Luxury India holidays

India is, without question, the most bonkers and most vibrant country in Asia. Everything about it is truly amazing. The sights, colours, smells, culture, people, wildlife… the list is endless. A luxury India holiday with Yonder truly is an assault on your senses of the best possible kind.

This is a country overflowing with culture, history, beautiful landscapes and senses tickling situations that will leave you feeling gloriously overwhelmed. Luxury India tours with Yonder provide a spectacular diversity that cannot easily be comprehended before you’ve visited. Some things in life have to be experienced to be believed.

If you do India properly, especially in carefully crafted, bite-sized chunks created for you in a luxury India holiday from Yonder, you’ll be left with memories sweeter than that omnipresent Indian dessert Gulab Jamun.

Chaos and confusion runs hand in hand with the sophistication of the world’s largest democracy. But don’t let this be a source of anxiety. Thanks to Yonder’s brilliant Escapologists, you’ll see the chaos on your luxury India tour but not experience it. You’ll revel in the highs and will also be pleased you’ve seen the lows. For it all comes together to form the rich tapestry that is India.

Despite what some people say… size really does matter. And India is huge. To claim to fully know it would be like claiming to remember every position in the the Karma Sutra, that well known Indian classic for contortionists. To our minds, well nigh impossible.

Therefore, we make a less audacious claim. We believe that for Yonder’s luxury India holidays we have selected the very best experiences in northern India, especially Rajasthan, and have particular inside knowledge in the little-known and rather mysterious Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

So let’s turn first to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The former seat of the British Raj in all of its elegance and finery and a perfect setting for a luxury holiday in India. Home of the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The great bastion of the Maharajas showcasing their dazzling palaces.

This is the India of your imagination made real, alive with noise, spice, heat and colour. But also blessed with profound tranquility. We have uncovered hotels so spectacular a shiver will run down your spine. From the shimmering Lake Palace in the city of love, Udaipur, where James Bond’s Octopussy was filmed, to secretive hilltop forts oozing privacy and excess. Throw in other fabulous palaces now operating as superlative hotels, luxury boutique hotels in rural retreats and exquisite tented camps deep in tiger reserves that are of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book made real … and one can’t help but wonder whether this is the most amazing place on earth.

Now let’s switch landscapes. Jump on a three-hour flight and head east across the Bay of Bengal almost to the Thai-Myanmar border to the most stunning archipelago you’ve ever seen. In fact, here you’ll find the best beaches in Asia, according to Time Magazine. This is the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Governed by India, few have heard of them. Even fewer have visited them. But for the intrepid, and for those wanting the ultimate Robinson Crusoe experience, the Andamans offer a superlative beach holiday off the beaten track.India is a constant journey of discovery.

No two visits are every the same; this is why we go time and time again. And on the road less travelled, there are jewels so brilliant that we can scarcely believe they still remain largely undiscovered. Seeing wild tigers and leopards, saying in the most ornate palaces which are largely deserted and finding beaches where you can walk for kilometres without seeing a soul. This is true Yonder country. This is true luxury travel in India. This is Yonder’s India…

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So many great options over Yonder!

Whether you are looking for the perfect hotel stay or to create an exciting itinerary tailored just for you, every last detail of your trip with Yonder is carefully crafted, including hand-picked hotels that we adore ourselves

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Marari Beach Resort

Set within 30 acres of coconut groves, lily ponds and fruit trees, Marari Beach Resort is a fusion of gentle, fisherfolk-inspired wellbeing and the seaside environment in which it effortlessly sits.

Spice Village

Traditional tribal homes, crafts and community meet ethical, minimalist and understated comfort in an award winning experiential hotel.

Kumarakom Lake Resort

Colourful, charmingly traditional, and in harmony with the beautiful landscape that surrounds it, Kumarakom Lake Resort offers unparalleled comfort, serenity and peace in which to enjoy your luxury holiday in Kerala.

MS Oberoi Vrinda

Take in ‘The Venice of the East’ on this luxury cruise boat, spacious enough to allow you to enjoy a slightly longer stay on the Keralan backwaters, offering two and three night itineraries.

Eight Bastion

Contemporary hotel with a unique conceptual style that draws inspiration from the seafaring history of Fort Kochi. Beautiful rooms and fantastic dining.

Brunton Boatyard

Formerly the shipyard of Geo Brunton and Sons on the seafront in Fort Forth Kochi. Now beautifully restored, this period building of the British Raj is a boutique, five- star hotel with a unique charm.

