I’m not sure that enough superlatives exist to adequately describe this place.
I had planned our visit here to coincide with and celebrate my wife’s birthday – a special one. I had not mentioned this to the hotel at time of booking, but did so when we were checking in, more in passing than anything else. More of this shortly …
The check-in process was warm and personalised. I realise that everyone gets that same treatment, but it was not delivered in a perfunctory manner, nor mechanically. Our bags had been whisked away, and we were greeted by one of the reception staff, offered a refreshing drink, paperwork completed with minimum fuss, and then the hotel’s GM appeared and presented his card and asked us to contact him directly if there were any problems. It’s an offer which is probably rarely taken up, but the fact that it was made set the tone for the rest of our stay. Prior to being taken to our room we were given a brief tour of the hotel so that we felt at home.
Service everywhere was excellent, from door staff, ground staff, reception staff, bar and restaurant staff, the lot.
Two things made the place absolutely stand out. We had been out seeing the sights /sites of Agra, and returned to our room to find 10 red roses and a personally signed card from the GM wishing my wife a happy birthday. A little later one of the housekeeping staff arrived with a shawl (“a gift from the housekeeping staff”) and a small plate of chocolates (from the kitchen). We dined that evening in their fine dining Indian restaurant. Shortly after we arrived I asked the hostess whether I could bring the flowers down to our table. Not only was this not a problem, but she arranged for one of the team to go get them for us, and then quietly advised me that they had prepared a small birthday cake for my wife. This, collectively, was well beyond the service level I had ever previously experienced.
In terms of overall amenity – the rooms are lovely; the grounds superb; the additional facilities (gym, pool) very good, the restaurants and meals very nice, and in this case all within a 600m walk from the Taj.
There was only one thing wrong … I did not plan for the dense fog which obscured the view of the Taj from our room, the view which was supposed to greet my wife on her birthday. But I can hardly blame the hotel for that, can I?
The Oberoi is not a cheap experience. But it’s special, and overall you get what you pay for. It’s a shame that there are not more of them around. As I said at the beginning, there are not enough superlatives ….
- 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