Travel + Leisure Readers’ 20 Favorite Hotels in India of 2024

Travel + Leisure Readers’ 20 Favorite Hotels in India of 2024

Across resorts and city hotels, a few quintessentially Indian brands come close to sweeping the lists in our annual “World’s Best Awards” survey for 2024.

The best hotels in India for 2024 can be found north and south, east and west — with reader favorites sprinkled across six states and the National Capital Territory. And homegrown brands are leading the way. Taj Hotels dominates the list with nine properties, including its very first: the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, which opened in 1903 and was voted the No. 10 city hotel this year. The Oberoi Group, founded in 1934, has six representing hotels — including one resort that was voted the best in the country. The top city hotel in India, according to T+L readers, belongs to a property from The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, a younger brand with a total of three winners this year.

<p>Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts</p>

Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

How Voting Works

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Over 186,000 T+L readers completed the 2024 survey. A total of more than 700,000 votes were cast across over 8,700 properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).

Hotels were classified as either resort hotel, city hotel, inn, or safari lodge based on their location and amenities, and they were specifically rated on the criteria below:

  • Rooms/facilities

  • Location

  • Service

  • Food

  • Value

For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.

What Readers Loved About City Hotels in India

Among the large, luxury Indian brands, one more independent property made the 2024 list: The Imperial New Delhi (No. 4), a 235-key, Art Deco grand dame on Janpath Lane. Opened in the 1930s as one of the first hotels of its kind in the newly inaugurated capital, the Imperial sits on eight acres of lawns and gardens and houses more than 5,000 works of art dating back to the 17th and 18th century. “Outstanding hotel, from the food to the hotel staff,” wrote one reader. “No complaints. One of the best experiences I've had.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of India’s best city hotels can be found in Delhi and Mumbai, which together account for seven out of 10 winners. The Taj Lands End, Mumbai — No. 2 in the city category after claiming the top spot last year — is the highest-ranked property in the country’s most populous city, offering Arabian Sea views from its promontory in the posh coastal district of Bandra. And the best in the capital is the Leela Palace New Delhi (No. 3), where each of the 254 guest rooms is a minimum of 550 square feet. “The staff are what make this hotel that much more extra special,” said one survey respondent, who celebrated their Golden Anniversary there. The manager, they said, “took the time to talk to us and made us feel like movie stars throughout the duration of the stay.”

But The Leela Palace Bengaluru is the one that came out on top. Read on to find out why.

India City Hotels Winner

The Leela Palace Bengaluru

<p>Courtesy of The Leela Palace Bengaluru</p>

Courtesy of The Leela Palace Bengaluru

The best city hotel in India calls Bangalore home. Given its location in the so-called Silicon Valley of India, the Leela Palace Bengaluru’s meeting spaces are extensive and, dare we say it, exquisite — but with lush grounds, a variety of restaurants, and a grand spa, it will make both business and pleasure trips into something special. Bangalore’s “best hotel for luxury,” as one reader put it, is modeled after the Amba Vilas Palace in Mysore. There are 357 rooms to choose from, but if you want to splurge, book the Maharaja Suite: A 3,500-square-feet space of plush furniture and Persian rugs that comes with butler service and a BMW to and from the airport.

India City Hotels Full List

1. The Leela Palace Bengaluru: Bangalore, India

Reader Score: 98.59

2. Taj Lands End, Mumbai: Mumbai, India

Reader Score: 98.29

3. The Leela Palace New Delhi: New Delhi, India

Reader Score: 98.18

4. The Imperial New Delhi: New Delhi, India

Reader Score: 97.60

5. Taj Mahal, New Delhi: New Delhi, India

Reader Score: 97.33

6. Taj Palace, New Delhi: New Delhi, India

Reader Score: 96.73

7. The Oberoi, Mumbai: Mumbai, India

Reader Score: 96.38

8. The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata: Kolkata, India

Reader Score: 96.00

9. Taj West End, Bengaluru: Bangalore, India

Reader Score: 95.73

10. The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai: Mumbai, India

Reader Score: 92.84

What Readers Loved About Resorts in India

One thing that’s clear from the 2024 survey results: Rajasthan is by far respondents’ favorite place for a spectacular resort stay, with an impressive eight of 10 winners located across the state’s historic cities and rugged countryside.

In the region known as India’s “Land of Kings,” it makes sense that many of the best resorts are modeled after historic palaces. But some on the 2024 list don’t have to imitate, including a trio of Taj properties that occupy a 1740s-era royal summer retreat in Udaipur (No. 8), a Maharaja’s residence in Jaipur dating back to 1835 (No. 9), and the ornate early 20th-century home of the Jodhpur royal family (No. 10). In second place is Six Senses Fort Barwara, opened in 2021 as the first India property from the wellness-focused brand. Set inside a 14th-century fort in the eastern part of Rajasthan, it offers a “beautiful surrounding atmosphere,” one reader wrote, and easy access to Ranthambore National Park.

Another winner in the Ranthambore area is a different type of resort entirely. The Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort, Ranthambhore (No. 6) proves rest and relaxation are possible even on a wildlife adventure. Here, you can head out on a guided drive to spot Bengal tigers before retiring to one of the 25 luxury tents fitted with clawfoot tubs and air conditioning. Also unique is Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Goa (No. 3), the only beach getaway on the list, which stakes a claim for India’s smallest state.

India Resorts Winner

The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur

<p>Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts</p>

Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

It doesn’t get more luxurious in the regal Rajasthani capital than this 71-key property, which boasts 32 acres of gardens plus rosy domes and arches that mimic the distinctive sandstone architecture of India’s “pink city.” Among the lawns, fountains, and pools that dot the grounds is an 18th-century temple to Shiva, carefully restored before the hotel opened in 1997. “A beautiful property in a very serene oasis,” wrote one reader of a memorable time at the Rajvilas. “Stay in one of the tented suites for an unforgettable experience with Rajasthani hospitality” — plus a king-sized bed, standalone tub, and private garden terrace.

"A beautiful property in a very serene oasis."

T+L Reader

India Resorts Full List

1. The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur: Jaipur, India

Reader Score: 99.79

2. Six Senses Fort Barwara: Rajasthan, India

Reader Score: 99.06

3. Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Goa: Goa, India

Reader Score: 98.80

4. The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra: Agra, India

Reader Score: 98.74

5. The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur: Udaipur, India

Reader Score: 98.67

6. The Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort, Ranthambhore: Ranthambore, India

Reader Score: 98.53

7. The Leela Palace Udaipur: Udaipur, India

Reader Score: 98.13

8. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur: Udaipur, India

Reader Score: 97.60

9. Rambagh Palace, Jaipur: Jaipur, India

Reader Score: 97.18

10. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur: Rajasthan, India

Reader Score: 96.42

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