8 Best Hotels in Varanasi, Side Trips from Delhi

Clarks Varanasi

$$$ | The Mall, Varanasi, 221002, India

With upscale amenities amid lots of greenery, Clarks makes a good choice for a quiet stay. Rooms have lots of natural light and wood laminate floors; the best ones overlook the palm-fringed pool or lawn. The plush hotel lobby is all cool white marble and chandeliers, looking out onto a green driveway. The hotel even has its own haveli (traditional Rajput mansion) at Raja Ghat, which is used for cultural programs and demonstrations of Hindu rituals; trips are arranged for groups, but individuals can join if there's room.

Pros

  • A 24-hour coffee shop/restaurant
  • Sprawling lawns
  • Well-stocked shopping arcade

Cons

  • Removed from the unique hustle and bustle of Varanasi
  • Rooms and facilities are worn and tired
  • Wi-Fi costs extra
The Mall, Varanasi, 221002, India
542-250–1011-to 1020
hotel Details
103 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast, Credit cards accepted

Quick Facts

Hotel Ganges View

$$ | Assi Ghat, Varanasi, 221005, India

Still the residence of a well-to-do family, this guesthouse has small, beautiful rooms with quirky charm, and classical Indian concerts are often held here. There is a great veranda overlooking the river and Assi Ghat, and inside, there is a Shaiva shrine and 15 guestrooms, one of which has a jungle painting and stone shrine (with goddess) that you sleep under. Delicious dinners, served under a galaxy of lamps and chandeliers, are Brahmin-style vegetarian. Book months ahead for peak season.

Pros

  • The veranda is the best place in town to watch pilgrims and tourists
  • On-site tour and boat-ride bookings
  • Elegant rooms, many with four-poster beds

Cons

  • It's pretty noisy, particularly in rooms without a/c
  • Narrow stairs to the front door make access difficult
  • Fills up fast
Assi Ghat, Varanasi, 221005, India
542-231–3218
hotel Details
15 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

  • $$

Jukaso Ganges

$$$ | CK 1/14 Patni Tola Chowk, Varanasi, 221010, India

Accessed by boat from the nearby Dasaswamedh Ghat, this stunning sandstone heritage hotel on the Ganges is perfect for a romantic getaway or a personal retreat. Tasteful and cozy, most rooms overlook the river, and the elegant terrace beneath marbled Mughal arches is also a great place to take in the river views. There's a stylish inner courtyard, decorated with Rajasthani pictures and plush white sofas contrasting neatly with the art deco black-and-white-check marble floor. The rooftop restaurant has excellent mixed cuisine.

Pros

  • Excellent river views
  • Complimentary transfer to Dasaswamedh Ghat to watch the Ganga Arti prayer ceremony
  • Yoga and meditation room

Cons

  • Boat access impossible during monsoon, and it's quite a trek overland
  • Monsoon can flood the lobby
  • Limited menu options
CK 1/14 Patni Tola Chowk, Varanasi, 221010, India
542-240–6667-to 6668
hotel Details
15 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

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Palace on Ganges

$$$ | B-1/158 Assi Ghat, Varanasi, 221001, India

In this century-old building on Assi Ghat, rooms are styled after Indian states—Gujarat (brightly colored drapes studded with mirror work), Rajasthan (elaborately carved doors and furnishings), and Assam (lots of bamboo). All delivering modern comforts, rooms at the front have a great view of the ghat, while others are quieter. The long, airy lobby is a great place to relax with tea, while the multi-cuisine rooftop restaurant has live classical music in the evenings (not during summer) and a good view of the Ganges.

