Everything has been said about this hotel, from its unique location, materials used and attention to detail, service etc. I like to be surprised and here I simply list a few things that, to me, set Amarvilas apart from other top-end hotels.
The personalized service is exceptional and you don't need to have booked a top suite with five butlers to experience it. Staff are well-trained, polite and engage with the guest in an intelligent manner, hence the experience will be different for everyone although you benefit most if you feel comfortable in such surroundings.
Things I found stood out:
- Cool towels and drinks on arrival, possibly a welcome by the hotel manager, followed by:
- check-in: there is no check-in. Someone takes your passport and while showing you around everything is done for you. Nothing could be better.
- poolside service with suncream, water and cool towels, spray.
- subtle live music, large flower bouquets and arrangements
- golf buggy to the Taj, 500m away, anytime, knowledgeable guides if you wish
- The design of the building: even on the toilet (!) you can view the Taj, rooms have beautiful furniture.
- no defacing 'watch your step' etc signs
- differently flavoured honeys and chocolate ganache, breads at breakfast (exquisite but not exuberant)
- immaculate manicured gardens with labels for plant names (I would add the common English name though).
- competitively priced: perhaps surprising but given the small size of the hotel and the fact you pay similar rates in business hotel without the location and personal service I thought Amarvilas was good value, unlike some of the grand hotels in Europe.
- print on demand int. newspapers although double-sided printed PDF versions will work better than a few articles.
Things I thought could be improved:
- lights in the bathroom are from top and behind making it difficult to see yourself in the mirror for shaving etc. Did I not find the mirror light?
- caesar salad at pool is great but is no caesar (i.e. no caesar dressing)
- hairdresser is not a barber hence no beard trim / shave available
- food in the main restaurant was underwhelming. While certainly of high quality, it seemed to me 'americanized' that is undaring, no bold flavours, unsurprising. India's cuisine can tantalize your taste buds but I was not lucky enough to experience this at Esphahan. Why not have a taster menu from the different regions in India?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Taj Mahal is extraordinary as much for what it is as how it has escaped the banality of cliché. For 350 years, this monument evokes a sense of wonder. Only by being there can you witness its true majesty, its symmetry, its setting and the delicacy of its carved marble inlaid with precious stones. Now just suppose you were to overlook it from your hotel room? The Oberoi Amarvilas is 600 metres from this tribute to love. The lavish interiors and elaborate gardens add to the serenity of the scene. The guestrooms are palatial: all have magical views and are luxuriously furnished with traditional fabrics, white marble, hand-crafted ornaments and every modern amenity. There is a luxury spa offering a range of therapies, a swimming pool where snacks and drinks are served; an ornamented ballroom and fine restaurants to suit the international palate. But the lobby lounge is a feast for the eye designed, as it was, around that glorious view of the Taj Mahal. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Oberoi Amarvilas Hotel Agra
- Oberoi Hotel Agra
- Oberoi Agra
- Agra Oberoi
- Amarvilas Agra