When people mention best hotels in the world, you’d probably think of places like Switzerland, America, Italy, maybe even China or Dubai. The last place you’d probably think of is India, but that is precisely where the world’s best hotel of 2015 is located.
The luxurious Oberoi Udaivilas hotel in Udaipur, India, has been named the Best Hotel in the World for 2015 by prestigious travel magazine Travel + Leisure, with a near-perfect score of 99 by readers of the publication.
See the full list of Travel + Leisure’s Top 100 Hotels here.
The Oberoi Udaivilas hotel not only had to compete with the most luxurious hotels from around the world; it also had to contend with its sister hotels The Oberoi Rajvilas (5th) in Jaipur, and The Oberoi Amarvilas (16th) in Agra which has views of the majestic Taj Mahal from every room.
But we’re here to talk about numero uno, the Oberoi Udaivilas hotel, which is a palatial resort fit for a maharaja built on the edge of a fairytale lake in Western India. Spread over 50 acres – 20 of which are taken up by a wildlife sanctuary and vast lush gardens – the hotel consists of several buildings connected through lofty domes and intricate corridors. Its architecture is designed to harken Udaipur’s royal past with decorative fountains, private courtyards and manicured gardens. Guests are met at the airport and taken by private car to a ferry, where they are transported by ferry across Lake Pichola to the hotel.
Modern conveniences and room décor are offset by touches of local Rajasthani accents and colours. Everywhere you look is a work of art, from the painstakingly landscaped gardens to intricately painted domes. Guests can enjoy activities that include culinary classes, yoga, Henna lessons, art classes, lake cruises, camel rides, sightseeing tours and luxury on-site spa treatments, or simply take a refreshing dip in the hotel’s many pools.
Of course, staying at the world’s best hotel comes at a price – the most basic room has a nightly rate of 52,000 rupees ($1095), while the most luxurious Kohinoor suite, which includes separate living and dining rooms with fireplaces, fountained courtyards, garden terraces and an 18-metre private pool, has an eye-watering rate of 750,000 rupees ($15,803) a night.
If you think The Oberoi hotels are the only luxury hotels found in India, this Forbes article will firmly but politely correct you: “The Forbes Travel Guide star rating system does not cover India, but if it did, the nation would be awash in 5-Star hotels and resorts, plus too many 4-stars to count.”
Check out more breathtaking photos of the Oberoi Udaivilas hotel below, courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts: