Luxury for less: India

India is one country where you can still find a number of beautifully decorated, luxurious hotels and guesthouses that don’t break the bank. Of course, there are plenty of super-expensive hotels and resorts throughout the country – Taj hotels, Aman resorts and the Oberoi chains immediately spring to mind – but they’re no longer the only option if you want something a bit special for your honeymoon.

Alaistar Sawday’s website and i-escape are good places to start if you want to find somewhere wonderful and not too break-the-bank to stay, as is the Rough Guide to India.

Here’s a few of my favourites:

Shahpura Bagh, Rajasthan

Rooms from £113/night, including breakfast and guided tours/safaris

This place gets excellent reviews for its wonderful food, welcoming hosts, beautiful surroundings, and simple yet elegant rooms – what more could you want? Once the summer residence of the rulers of Shahpura, the hotel is set in beautiful grounds close to two lakes that provide ample opportunities for both exploration and relaxation.

Rooms from £116/night including breakfast

Fort Cochin is a charming, if somewhat touristy, place, filled with lovely old buildings and dusty streets. This old colonial building has been beautifully done up, without being overdone – hardwood floors, fans spinning overhead, white walls and lots of dark wood. It’s wonderfully romantic and atmospheric – just perfect for a location like Cochin.

Rooms from £69/night.
This is a complete steal and a great option if you are looking for a quiet little countryside  hideaway. The rooms have all been individually decorated in bright (but not garish) col0urs and beautiful Indian fabrics, and each has its own terrace, which opens up onto the wonderful swimming pool. I really love the gorgeous Rajasthani sun umbrellas, which look perfect against the blue of the buildings and the lush greenery of the grounds. For a small hotel (there’s just four rooms), there are excellent facilities, including a wonderful, comfy lounge complete with a library, TV and DVD player and boardgames, and a great little shelter on one of the “upper terraces” where you can soak up the sunset.

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