As India continues to be ranked one of the most favorable travel destinations worldwide, hotel chains are busy developing newer and more creative accommodations. Looking ahead, 2011 is going to be one of the most exciting years for unique properties, catering to both budget and luxury travelers. Here are a few of my most anticipated additions to the Indian market:
Rasa, Jaipur: Opening in March, the Rasa seamlessly blends modernity, luxury, and ecotourism. There will be forty tents with glass-wall facades and a private outdoor pavilion. Located adjacent to the 16th century Amer Fort, the futuristic Rasa also serves organic produce grown on site. The nearby nature sanctuary offers hiking and bird watching, all within close proximity to Rajasthan's capital and Pink City, Jaipur.
Radisson Hotel, Haridwar: As much as I love Haridwar, a holy city on the Ganges River, there are very limited first-class accommodations that cater to the more discerning traveler. The Radisson will have 16 suites and 113 rooms with a variety of upscale facilities, including an all-day dining restaurant, specialty restaurant, bar, club lounge and tea lounge.
Park Plaza and Park Inn, Delhi: It is hard to believe that Delhi, India's capital and one of the three cities on the Golden Triangle tourism circuit, has a limited number of reasonably priced moderate hotels in favorable parts of the city. But for this reason, I am very pleased to see three new properties opening in Delhi: Park Plaza New Delhi Dwarka, Park Plaza New Delhi Nari Nagar, and Park Inn Delhi CBD Shahdara. Park Plaza is an upper mid-scale brand that offers modern design in a comfortable atmosphere, while Park Inn is the slightly less upgraded counterpart. Both are highly recommended by travelers, and one of my clients calls their breakfast buffets "the best in India."
Banasura Hill Resort, Wayanad: Though Banasura is already operational, I encourage travelers to experience this ecoresort before the popularity detracts from its charm. Banasura is located in the misty hills of Wayanad in the Malabar region of Kerala. It is also Asia's largest "Earth Resort" and awarded the Greenest Destination in the Nilgiris Biosphere. The main resort is built entirely from mud, and the villas are constructed from rough hewn stone. Very impressive, considering the luxurious finishes and spacious rooms - not to mention a mud structure in an area known for heavy rainfall.