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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Experiencing the World's Best in Oberoi Amarvilas India

When you have a hotel with a level of excellence and service fit for a Maharaja, plus a view of one of the most iconic monuments in the world, you can't help but expect the best. The Oberoi group certainly knows how to build hotels that may change the way you travel forever.  Trust me when I say that you will never see hotels the same way again after experiencing Oberoi in India. 

This photoblog will show you why Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra recently ranked number 3 on Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2015 list of Top Resorts in Asia ( Of course, it is the number 1 in Agra!). After 18 hours of travel from Manila, we reached Oberoi Amarvilas - a place where every minute seemed like a dream. 

As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by these two gentlemen - the guard and our butler.  

Before entering the lobby, this opulent quadrant with dozens of fountains came out of nowhere. Suddenly, I was not in Manila any more. 

My jaw dropped when I saw how grand this place was. 

Each space pays homage to the glory of the Mughal Era in India. You can also Moorish influences in the arches all over the hotel.

As a tradition for new guests, a tikka ceremony welcomed us. (yes, It's the red dot they put on the forehead). 

Oberoi Amarvilas was as beautiful as I had imagined. The first thing I noticed was the distinct smell of aromatic oils that filled the stunning lobby of the hotel. It was like an out-of-the-body experience. 

We were slowly escorted to the balcony near the bar and there it was, in its full splendor, only 600 meters away from our hotel. I was preparing myself for that moment when I would finally see the Taj Mahal. I wanted everything to be perfect. This was the first time I wanted someone to actually pinch me. I can't believe the staff of the hotel have this view everyday! Unreal!

We went up to our room where we had our Butler Divikar give us our express check-in. The view  from our own balcony was was even better. 

In Oberoi Amarvilas, every room has an uninterrupted and priceless view of the Taj Mahal. 

One morning, I took this shot from our room. I was obsessed with this structure even as a young boy. The love story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz is something that has resonated in my life until now. 

Let me tell you about my favorite myth about Taj Mahal. There was a story that went like this: Emperor Shah Jahan (the one who built the Taj Mahal for his love) planned to build a Black Taj Mahal (The Taj Mahal in Black Marble) on opposite site of the Yamuna River as his own mausoleum. No traces of this construction have been found but the thought of having a Black Taj Mahal would have been amazing. 

Say Hi to our Butlers.

Our suite had elements of Mughal design - from the hand woven rugs to the teak wood floor boards. 

The Bathroom. It was not that big but the quality of the materials used was the most impressive. Aside from the Greek White Marble, my favorite was the striking peacock blue glass wall panels. 

After getting freshening up, we had no time to waste. I wanted to see what I came here to see. (Another Post about Taj Mahal).

One of the perks in Oberoi is having your private golf cart that will bring you to the gate.
You can also get a private car from the hotel and have you turban-wearing chauffeur drive you around the city. How can you not feel like a Maharaja?

We explored Taj Mahal for only two hours since the sun became unbearably hot. It was time for us to discover the wonders of our hotel. The palatial grounds of Oberoi is definitely worth every penny. The cobalt blue pool, cascading fountains,  and well-manicured lawn make up this surreal experience. 

I felt like the lost Prince of Agra.

Since Oberoi wants their guests to be get to know more of India's culture,  Traditional songs and dances are performed here every 6:30 PM. 

Where is the Rabbit Hole? - Alice

We all had this to ourselves. 

The Spa. The Oberoi spa is nothing short of majestic. I had my therapy on the fourth floor where I had the Taj Mahal as my view. 

The Spa's Dome roofed, white marble steam room. The hotel also has a fully-equipped gym and salon. 

If you ask me about the food, Oberoi gave us the most unforgettable dishes. I am still dreaming of that lamb. 

Oberoi has two main restaurants - The Bellevue and Esphahan. The Bellevue restaurant serves Indian and Continental cuisine. 

The Esphahan, on the other hand, offers strictly Indian cuisines. At night, you can have a candlelit dinner accompanied by live traditional music.

You may also have a cocktail or martini with the Taj Mahal's silhouette in the background.

The Lounge. Have your tea or coffee here with an unparalleled view of the Taj Mahal.

Each second of this trip, I was in awe of the beauty of Taj Mahal (Can you believe I went back three times?).  From sunrise to sunset, this edifice of love changed its color depending on the light. It could be blindingly white like a gem in the middle of Agra or as gray as the sand when the skies get cloudy. During full moon, that's another completely different experience. There's another side of India that I haven't shown here but one thing is certain - India is a feast for the soul and the senses. The Taj Mahal alone is enough reason to visit but I am sure you will fall in love with everything this spiritual country has to offer. Keep an open mind.

If you could stay in Oberoi for a once in a lifetime experience, do not hesitate to book it. Thank You Oberoi Amarvilas for this truly magical experience. I will never forget it. 

To learn more, Click http://www.oberoihotels.com/hotels-in-agra/


jenifel said...

Hi! I've been waiting for the Oberoi pictures ever since I saw them in your Instagram. I am salivating at the opulence of the said hotel. Your pictures captured the grandiosity of the place. I probably couldn't be able to wrap my head around it, it looks so surreal. Will definitely check this place out on a future travel.

deobaraanmd said...

Welcome, Jenifel! Glad you enjoyed looking at the photos! Oberoi was really something else!