Visiting the Taj Mahal and wondering where to stay? Unfortunately, many of the hotels in Agra are as uninspiring as the city itself. However, new accommodations are opening up and there are some appealing options that will help make your stay a memorable one. You'll find the Taj Mahal East Gate area to be the cleanest and least crowded. Here are 10 of the best homestays and hotels in Agra, to suit all budgets. Substantial discounts are often available during the off-season (from April until September), so do click on the hotel links to check the cheapest price for your travel dates.
In addition, take a look at these 10 Places to Visit in Agra to find out what to do in and around the city.
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If money isn't an issue, the lavish Oberoi Amarvilas, located only 10 minutes walk from the Taj Mahal East Gate and next to the Taj Nature Walk, is the place to stay. The hotel is perfect for romance and offers special four-course dinners under the stars with a dreamy view of the monument (of course)! There's also a luxury spa, two restaurants, a lounge, and bar.
- Rates: Expect to pay 46,000 rupees per night, plus tax, upwards for a room with an unrivaled view of the monument. However, rates drop significantly to around 28,000 rupees per night in the low season. It's certain that you won't want to leave!
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The ITC Mughal Hotel is a reliable environmentally-friendly luxury choice in the Taj Ganj area, about 10 minutes drive to the south of the Taj Mahal. It has an extensive Mughal-style garden setting on 35 acres that's an oasis in the middle of chaotic Agra, making it a peaceful place for relaxing. The hotel has also won an award for its authentic Mughal-style architecture. It's a large hotel with 233 rooms and suites, three restaurants, and two bars. The hotel's Kaya Kalp spa is one of the Top 10 Luxury Spas in India.
- Rates: Expect to pay around 9,000 rupees per night, plus taxes, for a room. However, it's possible to pick a room up for half this price during the low season.
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The Radisson Blu offers luxury without charging too much and is excellent value for money. The hotel has a convenient location on nearly 5 acres of land close to the Taj Mahal East Gate (transport in buggies is provided if you don't want to walk). It's well managed and maintained, with efficient staff. Facilities include a health club with outdoor pool and spa, a Nawabi specialty restaurant, 24-hour coffee shop, tea lounge, sports bar, poolside bar, and free wireless Internet. Guests praise the food as well.
- Rates: Expect to pay around 6,000 rupees, plus tax, for a double room. The hotel is a bargain during the low season, with rooms for around 3,600 rupees per night.
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The Atulyaa Taj is another new hotel, with an outstanding location near the Oberoi Amarvilas (only 10 minutes walk from the Taj Mahal East Gate). Its rooftop has a view of the monument, a restaurant and bar, and a swimming pool that you'll appreciate if you're staying there during the hot summer season. Rooms are modern and the pricier ones are particularly spacious (it's worth paying the extra, as the cheaper rooms towards the basement are quite small and windowless).
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- Rates: From around 3,500 rupees per night, plus tax. You'll be able to save approximately 1,000 rupees per night during the low season.
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This brand new boutique hotel, situated a bit further out in the Taj Ganj area near Fatehabad Road Road and Taj East Gate Road, has 17 extremely well-appointed rooms with facilities such as sound system and mini bar. There's also a concept restaurant called Bon Barbecue, which as its name suggests specializes in barbecuing and grilling.
- Rates: From about 2,500 rupees per night, plus tax, for a double room. Discounted deals are often available.
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Yet another new hotel, Ray of Maya is a decent budget option only a 10 minute walk from the West Gate of the Taj Mahal. It's tucked away in a quiet location in a narrow alley off the main road. But don't be deterred by the surroundings -- the seven rooms are clean, large, and have balconies and reliable wireless Internet. However, the real highlight is the kindhearted owner. There's no restaurant on the premises but guests can dine at the Maya Hotel and Restaurant across the road. Its rooftop has a partial view of the Taj. Do be aware that the hotel doesn't have an elevator.
- Rates: From around 1,500 rupees per night, plus tax, for a double.
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Not surprisingly, The Coral Tree has quickly become the most popular homestay in Agra (so, be sure to book well in advance!). You could be forgiven for thinking it looks too good to be true. This gorgeous new property is immaculately decorated in bright colors and situated less than 10 minutes walk from the Taj Mahal East Gate. It's a bungalow with four guest rooms, each with private balcony overlooking the garden. What's more, it's pet-friendly! The hosts are passionate naturalists and happily accompany guests on the must-do Taj Nature Walk.
- Rates: 2,400 rupees per night for a double room with breakfast included. Delicious home-cooked meals are also provided.
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Another delightful homestay, Aman is located in a residential gated community near the Taj Mahal East Gate, not far from the Radisson Blu hotel. The host loves interacting with people from all over the world and takes great care of her guests, cooking for them and making them feel at home. It's a social place, with dinner served at the communal dining table. Cooking lessons are also given. There are seven rooms.
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- Rates: From 2,200 rupees per night for a double. Breakfast is additional.
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Friends Paying Guest House is situated about 15 minutes walk from the Taj Mahal's East Gate and provides cheap, traveler-friendly accommodations where you can meet people. It's run by a welcoming family with four children, and they're all very helpful. The Bob Marley restaurant serves home-cooked food and there's a common area to hang out in. Activities include free cooking classes, free market tour, henna application classes, chai (tea) time, and movie nights. There are 14 rooms of varying sizes.
- Rates: From 499 rupees for a single room and go up to 1,199 rupees for a room with four beds. Most rooms have a private bathroom. A 10% discount is offered on group bookings.
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Great news! Agra has a Zostel, and its location close to the Taj Mahal East Gate is fabulous too. This groovy backpacker hostel chain is rapidly opening properties throughout India. The Agra property has 22 rooms, ranging from mixed dorms with six beds to private doubles. There's a female-only dorm too. Facilities include a cafe and outdoor common area with garden.
- Rates: Expect to pay 400 rupees per night for a bed in a dorm and 1,200 rupees for a private room.