The Oberoi Amarvilas

Taj East Gate Rd, Paktola, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India

If the Taj Mahal were a performance, The Oberoi Amarvilas would be the front-row seats. Just a few steps from the eastern gate of India’s most iconic monument, this luxury hotel—which is often ranked as one of the world’s best—is full of Mughal-inspired design, from the arched walkways and marble accents to the inlaid-wood furnishings and gold leaf–embellished frescoes that appears throughout the common areas. Things get even more beautiful at night, when the hotel illuminates its numerous fountains and terraces and serves romantic, candlelit dinners by the pool. Rooms here are as elegant as you might expect, with teak floors, deep soaking tubs, and unobstructed views of the Taj Mahal.

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Spa with a View

The Oberoi Amarvilas hotel is often cited as the only luxury hotel with views of the Taj Mahal from all guest rooms, but less talked about is the fact that you can also spy the iconic monument while getting pampered at its elegant spa. Past a tucked-away door off the pool deck, you’ll find a dimly lit warren of reception spaces, beyond which lie shared facilities like a well-stocked, garden-view gym and a domed-roof marble steam room. The real magic happens up on the fourth floor (accessed by a dedicated elevator from the spa’s reception area), in spacious treatment suites with arched windows that frame the Taj. In honor of the monument, signature treatments are inspired by royal beauty rituals—incorporating ingredients like pomegranate and mineral mud—while other services feature Ayurvedic techniques and healing herbs. To really savor the views, choose a treatment that includes time in an herb- or flower-infused bath—which will take place in an oversized tub set right in front of the windows.

Look Up!

The lobby ceiling at Oberoi Rajvilas - Agra, India! Breathtaking artistry and craftsmanship, down to every detail. Even the ceilings! Second visit. Amazing!!!

Killer Heat is Not Always a Bad Thing

I took this photo of the Taj Mahal from the patio of my room in the luxurious Oberoi Amarvilas. My son and I awoke in this dreamy place when our travel plans were destroyed the day before. After touring the Taj Mahal in blistering 114 degree Fahrenheit afternoon heat, we had planned to take a train to Delhi to meet up with our traveling group and catch an international flight the next day. That did not happen. We got lightheaded and dizzy from the brutal heat. I redirected our taxi to take us to the Oberoi and negotiated a day rate so we could rest in air conditioning and recover. While I was registering, my son got sick all over the exquisite marble lobby floor. That expedited the process of getting us to a room. We ended up staying the night and awoke rested and well. The sight of the Taj Mahal was sparkling at the foot of the bed and the previous day’s fiasco was behind us. We had to hire a car, but we got to Delhi in plenty of time to catch our flight.

Your own Taj near the Taj

With views of the Taj Mahal, this place rivals (or at least, complements, the architecture with gorgeous grounds and pools and rooms with a view.

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