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Best Palace Hotels In India

India is a vast subcontinent with a rich history and civilization. Its documented history goes back over 5 millennia, during which time, the country has seen the rise and fall of countless states, empires, dynasties, and Kingdoms.

One eminent legacy of this rich history is the grand palaces left behind in the wake of the changing tide. At the time of the Independence of India, over 500 princely states were merged into the Indian Federation.

A large number of the palaces from this bygone era dotting the Indian landscape have now been transformed into luxury heritage hotels offering a 5-star hospitality experience, with amenities that rival the best properties in the world.

Here is Luxury Tours India’s handpicked list of the 15 best hotels in India, selected by our travel advisors, consultants, and tour guides.

 1. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

 

Taj Lake Palace

Originally known as Jag Niwas, the Taj Lake Palace was built by Maharana Jagat Singh, the 62nd custodian of the Kingdom of Mewar. Located on an island in the middle of the charming Lake Pichola in the “Venice of India” Udaipur, this regal palace has now been repurposed as a 5-star hotel operated by the Taj Group of Luxury hotels, and has been offering world-class hospitality since 1963.

The marbles used to construct it were brought by bullock carts from Rajnagar, 66 km away, thanks to which it shines like a white pearl in the waterbody it is nestled in. You get the best views of Udaipur city and the Aravalli Hills from the Taj Lake Palace. It is a fine exhibit of a fusion of Mughal and Rajput architectural traditions.

The Taj Lake Palace boasts 18 opulent royal suites and 65 deluxe rooms. You can see the Jag Mandar, the Machla Magra Hills, the City Palace, and the Aravalli from your window.

Neel Kamal offers Rajasthani and Indian delicacies. Bhairo offers European cuisine. Jharoka serves 24-hour multi-cuisine, and the stylish bar Amrit Sagar makes refreshing cocktails.

The Taj Lake Palace is hands down one of India’s great heritage hotels.

Amenities: Romantic private boat rides in Lake Pichola, multiple specialty restaurants, swimming pool, spa, gym.

Cost: Rooms start at $700 per night per room.

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2. Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

 

Taj Rambagh

Rambagh was built in 1835 as a royal guest house and hunting lodge. It later became the residence of Maharaja Swan Man Singh II after repurposing as a royal palace. Now, this iconic heritage property offers one of Jaipur’s most luxurious affairs, with its 78 grand rooms and suites, that were formerly chambers of royalty.

The original ambiance of the palace with its hand-carved marble latticework, cupolas, cenotaphs, and sandstone balustrades has been maintained meticulously.

Amenities: Exclusive royal butlers, spa, concierge services, polo bar, fine-dining restaurants, J Wellness Circle, Horse carriage rides, vintage car rides.

Cost: Rooms start at $770 per night per room.

3. Taj Nadesar Palace, Varanasi

 

Taj Nadesar

The holy city of Varanasi, located in the Indo-Gangetic plains of north India (Uttar Pradesh) is the spiritual capital of India, and an important pilgrimage site for the Hindus of the world, with millions of devotees visiting its temples, Ashrams, and holy Ghat (embankment) all year round.

Taj Nadesar Palace, housed in a heritage property set in mango orchards and jasmine fields, is the best property in town. There is a golf course on the premises where you can tee off, a J Wellness Circle offering Ayurveda massages, “royal horse carriages” taking you around the city on guided tours, and so many other 5-star amenities.

Rooms and suites at the Taj Nadesar, set in a hue of jasmines and marigolds (the colors of Varanasi), come equipped with furniture and artwork from Maharaja’s collection.

Amenities: J Wellness Circle, Royal Horse Carriage Rides, gym.

Cost: Rooms start at $765 per night per room.

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4. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

 

Umaid Bhawan

The Umaid Bhawan is owned by the royal family of Jodhpur. Located in Banipark, built in the 1940s it is the last of the palaces of the Princely era, and still one of the largest private properties in the world.

Named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, the grandfather of the current Maharaja, it features 347 royal rooms and suites and also houses a museum. The royal family still lives in one part of the Palace, while the rest of the palace has been converted into a luxury hotel.

Built in a style that has many departures from the Indo-Saracenic tradition of other palaces in the region, the Umaid Bhawan has magnificent courtyards, carved balconies, wide terraces, and huge manicured lawns. The palace has many Tudor, Lutyens, Italian, and colonial elements to it. It is set on 26 acres of lawns and consists of a large Durball Hall, a vaulted Banquet Hall, a spa, an indoor swimming pool, two squash rooms, four tennis courts, a ballroom, a library, and a host of other royal features.

