Hotel Atulyaa Taj in Agra, India

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by Santorini Dave • Updated: October 8, 2019

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Review of Hotel Atulyaa Taj in Agra, India.

Hotel Atulyaa Taj, Agra – Compact, functional, friendly, and in a convenient location.

This is among the finest of several hotels of a similar size, standard, and price along the quiet access road to one of the main entrances to the majestic Taj Mahal. The hotel is friendly, pleasant, and good value, with distant glimpses of India’s most famous monument possible from the rooftop pool and café alongside, but certainly not from the rooms. Rooms are comfortable without being remarkable, but it’s all about the location. Enough facilities in both directions along the street, and only a short walk to the ticket office of the mighty Taj.

Hotel Atulyaa Taj, Agra – The Location

  • Address: 23-24 Taj East Gate Road. About 750m from the ticket office at the East Gate of the Taj Mahal.
  • Area: In a very likable area, more relaxed and certainly quieter than other parts of Agra. The hotel faces a street devoid of cars and buses, with only cyclists, cows, and electric shuttle buses.
  • How to Get There: About 7km (23-minute drive) from the Agra Cantonment Railway Station, which has most services to/from Delhi and Jaipur, and about 15km (40-minute drive) from the new airport. Both are accessible by taxi or auto-rickshaw.
  • Handy to: Taj Mahal.

Hotel Atulyaa Taj, Agra – The Basics

  • Guests: Caters for anyone seeking a mid-range option within walking distance of the Taj Mahal.
  • Views: Certainly too far for decent views. Most rooms face a derelict parcel of dirt or the side of another hotel, but a few do overlook the quiet street in front.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided at this sort of mid-range guesthouse in Agra.
  • Wi-Fi: Free throughout for all guests, but this may depend on how the room was booked.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)562 223 3075
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: hotelatulyaataj.com

Hotel Atulyaa Taj, Agra – Amenities

  • Pool: Surprisingly, there is a small pool on the rooftop. Alongside the café, with some decent views of the street below, but the Taj is too far to even photograph properly.
  • Spa & Fitness Center: Neither expected nor provided.
  • Other Facilities: Money-changing. Travel desk. Business services.

Hotel Atulyaa Taj, Agra – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants: The Exotica – Rooftop café, more elevated and spacious than most, but views of the Taj Mahal are too distant to get excited about. • The Pavilion – At the lobby level and serves breakfast and Indian meals all day, but fails to compete against any rooftop café. (Both are open 24 hours, but neither serves alcohol.)
  • Breakfast: May be included, but this depends on the type of booking.
  • Room Service: Available 24/7.

Hotel Atulyaa Taj, Agra – Rooms

  • Room Types: Deluxe Rooms • Super Deluxe Rooms
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms or public areas.
  • Best Room: Super Deluxe Rooms are more spacious and more likely to offer appealing street views.
  • For Families: Not really set up for families. The best idea is to arrange 2 adjoining rooms, but none have connecting doors.

Hotel Atulyaa Taj, Agra – Local Transport

  • Walking & Cycling: Easy walk to numerous facilities and to the ticket office of the Taj Mahal. Agra is one of the very few places in India worthy of cycling. Roads are flat, far less crowded than major cities, and there’s plenty to see on 2 wheels. Bikes can be rented at agencies and cafés along the street towards the Taj Mahal.
  • Public Transport: Nothing of use to tourists.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: Taxis (unmetered) are hard to find because they’re rarely needed in this area and don’t come along the access road anyway. If required, arrange through the hotel reception, or book an Ola cab. A few cycle-rickshaws are along the street outside, and some auto-rickshaws are further away from the Taj.

Hotel Atulyaa Taj, Agra – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    Surprisingly few options considering this is the main access road to the Taj. While actively hyped by staff of various establishments, ‘rooftop restaurant with views of the Taj’ is a little overrated and certainly overpriced. These 4 places are within 300m of the hotel, along the street towards the Taj:

  • Full Treat Restaurant – Rooftop setting and excellent range of thalis (set meals in steel plates). Next to the Little Pink Homestay. 1-minute walk (85m).
  • 25 Hours Hangout Café – Friendly owner and charming courtyard setting. Simple meals all day and shady seats for people-watching. 2-minute walk (220m).
  • The Oberoi Amarvilas – Opulent sensation at least worth a look, and certainly worth a splurge. Several options include Esphahan (Indian cuisine, romantic setting, and live music) and The Bar (with terrace offering genuine views of the Taj). 3-minute walk (240m).
  • Dostea Café Agra – Indian food and world-class coffee in an inviting garden courtyard with shade. 3-minute walk (270m).

