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
We stayed for three nights and the greeting on arrival was great. From the saluting policemen’s at the gates to the magnificent uniformed gentleman at the steps. Sadly as a disabled guest the stairs were a nuisance so I was escorted via another doorway going in and out to avoid them.
Bedroom was stunning although there is little actual storage space and with three suitcases we found all we could do was just keep these open in various locations to get to our things.very comfortable bed but the bathroom had poor lighting and minimal shelf space. Plenty of lotions and potions and on our last night they filled the tub with rose petals which gave a lovely fragrance in the room. The staff were wonderful and the views of the Taj Mahal from our balcony were just stunning.
To find a better place to stay in Agra, I imagine that you would have to travel back in time and be closely related to the ruling family. Even then, I doubt that you would have the fine facilities and very attentive service of the Oberoi. From the elegant greeting and traverse to the main lobby, you know you are in for a special experience. We gasped at our tremendous view of the Taj Mahal from our window, match almost by the lovely grounds and pool below. While the proximity to the Taj cannot be beat (and that was grand), the gentle afternoon by the lovely pool, the night walk around the grounds all lit up, and the cocktails at sunset outside the bar with dancing and music across the way was even better. If the Taj is on your list, and you know it is, budget for a night or two at this marvelous property. You will not be disappointed.
From the minute we entered this beautiful hotel we felt very welcome. Staff were amazing,friendly,polite and will do everything to accomodate your needs. Food excellent, rooms spotlessly clean and all have views of The Taj Mahal. Would highly recommend . The Taj is only a short ride away by buggy.
The physical structure of the Amarvilas is gorgeous. The rooms are extremely comfortable and you are offered a variety of pillows to suit your taste. The restaurant is first rate. At the pool you are served with a tray containing bottled water, sun tan lotion and a water spritzer. The highlight of course is that every room has a view of the Taj Mahal which, when visited, will rock you on your heels.
The employees of Amarvilas are exceptional, from reception, to housekeeping, to the kitchen. They are personable, engaging and eager to please. Specia kudos to Chef Yashraj and to sous chef Gurvansh and servers Raghav and Jashn, all of whom made our visit exceptional.
The Oberoi organization has written the instruction manual for how to run a hotel. we have stayed at several and each has trained its staff to convey the message to guests that the hotel is honored to have you there. it is impossible to fathom how each staff member knows your name, and addresses you as a valued guest. Each of the hotel's staff is highly trained to be pleasant, efficient and charming. A staff member will engage in conversation like a friend and makes sure that your needs are attended to.
Nothing could have prepared us for the absolute beauty and opulence of this breathtakingly gorgeous property ... it is dreamy in every sense of the word . Like a fairy tale but even more . No words can do it justice . Please please do yourself a favor and when visiting the iconic Taj Mahal , which is a once in a lifetime occasion as is , don’t waste your time at any of the other hotels in Agra . This is not just the best hotel in Agra , this is the best hotel in the world , that and the oberoi in New Delhi and the Udaivilas in Udaipur . They’re all spectacular ! The grounds are totally palatial , the unobstructed views of the Taj Mahal from our rooms left us gasping for air we were so flabbergasted . The restaurants totally delightful , the swimming pool out of this world stunning . I mean there are just not enough superlatives in the English dictionary to accurately describe this heavenly place . We paid a pretty penny to stay here , booked it one night before arrival because our booking at another hotel got cancelled (long story ) but this was the biggest blessing in disguise and beyond worth it!!!!! I can’t imagine not having experienced this hotel on our visit to Agra . Would have paled drastically in comparison . I’m in love . And im coming back one day with my love as I simply cannot bare to stay away from this place for too long . Thank you Amarvilas for your blessed existence