The Amarvilas’ architecture stays in line with the history of the city that had been the capital of the Mughal empire’s capital in the 16th and 17th centuries and is built with domes, reflective pools and marble pillars reminding one of a Mughal monument.
The theme of the hotel also remains royal with an elegant teal and shades of cream and brown.
I booked the ‘Deluxe Suite with Balcony’ for my stay and was not disappointed with it. The room was beautifully designed with handcrafted teak furniture and paintings inspired by the architecture of the Taj Mahal. It followed suit with the hotel’s theme- subtle cream with pops of blue and gold. The dome-shaped large panelled windows gave a view of the marble monument and greenery surrounding the hotel. The bathroom was spacious and came with a large marble bathtub.
On the culinary front, Oberoi Amarvilas has three restaurants. Esphahan focuses on providing authentic Mughal cuisine and has a menu of decadent varieties of kebabs, tikkas and tandoori dishes like the ajwaini mahi tikka (carom and yogurt marinated fish) and tandoori bharwan aloo (stuffed potato kebabs).
The Roshanara meanwhile has conquered a mix of cuisines ranging from Indonesian nasi goreng to traditional apple strudel.
There is also Bellevue which is currently under renovation, and the Roshanara hosts the breakfast buffet in its place till then. Overall, the restaurants’ menus are designed as a mix of crowd pleasers and relatively less popular dishes that those who love to try new dishes will definitely get their hands on.
The lounge of the hotel, complete with a golden doom and glass chandelier, was perfect for conversation, tea and of course a view of the magnificent Taj Mahal. If the weather permits, do try the open terrace for fresh air and a view of the surroundings.
The hotel celebrates the Mughal heritage and delivers Indian hospitality that foreign tourists crave when they visit India.
P.s.- It is also worth mentioning that while Taj Mahal is front and centre of the Agra’s tourism scene, the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri are also excellent choices for someone who wants to dwell into Mughal history some more.