Agra - Need Alternative to Amarvillas

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Sep 3rd, 2005, 06:25 AM
  #1
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Agra - Need Alternative to Amarvillas

Our family is travelling to India this December. 2 rooms for two nights (we need two nights given our level of exhaustion at this point on the trip) at Amarvillas, is about $2,000 US. What would you recommend as a first class alternative? Thanks to all in advance.
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Sep 5th, 2005, 06:37 AM
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The best alternative to Amar Vilas is Mughal Sheraton. It is not in the same league as Amar Vilas but should be accordingly much cheaper. Do not know details of your itinerary but 1 night in Agra could be enough and you could do 1 night somewhere else. Check that Mughal Shertaon renovations have been completed when u write to the hotel.
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Sep 5th, 2005, 07:58 PM
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my agent has suggested the Taj View....not sure about it but it seems ok from a look...sheraton is much cheaper and i considered that for a personal choice vs part of a package
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Sep 7th, 2005, 06:11 AM
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Just returned from India-
The Mughal Sheraton looks like a big western hotel, so I'm sure it is decent. It is not nearly as close to the Taj mahal as the Amarvillas and I don't think anything can come close to Amarvilas.
I have to say that the Amarvilas was the best hotel I've ever stayed in, and worth every penny. The room (and ours was just a standard room on the 5th floor)was huge and had a large entry, dressing room and bath with tub and shower. Free DVD library, and good TV. Every room has a direct view of the Taj and comes with a butler. The service was incredible and very friendly. food in the restaurants was delicious- huge breakfast buffet was included. Tipping of individuals not allowed. The spa was lovely and very inexpensive, the pool is fabulous.

In addition, you are right out side the 'no car' zone- walking distance for sure, but the hotel has little golf carts to ferry you.

(i'll post a trip report soon, but I'm still paying for internet access! and Bob- sorry I didn't call in Boston...I couldn't find your number! I have lots of sugesstions on India and on Compass tours for you)
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Sep 7th, 2005, 11:04 AM
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Lcuy - I agree with your observations about the Sheraton and Amarvilas. I look forward to your trip report!!!
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Sep 7th, 2005, 05:03 PM
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Craig- it was because of your report that I decided to spring for the Amarvilas. Don't normally do $300/night hotels, but I'd go back to India and stay here a week if I could!!
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Sep 7th, 2005, 07:47 PM
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What about the Trident? lcuy - How did you manage $300 a night. We are quoted $500 and will need two rooms. The Taj View has also been suggested. Any first hand reports?? Thank you to all for your advice. Looking forward to more of it.
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Sep 7th, 2005, 08:39 PM
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lucy...no problem...i will cross you off my list...haha...anxious to hear about compass etc. when you return...enjoy the rest of your trip...

bob
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Sep 7th, 2005, 10:07 PM
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I was in Delhi this week, and took an informal poll of Indian friends and colleague who tell me that the Jaypee palace is currently the second best after the Amarvilas. I have not stayed there so I don't have any first hand knowledge, but take a look at http://www.jaypeehotels.com/agra/5-s...agra-india.asp.

I have stayed at the Sheraton a few times and always like it, but my most recent stay was in December 1999 and they were starting to need a redo, so I can't say that they would still be the next step down from the Amarvillas. However, if Hobbes is correct the Sheraton has recently had a redo, then that is probably going to be the next best choice, as the rooms are large and the hotel was good quality to start with. I would send them an e-mail and ask. If they really are much cheaper than the Taj View, then my guess is that their redo has not started or isn't complete. The Sheraton is much further out from the Taj than the Amarvilas, and is not walkable, it is about a 5-10 minute taxi ride. Benefits are they have some nice grounds and it is very quiet at night. None of the rooms have a Taj view as far as I know, but they have a tower you can climb to get a view, which is kind of fun (the kids may like that).

Trident hotels are a mixed bag. They are run by Oberoi (same group which runs the Amarvilas). but I would put this particular property further down your list. Oberoi is re-positioning Trident (for example, the Trident Hilton Gurgaon is quite stunning architecturally and is one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed in), but the Trident Hilton Agra is not in that group of re-positioned hotels.

I think the Taj View is quite old, I would take the Sheraton over the Taj View if for no other reason than that the Taj group is a better hote operator.

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Sep 8th, 2005, 03:42 AM
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A travel agent may be able to get you a better rate than direct. Dec is peak season so you may not get rates Lcuy got in off season. Consider splurging on 1 night at Amar Vilas and 1 at Jaypee or Mughal Sheraton or Tajview - it is worth it. I am doing the same with Amanjiwo as we cannot afford 2 nights at 650/night.
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Sep 8th, 2005, 07:11 AM
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I just checked the web site, and Amarvilas is sold out for much of December. I remember the hotel employees telling us that was a very popular.

I did see that the Oberoi chain is running a special- pay for 5 nights and get 8 or pay for 7 get 12 nights.

It appears you can mix and match the Oberois; eg a few nights in Agra, a few in Jaipur and a few elsewhere. They have hotels all over India. You must spend at least one night in Delhi or Mumbai.
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Sep 9th, 2005, 07:12 AM
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Cicerone...did not understand your comment. You said you would choose Sheraton over Taj View because Taj View is a better hotel operator??
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Sep 9th, 2005, 09:24 AM
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I read elswhere that a new hotel - Shangri-la - in Delhi is having a soft opening. Perhaps they will offer attractive rates to begin with. See -

http://www.shangri-la.com/newdelhi/shangri-la/en/


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Sep 9th, 2005, 09:50 AM
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hello there. In terms of alternatives to AmarVillas, there is no perfect one. There are other adequate properties, but certainly not of that level of luxury. I have stayed at all the properties in Agra as i am a American woman who leads many groups in India, so can give you a bit of information. First off, I definately do not like the Taj View! OLD and decaying! The Trident is a small simple hotel, but would not call it luxurious. It is has a somewhat of a chain feel, as all the Tridents throughout India are almost identical. In terms of Mughal or Jaypee, completely different. The Jaypee is newer, bigger, and quite luxurious, but it is huge, somewhat impersonal and u can easily get lost in that property and all its wings. It is used alot for conventions, has many large spaces, resturants, grand grounds, but it is not in the best loaction, and definatley does not have a intimate feel. It is luxurious, however, and probably the nicest after the Amarvillas but i do not love it, way to big and impersonal. That said, i would stick with MUGHAL Sheraton, and MAKE SURE TO get a upgraded room with wood floors, etc, as a big differnce between the old-carpeted wing. There are even some rooms with Taj View, or request a pool view! Feel free to drop me a line with any questions, and can also help with discount bookings via local Operators. [email protected]
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Sep 9th, 2005, 09:50 AM
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Hey lcuy,
I hope you are planning to post your thoughts on India and Compass Tours here for all of us to read.
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Sep 9th, 2005, 10:13 AM
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I am working on my report, but am not home yet and accidentally sent my notes home with my husband when I met hin in Boston.

I'll definitely post once I get it done!
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Sep 11th, 2005, 06:57 PM
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I said I would pick the Sheraton over the Taj View because the Sheraton is operated by a better operator: the ITC Welcomegroup. Sorry for the confusion.

Bonita's message seems to indicate that some of the rooms in the Sheraton have really been upgraded nicely, their prices may match, but it is worth checking, IMO.
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