Taj Mahal

The Oberoi Amarvilas Agra hotel is an oasis amongst chaos.  Before entering the resort is the typical Indian village with cows roaming the streets and crowds of people walking and getting through the chaotic traffic that is known to be India.  You pull up to see a silent pond with a stone figure reflecting off of its still waters.  Someone greets you with the utmost respect and wishes you good luck by putting orange clay between your eyebrows.  You feel like… this is India. We notice the fresh flowers and a towering chandelier above as we wait for the hotel receptionist to guide us to the room.  As we step into a normal sized hotel room we cannot help but notice the window and see the most amazing view.  Almost like a magnet our balcony calls us and we step outside… breathtaking and tear evoking is the Taj Mahal right before us.  Its white marble glistens in the light of the sunset.  The rest of the trip doesn’t matter now… I am content.

 

The Rooms

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We stayed in the premium room with center views of the Taj Mahal.  The room was an average room with a good sized bathroom with shower and bath tub.  My only complaint was the hair dryer.   Due to the electrical standards in Agra, the blow dryer was automatically turned off every 1-2 minutes, so it was difficult to dry hair fast enough before becoming frizzy with the 80% humidity in the air.  Also the blow dryer I brought from home overheated and malfunctioned, so don’t bother bringing your own.  For a woman, this can be a huge complaint and it was for me.  The rest of the living area featured a king-sized bed, flat screen T.V. and sitting area.  Beyond the French doors is what this hotel is known for, which is the amazing view of one of the 7 wonders of the world.  I believe the most beautiful…the Taj Mahal.

 

The Food

If you’re not accustomed to the Indian spices, you may be in store for an irritated digestive tract.  Their Indian food is rather good but the Western takes can be mediocre at best.  We do recommend having the special dinner above the pool areas looking out to the magnificent views during sunset.  You’ll definitely take someone’s breath away with a private server with classic Indian charm.

 

Location

A 5 minute walk from the hotel is the main entrance to the Taj Mahal.   Being so conveniently close allows easy access at the best times to view the monument, Sunrise and Sunset.  This is when this wonder is empty for you to take it all in and witness its grandeur undisturbed.   Also nearby is the Agra fort and the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah.  Most most tours will take you to these sights for their history and beautiful architecture.

 

Facilities

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The facilities are personal and luxurious but rather quite small with just a few stores to buy locally famous souvenirs and a small gym and salon.  My husband got a quick hair cut trim and I remember him bring up how he was impressed with the result.  But, this resort makes up for it with its pool that has an invisible infinity edge and half of the pool underneath the resort.  We would sunbathe with cocktails winning the jet lag battle.

 

The Service

The Oberoi group knows how to train their staff.  From the moment you step into the hotel you feel like a Maharaja with staff conscientiously thinking of what you may want or need to make your stay better.  The service staff is on the younger side eager to serve and hungry to improve themselves.  Yet if you open up to them, they’ll quickly open up as well giving you insight into their lives.

 

Recommendations

  • Make your stay 2 or 3 nights at this hotel.   Should be ample time to get your Taj Mahal fix and see other sights in the area.
  • The first day you arrive view the Taj Mahal at sunset.  It is crowded at that time, but glow of the sunset is breathtaking.
  • The best time to view the Taj Mahal is at Sunrise when they open the doors when the monument is less crowded and the lighting is beautiful.
  • Sunrises and sunsets on your balcony is an experience in itself soaking in the beauty of the Taj Mahal.
  • Relax and have cocktails by the pool, sunbathing your jet lag away.

 

The Competition

  •  If you want luxury in Agra, there are no competition at this level.