The Claridges

Classic in its decor, as well as in the quality and standards of attentive service, The Claridges Delhi, built in 1952, has a long-established reputation as one of the go-to quality hotels in Delhi.

47 Jobner Bagh

Rajasthan is best known for its many palaces that have been transformed into luxury hotels but there are a number of secret historical haveli dwellings like 47 Jobner Bagh that are utterly charming.

Taj Mahal Palace

The Taj Mahal Palace hotel is not only a historic luxury hotel that has played host to the most illustrious of guests but it is Mumbai’s greatest landmark in its own right.

Maharajas' Express

There’s a reason the Maharaja’s Express is known as the palace on wheels. It is one of the world's great luxury train experiences and a completely unique way to explore northern India.

Taj Exotica Goa

The Taj Exotica in southern Goa is the kind of hotel that will slow your heart beat to a tranquil tempo. Nestled into 56 acres of manicured gardens, with 800 meters of uninterrupted sandy beach facing the Arabian Sea and more facilities than we can recount here.

The Leela Goa

Sandwiched between a turquoise lagoon and the azure ocean, The Leela Goa is a slice of paradise that very few hotels can match. Add in Leela’s trademark service, beautiful rooms and a private golf course, and you’ll quickly grasp that this is somewhere very special indeed.

Jalakara

Chic, modern, airy and sophisticated private hotel with just six rooms, set inland on a magical plantation, with outstanding service, food and comfort. Pool overlooking the jungle is heaven on earth. Bring a book and your imagination – no wifi or phone signal to distract you.

Rawla Narlai

Crenelated former village stronghold redesigned with a dash of contemporary style. Charming shady courtyards, superb pool area and a tented spa. Great activities. Set out by 4x4 to spot leopards, go birdwatching at nearby lakes or hack out on thoroughbred Rajasthani horses.

Ranvas at Nagaur

Well off the beaten track, In a corner of a huge fort, a spellbinding cluster of havelis built to house the Maharaja of Jodhpur’s wives. Authentic, elegant rooms around a stunning central quad with pool and arched pavilion dining room where the cuisine is superb.

Rajmahal Palace

A dazzling reincarnation of a former Maharaja’s palace. Bespoke wallpapers, butlers pristine in white, scents of jasmine from the lush gardens, Art Deco pool, monogrammed linen, custom china… 14 suites, all unique but united by creative flair. And fabulous food to boot.

Trident Chennai

The perfect overnight bolthole when transiting through Chennai, a haven of tranquility just five minutes from the airport. Gym, pool, gardens and spa all beautifully maintained and richly decorated with marble, giving a sense of class and quality. Good food and service.

Barefoot at Havelock

The ultimate hideaway beach experience. Cut off from the world and located beside arguably the best beach in Asia. Thatched and hardwood cottages, villas in simple, no-frills style but with essential mod cons like air con, hot water and decent beds.

Rambagh Palace

This jewel in the Taj’s crown offers 78 stunning grand luxury rooms and suites, once the chambers of the Maharaja. The palace retains its splendour with vintage cars, guards on horseback and exquisitely uniformed staff. Mughal gardens and exceptional cuisine.

Trident Agra

A little island of cleanliness and calm in the middle of the Taj Mahal mayhem. With this chain, you can be sure of excellent service, flawlessly clean rooms and a tickbox list of facilities. Lacking a little character, perhaps, but excellent value for money.

Oberoi Amarvilas

A view with a room: the whole orientation of the Oberoi Amarvilas is towards the Taj Mahal, which is visible from much of the lobby and bar area. Rooms are exquisitely appointed. Superb pool area is a sunken step well. Two brilliant restaurants.

Khem Villas

Created using locally sourced materials and perfect for those looking for tranquility with bucketloads of charm. Range of accommodation from simple but elegant tents to spacious cottages. Only vegetarian food is served, out of respect for the abundant surrounding wildlife.

Sher Bagh

Spellbinding tented camp on the Ranthambore national park with magic in the air. 1920s style runs throughout this luxury camp and its 12 tents, with cane furniture, pith helmets and plenty of reminders about the feline celebrities who roam beyond the camp boundary.

Aman-i-Khas

Sublime tented accommodation in the heart of tiger territory. The soaring 6m canopies are divided to create rooms within your suite, which comes with its own batman. Enjoy convivial dining before retiring to the firepit to exchange stories of the bush.

