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“Amazing refuge in Agra”

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The Oberoi Amarvilas
Ranked #1 of 143 Hotels in Agra
Certificate of Excellence
Newport Beach, California
Level 5 Contributor
92 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 251 helpful votes
“Amazing refuge in Agra”
Reviewed September 6, 2009

That a hotel like this can exist in a place like Agra is amazing. While Agra does have some nice old colonial architecture which you can spy while whizzing by in a car, there is not much else in the town to recommend it, other than the obvious world class tourist sites in the vicinity. Simply put, Agra is quite an unpleasant and dirty place, and the Oberoi is a fantastic refuge.

I think the most amazing aspects of this hotel are the views over the Taj Mahal from all of the rooms, and the fantastic grounds. Looking out from our balcony, I was totally wowed by what I saw. The pool is simply magnificent and huge. The surrounding Mughal style gardens were filled with fourntains and small flowing rivers of water. Peaceful and visually stunning. Perfection.

The rooms of the hotel are also quite nice, although I did think our rooms were on the small side. The furnshings were Indian in style, but despite this, the room did seem a little lacking in personality. No major deficiency, but something just felt missing to me., In addition, I found the windows a bit shabby, with peeling and poorly applied a paint. It was a little incongruous with the rest of the room, which was very well kept. The bathrooms, however, are large, and very well equipped. Lovely large marble showers and amenities. These are nitpicky complaints, but for the price, the rooms are not the strongest suit of the hotel.

I enjoyed the hotel's restaurants, and there aren't any good alternatives in the area, that I could see, so you are pretty much going to patronize the hotel's restaurants. Breakfast was good. In particular, we enjoyed the South Indian breakfast at the hotel. However, the breakfast service was quite uneven despite what appeared to be an adequate number of staff. One morning, it took us at least ten minutes to get a cup of coffee in an almost empty breakfast room. When the coffee finally arrived, it was cold. Staff did apologize, but the breakfast service could be improved.

The Indian restaurant for dinner was quite memorable, especially with the live sitar and tabla music which was provided nightly. The restaurant itself is richly decorated with Indian fabrics and is lovely. However, the food was uneven. The chicken curry which was advertised on the menu as spicy, barely had any flavour. When we mentioned this to the staff, they quickly removed the charge from our bill, which was quite unexpected. The second night we ate at the restaurant, the food was much better. I loved the Indian pancake dessert on the menu. It was delicious. And the music just transformed this dining experience into a simply sublime memory.

The hotel has several nice shops under its roof, including a very nice bookstore and a branch of the Gem Palace of Jaipur with beautiful jewelry items to buy. I was quite pleased to find them, as we were not going to Jaipur on this trip.

So, this hotel really is a little miracle in Agra. It's not perfect, but it is quite astonishing and memorable in many respects. If you are going to Agra, you should stay here if at all possible. Now that I've seen the Taj Mahal twice, I don't think I will go back to this area of India again, but I will always have great memories of our stay at the Oberoi.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank kingsroadgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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pittsburgh
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviewed September 3, 2009

A fabulous hotel. The staff is very attentive and helpful (the hotel has a no tipping policy, but guests are welcome to leave a gratuity upon checkout).. The hotel is beautiful and has a serene atmosphere. My room was spacious and comfortable, and like all of the rooms in the hotel had a view of the Taj Mahal. Dinner in the hotel restaurant was delicious, and very reasonably priced.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank upmc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
milano
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2009

Amarvilas is worth every single rupee you pay for it. It is simply amazing, the view of the Taj Mahal from every room is breathtaking, the service is superb, the staff is wonderful, the spa is really great, the food is soooo good...Y
Yes, it is very expensive for Indian standards but a night there is very well spent money, especially considering that Agra has great monuments (Taj Mahal, Fort,, Baby Taj, etc...) but very little to offer other than that (apart tourist traps). This makes a stay at Amarvilas even more enjoyable (relaxing in its wonderful pool means escaping from the hustle and bustle of the town and of its unbearable touts).
It is far better than Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur and also nice than Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur. Definitely go for it, you will love it!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank giorgionet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2009

The architectural details of the public space are spectacular. The room had a great view of Taj Mahal and the pool... very green, very soothing. The decor of the room is decent, comfortable, not amazing. Spa is extremely similar to any Banyan Tree Spas. The therapist was very good since she was trained by Banyan Tree. The Spa general staff seem to be unprepared and disorganized. This seems to be indicative of the majority of staff, despite their friendliness and eagerness to assist you, are very inexperience. Consistency is truly lacking.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Santonle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2009

Amarvilas is an exceptional hotel - beautifully designed, very personalised, offering magnificent views of the Taj Mahal. Practically everything about the hotel is faultless. In contrast to the Oberoi in Delhi, everything was much more reasonably priced and the service more willing and genuine. Checking in and out was a doddle and the staff were always pleased to see you. The rooms with the balcony are on the small side but that really did not bother us. We took the cart to the Taj Mahal but really enjoyed the walk back to the hotel. If there is one criticism, then it is the pool area which does not have a cafe and is frequented by mosquitoes.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank wildspirits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2009

My husband and I stayed here for one night, to visit the Taj. We choose the Oberoi because they advertised that every room had a view of the Taj, and since we could only stay for one night (and wanted to see the Taj at Sunrise), we decided that paying the extra (as compared to the Sheraton, which was significantly less) for the sunset view from our room would be worth it. It was a good decision. They upgraded us to a room with a balcony, and it had a stunning view of the Taj. The room was nice (not the best ever, but good), with a nice bed, great bathroom, and great patio. Food in the restaurant was good (we had dinner and breakfast there). They were super attentive. There is a golf cart which will take you to the gate of the Taj and then pick you up. The pool was incredible, one of the nicest pools I've ever seen and swam in,

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank arakashi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2009

Arrived in Agra having stayed at the Imperial in Delhi and the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur. Expectations were high, but not met. The rooms in the Amervilas are small and somewhat outdated, and the corridors are dark with a low ceiling. And yes, the view is great, but I cannot help feeling that without the view the hotel would have had to be much better to justify a 5 star rating.

The service is friendly but not as consistent as in the two hotels mentioned earlier. The food in their Indian specialty restaurant was not particularly good and the ambience in the restaurant is strange and was not to our liking. To me it was a relief each time the musicians took a break unfortunatley they appeared to be paid by the hour.

The location is very convenient for a visit to the Taj, and the transfer service worked fine. In the admittedlu unlikely event that I return to Agra I will attempt to fine a better hotel.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank hotel451
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Oberoi Amarvilas

Property: The Oberoi Amarvilas
Address: Taj East Gate, Agra 282001, India
Phone Number:
Location: India > Uttar Pradesh > Agra District > Agra
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Agra
#1 Business Hotel in Agra
#1 Romantic Hotel in Agra
#1 Luxury Hotel in Agra
#1 Spa Hotel in Agra
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Oberoi Amarvilas 5*
Number of rooms: 102
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

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