Movies are often a source of inspiration. Case in point, the British comedy-drama  The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The film is about a group of British retirees staying in India who are lured to a once-luxurious hotel, the newly restored Marigold Hotel.

Those in the movie, including Oscar-winner Judi Dench, are disappointed after they discover that the hotel isn’t what it was promised to be. Fortunately, there are plenty of exotic hotels in India that are everything they claim to be – and maybe just a little bit more. The best exotic hotel in India is a matter of opinion, but here are some contenders for that honor.

• Oberoi Amarvilas (Agra, India) – Every room has a view of the Taj Mahal. Is that exotic enough for you? That alone makes this hotel a strong contender for the most exotic in India. Guests will find one of India’s best luxury spas here.

The staff at the hotel is said to be exceptional when it comes to pampering guests and providing attentive service. Even the spa offers a view of the Taj Mahal. Rooms average around $350 per night, but many say it worth every penny just for the view alone.

Oberoi Amarvilas agra India Best Exotic Hotel in India

Oberoi Amarvilas – Image by Travelive

• Orange County Resorts and Hotels Ltd. (Coorg, India) – This isolated hotel and resort is located on 300 acres of coffee and spice plantations, many of which offer tours. Guests can enjoy nature walks, visit local attractions, take a guided bird watching tour or relax in luxurious, private pool villas.

Many guests like to visit Abbey Falls, near the main town of Madikeri. Adventurous travelers can take a walk or go for a hike or relax by watching a breathtaking sunset at Raja’s Seat or take it easy in the garden spot. Rooms average $456 per night.

• Suryagarh (near Jaisalmer city, India) – This newly constructed luxury boutique hotel is designed to resemble a fort. Guests can take customized cooking classes with the hotel’s master chef. Two basic vacation packages are offered.

The Exotic Summer Package includes a traditional Indian welcome, daily breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, complementary tea and wi-fi for guests who want to do a little business or Internet surfing. The Desert Fun Package includes the same perks plus a visit to the dunes and Camel Safari at the dunes. The average price for a double room is $270 per night, not a bad price to pay for luxury like this.

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Suryagarh

• Hotel Jaisalgarh (Jaisalmer, India) – Designed like a castle, this hotel is hard to miss. If you want ambiance and exotic beauty, you’ll find it here with a stunning view from hand-carved balconies. The luxurious Maharaja Suite features a central dome, period furniture and a bathroom with a jacuzzi.

The rooms include large beds, comfortable arm chairs. Prices vary. If you’re on a budget, try the nearby Star Haveli hotel. It’s more intimate with only six rooms, but you get an amazing rooftop view of the fort. Rooms average $45 per night.

• Wildflower Hall (Shimla, India) – Located 8,250 feet in the Himalayas, this luxury hotel covers 22 acres of virgin woods of pine and cedar for a truly exotic sampling of all India has to offer. This award-winning hotel offers a spectacular view of the nearby woodlands.

The hotel itself once was the home of India’s famed ruler, Lord Kitchener. The hotel has been restored to its former glory, a striking similarity to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The hotel features a luxury spa that is a favorite spot for guests, especially those on a romantic getaway. If you want some adventure, you can always go horseback riding, ice skating or white water rafting.

Relax when you get back with some time in the jacuzzi outside or the heated swimming pool indoors. Rooms average $450 per night for a double.

Wildflower-Hall-shimla-india

Wildflower Hall

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, based on the book by Deborah Moggach, is in theaters in the UK and opens in the United States on May 4, 2012. You may not have the exact same experience with a hotel in India as in the movie, but you definitely have your choice of hotels to choose from in this exotic, diverse and majestic land.

About the Author

Christine Maguire is a frequent blogger who writes about travel, technology, and a number of general topics in-between for a number of different publications around the Web.

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