Umaid Bhawan

The live-in residence of the Maharaja of Jodhpur, Umaid Bhawan is an Art Deco masterpiece only marginally smaller than Buckingham Palace. You’ll be treated like a member of the Maharaja’s family. Sumptuous rooms with views over manicured gardens and courtyards.

RAAS Jodhpur

Hip Maharaja living at its best, with incredible view towards Mehrangarh Fort. An 18m infinity pool lined with muslin-draped cabanas. The ILA spa is a fast track to heaven, while the cuisine is brilliant. Luxury rooms are perfectly formed envelopes of bliss.

RAAS Devigarh

One of the most stunning hotels in Rajasthan, a fairytale castle perched high on a rock, RAAS Devigarh overlooks green countryside and exudes exclusivity and privacy. Elegant contemporary interiors. Pool, gardens, renowned ILA spa and excellent dining.

Amet Haveli

With only 20 rooms, the Amet Haveli is a treasure trove of history dating back to 1752 set in a perfect location on Lake Pichola. Rooms are delightfully idiosyncratic with intricately carved windows and decorative coving. Small plunge pool and superb restaurant.

Trident Udaipur

A former hunting estate of the Maharana of Udaipur on the edge of the city, the Trident is a superb value-for-money option, ever reliable, with excellent service, good food and standards of cleanliness second to none. Brilliant location and wide-ranging facilities.

Oberoi Udaivilas

In a league of its own, the Oberoi Udaivilas is a sensational creation of Mughal style domes, charming pavilions, reflection pools and ornate fountains with views over Lake Pichola, together with opulent interiors and exquisite dining. Linger and luxuriate.

Amanbagh

An idyl fashioned in pink sandstone in the heart of rural Ajabgarh. For Aman virgins, the service will be amongst the best you have ever experienced, the rooms elegant, stripped back and distinctive, the facilities second to none and the food delicious. Sheer heaven.

Taj Lake Palace

The most iconic and romantic hotel in India. Set upon Lake Pichola, everyone from Jacqueline Kennedy to James Bond have enjoyed spectacular sunsets from its rooftop. Interiors are charming in their faded elegance. Sumptuous rooms come complete with Butlers.

The Imperial

A unique blend of Victorian, Old Colonial and Art Deco style, the iconic and historic Imperial is seriously good. Beyond the turbaned, mustachioed doormen, elegant interiors are adorned with fine art. Great rooms compiled with delicious understated elegance.

The Lodhi

Super hip, refined, elegant and contemporary, The Lodhi oozes luxury. There’s an art gallery, a library and cigar room, a spectacular sunken pool, a vast gym and health club. The restaurants are truly superb and the rooms simply the best in Delhi.

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If you only do three things in India…

What visit would be complete without gawping at the Taj Mahal? It is more spectacular in real life than any photo. And catch it in the right light, usually early in the morning, and it really does glow.

Udaipur is a city that will melt your heart. Not only is it the city of love, but it is so royal that the Maharana sits above the Maharajas of other cities. And he has a palace to match his status!

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are the ultimate place to escape modern life. There is huge satisfaction in arriving at idyllic Havelock island knowing your phone won’t work and the outside world can’t hassle you.

Luxury India tours

In each of Yonder’s main destinations, we have selected a range of highlights you might like to include in your personalised Yonder trip.

Whether they are fabled regions, resorts or cities, single destinations or entire itineraries, these are the Yonder ingredients we know will help you begin to piece together the ideal trip…

Where to go in India

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Mararikulam

Hammock-swaying Marari Beach is perfect for long walks and lazy afternoons thanks to mile upon mile of clean white sands, whispering coconut trees, turquoise sea and colourful butterflies. 

Periyar National Park

Periyar National Park is 118 square miles of lush evergreen forests, rolling hills, rare wildlife and quite simply some of the most beautiful landscapes imaginable. The park is a Unesco-listed protected area and one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world.

Munnar

Perched a mile high, among South India’s finest tea-growing estates and surrounded by the most beautiful countryside, Munnar is bursting with colour and life, a hill town like no other and, we think, one of the best places to enjoy a delicious cup of cardamom.

Cochin

Travel in Cochin (now known as Kochi) is relaxed and cosmopolitan, yet intriguing and atmospheric. Much of its charm has been slowly built over 600 years of rich and varied history and, for us, there’s no other place quite like this great water city of India’s Malabar Coast.

