It is often said that India is not a country but a continent. From the snow-capped Himalayas to the sun-bathed shores of Kanyakumari, a country is a place that fires the imagination like no other.
An intoxicating mix of the exotic and the extravagant, few visitors leave India disappointed. For those who don’t know where to start, here is a list of some of the seven most epic destinations, which you can visit to enjoy India like royalty.
Best time to visit: November to March
Studded with upscale hotels and resorts, Mumbai is not only the commercial capital of India, but home to Tinseltown as well. The city of dreams for those aspiring to become a star in the Indian film industry, Mumbai can overwhelm you with its fascinating history, cosmopolitan elegance and eclectic history.
Where to stay: Taj Mahal Palace and Towers
With a blend of Florentine and Gothic architecture, the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers is without any doubt the most luxurious hotel to stay in Mumbai. Located opposite the Gateway of India and overlooking the Arabian Sea, this is one of the top hotels, not only in India, but all over the world as well. You can book luxury getaways with reputed providers like TransIndus to max out your Indian holiday.
Best time to visit: November to February
Goa forms an important part of a luxury vacation in India because of the plethora of high end resorts and a nonchalant environment. The pristine beaches and elegant spas, makes a holiday in Goa a sublime experience. Moreover, this small state of India is dotted with Portuguese buildings, museums and temples which are an essential part of any luxury destination.
Where to stay: Leela Goa
For sheer elegance, the plush and sleek Leela Goa, inspired by the state’s Portuguese heritage, is a top-notch luxury hotel in Goa. The sprawling property features an in-house spa, a 12 hole golf course and pristine white sand covered private beach. So if you want to indulge in an all inclusive beachfront luxury getaway, look no further than the Leela while in Goa.
Best time to visit: September to March
The beautiful capital of the Mewar region of Rajasthan, Udaipur is famous for its culture, history and architecture, none the more impressive than the City Palace. Often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’ because of the seven lakes found here, including the Jaisamand lake, the second largest artificial sweet water lake in the whole of Asia.
Where to stay: Taj Lake Palace
The shimmering white marble facade of the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur makes it appear that this opulent hotel is floating in the middle of a lake. The property lies bang in the middle of Lake Pichola and features the world famous Jiva Spa Boat, known for its pampering and rejuvenating spa therapies, while gently floating on the lake’s waters.For the ultimate luxury experience, stay in the Royal Suite with its own massage and treatment room with a jacuzzi.
Best time to visit: November to January
Royalty was once the only way of life in the princely state of Jaipur. A lot of this is evident today in the number of royal palaces and UNESCO World Heritage sites. This hospitable city is known for its excellent service and luxurious amenities which pampers get from far and wide. With iconic attractions like the City Palace, Amer Fort, Jantar Mantar and scores of royal havelis(princely homes), Jaipur provides an opulent experience like no other.
Where to stay: Raj Niwas Palace
Rated as one of the best top ten heritage properties in the world, the Raj Niwas Palace in Jaipur has some of the most expensive and luxurious suites to be found in any hotel in India. Their Royal Suite features a private rooftop pool with dining lounges, a private elevator, a library and a museum in order to relieve the romance of opulence and royalty.
Best time to visit: November to February
While living in the comforts of your hotel you can experience the lifestyle that was prevailing in the old times of the rulers of Kollengode, Palakkad, North Kerala. Your stay will be in a 300 year old princely property set amidst Vega trees, known for their healing properties. Carnatac music and kathakali were patronized by the Vengunad kings, and as such these cultural programs are an essential part of the daily rituals here. This gives you a real feel of Kerala and its culture and history.
Where to stay: Kalari Kovilakom Ayurvedic
Enjoying a spectacular location on the foothills of the picturesque Annamalai Hills in Kerala, the Kalari Kovailakom is a magnificently restored 19th-century palace hotel, known for providing the most ayurvedic treatments, anywhere in the world. Tastefully decorated, the property combines luxury with the ancient ayurvedic art of Indian healing on terracotta floors and sylvan settings. This fine palace hotel has other amenities for yoga and meditation as well.
Darjeeling, West Bengal
Best time to visit: April to June
This resort town in the Himalayas is known for its world-renowned tea and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, of UNESCO Heritage game. The biggest attraction in Darjeeling is Tiger Hill, the highest point in the town, which provides unparalleled views of the eastern Himalayan ranges, especially Kanchenjunga.
Where to stay: Glenburn Tea Estate
Established by Scottish planters in the 1800s, the Glenburn Tea Estate in Darjeeling offers unhindered views of the Himalayas. This still functional tea estate property is located within 1600 acres of tea plantations set among undulating woodlands overlooking two river valleys. The suites come complete with a fireplace, a sprawling verandah and a sitting room. The enterprising guests can prefer to have a private dinner by the riverside while stargazing or fishing for the golden mahseer in the fast flowing rivers.
Best time to visit: April to October
Srinagar provides a unique representation of nature, with the river Jhelum flowing on one side and the lofty snow capped views of the Himalayas in the backdrop. From an alluring shikara boat ride on the picturesque Dal lake to taking a stroll along the stunning promenades of Shalimar Bagh and the Mughal Gardens, Srinagar combines a delightful holiday and luxury in the best possible way it can.
Where to stay: The Lalit Grand Palace
Designed and built by erstwhile royal rulers in 1910, the Lalit Grand Palace Hotel in Srinagar has been proudly continuing its royal legacy with elan. Encircled by some of the highest snow-covered Himalayan mountain ranges, the property has 113 well-appointed guest rooms with ten exclusive luxury cottages Steeped in royal Kashmiri heritage tradition, a stay at the Lalit Grand Palace promises an unforgettable experience.