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
This hotel is gorgeous and the view of the Taj is incredible. You are only a short cart ride to the Taj, so this is the place to stay. Our rooms were beautiful with large terraces facing the Taj. The grounds are amazing. The service was perfect- Karan Kapoor was SO nice and assisted us at several meals due to a family member with a nut allergy- and each restaurant served delicious food. The Bar was very fun too. Dancers performed each evening. Amazing! Prachi Sati also helped our family with rooms and travel details. Thank you!
THE only place to stay in Agra! Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. Exceptionally attentive staff. Superb grounds and every room has a view of the Taj Mahal. Sundowners on the balcony at sunset watching local dancers, wonderful.
This hotel is perfectly placed for the Taj, indeed you can see it from your bedroom balcony. Golf carts take you to the visit. The hotel itself is outstanding. The staff are friendly and professional and address you by name, from the moment you arrive. The service is outstanding, they make you feel special as a guest. The restaurant was wonderful in terms of food and service. The grounds and pool were also great. You will not be disappointed if you stay here, wonderful place and so well run.
The location of this hotel is the best. Every room has a view of the Taj Mahal and they have a golf cart that will take you to the gates. The room was lovely with lovely touches like local marble tabletops and beautiful colors throughout.
Check in was a little slow (we had to sit in the front room for awhile until we were met by a check in person).
One of the first things they ask you at check in is if you had food allergies and they supposedly make a note of it for their food service staff. However, when we had dinner in the restaurant downstairs I chose something that did not have listed one of my food allergies. However, when the plate was delivered to me it was covered in tomatos (what I am allergic to). So, the menu was incorrect insofar as it had no mention of tomatos and staff had obviously not checked my food allergies before bringing out the item,
The second thing that was disconcerting is that the staff in the hotel restaurant only address themselves to the male in the group. "How is your meal, sir?" No quesion directed to the female (me). While I understand this is a cultural thing you would not expect this in a 5 star hotel that caters to international guests.
The breakfast buffet is lacking in variety. However, the room service food was very good.
To be fair, when we checked out I expressed the two concerns above with the gentleman at checkout. When we arrived at our hotel in Jaipur (at another Oberoi property), there was a note of apology from the hotel about the tomato issue and a bottle of wine offerred which was a grand gesture.
We enjoyed an authentic Thali dinner on the romantic Pavillon Terrace of the hotel, just a few steps away from the Taj Mahal.
Mr Karan Kapoor made sure that the food was of top quality and the event of the most romantic ambiance we could imagine.