3 Luxury Hotels Worth Planning A Trip Around
Excellent amenities and white glove service make these luxury Taj Hotels destinations in their own right. (Floating palace, anyone?)
When it comes to luxury travel, a trip almost always starts with figuring out where you want to stay. Most of us want it all when we check-in: Stunning views and a swish hotel bar; high thread counts and all the prestige amenities to match.
Because of this, high-end properties have spent decades honing their intuition, so the level of service they offer matches any request. No mountain is too high, as it were, but the offerings now go far beyond truffles on your pillow and chilled bottles of Perrier. Today, your stay is worth so much more, from fanciful monogrammed bathrobes, to sleep concierge services and even pet psychologists. (That last one still confuses us, admittedly.)
The Taj Hotel Group is considered a true leader in this art of hospitality. With hotel properties spanning world-renowned landmarks, authentic palaces, and safari lodges, each Taj hotel is intent on elevating the tradition of luxury accommodations. Here, we take a look at three of our favorite locations that offer such dedicated levels of five-star service we almost wanted to keep them to ourselves.
Drift away on a floating palace at The Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
Set against the backdrop of the Aravalli Mountains and floating in the middle of Lake Pichola, the Taj Lake Palace is the stuff of legend. Whether you recognize it from the famous James Bond film Octopussy or are familiar with its storied history as a former royal residence, this white marble mansion is considered the most romantic hotel in all of India. Guests are whisked by private speedboat across the lake and, upon arrival, met with attentive butlers and a vintage 1948 Jaguar with its requisite chauffeur. Expect rooms as opulent as the views, along with multi-course dining that profiles old recipes.
Do as the Royals do at Taj Tashi Thimphu, Bhutan
In the heart of the capital city of Thimphu, this address, tucked neatly into the mountain range, is the choice of not only the Bhutanese royal family but also for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who made it their home during their visit to the country in 2016. Modeled after a Bhutanese temple, it blends Dzong architecture and hand-drawn Buddhist murals. Find spirituality through their signature spa, which uses oils sourced from the Himalayas or join in the traditional prayer service in the courtyard where guests can light butter lamps. Off the river bank in Thimphu Chu, reserved just for the Taj, the hotel will proffer a picnic by the water complete with a shamiana ceremonial tent laden with local delicacies.
Step back in time at Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur
Once home to local rulers, this sprawling palace dates back to the 18th century with a style built on the Indo-Saracenic architecture of the time. Spread over 18 acres of Mughal gardens in central Jaipur, the property is intent on making you feel like you are in your own aristocracy. With the promise of a fully customizable stay, guests are encouraged to select the density preference of their mattresses, as well as accepting their “welcome committee” offer: Upon arrival, a group of camels and elephants dressed in festive attire will be waiting to greet you. Expect luxuriously large suites with four-poster beds and all the fixings of stunning Rajasthani culture. Oh, did we forget to mention they have an on-property jogging track, too?
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