Any Recommendations for an Agra Hotel?

Jan 13th, 2008, 05:51 PM
  #1  
Amy
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Any Recommendations for an Agra Hotel?

I've been looking, but nothing seems to be striking me as "it" (well, maybe the $700 a night Amarvilas) so I would love to hear any recommendations!

I'd like to keep it under $100 a night--less is good--and I'd love a Taj view (and a bathroom .) Am I being unrealistic?
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Jan 13th, 2008, 08:13 PM
  #2  
 
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we stayed at the sheraton...it was perfect....can see taj from their observation platform....decent hotel, but not in the lux category like the amar.....i paid $100 last december, '06 on line on sheraton site for a "club room"....not worth the extra money as there is no club there....
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Jan 14th, 2008, 12:33 AM
  #3  
 
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For less than US$100, with a Taj view, separate bathroom, and in high season you may have a problem. The Sheraton is fine but there are no views from the rooms or the hotel lobby, etc, you have to climb a little tower. (The hotel is no longer a Sheraton actually, it's just called the ITC Mugal Agra these days, take a look at http://www.itcwelcomgroup.in/. It's run by the same people, they just no longer have a franchise affiliation with Sheraton for some of their hotels, including the one in Agra. This same group has a "heritage" hotel in Agra that looks interesting although I have never been inside. Some heritage hotels are long on charm but quite short on facilities, it's a hit or miss thing).

For the possibility of a view from your room, I would try the Taj View hotel, a perfectly decent hotel. I have my doubts that you will get a Taj view room for US$100 but it's worth trying, I think the hotel is otherwise a good choice even if you don't want to pay for a view. See
www.tajhotels.com. I know that the Park Place hotel has received some good reviews on this board and on tripadvisor.com, see http://www.parkplaza.com/. Otherwise in that price range I always say try Alistair Sawday's book called Special Places to Stay India, he also has a website at http://sawdays.co.uk/, click on the book for India. The vast majority of these hotels are not in the luxury range and some are in the very low budget range, but all look interesting. Or try Lonely Planet's reccos. Or try tripadvisor.com; but note that other than the Amarvilas and the Taj View, really no hotels that I am aware of have views of the Taj from the rooms or public areas.
Cicerone is offline  
Jan 14th, 2008, 02:10 AM
  #4  
Amy
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Thank you! I should have mentioned that I'll be there in July (!!!) so prices may be lower, as anyone with sense is avoiding the area then. Alas, it's the only time I've got, so that's one reason I'm planning to round out my trip with five or six days in Ladakh.

I just checked, and Taj View has a "Taj view" room for $79 then, but the tripadvisor reviews were so mixed I wasn't sure before when I looked at it, so I'm glad to hear you think it's fine. To be honest, I tend to trust Fodors folk more than the wide-open spaces of TA.

I actually enjoy guesthouses and similar budget lodgings, as well, (one of my favorite stays ever was at Sim's in Chengdu, for instance--at $12.50 a night) but again (Hotel Sheela, for example) I wasn't coming up with any clear consensus.

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Jan 14th, 2008, 02:30 AM
  #5  
 
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I've stayed at the Taj View hotel and really liked it. We stayed in one of their suites that had a view of the Taj Mahal, and it was perfectly nice.
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Jan 14th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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I also stayed at the former Sheraton and loved it. Not extremely luxurious. Couldn't see the Taj from my room but that was fine. The view from the deck was great.

http://waynehazle.com/india/Day6/Pages/n24_21a.htm

http://waynehazle.com/india/Day6/Pages/s2_206.htm

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Jan 14th, 2008, 06:22 PM
  #7  
Amy
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Marvelous pix!

Thanks again for the responses. One more question: is there an advantage, in your estimation, in any particular location (not counting the view part) such as the "Ganj"? as I believe it is called right around the Taj Mahal?

There's no point in me being obsessive about one night, I realize, but planning is so much a part of the fun...

I really hope my guidebook comes soon; it was shipped on December 27th but continues to languish somewhere in Jersey City for some reason. I've actually gotten my itinerary together for the most part just via Internet, but it's fun to have the book in hand.
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Jan 14th, 2008, 07:13 PM
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I really like the old town areas around the Taj a lot, its full of tiny streets and shops and mosque and temples. You can just wander around forever and no one bothers you. I have spent happy hours wandering here. (I have been to Agra 4 times, it's actually one of my more favourite places, except the shopping is awful, really overpriced, due to the tourists who pay too much, don't bother and don't look at any marble.) This old town area is the part of Agra no day trippers or one-night tourists see and it is a shame, because they only see the drive in, and the 100 yards around the Taj full of really obnoxious touts and that IMO is why most people don't like Agra.

However, you have to walk about 100 yards AWAY from the Taj and get away from the touts which congregate in that 100-yard radius, to get into these areas. There are literally police barriers around this 100-yard area in each direction (to keep cars and busses out), and after that the old town begins, mostly to the north and south (to the east is the river and to the west is the Amarvillas and the main road). I am not sure which part of this area of the old town would be called the "Ganj" area. I also don't know hotels in the area, I don't think the Sawday book has any in Agra itself, have you tried Lonely Planet for hotels in Agra? They usually have good suggestions.

Otherwise, I would go with the $79 at the Taj View. I have not stayed there, only eaten there and viewed some rooms (I like to do that to compare places), but the rooms seemed quite decent. Go for as high a floor as you can for the best Taj view. There is also an old town area accross the street from the Taj View as well. It would be a longish walk to the Taj from here and probably quite a labyrinth of a walk. But you could wander around the old town area near the hotel and near the Taj too. There is a quite interesting old town area near the main mosque in town too.

Also when you are there ask around about local religious festivals. Last time I was there was a big Durga festival week, and I got to go to four different celebrations one night. My driver knew about it and took me to all four. It was one of the best things I have done in India in a while. As soon as you express any interest in something off the beaten tourist track, you can usually find it. (I have seen the Baby Taj, thanks, what else is going on.) You have to ask around as this was just a very local celebration of Durga going on at that time, so no guide book or website was going to have anything on it. This is true of anyplace you go in India, always ask about the local fesitvals which may be happening. The big ones make the guidebooks, but not the small ones and they are usually very interesting.

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May 17th, 2013, 02:26 AM
  #9  
Amy
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Well, since this thread came up again...

I ended up staying in Hotel Sheela, which has a great location and interesting garden to recommend it. The room was basic, but fine, although the bathroom was not my favorite. But it was perfectly fine for the one night. Of course, this was in 2008, so the review is a bit out-dated!

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...rip-report.cfm
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Aug 9th, 2013, 03:03 AM
  #10  
 
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you can stay near taj mahal there nice hotels at purani mandi crossing in 1000 Rs. you will get easy way why are you paying more
rimjoy is offline  
Aug 9th, 2013, 05:44 AM
  #11  
Amy
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Well, rimjoy, as it happens: Back in 2008, when I actually took the trip, I stayed in Hotel Sheela...for less than 1000Rs.
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