It is the most usual means of accommodation in India. There are many types of hotels, from the most shabby to the palace that comes right out of the Tales of the Arabian Nights.
Here is our advice when looking for a hotel:
Depending on the season, the crowd and the occupancy rate of the rooms, the rates are negotiable in every category of hotels.
Many hotels and guesthouses can come pick you up at the airport, train station or bus terminal. Ask for it when you book the hotel.
Always ask to see the room before you decide.
If you decide on a room, you will have to fill up one or two registries or forms with your passport number, visa, and their dates of issue and expiry.
Breakfast is almost never included in the price of the room, except in the more “chic” hotels and in a few Bed & Breakfasts that are developing in the big cities. However, lots of hotels have a snack bar or restaurant of highly variable quality.
It is almost always possible to have your clothes washed in the hotels and guesthouses.
If you stay in a hotel that is a little chic, don’t forget that the basic services, such as calls, minibar, wifi, etc., are also often charged to the “chic” price.
Don’t chase away the lizards walking on the wall: they are nice geckos who eat mosquitoes (that you can also chase away by burning some mosquito coils)
Simple common sense: when the guesthouses have a restaurant on the rooftop, the early birds should avoid getting the rooms on the floor below.
India boasts with many heritage hotels, in particular in Rajasthan. You can find them in cities as well as in the countryside, in ancient forts or Maharajas’ palaces. Quite often, heritage hotels are part of protective actions for the Indian patrimony. These accommodations provide a magnificent and authentic stay for affordable prices. Don’t miss out on the havelis. These beautiful houses used to border the old Silk Road and allowed the caravans to enjoy room and board. These havelis surround an interior courtyard where the trades took place. The refined and opulent atmosphere promises you a real travel through time.
Staying in private homes
Staying with locals is a unique experience in India. These kinds of opportunities are developing more and more throughout the country. Traditionally, the places where you have most chances to stay with locals are located in Himalaya. But in India, more and more families receive travelers and transform their houses especially for the occasion. Staying with locals represents a privileged moment which allows you to discover the countryside, understand the local customs, spend time with women and children or learn how to cook. Moreover, these initiatives often have important economic benefits for the families.
Big hotel chains such as Oberoi, Taj or Hilton, but also independent luxurious palaces offer an incredible experience. They provide you with a place to rest in the middle of the Indian chaos and recharge your batteries. These places’ restaurants are often very good addresses. In Delhi and Rajasthan, five stars hotels are plenty and sometimes are a nice blend of luxury and Heritage hotel. The Imperial of Delhi, the Lake Palace of Udaipur or the Samode Palace of Jaipur are some of them.