JW Marriott Walnut Grove, Mussoorie
The uber-luxe JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove is a new 115-room hotel that’s tucked away discreetly at the far end of town. If you do check yourself into a valley-facing room, you will enjoy what is, in our opinion, the best view in the country. The hotel, perched atop a hill, overlooks a massive valley, while the snow-capped Himalayas can be seen in the distance.
Ajit Bhawan, Jodhpur
In Rajasthan, they take luxury very, very seriously, Take a peek out of your suite at Jodhpur’s Ajit Bhawan and you will be met with the sight of heritage buildings, jharokas, green courtyards, verdant gardens, a rather unique swimming pool and the blue rooftops of old Jodhpur. The ornate rooms, with a decor conceptualised by fashion designer and owner Raghavendra Rathore, are a throwback to the halcyon days of the Maharajas. This is one of the first in a string of mansions and palaces to have been converted into a heritage hotel.
Wildflower Hall, Shimla
Located on a sprawling 23-acre reserve of cedar forests, Wildflower Hall is a colonial-style retreat, and offers a haven of peace and tranquility, in the lap of the mighty Himalayas. The ultimate splurge at this hotel would be to check into the massive 1,450 square foot suite, named after Lord Kitchener and characterised by its large living area and two bedrooms. The suite, like most of the other rooms and suites at the hotel, offers sublime views of the Greater Himalayan range all its glory.
The Leela, Kovalam
Kerala’s most-loved luxury hotel attracts luxury travellers who come here purely to enjoy the stunning coastline views. This hotel is located on top of a rocky cliff and is characterised by a unique, sloping architectural style, with balconies overlooking the Arabian Sea. True to the tradition of Kerala’s understated luxury, the rooms are tastefully done using traditional Kerala furniture.
Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar
This fort-hotel redefines the very notion of heritage luxury. Prince Richard Holkar converted the fort into a boutique hotel, where rooms find themselves precariously placed atop solid ramparts overlooking the Narmada River. Between the 200-year-old stone ramparts, inner courtyards designed with geometric precision, panoramic terraces and plush rooms, the traveller is bathed in a universe of rustic, barefoot luxury, and, of course, surrounded by some of the best views in the country.
Taj Land’s End, Mumbai
As its name suggests, the Taj Land’s End is located at the far end of Mumbai’s plush Bandra suburb, on the edge of a hill. The hotel’s south-facing rooms offer the most interesting views in Mumbai and truly encapsulate the city’s multifaceted spirit — in the foreground, guests can see the Castella de Aguada, a 17th century Portuguese fortress, juxtaposed against the impressive Bandra- Worli Sea Link, constructed in 2009. In the distance, central Mumbai’s Gothamesque skyline rises, proof of the city’s rapid develpment. Needless to say, the vast expanse of the Arabian Sea is the best part of the view.
Ri Kynjai, Shillong
The hotel’s name translates from Khasi as ‘serenity by the lake’. The hotel has been designed so that it boasts an eastward orientation, overlooking the Umiam Lake. The rooms are housed in cottages, whose design is inspired by that of traditional cottages in the region. Each of these cottages offers sweeping views of the lake. However, the highlight of the hotel is the sunrise view, for which guests are invited and encouraged to rise. The suites, each featuring a charming fireplace, open out onto a balcony, the best place to enjoy the view. The peaks of Lumsohpetbneng and Lumdiengiei are a short distance away.