Otherwise, walk along the street away from the Taj and try:

  • El Clasico – Cute café offering a limited but tasty range of Indian and western meals. At Shilpgram (see below). 4-minute walk (300m).
  • Riva Restaurant – In the unassuming Pearl of Taj homestay. Long menu of well-priced thalis, pancakes, and lassis (sweet/savory drinks made from yogurt). 200m past El Clasico. 6-minute walk (500m).

Shops & Markets

  • Plenty of shops of various quality along the street between the hotel and Taj Mahal. Among the usual T-shirts and fridge magnets are some quality silverware. A small Craft Bazaar is at the back of Shilpgram, a purpose-built (but mostly abandoned) tourist complex about 300m down the street, away from the Taj Mahal. 4-minute walk.

Attractions

  • The Taj Mahal is certainly Agra’s, and possibly India’s number one attraction. The ticket office opposite the East Gate is only a 9-minute walk (750m) up the street, with 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. 16-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. 23-minute drive (7km).
  • 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 (26km).
  • 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 (42km).

Hotel Atulyaa Taj, Agra – The Hotel

The hotel is along the eastern access road to the Taj Mahal.

The hotel, which is along the eastern access road to the Taj Mahal, was undergoing some minor renovations during early 2019.

The hotel lobby is spacious and pleasant.

Despite the limited space and proximity to the Taj Mahal, the hotel facilities, including the lobby area, are pleasingly roomy.

The hotel is located in a quiet area of the city.

In a very quiet area of Agra, views from the hotel rooftop are broad and interesting, but the Taj Mahal is at quite some distance.

Breakfast is served at The Pavilion.

Opposite the reception desk, The Pavilion is where breakfast is served.

The rooftop restaurant offers distant views of the Taj Mahal.

Like most rival hotels, the restaurant on the rooftop offers distant views of the Taj Mahal.

The large rooftop also has the swimming pool.

The rooftop area is substantially larger than those offered at most hotels in the area, and also houses the pool.

The rooms have large windows offering plenty of light but not enough views.

The full-length window in each room offers enough light but no worthwhile views, except for the handful facing the front.

The affordable rooms are compact.

As expected in this area and at this price, rooms are compact, if a little undersized.

Room furnishings are functional and comfortable.

Furnishings are functional and comfortable.

Electric shuttle buses ferry tourists from the car park to the ticketing gate of the Taj Mahal.

Tourists visiting the Taj Mahal by bus can reach the ticket gate from the carpark by electric shuttle bus.

Bicycle and auto-rickshaws are convenient modes of transport.

Two convenient ways to get around are by cycle-rickshaw and the automated version.

There are plenty of rickshaws to go around.

Rickshaw drivers wait in line for fares from tourists (who will be inevitably charged 3-4 times more than locals).

Oberoi Amarvilas opposite the hotel has excellent dining options.

Several restaurants at the magnificent Oberoi Amarvilas resort, virtually opposite the Atulyaa, offer exquisite dining.

Esphahan restaurant at the Oberoi is a romantic place.

Also at the Oberoi is the romantic Esphahan restaurant.

The Bar at the Oberoi offers excellent views of the Taj Mahal.

The Bar at the Oberoi offers genuine views of the Taj Mahal.

Full Treat Restaurant next door serves good-value thalis.

The Full Treat Restaurant, almost next to the entrance to the Atulyaa, offers good-value thalis (set meals in steel plates).

25 Hours Hangout Café nearby is popular for cheap drinks and simple meals.

A popular place to relax with a simple meal and cheap drink while people-watching is the 25 Hours Hangout Café, within 300m towards the Taj Mahal.

Dostea Café Agra offers a pleasant courtyard, good tea/coffee, and basic Indian meals.

Also within a few minutes’ walk down the street, Dostea Café Agra provides a pleasant courtyard, tasty tea/coffee, and basic Indian meals.

El Clasico nearby offers a small selection of Indian and western meals.

In Shilpgram, a tourist complex about 300m up the street (away from the Taj), El Clasico is a vibrant little café offering a limited range of Indian and western meals.

Riva Restaurant nearby serves excellent and cheap thalis.

Worth a 5-minute walk up the street (away from the Taj), Riva Restaurant offers a range of excellent thalis at half the price of rivals.

There are several souvenir shops on the street.

Along the street towards the Taj Mahal, various shops sell tacky souvenirs.

Craft Bazaar is an interesting place to shop for souvenirs close by.

A more interesting place to shop is the Craft Bazaar, at the back of the Shilpgram tourist complex, about 300m up the street.

Taj Mahal's East Gate is within walking distance of the hotel.

The East Gate to the mighty Taj Mahal is about 750m from the hotel.

The Taj has separate entrance lines for men and women.

Lines (separate for men and women) to enter the Taj can be lengthy at times.

The street leading to the Taj Mahal is pleasant to walk on in the mornings.

The street between the hotel and Taj Mahal entrance on a foggy Friday morning (when it’s closed).

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