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Luxury Tour of India: Thoughts on these hotels?

Luxury Tour of India: Thoughts on these hotels?

Old Oct 19, 15, 4:13 pm
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Luxury Tour of India: Thoughts on these hotels?

Rounding out my India trip, and here's where I'll be:

Bangalore: Taj West End (2 nights)
Mysore: the Green Hotel (30 nights)
Jodhpur: Umaid Bhavan Palace (2 nights)
Jaipur: Rajmahal Palace (2 nights)
Jaipur: Rambagh Palace (1 night)
Ranthanbore: Sherbagh (2 nights)
Agra: Oberoi Amarvilas (1 night)
Varanasi: Nadesar Palace (1 night)
Narendra Nagar: Ananda in the Himalayas (3 nights)

Thoughts on pacing of this trip? Only have 2 weeks and sent for a sort of "best of India" styled trip.

I usually go for slow and steady....as I'd rather over-stay than be rushed. But time isn't on my side this trip.

Any recent feedback on Ananda? Couldn't find much here...
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Old Oct 20, 15, 12:10 am
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Originally Posted by pricesquire View Post
Mysore: the Green Hotel (30 nights)

Thoughts on pacing of this trip? Only have 2 weeks ...
Ummm ... think you might be a tad off here.
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Old Oct 20, 15, 1:13 am
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The Taj West End is ok, but not at the same level as the Taj Palace in Bombay. I've heard mixed reviews of Rambagh in Jaipur. Personally I had an awesome stay at the Le Meridien Jaipur. However at many luxury hotels in India service can be great one day and awful the next. So temper your expectations.
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Old Oct 20, 15, 3:19 am
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We've just come back from 10 days in India with the following itinerary

Delhi: Oberoi New Delhi (1 night)
Varanasi: Nadesar Palace (1 night)
Agra: Oberoi Amarvillas (1 night)
Jaipur: Oberoi Rajvillas (2 nights)
Udaipur: Oberoi Udaivillas (2 nights)
Amritsar: Hyatt (1 night)

In terms of pace, we enjoy travelling at a fairly fast pace and the trip was a good pace for us but you might want to think about where you are spending your time - in my view Jaipur doesn't have that much to see so you might want to cut a night there. Agra and Varanasi can both be done in 24 hours each (although you will be busy) so you probably have enought time there.

We got a great deal on the Oberoi hotels through them as part of their "Summer Exotic Vacations" (we went at the end of September) so that slightly swayed our hotel choices in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Udaipur but the Oberoi Amarvillas was spectacular and without doubt the place to stay in Agra. The Udaivillas was also beautifully located and an amazing and very relaxing setting but I see your plans don't include Udaipur.

The Nadesar Palace is a beautiful luxury hotel and without doubt the best place to stay in Varanasi although I didn't think the food was quite as good as we had at Varanasi.

As stimpy says, we found Indian service was very attentive and well meaning but sometimes lacked the polish you might expect in other luxury hotels (e.g. ringing us 5 times in one hour with conflicting information about departure arrangements).
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Old Oct 20, 15, 11:35 am
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I am horrified by how many destinations and hotels many of you factor into your India itinerary for a bare 2 weeks. If it is just a matter of ticking off the locations in a been-there-done-that manner, then I suppose that is up to you, but if you want to experience India properly, then do less and see more.

Since Tata handed over Taj to Mistry and Raymond Bickson was shunted aside for a guy who used to run base-level Hyatts in the US, I and many of my friends feel that the group has lost its way and that standards have fallen quite considerably, both in service and in food.

Taj West End, Bangalore - still the most residential and Colonial of choices, but perhaps not quite as sharp and well maintained as it was. You need to book a suite here, not a room.

The Green Hotel in Mysore? For 3 nights? Why? Mysore is better visited as a day trip from Bangalore. The only real thing to see is the colourful market. It would be more interesting to go to Chennai (used to be Madras) and stay at The Leela there - then you can take a trip to the extraordinary beach temples of Mahabalipuram. Avoid The Green Hotel.

Umaid Bhawan Palace (Taj) Jodhpur - a very beautiful and interesting place, well worth a 3 night stay as it is also an excellent resort.

Rambagh Palace (Taj), Jaipur is well placed to see the sights but I don't understand why you are staying here as well as Sujan's Rajmahal Palace. The other option of course is The Oberoi Rajvilas, which has more of a resort feel. I would not switch hotels - choose one and stick with it. 2 nights in Jaipur is probably enough.

Sherbagh in Ranthanbore is fine for 2 nights, although I personally prefer The Oberoi Vanyavilas.

The Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra for 1 night is a rush, given how much there is to see in Agra (not just the Taj Mahal) and how pleasant the pool is here.

Nadesar Palace in Varanasi is a unique little hideaway with palace style service. If you actually want to see the ghats as well as enjoy the hotel, then 1 night is insufficient. 2 would be better.

Ananda in the Himalayas for 3 nights sounds lovely, doesn't it. Unfortunately, I think it is a spa factory - massages conveyor-belt style. There are much better spas and treatments in other hotels. If you want to relax, then go to Udaipur and stay at The Oberoi Udaivilas on the lake, which has a very pleasant spa. The rooms and suites here are also a lot nicer than at Ananda.

