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About Uttar Pradesh
Previously known as ‘The Wild West’ of India, Uttar Pradesh has seen some turbulent times, however today it welcomes tourists from around the world. Whilst it is no Rajasthan, where almost every other city is a ‘must visit’, Uttar Pradesh is home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, The Taj Mahal and the world’s oldest city, Varanasi. A visit here is to experience India in its most superlative form and there are an abundance of sights to see in this varied state. The Hotel Guru's selection of the best places to stay in Uttar Pradesh is wide ranging: from historic to luxury there are plenty of great options for all.
Have you even been to India if you have not been to the Taj Mahal? So iconic is this labour of love. Resplendent in any light we recommend visiting for sunrise, when it’s alabaster dome turns from white to pink and the ubiquitous crowds and touts are nowhere to be seen. By evening, sit on your rooftop (almost every hotel in Agra has one facing it) and witness it glow, bathed in moonlight.
Fatehpur Sikri, the former capital city of Mughal India is further example of these powerful ruler’s presence here.
Varanasi is a story within itself and not for the faint hearted; however it would be an awful shame to miss. As you walk along its streets you will pass wandering sadhus (religious holy men), ashrams, temples and pilgrims. India has many faces and this is its most ancient identity.
So brave it, and with our pick of hotels you can stay in maximum comfort. If it all gets too much relax by the pool or spa with an aperitif in hand and venture onto the bustling streets when the mood takes you.
Varanasi’s evening aarti is an all-encompassing experience. Take a boat out onto the Ganges and witness this fire spectacular performed in honour of Lord Shiva. In the evening darkness, as you are rowed along the river’s holy waters you will see funeral pyre after funeral pyre, dotted along the ghats surrounded by mourning family members as though huddle around a bonfire. It is a most intimate ritual, and a sobering yet powerful image: one that does not leave the mind's eye quickly.
Though capital of the region, Lucknow is not nearly as popular as either Agra or Varanasi for obvious reasons. But that's no reason to miss it out! Former home of the Nawabs, it boasts the Bara Imambara, beautiful colonial architecture and some fabulous cusine.
Uttar Pradesh, like much of India is almost intolerably hot in summer and exists under a layer of mud during monsoon. Visit between October and March for the best weather and most comfortable stay.
The Hotel Guru's selection of the best places to stay in Uttar Pradesh has it all: from affordable to break the bank luxury there are plenty of great places to stay.
For all out luxury
- The former, a modern hotel with all the mod cons and the best views of the Taj Mahal that money can buy – right from your bed.
- The latter is a haven of tranquillity in mango and jasmine orchards; with award winning spa and fine dining is a world away from chaotic Varanasi.
For affordable luxury
If your budget does not quite stretch to such dizzying heights there are still plenty of excellent accommodation options at an incredibly inviting price. World-renowned names, like the Taj and Oberoi groups providing reliable stops to rest one’s travel-weary head.
- Be it The Trident Agra or The Gateway Hotel Fatehabad in Agra, both providing a luxurious, contemporary stay
- or the Taj Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi offering excellent value. Great for families and couples.
Still not sure which to book? From contemporary to heritage browse through our list of the best places to stay in Uttar Pradesh to start to plan your trip. Or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.