Amenities: J Wellness Circle Spa offers a range of massages, Yoga, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, a 24-hour business center, a yoga facility, billiards and pool tables, squash courts, and golf.

Cost: Rooms and suites start at $850 per night.

5. Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur

 

Jai Mahal

Nestled in the heart of the “Paris of India” Jaipur, close to the City Palace, Jai Mahal was the former residence of the Prime Minister of the kingdom. The Mahal was constructed in the 1740s and is as old as the city itself. When you check into the property, you are teleported back in time to the grandeur of the princely era.

Set in 18 acres of landscaped gardens, the Jai Mahal is a fine heritage property that comes with a spa, a fitness center, and a range of other amenities.

Amenities: Spa, Sauna, fitness center, heritage deluxe rooms and suites.

Cost: Rooms start at $350 per night per room.

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6. Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai

 

Taj Mahal Palace

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is not just a luxury property but also a historical cultural landmark of the city that has been around since 1903 when it was built to property luxury and high-end hospitality to viceroys, commissioners, politicians, statements, and ministers visiting India.

A fine exhibit built in a blend of Indian and colonial traditions, the Taj Mahal in Mumbai is modeled after the Taj Mahal of Agra and offers 285 rooms and suites. Located right opposite to The Gateway of India, this iconic hotel gives you excellent views of the city’s landscape and the Arabian sea from its ideal location in the Apollo Bunder. Top attractions of Mumbai like the Gateway of India, the Queen’s Necklace, and the beach are within walking distance.

The Taj Mahal boasts 9 restaurants and bars offering international, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, and European cuisine.

Amenities: 9 restaurants and bars, J Wellness Spa, Swimming Pool, 24-hour room service

Cost: Rooms and suites start at $425 per night per room.

 7. Rajmahal Palace RAAS, Jaipur

 

Rajmahal Palace

The Raj Mahal was the first residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur Maharaja Sawai Man Sing when he moved his capital from Amber to the current city in the 1730s. It is still one of the finest palaces of the kingdom.

Now a luxury palace hotel, the Raj Mahal offers 13-art-deco-themed rooms, a legacy of the last Maharaja who resided in it—a great aficionado of the art-deco wave of the early 20th century. Operated by the well-respected RAAS Group of Luxury Hotels, the Rajmahal Palace comes with 24/7 room service and concierge, a splendid RAAS spa, an outdoor swimming pool, and a bar.

Amenities: Bar, Spa, Swimming pool, two restaurants, vintage car rides.

Cost: Rooms start at $355 per night per room.

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8. Taj Fateh Prakash Palace, Udaipur

 

Taj Fateh Prakash

The Taj Fateh Prakash Palace is located within the City Complex of Udaipur. It was built in the early 20th century by Maharana Fateh Singh, the then-ruler of the Kingdom of Udaipur. The king commissioned the palace as a royal guest house and venue for state events.

With 65 rooms and suites, the Taj Fateh Prakash gives you a royal hospitality experience that is authentic in Udaipuri. With a stay at the Taj Fateh Prakash, you get to live within the premises of the City Palace, the home of the royal family.

Operated by the Taj Group of Luxury Hotels, this palace comes with the whole gamut of 5-star amenities and splendid views of Lake Pichola and the Aravalli Hills.

Amenities: Bar, swimming pool, multiple dining options, spa.

Cost: Rooms start at $506 per night per room.

9. Jehan Numa Palace, Bhopal, India

Jehan Numa

The central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is known for its ancient heritage, forts, temples, and rich flora and fauna. It has more national parks than any other Indian state.

The Jehan Numa Palace, former residence of the Nawab Begums of Bhopal built during the era of Nawab Sultan Jehan Begum, takes you to an era of Nawabi elegance, cultural refinement, and royal luxury. The Jehan Numba Hotel Group also owns the luxury safari properties of the Bori Safari Lodge and the Jehan Numa Jungle Lodge. You can split your time between the Palace and any of these properties to go on a tiger-spotting safari in Madhya Pradesh.

Located in the Shamla Hills, the Jehan Numa Palace is a fusion of British Colonial, Classical Greek, and Italian Renaissance forms. It offers rooms and suites well-appointed with classy décor and fine furniture, where you wake to the pristine views of the Upper Lake. It has multiple restaurants and five banquet halls, and a fine spa, a steam & sauna, and an outdoor swimming pool.

Amenities: Bar, steam & Sauna, spa, swimming pool.

Cost: Rooms start at $108 per night per room.

