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by Sarah Bromley
Location: Only 600 meters away from the Taj Mahal, The Oberoi Amarvilas truly has a majestic quality all of its own. Designed to provide guests with breath-taking views of the Taj Mahal itself, The Oberoi Amarvilas is luxurious enough to host a Mughal Emperor. Glide across stone bridges through the hand painted arches of the impressive forecourt, boasting opulent water fountains, from it's reflective pools. Then, find yourself standing underneath a sky high decorative dome, mirrored by that of the Taj Mahal, in the impressive lobby and immerse yourself in the richly decorated interiors, full of ornate handcrafted furniture, gilded frescoes and regal Indian fabrics. Inspired by Moorish and Mughal architecture, this impressive hotel has one hundred and five bedrooms, seven suites, two exquisite restaurants and a lobby bar that serves speciality cocktails, complete with spectacular clear views overlooking the Taj Mahal.
History: The Oberoi Amarvilas looks as it has been there for centuries, but was built in 2001 by leading Indian architect Prabhat Patki. Inspired by Moorish and Mughal architecture, Patki was set the challenge to reflect the exotic grandeur of the nearby Taj Mahal, standing only six hundred yards away. Bound by regulations that forbid building higher than that of the Taj Mahal domes and the master plan of achieving one hundred and twelve guest rooms and suites each with their own view of the Taj Mahal, was no easy task. But lined with grand chandeliers and opulent interiors, combined with a spectacular architectural design, fit to compliment that of the Taj Mahal, there is no better place to stay in Agra.
Rooms and Suites: The hotel has 95 rooms and 7 suites with or without private balcony - all the room categories offer a picturesque view of the Taj Mahal. Chose from a Premier Room, a Premier Room with a balcony, a Deluxe Suite, a Luxury Suite or their Kohinoor Suite which is the resident Presidential Suite. Each room is decorated with the finest Indian fabrics and strives to capture the glory of a royal era. All rooms feature a personal bar, satellite television, a digital videodisc player and electronic safe. The Premier Rooms each have their own hand embroidered headboard above the king size or twin beds, a wooden desk, private lounge area and an impressive marble bathroom. The Deluxe Suites come complete with a separate powder room and living room. The spacious Luxury Suites not only offer a four-poster bed, walk-in closet, a separate living cum dining room, butler pantry and powder room but your very own private open-air terrace with a view of the landscaped gardens and the beautiful Taj Mahal.
Restaurants and Bars: Two restaurants offer the choice of fine international cuisine and authentic flavours of India. The Bellevue restaurant serves International and Indian cuisine and the Esphahan restaurant serves traditional Indian dishes for dinner. The Lobby Lounge is the place for a reviving coffee or a quiet cup of Darjeeling tea and the Bar serves a fine selection of spirits, wines and cocktails. Or simply relax with a quiet drink while gazing at the Taj Mahal from the bar terrace. Set in a terraced garden and lit with torches, the beautiful white marble colonnaded swimming pool is straight from the fairy-tale pages of the Arabian Nights. Chauffer driven, custom designed limousines available for hire to tour the area. .
and Spa: Imagine being in a bath full of roses whilst overlooking the Taj
Mahal and getting treated like royalty. The Oberoi Amarvilas Spa lives up to
it's exquisite reviews, offering not only a beautifully majestic spa fit for a
Maharaja but an array of speciality baths and a selection of treatments using
the Ayurvedic technique having derived from ancient India over 5000 years ago.
Couples simply must try their signature 'Noor-E-Taj Romance' ritual and, of
course, being in India itself there's no better place to request an Indian Head
massage. There is also a swimming pool set within it's immaculate terraced
garden, yoga and meditation available as well as a state-of-the-art Gymnasium.
Room Rates: Starting price
for a Double Bedroom at The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra is £570 excl. tax.