India is an intriguing yet overwhelming place. It is a melting pot of several religions, several hundred languages, and several million people. Due to its staggering size, it can be difficult to know where to start when planning a trip there. Luckily a helping hand isn’t far away. We’ve stripped India back to basics, compiling a list of India’s highlights and more importantly, how, where and when to see them. Exploring the nooks and crannies of its cities, discovering its ancient charm, experiencing its age old rituals, and falling under the spell of India’s irrepressible charm makes for an adventure you will never forget.
Top 5 romantic properties in Rajasthan
From Rajasthan's blushing capital Jaipur which is built upon ancient tales of rulers and romance, to the irrefutably romantic Udaipur known as 'the city of lakes', Rajasthan is brimming with love. We've picked out our top five romantic properties in Rajasthan for those looking for something a little special...
1. Chhatra Sagar, Nimaj
Couples looking for a quiet escape will love the serenity of the Chhatra Sagar, situated in the heart of rural Rajasthan and the former hunting ground of the Nimaj estate. Astonishingly positioned on the walls of a dam with serene views across a manmade lake, Chhatra Sagar is a beguiling recreation of the luxury of the regal hunting parties in the days of the Raj. The hotel consists of eleven spacious luxury tents, each fitted with locally crafted traditional furniture. This includes comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms with power showers, and a private sit-out with dazzling panoramic views of rural Rajasthan. For even more seclusion, the Chhatra Sagar provides a further two tents that, sitting on top of a hill, offer total privacy along with breath-taking 360-degree views.
Nothing says romance better than a candlelit dinner for two at a first rate restaurant. Dining is a special affair at Chhatra Sagar, whether in the dining tent overlooking the lake or by the campfire under a canopy of stars – the ultimate romantic dinner location. The meals are delightful and inspired by traditional family recipes. All meals, soft drinks, tea, coffee and local excursions are included in the rates.
2. The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur
Nestled in the charming Rajasthan countryside, the Oberoi Rajvilas expertly encapsulates the magnificence of Princely Rajasthan, and has all the makings for the perfect romantic getaway. Located within easy reach of the capital, this stunning hotel offers elegant luxury, outstanding service and a peaceful oasis to retire to after a day’s exploration. All 71 rooms, tents and villas sit within a beautiful expanse of gardens 32 acres strong, and feature the very best of Rajasthani craftsmanship. Handsome four-poster beds and gorgeously finished bathrooms adorn every apartment. Alternately choose one of the luxury tented rooms, where you can relax in the comfort of your own private gardens. These elegant chambers are complemented by embroidered interior canopies, old style baths and outdoor decks.
The Oberoi takes dining to the next level and offers guests a true gourmet experience. Chefs will prepare delicious Indian (and international) cuisine using fresh produce collected directly from the gardens of the hotel. Unwind in the spa or with a good book in the Library Bar, where signature cocktails and luxury spirits are available. Explore nearby attractions, such as the City Palace, the Amber Fort and the awe-inspiring cliff fort of Nahargarh.
3. The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra
The Oberoi Amarvilas is Agra’s top hotel and a glorious retreat for couples and honeymooners. Inspired by Moorish and Mughal architecture, the hotel’s stylish rooms boast splendid teak floors and spacious marble bathrooms. These elegant and opulent interiors transport you to an era of Emperors, Princes and bygone glories. On top of these admirable attributes, one of the best features of the Oberoi is its location. Standing a mere 600 metres from the Taj Mahal, guests have access to unrivalled views from all 64 rooms and suites. The sight of this extravagant monument in the first rays of dawn is a real highlight! The Oberoi is also excellently positioned to allow straightforward access to other famous monuments, including Akbar’s impressive Red Fort and the atmospheric fortified city of Fatepur Sikri.
Enjoy romantic meals in the hotel’s two superb restaurants that serve both international and deliciously authentic Indian cuisine. For a relaxing drink, the terrace bar has a fine selection to be enjoyed with excellent views of the Taj or by the dreamy cobalt blue swimming pool. To top it off couples can indulge in a full range of Ayurvedic, Thai and Western treatments in the onsite spa, as well as relaxing yoga and meditation sessions.
4. Mihir Garh, Jodhpur
Inspired by the beautiful rural village architecture of Western Rajasthan, this indulgent boutique spa hotel is a picture of tall mud walls, smooth rounded corners and hidden alcoves. Exquisitely situated in the middle of the Rajasthan desert, Mihir Garh’s nine magnificent suites face either the dawn or the sunset, and come with large private terraces. Each has a spacious sitting room and bathroom with a soft décor that blends seamlessly with the desert colours surrounding the fort. Despite its remote location Mihir Garh offers every modern convenience, as well as the perfect ambience for a romantic trip.
Mihir Garh has access to a wealth of exciting activities, and is perfect for couples who want to gain a unique insight into the colourful rural heritage of the land. Their signature village safari is a favourite, and provides a glimpse into the colourful Bishnoi tribal culture. The equestrian programme is equally special, where guests can enjoy exceptional riding on immaculately kept Marwari horses, stopping off for a maharajah-style lakeside picnic served by staff in traditional dress. Only 45 minutes south of Jodhpur, many guests choose to spend a morning in the ‘Blue City’ before returning to the tranquillity of Mihir Garh in the evening. Alternately enjoy a pampering session with a variety of treatments available at Mihir Garh’s Tulsi Spa, with its massage, steam and sauna rooms.
5. Taj Lake Palace
Last but not least is the stunning Taj Lake Palace, a wonder piece of marble architecture. The absolute epitome of luxury and indulgence, the Lake Palace offers its guests only the finest in hotel hospitality. This iconic hotel was first built in the mid-eighteenth century to be the summer palace of a Rajput Prince, but is today proclaimed to be one of the world’s most romantic hotels. The opulence and luxury of Rajasthani royalty has been beautifully maintained in all 83 spacious guestrooms and suites. Gorgeous marble walkways, shining cupolas, pretty mosaics and exquisitely carved furniture perfectly capture the character of its history. From their rooms guests have the opportunity to marvel at the matchless views of Udaipur and the Aravalli Hills beyond the magnificent marble palace.
The Lake Palace’s four exquisite restaurants combine fantastic locations with sublime cuisine. Asian, Indian, and contemporary Western and Italian dishes are served in a variety of romantic locations by a lily pond, poolside or on the rooftop. Couples can also enjoy an enchanting cruise on the lake, with food and cocktails served on board, whilst being serenaded with classical Indian ragas. Elephant, camel and horse rides are also available for those more adventurous.