Kerala's backwaters

Kerala is renowned for its natural beauty and relaxed way of life, and nowhere is this more evident than when stepping into a traditional houseboat and exploring its lazy, shimmering backwaters.

Vimal, our ever-smiling houseboat captain, was quick to point out wildlife as we made our way through the long palm lined canals. We saw river otters, elephants and a fantastic array of birds

Mumbai

Mumbai is India’s largest city, the financial engine that drives one of the world’s largest economies, the pinpoint of the country’s cricket obsession and the creative epicentre that is home to the booming Bollywood film industry.

Our charming guide Amir asked us if we wanted to see the lunch run. Off we went to Churchgate station where dabbawalas, or food delivery boys, delivered 200,000 lunches to office workers in a finely-tuned display of precision.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

A far-flung Andaman and Nicobar holiday is amongst Yonder’s greatest treasures. It is as far down the road less travelled as you can get.  You’ll need a three-hour flight and then a two-hour boat ride to reach your Andaman island hotels beside a pristine Robinson Crusoe beach. But, boy, is it worth it.

  • Visit the fascinating Cellular Jail in Port Blair.
  • Walk the full length of the compacted white sand on Beach No 7.
  • Forget the outside world. Being disconnected is such a rare treat. Embrace it.

Ranthambore National Park

Step into Ranthambore national park on a safari holiday with Yonder and you will think you’ve stepped into Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. It’s that magical. In fact, Ranthambore national park has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.

  • Tiger, tiger tiger. Fingers crossed you’ll have luck on your side.
  • Try to make time to get to the Women’s Cooperative.. It’s a great local cause and the handicrafts are genuinely beautiful.
  • Take a moment just to absorb the sheer beauty of the park.

Jaipur

Enthralling and historical, Jaipur, the Pink City, occupies a special position in popular folklore. As the capital of flamboyant Rajasthan, it conjures up images of Maharaja’s palaces, hilltop forts and a noble people. And it does not disappoint.

  • Amble round the City Palace and finish up with a pose in front of the Hawa Mahal.
  • See the Palace of Mirrors, in the Amber Fort. It’s finely decorated with thousands of mosaic mirrors..
  • Go to Jantar Mantar to set your watch by one of the world’s largest sundial (its 27 metres tall!).

Jodhpur

Jodhpur, capital of the the kingdom of Marwar, encapsulates everything that is so brilliant about Rajasthan. Its has the beautifully preserved Mehrangarh Fort built in 1460, a magnificent sight and an architectural triumph.

  • Explore the old city on foot. It’s compact, the people are friendly and you don’t need a guide.
  • If you get peckish, head to the samosa shop, just outside the main city gate.
  • Really absorb the brilliant museum and rooms at Mehrangarh Fort. You won’t be disappointed.

Udaipur

Udaipur: the City of Love. In the minds of many, it is the most beautiful destination in Rajasthan if not in the whole of India. The city’s amazing palaces, temples, havelis and narrow, colourful streets are set beside Lake Pichola, a heart-achingly romantic, with the wooded Aravalli Hills on all sides.

  • Get out onto Lake Pichola at sunset. The view from the water is spine-tingling.
  • Take time just to wander through the old streets and absorb the mesmerising sounds and smells.
  • Look out over the city through the spectacularly framed colour stained glass windows from the top of the City Palace.

Agra

The Taj Mahal dominates everything that is said about a holiday in Agra.  As one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World, its reputation speaks for itself. But whilst the Taj Mahal is unquestionably magnificent, the greater Agra area is also home to two other gems: The Agra Fort and the ancient ruins of the sandstone city of Fatehpur Sikri.

  • Leap out of bed at sunrise to see the Taj Mahal glowing.
  • Find the hanging window in Agra Fort for the perfect view of the Taj Mahal and the Yamuna river.
  • At Fatehpur Sikri sit in Diwan-i-Khas, the Emperor’s private audience hall, and imagine the scene 500 years ago.

Delhi

If India had to be symbolised by just one place, it would have to be the capital city of Delhi, City of Djinns, and 25 million people. Magical, mysterious, mayhemic, it is the embodiment of everything that is amazing about India. And Yonder is your ideal guide to the best hotels in Delhi.

  • Take a deep breath and dive into Chandni Chowk  one of the oldest and busiest markets in Delhi.
  • Cram in an actioned packed day of Delhi’s must-see sights. 
  • Take a train from one of Delhi’s main stations to see Rajasthan unfolding from the window of a railway carriage.

