India was once reserved as a destination for backpackers, voluntourism, and group tours. Though the market remains strong for budget-friendly travel - India remains one of the top ten most affordable destinations in the world - luxury travelers have finally discovered the Indian decadence. The 2010 Virtuoso Luxe Report recognized India as the #1 Emerging Destination for Luxury Travelers. Spacious villas, private tours, and the incomparable Indian hospitality are just a few of the elements that have won over the hearts of tourists worldwide. Furthermore, in today's market, even luxury travelers are looking for a good deal - another benefit to experiencing what India has to offer. As one traveler recently told me, "I am a 6-star traveler, but I don't need bragging rights. Even I like to find a good deal. And India was the perfect combination of opulence and affordability."
So where can luxury travelers expect to stay during their Indian experience? Here are a few of my favorite properties:
1. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur: This white marble luxury hotel shimmers in the middle of Lake Pichola, surrounded by the Aravalli Mountains. The palace was built in 1746 and the Royal Butlers are descendants of the original staffers, ensuring each guest is treated like royalty. For the ultimate experience, reserve one of the ten Grand Royal Suites, offering a glimpse of the Rajasthani princely lifestyles of the past.
2. Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra: Each room and suite offers a stunning view of the famed and majestic Taj Mahal. The resort was built to reflect Mughal architecture and has terraced lawns, fountains, and pavilions. The Kohinoor Suite includes a private butler and the white marble bathroom offers one of the best views of the monument. The Oberoi Spa experience is also not to be missed.
3. Oberoi Vrinda, Kerala: I have often said that all travelers must experience a houseboat in the backwaters of Kerala, and Oberoi took this experience to the next level with their luxury cruising vessel, the Vrinda. The eight cabins have a simple elegance with large windows overlooking the lakes and canals. The vessel also boasts of its internationally-rated cuisine that incorporates local ingredients, including coconuts, bananas, and prawns.
This is just a sample of India's finest properties, and I invite you to savor the country to its fullest. You may complete a Custom Trip Proposal and one of our representatives will customize your luxury Indian experience.