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Whilst almost everyone passes through Mumbai, Maharashtra’s capital, at some stage in their passage through India, few foreign travellers explore the rest of the state with much gusto. From the ancient, Mughal capital of Aurangabad, to the temperate hill stations of Lonavala, Pune and Matheran, it is a location of great contrast. How about tiger spotting in the country’s oldest nature reserve, the Tadoba Tiger Reserve, or wine tasting in Nashik? There is a lot more going on in Maharasthra than the tourism numbers and guidebooks give it credit for. The Hotel Guru's selection of the best places to stay in Maharasthra is wide ranging: from city to rural there are plenty of great options for all tastes and budgets.
Its capital city still bears all the hallmarks of a British trading hub. Colaba, the touristic epicentre is decorated in varying degrees of well-kept colonial facades.
Fort in particular boasts some impressive architecture and is home to the charming Brittania, the crème de la crème of a dying breed of Parsi cafes. Ensure you make time for a long chat with the owner, the 94 years young Mr Kohinoor, on his secret to long life: good food.
Another right of passage in Mumbai is a walk along Marine Drive towards Chowpatty Beach, where you will pass handholding couples and sticky children licking ice-lollies.
If visiting in summer the hill stations of Pune, Lonavala and Matheran, all an easy journey from Mumbai, are a wonderful visit plus a respite from the heat. Pune, has become something of a cultural hub attracting intellectuals and has a growing arts scene. Verdant Lonavala boasts some truly indulgent spas and Matheran plenty of outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy.
A train journey away from the capital city is Nashik where budding sommeliers might be interested in sampling some of India’s vine offerings. For festival fans, visit in February for a bacchanalian feast of music and wine at the annual Sulafest.
And for those ever keen on spotting the elusive tiger, the Tadoba Tiger Reserve, India’s oldest, is one of your better shots at seeing one. Although small in number (just 43) they are well tracked and thus easier to find. Even if you don’t cross paths with the stripy beast there are plenty of other creatures, from leopards to crocodiles and exotic birdlife to find.
Enjoying a tropical climate, most of Maharasthra can be visited all year round, although monsoon season, falling between June and August, can get pretty wet making sightseeing difficult.
The Hotel Guru's selection of the best places to stay in Maharasthra is wide ranging: from family to luxury there are plenty of great options to choose from.
Mumbai has its pick of great boutique properties.
Then there is Le Sutra, a small boutique hotel set amidst the thriving suburb of Khar a hub for fashion, the arts and culture.
Still not sure which to book? From heritage to modern chic browse through our list of the best places to stay in Maharashstra to start to plan your trip. Or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.
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.
Located out of town amongst peaceful gardens, this resort of individual cottages is ideal accommodation for families. There is a large pool, kids playground, spa and gym. Four Seasons restaurant serves International & Asian cuisine. Rooms feature private terraces and simple yet chic decor.
Great for business travel as well as leisure this property provides chic, modern accommodation including a pool and well equipped gym. Rooms are of a good size and feature excellent bathrooms with large baths. There is an atmospheric bar and restaurant serving multi cuisine and al fresco dining.
A comparatively new, modern thinking hotel group, the O provides chic interiors, with all the amenities of an international chain. Rooms are decorated in earthy colours with bronze accents, large windows and in room baths. There is a rooftop pool and fine dining Japanese cuisine at Harajuku.
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.
Great value, comfortable hotel in a good location. Explore the historical south. Enjoy the galleries and museums. The hanging gardens are worth a visit. No frills here, breakfast and snacks are served at the sea view rooftop terrace with plenty of culinary options from local eateries.
Nashik (Gangapur-Savargaon Road)
An unusual and hidden gem. India is not known for its wines but 'Beyond' produces the country's finest. An ideal escape from the fast pace of city life there is a tranquil pool, signature spa and acres of vineyards to explore. Rooms range from pleasant to a palatial villa complete with private chef.
Comprising individual cottages, with spectacular views, this quaint property is ideal for families. A myriad of on sight activities including a pool, badminton, table tennis, snooker and much more! Plus several nearby walking and cycle routes. Cuisine is a buffet of Indian and Continental dishes.
A young and fun hotel chain providing stylish and contemporary interiors with amenities for both business and leisure travellers. Rooms feature Indian accents, surprisingly large bathrooms and some private balconies. There is a fun bar and billiards room serving light snacks and fusion restaurant.
