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The Oberoi Amarvilas
Agra

Situated in the most phenomenal location, just 600 metres from the Taj Mahal, the Oberoi Amarvilas is the best hotel in Agra and is renowned for its unsurpassed luxury and style within the city. The grand entrance façade introduces guests to the immense domed lobby, which leads onto the terrace whose windows frame an unforgettable view of the Taj Mahal and Agra.

This hotel’s raison d’etre is that all bedrooms have uninterrupted views of the Taj Mahal, an incredibly special offering, and particularly romantic on a full moon when the white marble is illuminated against the Indian night sky. Inside, traditional Persian and Moorish influences combine with modern Indian interior design to spectacular effect, and despite having 102 rooms, each one has the tranquil ambience of any boutique hotel. There are a few dining options, but our recommendation is Esphahan, a specialist tandoor restaurant which comes alive in the evening when live traditional folk music filters through a mosaic of candlelit tablesDo try the wonderful Oberoi Spa where you can enjoy a massage looking at the monument from one of their sumptuous spa suites. The stunning swimming pool is lined with dark blue slate providing a dramatic contrast to the sandstone hues of the hotel, and it is an idyllic way to end a busy day of sightseeing.

We recommend visiting the Taj Mahal either at sunrise or late in the day, when the light is soft it's the best way to see India's most famous monument of true love. Oft passed over for the forts of Rajasthan, yet arguably more impressive, Agra Fort was the main residence of the Mughal emperors until 1638 when it was captured by the British. Having built it from mud thatched houses into a 94-acre pad fit for a king, the Mughals spared no expense clearly demonstrated in the balcony adorned with precious gems with views to the mighty Taj. The Baby Taj is a precursor to the main event and faces the Taj across the Yamuna river. Built between 1622-1628 it is noticeable for the first ever use of pietra dura – floral designs on marble inlaid with semi-precious stones which is associated with the Taj Mahal.

A visit to Agra with a stay at the Oberoi Amarvilas is the perfect stop to begin or end a tailor-made tour of Rajasthan and North India

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