Goa

Goa is incredible India in miniature. You'll find kaleidoscopic culture, architecture and food combining to produce a rich, sensual experience. Add to this a sensational string of stunning beaches, and you have a perfectly formed paradise for pleasure seeking Yonderers.

  • Meander through the maze of amazing alleyways in old Goa’s Latin Quarter
  • Sample the rich Goan classic of Crab Xec Xec cooked up with tamarind and fresh grated coconut

 

After a sensational tour of northern India, we luxuriated by a deserted beach for a few days to catch up on some R&R. Malik, our ever attentive butler, plied us with a little known Indian Rosé as we lazed by our private pool.

Chennai

Chennai can easily be one of those place you just glimpse between flights on your Indian holiday adventure. But you will be rewarded if you take it in and experience the modern metropolis that was the first British settlement in India in 1640.

  • Make time for the Government Museum. It is impressive from the outside and from the inside.
  • Navigate through the traffic to Mylapore, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Chennai, to see Kapaleeshwarar Temple.
  • Fort St George, built in 1644, was first British fortress in India.

Ajabgarh

The tiny rural village of Ajabgarh is approximately 100kms to the north-east of Jaipur  nestled in the Aravelli Hills. It's so small it's almost not on the map. You’ll find little information about it trawling through Google. So isn’t it all the more intriguing that one of the finest luxury hotels in India have chosen it for their base?

  • Discover your inner yogi with an early morning session at the atmospheric Bhangarh fort.
  • This is a rural Rajasthani village in which time has stood still so go out and explore.
  • Go on an early evening walk past the temple and listen to the tiny bells being rung in the shrines.

Nagaur

Nagur is a town of two halves: the old and the new. The new part is teeming with life but doesn’t offer too much to the traveller thirsting for cultural adventure. It is the old part, the 12th Century Ahhichatragarh Fort, that gets the heart pumping and sets your mind imagining the extraordinary people and scenes that have gone before you.

  • Marvel at the  frescoes on the walls and ceilings of the old palace.
  • Discover the secret irrigation system that kept the fountains flowing and brought in drinking.
  • See how the ancient emperors enjoyed a life of luxury with hot water.

Narlai

The beautiful 15th Century village of Narlai is a long way down the road less travelled, situated almost equidistant from Jodhpur and Udaipur. It's not the kind of place that the mainstream visit; it's for those inquisitive – and discerning – travelers who really want to understand a country and get under its skin.

  • Wander around the village to see the thousands of Hindu and Jain shrines first-hand.
  • Set your alarm clock for 6am, grab a cup of coffee, and march up to the top of Elephant Rock for a spectacular sunrise.
  • Take a jeep (with a driver of course) from the hotel and have a sumptuous tea by the lake watching the hundreds of birds come and go.
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Tailor-made India holidays designed just for you!

Here at Yonder we have devised some exciting itineraries that will illustrate just what amazing journeys you could enjoy through Yonder’s exciting far-away destinations.

Of course every one of Yonder’s clients is a unique individual and we only create personalised itineraries that reflect those personal desires and wishes. So your Yonder journey will be as individual as you are. But to help you envisage just what amazing adventures might be possible, we have devised sample itineraries that we are confident will inspire you. You only have to pick up the phone to explore how any one of these ideas might be adapted to create your own perfect journey Yonder.

Your journey Yonder starts here...

We love to chat. Give us a call to chat through your ideas and wishes. We will make a few suggestions based on our first-hand experience and together we will build your perfect holiday

Call an Escapologist 0203 880 8585

Thoughts on a postcard

The colours, smells, culture and people are intoxicating. We are cocooned in luxury when in our hotels, when at the magnificent cultural sites, we are overawed, and when in the hustle and bustle, we haggle like the locals.

Thoughts on a postcard

The colours, smells, culture and people are intoxicating. We are cocooned in luxury when in our hotels, when at the magnificent cultural sites, we are overawed, and when in the hustle and bustle, we haggle like the locals.

Notes In Our Journal

A Few Tips to Consider When Booking a Luxury Holiday

Beat the Post-Holiday Blues with Yonder

Somewhere to go and forget the world, allowing a complete rejuvenation of the soul.

A quickfire round of frequently asked questions from the almost-married...

An interview with Gareema Gautam, General Manager of Rawla Narlai heritage hotel, set in the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan.

The rise of the newest new world wines