Mumbai (M.B. Marg)
A unique, quintessentially Bombay stay. Thoughtfully designed rooms feature typical Bharat tiles, antique furnishings and some, roll-top baths. There is an all day café, sitting room, library (filled with books on India) and a spa. A boutique lover's dream.
The carbon footprint conscious eco-warrior can sleep easy in Mumbai's flagship 'green' hotel. Rooms are decorated in a classic style. Club rooms feature separate sitting rooms. You will naturally gravitate towards the rooftop pool, and perhaps away from the Karaoke Bar. There is also a spa and gym.
Mumbai (Colaba Causeway)
You'll find the Hotel Godwin in Colaba, the busy southern district of Mumbai. It boasts a rooftop lounge and restaurant with views of the Arabian sea and the city. The rooms are clean and compact but each has a veranda. A good central location in the heart of the prime shopping area.
Mumbai (District Raigad)
A hidden gem just south of Mumbai. A chic hotel with an air of exclusivity. Gorgeous, but simply decorated rooms and suites surrounding a swimming pool. Excellent service too. There's a spa on the adjacent property at the Farmhouse. Ideal for romantic hideaways and exclusive use.
Housed in an impressive colonial building amongst manicured lawns this Taj offering provides excellent value for money. Rooms are timeless and classic in style featuring bathtubs, garden views and some private balconies. World cuisine is served in the atmospheric restaurant. There is a pool and gym.
Taluka Alibaug,, Maharashtra
Mango Beach House's second property the emphasis here is on wellbeing. The main draw is there spa, boasting a wide range of traditional Indian treatments. Fresh, local dishes are served daily and full board options are available. Chic rooms in earthy tones make it great for a relaxing few days.
A global chain providing renowned service at an affordable price. Rooms are of a good size, classic in style but fuss free featuring large bathrooms. The restaurant serves Chinese, Indian and International dishes and there is a large pool around which to relax. The sites of Aurangabad are close by.
Mumbai (Bandra Kurla Complex)
Located in BKC, a short distance from trendy Bandra, the Sofitel provides a luxurious and modern stay. Rooms feature plenty of mirrors, plush velvet and sparkle; a far cry from the corporate hotels in the area. All this plus four restaurants, a rooftop pool, an excellent spa, and gym.
A trendy hotel in the heart of Pune. Rooms are spacious and include separate living areas and modern bathrooms. There are several dining options from Kangan serving India cuisine to Prego with Italian delights. As well as an atmospheric rooftop bar, there is a spa and pool. A fun stay for couples.
Mumbai (Appolo Bunder)
Comfortable, small and stylish in an excellent location in the old town of Colaba. Simple-chic rooms range from beach style to Mediterranean glamour. The hotel's restaurant All Stir Fry serves up delicious dishes and The Havana Bar takes care of drinks. There is even a nightclub - Polly Esther's.
Located in Cuffe Parade: close enough to South Mumbai's attractions without being in the thick of it. Rooms are decorated in a classic style with neutral tones and fantastic views across the harbour. There are plenty of five star dining options plus a gym, JIVA spa and pool. A firm favourite.
Mumbai (Shastri Nagar)
Trendy hotel decorated in a minimalist Swedish style located in Mumbai's suburbs. State-of-the art rooms with all the mod cons in minimalist style. Award-winning cuisine and roof top dining area. Great business facilities too. A stylish spot.
Mumbai (Andheri East)
Leela has become synonymous with lavish design and the avant-garde and its Mumbai offering is no exception. Decor is a successful blend of modern meets Moghul with fine silks, rich velvets, Indian artworks and hand woven rugs. Enjoy the fine dining and spa. Located five minutes from the airport.
Mumbai (Bandra Kurla Complex,)
Smart and stylish hotel in Mumbai's commercial district. Well appointed guest rooms and suites, a wide range of restaurants, a relieving outdoor swimming pool, fantastic spa and a fitness centre. Its location and extensive conference facilities make it ideal for business trips.
Mumbai (Andheri, Western Suburbs)
A trendy contemporary hotel 1.5kms from the International airport. . Meeting rooms are available with state-of-the-art facilities. Each guest room is original and displays it's own theme based on nature. A complete winner with it's fabulous olympic sized infinity pool and fitness club, hard to beat.
