Agra: Oberoi worth the money?

#1 Apr 29th, 2014, 04:00
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  • kimj is offline
#1
Hi everyone!

My family will be travelling to India for a month this summer and we want to start off seeing the Taj Mahal before we go north. Is one day enough? Would we be able to get from Delhi to Agra, see the Taj Mahal, spend the night in Agra, and be in our way the next day? Also, my main question is whether or not the Oberoi hotel is worth the money. It would be fun to spend just that one night in a luxury hotel and watch the sun set (or rise?) over the Taj Mahal from the comfort of our room. Have any of you stayed there and is it worth it? The rest of the time it will be budget hotels and home stays for us so we will not exactly be travelling in style- do you think we would be made to feel uncomfortable at the Oberoi with our backpacks and trekking shoes? On one hand I really want to do it, and on the other I think we could just watch the sunset from wherever and spend that money on something else. Any advice in either direction would be appreciated. Oh, and if not the Oberoi, anywhere else that can be suggested? And if yes to the Oberoi, is it worth it to pay the extra for the balcony?

Thanks!

Kim
#2 Apr 29th, 2014, 04:08
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#2
You are coming all the way from Tampa Bay with the young kids. You may not ever come again. "Yes" to all your questions. It is worth it. Spend a night and do a night tour, ideally if the Moon is up, and indulge yourself. Life is short and money is too, but the latter will come. Agra is such a serious dump otherwise that you would be wise to spend your indulgence money there because in other places you can budget as you wish. I highly recommend that you also go to Fatehpur Sikri. It is a beautiful experience, though it will be hot when you go.

If you have pre-booked and walk in with sandals and shorts, they will still love you since it is money that counts.
#3 Apr 29th, 2014, 04:12
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#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimj View Post do you think we would be made to feel uncomfortable at the Oberoi with our backpacks and trekking shoes?
No. You will not.

Whether it is worth the money, is a value statement !
#4 Apr 29th, 2014, 04:15
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#4
Yes, I suppose you're right, "worth the money" is subjective. But I'd like to know what others think who have stayed there. Did they think the experience was worth the money or did they leave wishing they'd saved that money for something better?
#5 Apr 29th, 2014, 04:27
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#5
It is worth the money, as I said earlier. it will alleviate the pain of being in Agra, especially with kids, in that heat. Don't think thrice. (You have already thought twice)
#6 Apr 29th, 2014, 04:41
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#6
Kim, yes it can be worth the money (I've not stayed at that hotel), here's a few things to think about.

Do it at the end of your trip (assuming you're flying home from Delhi), it will be something special to look forward to, and going from budget to luxury is great fun, not so good going the other way.

Make sure you get the absolute full time available, turn up an hour before check-in, see if you can check-out an hour late.

Make full use of all free amenities.

Try to include a meal in the hotel, damn expensive, but all part of the experience. (for drinks, see tips in below link)

Search long and hard for the best price, you usually need to stay 3 nights to get a much better rate (find out what that rate is), you may be able to get a similar rate at one of the hotel booking websites.

Have you got a lot of air miles, can they be used to get a better rate at the hotel?

Can you join the hotel's website or membership club, will this get you a better rate?

If you're going to splash out, then the balcony is a must, can you imagine sitting on that balcony sipping a nice cool drink and looking at the Taj Mahal.

Try to use overnight trains to save money, for example, you say you'll be going north, if you leave Agra till the end, you can get the following train from Pathankot (if coming from Dharamsala or close by) direct to Tundla (22km from Agra)

Jammu or Pathankot to Tundla train.

Or similar times from Kalka (if coming from Shimla) to Tundla, or even Amritsar to Tundla, or better still, Amritsar to Agra Cant. (you can stay a night in the Golden Temple for a small donation, the experience alone should be worth it, and needless to say, the Golden Temple simply has to be in your itinerary)

By the way, all those trains are timed well in the other direction as well.

Tell the hotel you just got engaged, you'll find rose petals on your bed, and maybe in the bath, and if you're exceptionally lucky, maybe a free bottle of champagne. (the fun I had trying to spell that word)

Don't worry about your clothes, once you've paid, you're the boss, but you may be a bit like me and find the service a bit over the top (see below link).

I done a long (really long) review and added some tips for getting the best value out of staying in such a hotel.

Is a luxury hotel worth smashing your low budget?
#7 Apr 29th, 2014, 04:44
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#7
Yes absolutely! We stayed as part of our honeymoon and thoroughly enjoyed the experience there. We did the Taj at around 5am when it first opened then spent the rest of the day by the pool and making the most of the hotel.
#8 Apr 29th, 2014, 05:25
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#8
Wow, thanks everyone, I think we will do it! And thanks Steven for the tips on how to cut the costs, those are some good ideas. I don't know about telling them we just got engaged and the showing up with our two kids in tow, but we'll see!
#9 Apr 29th, 2014, 05:30
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#9
You can have 4 kids and not be married! Anything goes in India!
#10 Apr 29th, 2014, 13:13
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#10
Just remember that the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays.
#11 Apr 29th, 2014, 13:17
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#11
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Did they think the experience was worth the money
Yes it was.
.
This is computer generated drivel. No signature is required.
#12 Sep 5th, 2014, 19:42
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#12

oberoi in agra

Hi

you can stay for 2 days in Agra

1st day - visit to agra, taj mahal, agra fort
2nd day - visit fatehpur sikri

its a must visit

regarding stay
oberoi amarvila - no questions asked!! definitely worth the money. but yes, expensive. other option could be taj gateway or jaypee

both are very good hotels and equally good in services.

enjoy!!
#13 Sep 6th, 2014, 08:21
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#13
If you can afford it, do it. The service is fantastic, the facility itself is nothing short of awesome, and every room has a view of the Taj.

There is a no tipping policy there if that helps in terms of your economical calculations (if you wish to tip, you can leave it in an envelope at the front desk).
#14 Sep 6th, 2014, 08:24
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViShVa View Post It is worth the money, as I said earlier. it will alleviate the pain of being in Agra, especially with kids, in that heat. Don't think thrice. (You have already thought twice)
Wasn't that Dylan who sang "Don't think thrice, it's alright"?
#15 Sep 6th, 2014, 11:56
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#15
I will put in a plug for Agra since hardly anyone will and it doesn't include the usual rapture for the Taj. Seeing the tomb may be better if from a terrace where one can get a good stiff drink or three. Night trips in the Taj are only for 30 minutes when available and no photography. I think you will enjoy it more if you read something about it before. There is a good recommendation for a foren author that begins with a K(och) and a strong recommendation against for a sometime fictional item (new history) with an author that begins with a P. Golghar or NY can give you a more complete and technical listing and its on this site I believe. One I liked but it took Moe's Books some effort to find and me some money to pay. There are a lot of lesser known places that are quieter and often more moving. These will especially reward one with some reading or a good guide. There is that scene in a movie about the latter. Need less to say these are as common at tourist site as 5 legged dogs. Leaving without seeing Fatehpur Sikri is like not seeing Agra at all (yeah, I know touts thicker than flies in the Ahmednagar dry fish market). The only problem I can see with the Taj is that walking out of it would be like the tumult (tamasha?) that develops when an armored car bursts open and bags of money spill out.

Enjoy, its fun to stay in Agra long enough to pick up the vibes of that peculiar city. What was the name of the Hindi film based on Agra and tapping the power lines.?

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