Regardless of your budget, you can find somewhere to stay in Agra to suit your needs. Whether you want to keep costs down by staying in a B&B or guest house, or live the life of luxury in a swanky hotel, you won’t be disappointed.
My accommodation in Agra was included within a 3-day private tour package I purchased from Viator. I stayed in the 5-star Jaypee Palace Hotel and Convention Centre, conveniently located on Agra’s main tourist district, Fatehabad Road – just over a mile and a half away from the Taj Mahal. The hotel belongs to the Jaypee Hotels and Resorts Group, which owns several hotels and golf courses across India.
Made from a mixture of red sandstone and marble, Jaypee Palace is a luxurious hotel with 341 rooms, including 15 suites and 40 guest rooms.
The hotel is set within a secure gated compound, and as our car drives in, the boot is checked for explosives and weapons (as is standard practice in most hotels in India). A porter opens the car door and greets me, before waiting for me to get out of the car and kindly taking my suitcase to the front desk. As I enter the hotel, I pass through a body scanner and my handbag has to go through an X-ray machine (again, standard practice in India).
Another staff member greets me, ushering me to bow my head so that she can place a fresh flower garland around my neck. The smell is so bold and sweet; it reminds me of the intense floral scents at Bansphatak flower market in Varanasi.
After checking in at around 9pm, I am given a key card and the porter escorts me to my room with my suitcase.
As I open the door and see the room where I’ll be sleeping tonight, I am lost for words. Spacious and elegant, my room is well-lit throughout and features a large bathroom complete with a floor-to-ceiling window around the bath. Luckily, this came with electric blinds – can’t imagine how awkward it’d be if you were sharing a room with a friend otherwise!
In addition to a bed big enough to comfortably fit five people in it, my room features a large wooden desk and cushioned chair, and a coffee table and armchair. Sitting on the coffee table is a saucer of gourmet biscuits and fresh fruit, which I happily polish off while in bed that evening.
Like most hotels in India, Jaypee Palace has a mini bar stocked with complimentary bottled water and tea and coffee-making facilities, in addition to biscuits, crisps and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, (chargeable to your room).
Meanwhile, the bright white bathroom is sparkly clean and equipped with luxury toiletries, a powerful hairdryer and a vase of pink lilies.
Jaypee Palace literally has so much to do inside it, it’s pretty much an entertainment complex in it’s own right. I’m gutted I have to head off the following morning, as it doesn’t leave me with much time to explore.
Here are some of the highlights of the hotel:
The large outdoor swimming pool is particularly appealing.
Leisure mall and shopping plaza
Jaypee Palace Hotel also has its very own leisure mall and shopping plaza. So if you fancy a game of bowling or a spot of shopping, you haven’t got far to go.
No need to worry about getting bored after dinner when you’re staying at Jaypee Palace. This classy hotel boasts its very own nightclub, affectionally named the discotheque. Dance the night away until the early hours, then stumble back to your room for a peaceful night’s sleep.
When it comes to food, you are literally spoilt for choice at Jaypee Palace. The hotel features no less than seven different restaurants, including:
The Grand Buffet – Indian and continental starters, main courses and desserts, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Paatra – Indian fine dining, serving dinner only
C’est Chine – Chinese fine dining, serving lunch and dinner
Tapas – lounge bar specialising in spirits, wines, cocktails and tasty nibbles
Aqua Grill – pool-side barbecue grill offering both meat and veg dishes
Tea Lounge – exciting selection of tea blends and light snacks, open from mid-morning until early evening
Pavilion Cafe – serving Indian and continental treats, plus both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, open 24 hours
As I didn’t check-in to Jaypee Palace until 9pm and I’d already eaten that evening, I didn’t have time to visit any of the restaurants for dinner. However, I was able to enjoy a delicious breakfast the following morning at The Grand Buffet.
With seating for up to 228 guests, this is a fairly spacious restaurant and the buffet bars are extensive and well-stocked, although there was a bit of a queue for the coffee machine at times. The food included continental choices like cereal, fruit and yoghurt, freshly baked pastries, toast with jams, cheese, sliced meats, baked beans, chicken sausages, fried potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and more.
In addition, choose from traditional Indian dishes like idli (southern Indian savoury cake), uttapam (southern Indian thick pancake with ingredients cooked into the base), pav bread rolls, dosas (thin, crispy omelettes, filled with veg and spices), and my personal favourite, upma; dry semolina or course rice flour with sauteed veg, herbs, spices and lentils.
You can also get eggs and omelettes cooked to order, from the live cooking station.
Tamaya Spa, Salon and Fitness Centre
After breakfast the following morning, I enjoy a relaxing coffee oil foot massage in Tamaya Spa. This would normally cost around £30, but it was offered complimentary to me because I experienced issues with the Wi-Fi in my room and my iron didn’t work.
The masseuse was amazing. Not only did she massage my feet but also my legs, right up to my knees. It was so relaxing, I actually came very close to falling asleep and it became really hard to stay awake. If I had more time to spend at Jaypee Palace Hotel, I definitely would’ve treated myself to a few more spa treatments.
The spa also houses a health club with a gym, a jacuzzi, Turkish baths, aerobics room and beauty parlour.
As my stay was included within the tour package I purchased from Viator, I’m not sure how the total cost broke down and so I don’t know exactly how much my stay at Jaypee Palace Hotel cost me. However, room rates start at £117 for a double room if you book on Tripadvisor, in connection with Booking.com, rising to £185 in February (regardless of whether one or two guests are staying).
I had a fantastic stay at the Jaypee Palace Hotel in Agra. It was one of the nicest, if not the nicest, hotels I’ve ever stayed in, although the customer service wasn’t quite up to scratch for a 5-star hotel as some of the staff spoke no English, which made it difficult to ask questions at times. I wish I had more time to explore the hotel and its stunning surroundings; I definitely recommend staying here for 2-3 days to give yourself time to experience everything that Jaypee Palace has to offer.
If you’re looking for things to do in Agra throughout your stay, please check out my previous post: 4 things to see and do in Agra.