Located on Mumbai's most famous road, Marine Drive, this time tested favourite features an English style pub, Geoffrey’s, and Chinese cuisine at The Oriental Blossom. The rooms are decorated with Indian accents and most feature sea views. There is an impressive rooftop pool, as well as a gym.
Located in the popular Bandra area, Taj Lands End stands out amidst the other five star hotels. Rooms decorated in rich colours feature luxurious bathrooms. There is an inviting outdoor pool and plenty of al-fresco dining options which make the most of those Arabian Sea views. Cuisine is top drawer.
Mumbai (Hanuman Nagar, Pali Hill)
Petit boutique hotel close to the fashion, film and media world in the suburb of Khar. A relaxed oasis set back from the bustle. Excellent Mediterranean food, lovely rooms, and artistic ambience. A characterful gem set apart from the usually super modern hotels.
Providing accommodation worthy of its five star address the Grand Hyatt has it all - even its own nightclub! Light and contemporary rooms are juxtaposed with dark marble bathrooms. There are plenty of on-site activities including the Christiaan Georgio salon and must mention China House restaurant.
Clean and contemporary rooms provide a great base during your stay. With pleasant gardens, an enticing pool and the renowned Club Prana Spa there are plenty of ways to unwind or take advantage of the well equipped fitness centre. Casual dining comes courtesy of STAX and Glasshouse. A great choice.
Lonavala (Aamby Valley)
A remote jungle escape near Lonavala, just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the mayhem of Mumbai. Perfect for those who want to get away from it all, embrace nature and live in the tree-tops for a while.
Mumbai (Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road)
Enjoying unspoilt views across the Arabian Sea you could not ask for a better positioned hotel. On Marine Drive, Mumbai's most famous road, this refreshingly modern hotel provides several fine dining options. Rooms are bright and airy with panoramic windows and a hint towards a nautical feel.
One of Mumbai's best addresses with views of the Arabian Sea and the famous AER rooftop bar. Boasting a fabulous spa providing Rossano Ferretti salon, Ayurvedic treatments, personal training and much more. Rooms are decorated in a classic style with Indian accents. There is an inviting rooftop pool.
A charming rural retreat just 45 minutes by boat from Mumbai. This Mediterranean style villa features an inviting outdoor pool, tranquil gardens and plenty of al-fresco lounging areas. The spaces are decorated in a modern style with earthy tones whilst restaurant quality meals are served daily.
Mumbai (135 Netaji Subhash Road)
Smaller and cosier than the other big hitters, but equally luxurious. Spacious contemporary rooms with excellent views. Famous Dome bar on the roof top with unrivalled views over Marine Drive. Popular Thai restaurant Koh and fabulous roof top pool. Chic and intimate.
Located within Mumbai's airport complex, Taj's newest property provides convenience and luxury. The spaces are palatial as are the beautifully decorated rooms and modern bathrooms. There is an outdoor pool, spa and 24 hour fitness centre. Gourmet cuisine is served courtesy of China Inc and Rivea.
Conveniently located five star accommodation. Luxurious suites and bathrooms feature city views. Dine on Asian dishes at Yuuka and By the Mekong or Indian dishes at The Sahib Room. There is an outdoor pool located on the 10th floor, Iridium Spa and Jean-Claude Biguine salon. Lavish city style.
Relax and re-energise in this modern Hilton a short break from Mumbai. The large spacious, airy and modern rooms overlook beautiful hills, as do the various terraces for sitting and dining. Seven different dining options and over 150 spa treatments - could be heaven on earth. A true country break.
On the boundary of one of India's best kept tiger reserves, this hotel is renowned for its safari drives. Bedrooms are simple, comfortable and air conditioned. Guests can enjoy home cooked Indian cuisine afternoon teas. Spot tigers at the hotel's private waterhole on the live screens in the lounge.
Huge, plush and ultra-comfortable contemporary hotel on Nariman Point. Exceptional views out to see and over Marine Drive. Floor to ceiling windows, marble floors, and rich furnishings. A smart tourist attraction in itself with its many high quality boutiques.
Designed to have the last word in opulence and luxury. The Taj’s reputation remains intact and is now much of a tourist attraction in itself. It sits looking out to see over the Gateway of India. A timeless classic with artworks, beautiful gardens, and a world-class restaurant.