Despite enormous hardship, exceptional properties are continuing to open across the country. These new hotels represent a success story on their own. Flinging open their doors for the first time, these properties welcomed guests with a masked hello and a socially-distanced taste of gracious hospitality. From brand-new hotels and century-old architectural masterpieces to intimate family-run boutiques—you will find a hotel or resort for every taste and travel goal here.
1. Six Senses Fort Barwara, Sawai Madhopur
If you are interested in hotels with history then bookmark this beautiful 14th-century fort sensitively converted to a Six Senses property. Within the walled fort are two palaces and two temples originally owned by a Rajasthani royal family. The Ranthambore National Park is just thirty minutes away. The 48 one-bedroom suites designed in Rajasthani style overlook the countryside.
Wellness plays a pivotal role here with a menu of signature massages, Ayurveda treatments, nurturing facials, mindfulness practices, and personalized wellness programmes. There are multiple dining outlets including a poolside restaurant and a terrace setting under a blanket of stars. For all its modern comforts, Six Senses Fort Barwara is still a place to succumb to the total silence all around you, and to be humbled by the sheer luxury of space.
Tariff: Rs 65,000 plus taxes per night.
Address: Chauth Ka Barwara, Rajasthan. Tel: 91/74622-57777
2. Raffles, Udaipur
The brand’s maiden outpost in India is truly an architectural marvel. Sprawled across a 21-acre private island in the middle of the picturesque Udai Sagar Lake are 101 luxurious suites, the famous Raffles Long Bar, Writers Bar, Raffles Spa, a rooftop restaurant, all-day dining restaurant, swimming pools, and gardens. The lake-facing suites, each with private pools, are surrounded by spectacular hill scenery with views of a 400-year-old temple in the background. Butlers are at hand to create specially-curated cultural and traditional experiences just for you.
Tariff: Rs 53,000 onwards
Address: Raffles Udaipur Lakeshore Arrival, 313024 Udaipur, India.
3. Taj Chia Kutir Resort & Spa, Darjeeling
Taj has rightfully earned its stellar reputation for running the slickest properties in India and Chia Kutir is no exception. The resort is set amidst the Makaibari Tea Estate—one of the first tea estates in the world. History aside, this is a gorgeous resort with acres of green hills as far as the eyes can see, intruded upon only by the sweeping mist. The clear sight of the Kanchenjunga is an added bonus.
The resort has elements of bamboo, terracotta, timber and stones distilled into the architecture along with avenues for ample sunlight. Rooms are fitted with wooden interiors, four-poster beds, snug duvets, telescopic views,and in most cases balconies that bring in the vibes of a hill station estate. Meals are both traditional and modern and sustainably sourced. The best thing to do here is to snag a sofa at the edge of the resort and relax with a cup of freshly plucked tea and mountain views.
Tariff: Rs 26,000 onwards for a night.
Address: +91/35423-46060 and +91/35423-46070
4. Pilibhit House, Haridwar – IHCL SeleQtions
This century-old heritage home by the Ganges is the most luxurious address to experience Haridwar in. It houses the largest private bathing ghat of the region. So a customary dip and some quiet moments with the river are the highlights of a stay here. The artfully designed rooms and suites across three levels either face the open courtyard or offer views of the Ganges. In either case, you will feel pampered and blissful here. Mealtimes can be amplified with gorgeous river views, pool setting, terrace dining or candle-lit dinners under a tree. The famed Har ki Pauri, where the evening aarti draws the faithful, is just a short walk away.
Tariff: Rs 24,000 onwards
Address: Niranjani Akhara Marg, Sharvan Nath Nagar, Haridwar. Tel: 0/72170-24116
5. The Postcard Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
Wake up to the sound of birds and the roar of the lions in the evening at this newest Postcard Hotel situated close to Gir Wildlife Sanctuary. The 15 rooms spread across 16 acres of kesar mango orchards are tastefully decorated with antique brass and private patios. Meals are an amalgamation of popular Gujarati dishes and the chef’s signature creations. Expect to feast on salli boti, (mutton preparation with fried potato) and kolmi patio (spiced prawns) from the coast of Veraval. Morning trails with a naturalist, three safaris a day, crocodile sightings at the Hiran River, picnics at secret spots and local craft sessions will keep you sufficiently busy at the resort.
Tariff: Rs 23,000 onwards
Address: Veraval - Talala Rd, Kailash Nagar, Highway, Talala, Gujarat. Tel: +91/79995-55222
6. The Leela Palace, Jaipur
This most recent addition to The Leela Group is nestled against the majestic backdrop of the Aravalli range. From traditional Shekhawati paintings on the walls to colourful murals, intricate latticework, and age-old heritage craft of Thikri—art is scattered all across the property. Rooms, suites, and villas are kitted out with plunge pools or terraces and 24-hour butler service. There's a lot to keep you engaged at this eight-acre property—including memorable dining options, relaxing spa treatments (including a massage with a pouch of desert sand), a gym and a temperature-controlled outdoor pool. The gorgeous Amer Fort is close by while the airport is just an hour’s drive away.
Tariff: Rs 21,000 onwards.
