Travelling through India is one of life's richest experiences. From the snowcapped Himalayas to pristine beaches and the cacophonous cities, India's layers of culture are laid over everything. Colourful traditions abound, enriching every experience, whether you're standing in front of one of India's great architectural wonders, or a cultural wonder of a natural wonder.
The choice of the best places to stay in India is as diverse as the culture or the landscape. But don't worry, our Guru's are here to help you find somewhere perfect.
Delhi is the kind of city you just need to dive into. It can be a confronting cacophony to the senses, but if you go for it you'll find there's even more to this city than the sprawling, chaotic, incoherent, colourful, historic wonder you've been promised. Built and destroyed seven times, Delhi has hundreds of monuments to show for its extraordinary past. But in addition to this living museum there are the streets and the markets and the festivals and all sorts of unexpected appeals.
Mumbai's streets can pose a similar challenge to Delhi's. But as well as the ancient quarters with their temples and markets, and the colonial districts with their beautiful architecture, Mumbai has the wealthy financial district and the fashionable parts of town where Bollywood divas enjoy the same sorts of fun you'd find in L.A.
Jaipur, the beautiful 'pink city' and capital of Rajasthan is a stop on many journeys through India. The walled, old city is a historic gateway to this most flamboyant state. The same sea of motorbikes and rickshaws surrounds Jaipur's main sights, but these majestic relics retain a certain peace, and you might even manage a moment of old India. As well as the city's buildings, the magical Amber Fort in the hills above is certainly worth a visit.
Famous with its sunshine and blue houses, Jodhpur is an age old market city on the edge of the desert, and another common stop on the grand tour of India. Once a key stop on the silk route, Jodhpur is still the region's central market for camels, cotton and cattle. And trade is in this town's blood. It feels like you can buy anything and everything in the mass of shops and stalls which spread out from the Clock Tower in the centre of town. The Mehrangarh Fort, with its epic stone walls and many palaces inside, and the 20th Century sandstone palace of Umaid Bhawan are Jodhpur's two other main landmarks.
Udaipur, Lake Pichola, the still beauty it sits beside, and the Aravalli Hills surrounding it, are another wonderfully and wonderfully atmospheric place to try and visit. As are Srinagar, with its historic gardens and wooden Kashmiri mosques, and textiles capital, Kutch and seaside, Diu in Gujarat.
If you know which part of India you'll be exploring skip through to our Indian Destination Guides:
Jaipur (Ajmer Road)
Budget hotel in the heart of Jaipur with bundles of charm and a popular rooftop restaurant. It's 23 rooms are packed with character and there is a pleasant lounge and well stocked library. Peacock Restaurant serves delicious Rajasthani dishes and is always thriving. Staff are happy to help.
Jodhpur (Nai Sarak)
This Blue City family-run historical guesthouse would have European boutiques begging for the same charm, antique furnishings and intimate atmosphere. Charming, unique rooms with access to a rooftop restaurant. A prime spot for panoramic views of Jodhpur and the 15th Century Mehrangarh Fort.
Luxurious jungle lodge in the Tadoba Tiger Reserve, set amid 11 acres. Enjoy this secluded spot and feel at one with nature. Suites are decorated with earthy hues & all have private courtyards with veranda seating. The restaurant serves unique regional 'Varadi' cuisine under the outdoor gazebo.
This 19th century abode provides guests with a characterful stay. Rooms feature antique Rajasthani beds with intricate tile work, traditional fabrics and views of the surrounding valleys. There is a formal dining room, great for groups and roof top terrace. Pick a book from the library and relax.
Almora (District Almora, Uttarakhand.)
Small but perfectly formed this three bed guesthouse is a home away from home. Providing 360° views of Hawalbagh and the surrounding valley and forests. Food is fresh, home-cooked and delicious. Whilst rooms are simple the relaxing atmosphere and charming hosts make Innisfree a delightful stay.
With views of either mountain or river this traditional hotel, built from local stone, provides a comfortable and great value for money stay. Rooms are spacious with large beds, parquet flooring and soft mauve hues. There is plenty to keep yourself and the young ones entertained on site.
Near Thekkady, Idukki, Kerala
Sustainable tourism in the truest sense: experience an organic eco farm in the heart of the luscious Keralan countryside. From poultry and livestock, fruits, vegetables and herbs you can immerse yourself in all elements of farm life. Home cooked produce and comfortable rooms complete the stay.
A lovely family-run boutique property in a great location in the historical town of Fort Kochi. Quiet, full of character and excellent value
Delhi (Greater Kailash I)
Located in residential Greater Kailash, Bed and Chai provides welcoming budget accommodation. Rooms are simple with novel vintage Indian decorations and private balconies. A simple breakfast is served and there is a small kitchen and living room. The staff are incredibly helpful.
Delhi (Jangpura Extension)
A modern, spotlessly clean hotel providing professional service. Rooms are smallish but perfectly formed with rain-showers and decorated in fresh palettes of yellow and white. There is a library and Apple computers for guests as well as a cafe serving light snacks. A simple, yet stylish hotel.
A good 3-star option close to all the tourist attractions in Colaba. Value for money in a prime spot. Clean simple rooms - the triple rooms are good for groups.
Mumbai (Juhu Vile Parle West)
A glass fronted hotel within walking distance of Juhu beach. Rooms are simple but tasteful, an a la carte restaurant and coffee bar with snacks in house and there are plenty of restaurants to explore nearby. The perfect spot for people watching, the film and media world is on your doorstep.
A great value offering from reliable hotel chain Mango hotels. Chic, clean and contemporary rooms are well priced. Facilities are ideal for families: kids pool and menus plus a play area and activities. The calm beaches of South Goa are within easy reach. A no brainer.
Immerse yourself in village life at this quirky guesthouse, where each room tells a story. The Portuguese style building is elegantly furnished in a relaxed Indian style. The light and airy rooms are individually styled and furnished with bright traditional fabrics and wooden beds. Super chilled.