The Oberoi Amarvilas at The Taj Mahal

I wrote here about how awe-inspiring it was to see The Taj Mahal. I often talk about being underwhelmed by certain destinations and famous landmarks (Pisa, the Mona Lisa, Italy when it's 110 degrees out), but The Taj Mahal exceeded every expectation. And the only hotel to stay at is The Oberoi Amarvilas. You only need one night, and with every room facing The Taj Mahal you can admire the gleaming white marble at every time of day from the comfort of your room. Wake up to watch the sun hit the minarets, tour the monument during the day, and return to watch the sunset over it. If you want to go to dinner at the hotel or enjoy a cocktail on the terrace, the views are there too.  It is built to show off India's most famous attraction to visitors from around the world and does it very, very well.

Pool Complex with Taj Mahal in the distance

Entrance to Amarvilas

Lobby

Table for Two with a View

Room

Bathroom

Living Area in Room

Lobby Bar

View from Terrace

Taj Mahal

Looking from the Taj Mahal to the entrance of the complex

The Taj Mahal: World's Greatest Monument to Love

My journey to India has come to an end and I'm getting ready to head to the airport in Delhi for the long journey home.  Terminal 3 at Delhi is new and gorgeous, ten times better than most terminals in America. I'm flying Qatar Airways business class, which might be my new favorite airline. Their business class lounge in Doha has serious feasts, a spa, unlimited champagne and desserts...

Here I am today at the Taj Mahal, which has been called the world's greatest monument to love, built by a king that loved this wife. He REALLY loved his wife. She died giving birth to their 14th child in 18 years (2 miscarriages brings that to 16 pregnancies in 18 years).  Yup, he really, really loved her.

I'm surprised at how peaceful and spiritual the Taj Mahal was, and how unbelievably intricate and decorative the marble was.  It was smaller than I thought it would be but much more powerful.  There isn't anyone hawking crap inside the gates so you can just take it all in.  Our guide, set up through Greaves India, has given tours at the Taj Mahal for 23 years, and gave us just the right balance of information and fun. I cannot say enough how organized, professional and fabulous Greaves was. To me, they are the only people to trust with an India itinerary.

The he Oberoi Amarvilas is the perfect, air-conditioned oasis from a hot day of sightseeing at the Taj.  It is the only place that I would stay. EVERY room has a view of the Taj, which just adds to the magic of being at a monument you have dreamed of seeing your entire life.