It depends on what time of year you are going. May is the best time for the Himalayas, as it is warm. A more interesting choice would be Wildflower Hall in the Himalayas, which is set in stunning scenery and has a beautiful spa.
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Old Oct 20, 15, 11:48 am
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Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post
It would be more interesting to go to Chennai (used to be Madras) and stay at The Leela there - then you can take a trip to the extraordinary beach temples of Mahabalipuram. Avoid The Green Hotel.
This I absolutely agree with. Madras is vastly more interesting and colorful. And the food scene I rank as second to Bombay. And why isn't Bombay on your list? That city is a veritable foodie paradise. I don't really consider myself a foodie, but the high end dining in Bombay is just stunning. I always come back with a few extra kilos under my belt. Plus you have one of the top hotels in the entire country in the Taj Palace. And the Oberoi isn't too shabby. They have a FS, but I've not tried it. I don't think it compares well.
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Old Oct 20, 15, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post
The Green Hotel in Mysore? For 3 nights? Why? Mysore is better visited as a day trip from Bangalore. The only real thing to see is the colourful market. It would be more interesting to go to Chennai (used to be Madras) and stay at The Leela there - then you can take a trip to the extraordinary beach temples of Mahabalipuram. Avoid The Green Hotel.
I *need* to be in Mysore for thirty days. My wife has a yoga program there and renting an apartment, on late notice, just isn't going to fly.

Green Hotel provides the amenities I need for a 30 day stay. Wifi, housekeeper, delivery services, comped breakfast, etc.

As for the 2 weeks I have free (I agree, didn't do a good job of explaining that), I do want to check some things off the list but I am also down for taking 2-3 destinations off that list.

So, if you had to remove 2-3 destinations to slow the pace down, which 2-3 would you remove?

Otherwise, thank you all for such good feedback!
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Old Oct 21, 15, 10:13 am
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Oh, I thought 30 days was a miss-spell!

Can we work out where you are flying into and where you are fying out of? otherwise, it is not easy to work out an itinerary that makes sense.

Delhi? Mumbai? Are these not of interest, given that they are, most frequently, the hubs you need to fly from to places like the Himalayas or Jaipur.
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Old Oct 21, 15, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post
Oh, I thought 30 days was a miss-spell!

Can we work out where you are flying into and where you are fying out of? otherwise, it is not easy to work out an itinerary that makes sense.

Delhi? Mumbai? Are these not of interest, given that they are, most frequently, the hubs you need to fly from to places like the Himalayas or Jaipur.
Flying into BLR, flying out of BOM.

So right now it looks like:

Flying into BLR on Oct. 30. Departing BLR for Mysore on the 21st or 1st of Nov.

Sticking around Mysore until Dec. 1, then free as a bird. Need to be in BOM on Dec. 14 for a return flight. Otherwise, down for ANYTHING.
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Old Oct 21, 15, 11:25 am
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OK, in which case it is totally the wrong time of year to go to the Himalayas unless you are prepared for snow and are into packing tons of thermal underwear!

Try this, as it has a certain logic to the flights:-

Bangalore: Taj West End (2 nights)

Mysore: the Green Hotel (30 nights - because you have to)

Hyderabad: Taj Falaknuma Palace (2 nights)

Delhi: The Leela Palace (1 night)

Agra: The Oberoi Amarvilas (2 nights - travel by car along the new highway)

Jaipur: The Oberoi Rajvilas (3 nights) By car from Agra. Oberoi will transfer.

Jaipur to Jodhpur (always use Jet Airways!): Umaid Bhawan Palace (3 nights).

Jodhpur to Mumbai. Stay 1 nights at Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai then fly home.

Save the rest for your next few trips!
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Old Oct 21, 15, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post
Stay 1 nights at Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai then fly home.
Keep in mind that his flight home probably leaves after midnight so maybe book two nights or arrange a 1 and a half night stay. Also keep in mind that traffic during the day from the airport to the Taj could run two hours. But after midnight it's not so bad. Plus like I said you enjoy dining Bombay is worth more than just one night. I'd recommend for 2.5 nights in his case.
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Old Oct 22, 15, 6:16 am
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When are you making this trip? May want to see what are the realistic chances of seeing a tiger in Ranthambore. We spent two nights there and didn't get to see one. Better over the summer but if probability is not high, give it a miss
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Old Oct 23, 15, 4:13 pm
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I don't know that Jaipur/Jodhpur is worth a total of 5 days- I would rebalance in favor of Delhi, which has a lot of history and provides context for a lot of the history of places like Jaipur
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Old Oct 23, 15, 4:36 pm
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I would not leave out Udaipur and would spend at least 3 nights there. I would do a traditional Delhi, Agra and add Ramthanbore, Jaipur and Udaipur I would do 3 nights in each except Agra, where I would 2 nights. Then, do your Mysore.

I did the above in that amount of days and it was perfect. Not rushed, time for relaxing and pacd well.
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Old Oct 24, 15, 2:28 am
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I would recommend you to stay at Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur. I think it is a much better experience than the other 2 options you have shortlisted.
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