Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
Clearly, you haven’t been to India if you haven’t been to the Taj. Well, this was our first time and the ITC Mughal did just fine in terms of food, service and rooms – the fact that upon check-in, one of the hostesses carried my toddler to our room (he’s 17 kg!) should paint the picture. Truth be told, this is not a resort-style luxury family-friendly hotel where you would want to spend an extended amount of time. We were there for the Taj Mahal and the hotel has a rooftop with breathtaking views of this marble extravaganza. Job done!
- Baby cot
- Child toiletries
- High chair
- Child menu
- Doctor on call
- Interconnecting rooms
- Babysitting services (INR 500/hr)
- The Glorious Taj! The hotel is only about 10 minutes (2 km) from the Taj Mahal. However, you have to queue for tickets and go about a km to the entrance, where you have to then queue for security. The men and women lines are different and the women’s line (they say it’s because of purses) is about 10 times as long as the men’s line. Plan on at least an hour from when you arrive to get tickets to when you get into the complex. From the entrance gate it’s still another 15-20 minute walk to the actual building. You can get a pedi cab or horse cart from the ticket counters to the security stop – a must with kids!
Early morning was fairly uncrowded but as we left at about 11 am, the number of people had at least doubled, so be ready for the crowds. Try to attempt the Taj Mahal at sunrise or sunset, as the light on the building makes for the most stunning pictures.
- A beautiful hotel with lots of space and greens for the kids to run amok. There is a small playground with some swings too. The two large water features at the entrance, with many local birds and fish, were a real treat for the kids each time we came and left the hotel.
- The hotel itself is old, but the rooms are very spacious and have been updated.
- The pool is beautiful but not heated and since we were there in March, it was still a tad cold to use. A kid-friendly pool for children too.
- The hotel has several restaurants. However, with kids I highly recommend the buffet for the wide variety. The staff was great with the kids and on two different occasions they customized food for them, who up to this point, had never had Indian food. The restaurant staff even played and chased my son while we ate. Such a relief!
- No kids’ club at the hotel. However, they do have a recreation room with PlayStation and Air Hockey (both chargeable) for the older lot and complimentary carom, table tennis and chess.
- The lobby bar was beautifully appointed and had some great cocktails, though open only in the evenings.
- A fantastic spa featuring a Mughal style hammam.
- City centre hotel
- Distance to Taj Mahal – 2 km
- Distance to airport – 10 km
- 233 Rooms & suites
- 3 Restaurant
- 2 Bars
- 2 Swimming pools
- Fitness Centre
- Tennis Courts
Mandy’s Tip: The hotel had contacts of a few descendants of the main craftsmen of the Taj Mahal. Don’t bother with the gift shops lining the street to the Taj as most of that is either plastic or made overseas. Some of the other shops, however, do have some gorgeous pieces that they can box and ship home to you. The stonework is amazing and seeing how it’s done gives you new-found appreciation for the work that went into creating the Taj Mahal.
Travelling mum Lisa Harris contributed parts of this review