by Santorini Dave • Updated: June 19, 2019
Crystal Sarovar Premiere, Agra – Popular, good-value, and impressive facilities, but not a great area.
Better value than most rivals across Agra, this low-key but upmarket hotel is instantly likable from the lively lobby to the variety of cafés/bars on-site. Rooms are a similar size to numerous others in the vicinity, but the décor offers more reminders of India. Views vary, and the rooms at the back of the hotel are more sheltered from the incessant traffic noise (but those labeled ‘Taj Facing’ are certainly not facing the Taj). Major selling points are the rooftop pool, which is particularly inviting at night, and the restaurant alongside with distant views of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. The only downside is the unpleasant area outside: noisy, dirty, and packed with buses and rickshaws, but with a decent selection of places to eat and drink.
Crystal Sarovar Premiere, Agra – The Location
- Address: Halfway along Fatehabad Road, a main thoroughfare through downtown. Set back about 75m from the road.
- Area: One of the least pleasant areas in Agra. Still reasonably safe but dirty, noisy, and jam-packed with vehicles and traffic. And crossing the road can be very dangerous.
- How to Get There: About 3km from the Taj Mahal (9-minute drive); 6.5km from the Agra Cantonment Railway Station, which has most services to/from Delhi and Jaipur (14-minute drive); and 13km from the new airport (30-minute drive). All are accessible by taxi or auto-rickshaw.
Crystal Sarovar Premiere, Agra – The Basics
- Guests: Caters for all, but is especially popular with Indian tourists, including those with children.
- Views: Rooms overlooking the chaotic road may suffer from traffic noise. Views from rooms at the back are of residential streets and far quieter. The names (and photos on the website) of the ‘Taj Facing’ rooms are very misleading; the Taj is more than 2km away.
- Kids Club: No club, but better facilities for children than most Agra hotels. The Kids Zone (oddly, within the spa area) offers some toys for toddlers and games for older children in separate areas. Also, a tiny playground at the hotel entrance, and a special sitting area in the Lattice restaurant for the younger ones.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not really expected or provided at a hotel like this in Agra.
- Wi-Fi: Free throughout for all guests.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +91 (0)562 711 0711
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: sarovarhotels.com
Crystal Sarovar Premiere, Agra – Amenities
- Pool: More inviting than most. Large, with lounge chairs, and especially attractive at night.
- Spa: The Nirvana Spa is surprisingly big and spreads across an extended corridor. Facials, massages, and scrubs offered using old-fashioned methods.
- Fitness Center: Alongside the spa and reasonably well-equipped.
- For Families: Kids Zone with games and toys. Tiny playground.
- Other Facilities: Travel desk. Laundry. Business Center.
Crystal Sarovar Premiere, Agra – Food and Drink
- Restaurants & Bars: Lattice – Open all day at the lobby level for European and Indian cuisine. Open-plan kitchen, and very busy for buffet breakfasts. • Bello Italiano @Fizz – Premier Italian bistro at mezzanine level. Open from midday to midnight, with a stylish bar. • Sky Grill – Alongside the rooftop pool. Bar counter, and chairs spread across the terrace. Distant views of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort (smog permitting). Grills, salad bar, pizza, and live music from 7 pm. • Tea Lounge – Snack bar and coffee lounge at the lobby.
- Breakfast: Not normally included, but worth paying for when booking or checking in.
- Room Service: Available 24/7.
Crystal Sarovar Premiere, Agra – Rooms
- Room Types: Deluxe Rooms • Premium Rooms (Taj Facing) • Studio Rooms • Studio Rooms (Taj Facing).
- Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms or public areas.
- Best Room: Studio Rooms are particularly spacious, with full-length windows offering more superior street views (which do NOT include the Taj Mahal, despite claims and photos on the website).
- For Families: Studio Rooms are perfect for families. With 2 double beds and plenty of space, they can easily accommodate 4 people.
Crystal Sarovar Premiere, Agra – Local Transport
- Walking: Streets around the hotel are dusty, potholed, crowded, and very noisy. Not at all pleasant for even the shortest walk, so take auto-rickshaws whenever possible.
- Public Transport: Nothing of any use to tourists.
- Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: Taxis (unmetered) are hard to find because they’re rarely needed in this area. If required, arrange through the hotel reception, or book an Ola cab. Plenty of auto-rickshaws and a few cycle-rickshaws can be found along the road.
Crystal Sarovar Premiere, Agra – What’s Nearby?
Restaurants & Bars
A finer selection of places to eat and drink within a 2-minute walk than most hotels in Agra.
- KFC – Unmissable and next to the hotel. 1-minute walk (30m).
- Grey House Café – On an upper floor for views, offering excellent food, pleasing prices, friendly staff, and bar. Next to the hotel. 1-minute walk (35m).
- Mocha Café & Bar – Yellow exterior stands out along the dusty road. Hugely popular among well-heeled youth for coffee, western food, and beer. Just across the road from the hotel. 1-minute walk (80m).
- The Salt Café Agra – Terrific views and ample seating. Busy hangout, with stylish décor, live music, and friendly bar. About 100m away. Turn left from the hotel gates. 1-minute walk.
- Spice Darbar +91 86304 15796 – Fascinating décor and wide range of Chinese and Indian food. Welcome respite from the chaos outside, especially for families. Head right from the hotel gates. 2-minute walk (160m).
- Prime Plaza +91 75348 17009 – Quiet setting and fine dining within the 4-star (ex-Sheraton) hotel. 6-minute walk (450m).
- The Taj Mahal is certainly Agra’s, and possibly India’s, number one attraction. The hotel is equidistant from the ticket offices at the West Gate (3km, 9 minutes) and East Gate (3km, 12 minutes) by auto-rickshaw. Separate entries for men and women. Open from sunrise to sunset, but closed on Fridays.
- Agra Fort – The grand Red Fort (Lal Qila) symbolizes power and resilience. Partly occupied by the Indian Army, tourists can still see multiple mosques, palaces, and other structures inside this vast monument located close to the city center. Open from 6 am to 6 pm on all days. 10-minute drive (4km).
- Itimad-ud-Daula – Popularly thought of as the first draft of the Taj Mahal, and often known as “Baby Taj”. The tomb is the first marble structure built by the Mughals and features intricate lattice work. Open from sunrise to sunset. 19-minute drive (8km).
- Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary – A haven for several species of birds and a must-visit for wildlife photographers. Apart from birds, it also houses pythons and Wildlife SOS, the largest bear rescue center in India, as well as the only elephant hospital in the country. 50-minute drive (27km).
- Fatehpur Sikri – This majestic red sandstone fort is known for the Buland Darwaza, Jama Masjid, Tomb of Salim Chishti, Diwan-i-Aam, Diwani-i-Khas, and several other monuments on-site. Built in the 16th-century by Emperor Akbar to celebrate the birth of his son, Jahangir, in Sikri. Open daily from 6 am to 6 pm. Tickets can be bought online from various travel portals or at the fort entrance. 1-hour drive (40km).
Crystal Sarovar Premiere, Agra – The Hotel
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