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This vast country, teeming with ancient temples, fortresses and bazaars full of colourful spices, with its snow-capped Himalayan peaks to the north and sun-drenched beaches to the south, holds more treasures that you could hope to discover in a dozen lifetimes. India is not so much a destination, it’s a series of unforgettable experiences, a riot for the senses, and the food...oh, the food. Yes, there’s so much to see and do with a hotel in India.
Mumbai - Formerly known as Bombay, a hotel in Mumbai is your gateway to India. The beating heart of the vibrant Bollywood movie industry, a melting-pot of cultures, languages and aromas and in the middle of it all, a tropical forest. Mumbai can sometimes feel like stepping into an artist’s palette that’s caught up in a whirlwind. Perhaps that’s why so many people fall so deeply for it.
Jaipur - Painted pink to welcome the Prince of Wales in 1876, many streets apparently decided they liked the colour, and Jaipur is now known as the Pink City. Part of the famous Golden Triangle, India’s most popular tourist circuit, Jaipur’s unmissable sights include the imposing Amer Fort, and the Birla Mandir Hindu temple, which is best seen in the evenings when it’s beautifully illuminated. Book a Jaipur hotel today.
Delhi - With 25 million people in seven cities, it’s no surprise that for many first-time visitors to the sprawling, surging metropolis that is Delhi, it can seem utterly chaotic. The temptation then is to swiftly do all the main sights - the Red Fort, the Gates of Old Delhi, the fort of Purana Qila, the Lodi Gardens and the bustling bazaars - and then move on, but if you can take the heat and the crowds then Delhi has a funny habit of convincing you to stick around in one of its grand hotels.
Goa - This southern state was once a Portuguese colony, and remnants of this period can be seen everywhere, from its Catholic cathedrals and to the occasional drifting lilt of fado music drifting through a window. Yes, this is where people book hotels to party, but there’s far more to Goa than just the nightlife. Spend a morning in the market looking for handicrafts and jewellery, tour a spice farm or indulge in what seems to be the number one activity here - yoga.
Kerala - A South Indian coastal state, beloved by visitors for its tropical landscapes, idyllic sandy beaches, seaside hotels and resorts and the tranquil tea plantations often centred around Munnar, a hill station and once a popular holiday resort for officers of the British Raj. Feeling under the weather? Ayurvedic retreats are very big here.
North of Mumbai, see the incredible cave complex of Kanheri, used for centuries by ancient societies of monks, and learn about the influence of Buddhism on Indian society. The Taj Mahal in Agra is perhaps the greatest monument to love ever created. This ivory-white mausoleum, built by Shah Jahan in the 17th century as a tomb for his favourite wife, is one of the world’s most-recognisable structures. Nearby, another World Heritage Site, the immense Agra Fort, built of red sandstone.
Discover the highlights of the Golden Triangle, including the Red Fort, the Taj Mahal and the City Palace with a convenient five-day tour of Jaipur, Delhi and Agra. Goa has long been one of the iconic traveller destinations, but there’s another side to it beyond the beaches and the bars which you can discover with a guided walking tour. If you want to get away from it all for a while, you’ll find peace and sanctuary in the hill stations found generally in the north, where European colonists would traditionally retreat to escape the stifling summer temperatures.