Home to the iconic Taj Mahal, the relentlessly congested and clamourous city of Agra and its hinterland host an array of superb Mughal architecture, along with vigorous bazaars.
Recommended place to stay:
Grand Imperial Hotel
Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India|hotelgrandimperial.com|
Official star rating:
Probably one of Agra’s most venerable hotels, the century-old Grand Imperial began as a high-end Raj-era hotel hosting the era’s political grandees in its heyday.
These days the revamped property is more focused on leisure visitors, still very comfortable and characterful yet certainly not catering to an uber-lux clientele.
Arched verandahs, lofty ceilings, wide corridors and retro furniture – including four-poster beds – all reinforce a subtle colonial atmosphere, offset with ethnic detailing.
It’s a good choice for those wanting a faintly ‘olde-worlde’ atmosphere without breaking the bank, and a sense of being slightly away from the main hubbub of the city.
All the main sites are around 1-2kms away, but sightseeing in Agra tends to be done by taxi/escorted bus, so it’s still easy to get to all the main sites.
The hotel stands in a rather anonymous neighbourhood just south of the old city about 1km west of Agra Fort, and rather more from the Taj. It’s a moderately calm part of the city and the property’s grounds help dampen the surrounding streets’ hubbub.
Agra’s overall size and swirling traffic mean you’re unlikely to want to walk anywhere apart from exploring its bazaars.
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