but I have to admit that I was not prepared to have been so impressed by this hotel. In a way, it feels like both a city hotel and a resort, but it is far more charming than I was expecting.
First off, the most obvious part of the hotel's repute is the view of the Taj Mahal. It was indeed a most majestic and commanding view. From a child looking at photos of that great monument to a man standing on my balcony and seeing it with my own eyes, it was certainly a dream come true.
We were there to meet some friends, and we met by the pool upon arrival. The pool service was great, and the pool itself was marvelous. It was so refreshing to be in the water and have the beautifully manicured grounds as the background. We had dinner at the Indian restaurant that evening, and the food certainly was impressive. It was like a tasting memo, so every craving got satisfied!
The room itself was lovely. I was worried that it would be showing signs of age, but I thought it was incredibly well-maintained. It was very pleasantly decorated and had plenty of room. Also, the afore-mentioned view of the Taj Mahal from the balcony was the cherry on top!
I highly recommend this hotel, as well as booking your vacation through Oberoi Exotic Vacations (you can find my review of them on my review of the Oberoi New Delhi).
I satied with my family at The Oboroi Amarvillas and shocked by the high level of service. Rooms are newly renovated and supported with technology based services.
Well done Oboroi, and I'll never think twice before coming again next time.
Wonderful view of the Taj Mahal. The place to stay in Arga. With the bucks. Love the pool area, chandelier in the lobby area. Treated well by all the staff. Room service was a delight. 5 star plus on all counts.