Selecting the Best Accommodations for Your Trip

Allison Sodha

When it comes to selecting accommodations in India and Nepal, there are many options: International Branded Hotels, Guest Houses, Havelis, Boutique Hotels, Ecotourism Lodging, Hostels, Luxury Hotels, Forts, Palaces, and Heritage Hotels - just to name a few! Travelers of all budgets and interests can find suitable lodging, and often there are too many options available. There is also the challenge of selecting accommodations that match the traveler's standards - a 3 star hotel in India, for example, may not be considered a 3 star hotel in France. Here is a brief summary and price point of common accommodations:

$ - Economy
$$ - Moderate
$$$ - Deluxe
$$$$ - Superior
$$$$$ - Luxury

Forts, Palaces, and Havelis
Many Forts, Palaces, and Havelis (private mansions) have been converted to hotels and offer a truly authentic experience. These accommodations have a star rating and can offer services similar to a larger hotel. Often, the rooms are larger and the hotel staff is enthusiastic to share the history of the property. $$ - $$$$$ Pictured Right: Samode Haveli

International Branded Hotels
This includes Hyatt, Marriott, Ramada, InterContinental, etc. These hotels have a star rating and generally offer upgraded facilities and amenities, including a fitness center, room service, air-conditioning, swimming pool, and on-call doctor. $$$ - $$$$$

Ecotourism Lodging
These facilities benefit the environment and local people. Usually the property requires a minimum stay, and there are mandatory traveler responsibilities. In India and Nepal, most eco-friendly properties provide basic amenities and limited services but provide the guests with an opportunity to directly contribute to the indigenous sustainability. $ - $$$

Luxury Hotels
Luxury hotels cater to the discerning traveler who seeks the absolute best in facilities and services, including silver-plated dinners and Mercedes for transport. This category includes Oborei and Taj properties, including the Oborei Amarvilas in Agra and Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur. $$$$$ Pictured Left: View from Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
Local Hotels and Inns
These properties can be owned and operated by a larger hotel chain but are established within India and Nepal. Local chains cater to most budgets, from Economy - Superior, and offer services synonymous with the category. The hotels' location is what often contributes to its rating, so be sure to verify its distance to preferred attractions and public transportation. $ - $$$$

Guest Houses

Guest Houses are an excellent option for travelers seeking local lodging. Similar to a Bed and Breakfast, Guest Houses generally offer rooms with attached bathrooms and meals prepared by the owner. Often, these accommodations lack a full-time staff and are located in residential areas of the destination. Guest Houses may or may not have A/C and often have a star rating, though this rating may be self-proclaimed and not granted by the MT. $ - $$$ Pictured Above: Guest House in Ladakh

Hostels provide shared accommodations (although private rooms may be available) where guests can rent a bed in a dormitory setting. The rooms can be co-ed or single-sex and commonly share a bathroom and lounge. These accommodations generally cater to backpackers and other budget travelers. Hostels may or may not have A/C. $

Whether you select an economical guest house or luxury hotel, the hospitality in India and Nepal is unlike any other part of the world. Gracious, patient, and accommodating, the staff will go above and beyond to ensure you remember the destination - and lodging - positively.

Topics: India, Accommodations

Allison Sodha

Written by Allison Sodha

Sodha Travel was born from my desire to share the beauty of India with the world. Since then, our services have extended to other destinations - but our passion remains the same. To me, traveling is a multifaceted relationship: a relationship with other cultures, a relationship with other people, and ultimately a relationship with our own self.