Best Hotels in Uttar Pradesh
Agra, Uttar Pradesh
The Gateway Hotel Fatehabad 100 rooms from $67Agra (Tajganj)
Glorious views of the Taj Mahal from this top-quality hotel offering an astonishing range of activities and facilities including spa, swimming pool, beauty parlour, outdoor dining, rooftop cafe and spectacular private suites. Bedrooms are comfy, chic and pristine with carefully selected furnishings.Other Activities - Cricket, Football, Badminton, Kite-flyingSpa - Authentic Indian and wellness treatmentsSights nearby - The Taj Mahal is just 2km awaySwimming Pool - Fresh-water swimming pool
The Bagh 23 rooms from $73Agra (Rajasthan,)
An 18th century heritage hotel boasting acres of grounds, an outdoor pool, massage and excellent proximity to the Taj Mahal. Rooms are large with modern bathrooms, antique furnishings and ornate fabrics. Gulmohar restaurant serves tasty, regional vegetarian cuisine. A great stay.Families - A great option for families visiting busy Agra - allowing the little ones plenty of space and the grown ups some relaxationTotal relaxation - With 12 acres of grounds, an outdoor pool and massage this is a much more laidback way to experience IndiaLocal exploring - Keoladeo National Park and Agra are both easily accesibleSights nearby - Agra, the Taj Mahal and the Mughal Empire's former capital Fatehpur Sikri are just over one hour's drive
The Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi 130 rooms from $80Varanasi
Set in 40 acres of beautiful landscaped garden and constructed in the holy Swastik shape this marvellous hotel is the perfect peaceful base for exploring the magical, but hectic city, of Varanasi. The recently refurbished rooms are contemporary & chic with views of the lawns or large pool.Secluded setting - The hotel is 6 kms away from the city centre. A haven of peace and tranquility in this crowded and ancient temple city.Sights nearby - Countless temples & museums. At dawn & dusk religious rituals take place in the Ganges. Not to be missed.Views - Over the hotel's parklandRomantic - Good for couples.
Trident Agra 135 rooms from $96Agra
Serene, contemporary hotel with tasteful touches of Indian design. A tranquil haven in bustling, historic Agra which invites guests to enjoy the outdoor pool, fitness centre, and spa. Family-friendly kids club. Delicious European and Indian fare in the restaurant.ChicFamiliesKids Club - Kids can play in their own tent! Cooking and pottery for the older ones.Sights nearby - Under 1 mile from the Taj Mahal
Vivanta by Taj Gomti Nagar 110 rooms from $110Lucknow
Elegant hotel with stunning landscaped gardens and outdoor pool. Each of the modern and peaceful rooms offers a spectacular view, a bathroom with bathtub, and European flourishes. Spa, gym, salon. Feast in one of two excellent restaurants serving contemporary and traditional Indian cuisine.Great walks - Heritage walks through the old streets of LucknowSpa - Available any time of day or eveningOpulentLocal markets - Good for local colour.
Tree Of Life Jaagir Lodge 9 rooms from $227Uttar Pradesh
Hunting lodge dating back to the 1940s turned jungle retreat, Jaagir Lodge is the perfect combination of luxury meets nature. Rooms feature sumptuous furnishings and period features as well as family suites and large bathrooms. There is a pool, spa, plus all meals are included in the room rate.Back to Nature - Immerse yourself in rural life - surrounded by the unspoilt Dudhwa National ParkFamilies - With large family rooms and plenty of activities kids will love it hereGreat walks - Embark on a nature walk with your dedicated naturalistBirdwatching - Dudhwa National Park is very popular with twitchers
Nadesar Palace 10 rooms from $444Varanasi
Staying at this magnificent palace with its fleet of butlers you won’t help but feel like one of the royals, statesmen or celebrities that have sojourned here. Set amid mango orchards & jasmine fields it boasts a spa, pool and rooms with four poster beds, handmade furniture & huge marble baths.Spa - On offer at the Jiva Spa is a signature treatment ‘Abhisheka’ inspired by time-honoured Indian purifying rituals.Great walks - Take a guided walk with the hotel's very own botanist around the Palace lawns & learn about the unique flora.Sights nearby - Do not miss the dawn & dusk religious rituals in the Ganges (Ganga Aarti). Countless ancient temples.Secluded setting - For escaping.
The Oberoi Amarvilas Agra 102 rooms from $448Agra
Spellbinding luxury hotel with stunning views of the Taj Mahal. Sublime spa, outdoor pool, fitness and wellbeing centre. Majestic marble hallways and open courtyard. Furnished to impeccable standard with traditional Indian accents. Dine in one of two marvellous onsite restaurants.Views - Views of the Taj Mahal from every room.City StyleOpulentLocal markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - Tablet