Address: Jaipur-Delhi, Highway, NH 11, Kukas, Rajasthan. Tel: 01426/350-000
7. Hilton Goa Resort
This Hilton property, set atop the cascading hills of Saipem, is a refreshing change from the archetypal seaside resorts of Goa. It overlooks Goa’s lush greens and the Nerul River. The artfully-designed rooms come with private balconies, which are some of the largest in Goa. Sprawling suites also feature a private plunge pool on the balcony. There are three F&B outlets at the property—including an all-day diner, a café, and a lounge bar. The resort also includes a 24-hour fitness centre, an outdoor temperature-controlled whirlpool, swimming pools (including one just for children), and a spa and salon. The beaches of Candolim and Calangute are within a 10-minute drive, and Panaji and Fort Aguada are just a half-hour drive away.
Tariff: Rs 14,500 onwards.
Address: Pilerne - Candolim Rd, Saipem, Candolim, Goa.
8. Welcomhotel Shimla
Conveniently located only 10 kilometres from the hot spots of Shimla, Welcomhotel Shimla sits in quiet splendour, nestled among the forests of the lower Himalayas. Its brightly-coloured rooms come with unbroken views of the Mashobra Valley and huge picture windows that filter in ample sunlight. Suites are decked up with two charming balconies. Local and international cuisines are catered to at the multi-cuisine café, and eclectic beverages can be found at the cocktail bar Swizzle. Retreat to the spa after a dose of trekking, paragliding, rappelling, or white water rafting.
Tariff: 12,800 onwards
Address: Village Patengali (Tarapur), P.O Mashobra, Shimla.
Tel: +91177/2860-300 and +91177/2860-300
9. Welcomhotel Bhubaneswar
Stunning stone architecture, awe-inspiring artefacts, scrumptious Odia food, and gorgeous gardens await you at this ITC Welcomhotel in Bhubaneswar. Located just eight kilometres from the airport, the hotel offers sprawling lawns and exquisite accommodation. Food is a major part of ITC and this new property doesn’t disappoint on that front either. The award-winning Peshawari wins you over with its robust, coal-grilled kababs cooked in the traditional clay tandoor as well as with the acclaimed, melt-in-the-mouth dal Bukhara. Swizzle Bar is the perfect place to unwind with some inventive cocktails and delectable finger foods after a long day spent exploring the city. There is also a fitness centre, pool, and a tranquil spa with Ayurveda and contemporary massages at this property.
Tariff: Rs 11,000 a night.
Address: D/1 Dumuduma, Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Tel: 0674/ 714-7140.
10. Vivanta Goa, Miramar
This young and energetic hotel is perched on the rim of Miramar Beach with easy access to the shore and Panjim just a few minutes away. All rooms are decked up with a king bed, wooden flooring, contemporary furniture, and an armchair to enjoy the gorgeous sea views. A three-fixture washroom and works of art depicting Goan beach scenes add to the aura of the rooms. Some rooms even have generous balconies where you can put your feet up and enjoy the cool sea breeze and the most scenic sunsets. Mynt, the all-day diner, offers a global menu while the rooftop poolside bar is an ideal location for sundowners.
Tariff: Rs 10,000 onwards for a night
Address: Miramar, Panaji, Goa. Tel: +91/83235-00700
11. Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Nashik
Perhaps the most compelling aspect of this five-star luxury hotel is its idyllic setting in the foothills of the two-millennia old Pandav Caves. This urban retreat boasts unparalleled views of the mountains and untouched scenery fringed by abundant lush green landscape. There are 224 elegantly designed rooms, including 18 suites with private balconies and cosy beds that envelop you in a way that you might want to sleep until noon. But there’s a lot to explore both within and outside the property.
Guests can dine at one of four restaurants, including an all-day diner, an Italian restaurant, a Parisian-themed bistro, and a Chinese restaurant. The pulse-slowing and luxurious Atman Spa is a great way to relax after a winery visit or a trek to the caves. There is a squash court and an outdoor pool with a temperature-controlled Jacuzzi at this property too. The hotel also arranges for heritage walks around the numerous cultural and heritage sites in the city.
Tariff: Rs 7,000 onwards
Address: CTS No 289, 2, Vikrikar Bhavan Rd, Pathardi Phata, Nashik. Tel: 0253/664-4500
12. The Leela Gandhi Nagar
An engineering marvel, this hotel is built on the airspace of the Gandhinagar railway station and comes with spectacular views of the city. But the real deal here is the art scattered across the property. While the flooring is inspired by the Adalaj stepwell, the famous Tree of Life insignia from Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, traditional glass beadwork, bandhej, ajrakh and batik all feature in the traditional architecture of the property. The rooms and suites seamlessly blend grandeur with comfort. There are four F&B outlets here that serve a variety of meals from Indian, oriental, and continental cuisines to tapas and exotic afternoon teas. The hotel also features a spa, gymnasium, and an outdoor pool.
Tariff: Rs 6,000 onwards for a night.
Address: Railway Station, The Leela Gandhinagar Sector 14 Airspace, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
13. The Johri, Jaipur
This intimate and luxurious boutique hotel in the heart of Jaipur’s iconic Johri Bazaar (jewellers’ bazaar) is actually a 19th century home lovingly restored to capture the elegance of a bygone era for a new generation of travellers. It thrives amidst grocery shops, textile houses, eateries (Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar), and a marketplace bursting with colours. There are five spacious suites dressed up with scalloped arches, antiques, Pichwai art, retro light switches, and an upholstered swing. Breakfast is served in the central courtyard while The Pukhraj Lounge is reserved for afternoon teas and cocktails in the evenings. The menu is vegetarian and seasonal.
Tariff: On request
Address: 3950, MSB Ka Rasta, Johri Bazar, Ghat Darwaza, Jaipur. Tel: +91/89055-51680.