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1o. Falaknuma Palace Hotel, Hyderabad

 

Falaknuma Palace

Formerly a part of the Nizam of Hyderabad, the city of Hyderabad is famed for its Nawabi high culture, fine cuisine, refined poetry and music, and cultural allure. The Falaknuma Palace “the Mirror of the Sky” was built in the 1890s on the top of a hill that overlooks the city of Hyderabad.

The Falaknuma Palace sprawls in 32 acres of green space with manicured gardens and fountains and features 60 Nawabi suites and deluxe rooms. One of the highlights of a stay in the Falaknuma is its Hyderabadi specialty restaurant “Adda.”

This fine 5-star luxury hotel comes jampacked with amenities: 24/7 room service, 24-hour business center, concierge, J Wellness Circle, and several dining options

Amenities: Swimming pool, fitness center, spa, kids’ play area, J Wellness Circle.

Cost: Rooms start at $780 per night per room.

11. The Imperial, Delhi

 

The Imperial

The Imperial Delhi is a Raj-era 5-star hotel that still maintains its colonial vibe and char. It was built in 1931. The property is tastefully adorned with vintage Rattan furniture, colonial art, paintings, wheeling fans, and artwork from the British era.Sandwiched between the old Delhi (Shahjahanabad) and New Delhi, the Imperial is strategically located to give you a taste of both the contemporary and the ancient. Cannaught Place, one of New Delhi’s most important colonial-era business district that is home to many businesses and fine restaurants is located walked distance from the Imperial. Notable facilities at the Imperial include a state-of-the-art fitness studio, a fine spa, a sauna, and guided tours to the historical landmarks of Delhi.

Amenities: Spa, Swimming pool, fitness center, sauna.

Cost: Rooms and suites start at $386 per night per unit.

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12. Shiv Niwas Palace, Udaipur

 

Shiv Niwas

The Shiv Niwas Palace was the former residence of the Maharana of Udaipur. It was built in the early 20th century by Maharana Fateh Sing, and lies only 300 meters from the City Palace—the current residence of the Maharana. The property had the privilege of hosting the Prince of Wales and King George V when he visited India in 1905.

Operated by the HRH Group, the Shiv Niwas Palace is where modern luxury meets ancient mystique. Notable facilities at the Shiv Niwas Palace include a spa, a wellness center, an outdoor swimming pool, and a fitness center.

Amenities: Spa, Swimming pool, fitness center.

Cost: Rooms start at $450 per night per room.

13. Oberoi Grand Kolkata

 

Oberoi Grand

The “Great Dame on Chowringhee” Oberoi Grand Kolkata is over a hundred years old and is one of the city’s most recognizable and celebrated landmarks that has served “the City of Joy” well. Along with the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, the Oberoi Grand is one of India’s earliest modern luxury hotels.

Tastefully decorated with classic colonial color palettes, wooden furniture, and vintage chandeliers, the Oberoi Grand offers deluxe rooms and suites. The Oberoi Spa offers rejuvenating therapies, and the 360 restaurant offers all-day fine dining.

Amenities: Spa, swimming pool, gym, all-day dining, 24/7 room service.

Cost: Rooms start at $108 per night per room.

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14. Neemrana Fort, Neemrana

 

Neemrana Fort

This 555-year-old medieval fort-palace located on the Delhi-Jaipur highway is the perfect weekend escape from Delhi.

Nestled in the Aravalli hills, the Neemrana is perched on a slopy hill with terraced lawns and is constructed in 14 tiers sloping down from the hills. It offers 78 rooms & suites, and 9 different wings that serve a variety of purposes—wedding events, conference halls, parties, restaurants, café, bars, and sundecks.

Sprawling over 6 acres of space, it has several “hanging gardens” on various tiers of the hill and two pools with fine views of the valley. The Ayurveda Spa is a great place to pamper yourself with some relaxing massages.

Amenities: Heated pool (upper level), large swimming pool, several restaurants, spa, bar, camel cart rides, gym, kids play area.

Cost: Rooms start at $140 per night per room.

15. Samode Palace, Samode

 

Samode Palace

The Samode Palace was built 480 years ago and is a stylish heritage property located in Samode, a village village in the Chomu region of Rajasthan. The royal family of Samode owns a group of fine other heritage haveli hotels in Jaipur as well.

The ancestral home of the House of Samode is surrounded by lush green mountains. The Samode Palace is a serene escape to get away from the buzz and noise of urban areas of Rajasthan and enjoy a relaxing countryside holiday, pampered by the finest amenities and excellent service.

Amenities: Spa, guided village tours, hikes, Swimming pool, fitness center.

Cost: Rooms start at $343 per night per room.

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