Pros

  • Magnificent view from the rooftop
  • Library well stocked with cultural and history books
  • Great food

Cons

  • You'll have to climb a flight of stairs just to get to the front door
  • Rooms with a view are overpriced
  • Power cuts
B-1/158 Assi Ghat, Varanasi, 221001, India
542-231–4304-to 05
hotel Details
24 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast, Credit cards accepted

Quick Facts

Radisson Hotel Varanasi

$$$ | The Mall, Varanasi, 221002, India Fodor's Choice

Plush and always lively, this hotel in the relatively noise-free Cantonment is a favorite for its luxurious settings and well-maintained and upscale amenities. The bright and spacious rooms feature green marble and dark wood floors, pale green and cream silk throws, flat-screen TVs, and upscale bath products. The deep red and gold lobby is always bustling with activity—and large groups. The Great Kebab Factory, the hotel's specialty restaurant, is a big draw for its authentic Uttar Pradesh cuisine and kebabs grilled in a show kitchen.

Pros

  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the property
  • Good breakfast buffet at the cheerful East-West restaurant
  • Decent fitness center and spa facilities

Cons

  • Pool is rather small
  • View from rooms is nothing special
  • Generic, business-hotel feel
The Mall, Varanasi, 221002, India
542-250–1515
hotel Details
116 rooms

Quick Facts

Suryauday Haveli

$$$$ | B--4/25 Shivala Ghat, Varanasi, 221002, India

Built in the style of a traditional Nepali courtyard by the royal family of Nepal and once frequented by the king of Nepal and his guests, this boutique hotel sits directly on the banks of the Shivala Ghat. Rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated, with colonial furniture and stylish silk throws. The property features an elegant garden courtyard, a "viewing deck" with lounge chairs facing the Ganges, and a garden terrace with a gazebo.

Pros

  • Complimentary boat ride to Dashashwamedh Ghat in the evening to watch the Ganga Arti prayers
  • Luxurious rooms
  • Excellent service

Cons

  • Windows in all the rooms are a bit small
  • A long, narrow flight of stairs to reach the main entrance
  • Expensive
B--4/25 Shivala Ghat, Varanasi, 221002, India
542-654–0390
hotel Details
14 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

Quick Facts

Taj Gateway Hotel Ganges

$$$ | Varanasi, 221002, India

Rooms at the Gateway are modern, done in soft colors with brass-accented furniture and eclectic Indian art, and most are spacious. The upper-story rooms facing the adjacent Nadesar Palace are cozy and quiet, with great garden views. Grab the yoga mat from your room (they all have them) and attend the free yoga sessions in the morning. Dine at the specialty Varuna restaurant for a posh Indian meal, or at the GAD restaurant overlooking the pool.

Pros

  • Lots of space to take peaceful walks without fear of being run over in this crowded city
  • Poolside barbecue in winter
  • Lovely pool on grassy grounds

Cons

  • A tour-group magnet
  • Rooms lack local charm
  • Impersonal ambience
Varanasi, 221002, India
542-666–0001-to 0019
hotel Details
130 rooms
Rate Includes: No Meals, Credit cards accepted

Quick Facts

Taj Nadesar Palace Hotel

$$$$ | Varanasi, 221002, India Fodor's Choice

This restored heritage palace provides the most luxurious accommodations in Varanasi, as it did in its heyday, when guests of the Maharaja of Benaras included Queen Elizabeth, Lord Mountbatten, Jawaharlal Nehru, and the king of Persia. The rooms, evoking that bygone era, are elaborately furnished with pieces from the maharaja's private collection—voluptuous four-poster teak beds with silk canopies, Victorian-style armoires, antique bathtubs. There's a pool with ghatlike steps, a golf course, and manicured gardens amid fields of marigolds, jasmine, and mango trees. The signature spa treatment is based on the ritual purifying bath once performed on royalty for special occasions. Rooms are named after patrons who once stayed in them, so if you want to live a bit like the queen of Bhutan once did, ask for her room.

Pros

  • Extraordinarily luxurious grounds and rooms
  • Attentive, pampering service
  • Spa with ayurvedic treatments

Cons

  • Extremely expensive
  • Wi-Fi not included in all packages
  • Rooms get outside noise
Varanasi, 221002, India
542-250–3016
hotel Details
10 rooms
Rate Includes: No Meals

Quick Facts