Hotel Taj Resorts in Agra, India

by Santorini Dave • Updated: June 19, 2019

Review of Hotel Taj Resorts in Agra, India.

Hotel Taj Resorts – Popular and appealing, with prime location and just a little tradition.

Certainly not a resort (despite the name), this quaint hotel is superior to most along the quiet access road to Agra’s number one attraction. The hotel provides more elegance and professional service than rivals, evidenced by the traditionally-dressed doorman, handicraft stall at the lobby, and workshop in the basement. Rooms are motel-style but functional and comfortable. And the rooftop pool, with café alongside, is larger than others along the street and provides decent – but distant – views of the mighty Taj Mahal. It’s really all about the location: just a short walk from the East Gate to India’s greatest monument.

Hotel Taj Resorts – The Location

  • Address: Taj East Gate Road. About 800m 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 (22-minute drive) from the Agra Cantonment Railway Station, which has most services to/from Delhi and Jaipur, and about 15km (36-minute drive) from the new airport. Both are accessible by taxi or auto-rickshaw.
  • Handy to: Taj Mahal.

Hotel Taj Resorts – The Basics

  • Guests: Caters well for a mix of tourists seeking a mid-priced option within walking distance of the Taj.
  • Views: Certainly no Taj views. Most rooms face a derelict parcel of land or a traffic-free side-street, while a few overlook the quiet street in front.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided at this sort of mid-range hotel in Agra.
  • Extras: Free pickup from the railway station or airport in Agra (but badger them to confirm this).
  • Wi-Fi: Available free but access may be unreliable away from the lobby.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)562 2230 160
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: hoteltajresorts.com

Hotel Taj Resorts – Amenities

  • Pool: Decent pool on the rooftop and alongside the café. Fascinating street views and distant glimpses of the Taj.
  • Spa & Fitness Center: Not expected or provided.
  • Other Facilities: Travel desk. Money-changer. Laundry. Business Center. Taj Gallery handicraft shop at the lobby and workshop in the basement.

Hotel Taj Resorts – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants: No alcohol is served on the premises. Taj Terrace – Alongside the pool on the rooftop. Range of Indian food with some western usuals. Popular for the distant views of the Taj and evening breezes. • Bon Appétit – At the lobby and less inviting. Mostly used for breakfast, and features live music nightly.
  • Breakfast: Usually included but double-check when booking.
  • Room Service: Available during restaurant hours of about 7 am to 9 pm.

Hotel Taj Resorts – Rooms

  • Room Types: Executive Rooms • Premium Rooms • Deluxe Rooms • Suite Rooms
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms or public areas.
  • Best Room: Suite Rooms are more spacious and airy, with larger windows offering more light and some appealing street views.
  • For Families: Not really set up for families, so book 2 adjoining rooms, although none have connecting doors.

Hotel Taj Resorts – Local Transport

  • Walking & Cycling: Easy walk to numerous facilities and to the ticket office at the East Gate 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. Also some horse-drawn carts.

Hotel Taj Resorts – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    Surprisingly few options considering this is a major access road to the Taj Mahal. While actively hyped by the staff of various establishments, their ‘rooftop restaurant with views of the Taj’ are 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. 2-minute walk (130m).
  • 25 Hours Hangout Café – Friendly owner and charming courtyard setting. Simple meals all day and shady seats for people-watching. 3-minute walk (250m).
  • The Oberoi Amarvilas – Opulent sensation at least worth a look, if not a splurge. Several options include Esphahan (romantic setting, Indian cuisine, and live music) and The Bar (with terrace offering genuine views of the Taj). 3-minute walk (300m).
  • Dostea Café Agra – Indian food and world-class coffee in an inviting garden courtyard with shade. Just past 25 Hours Hangout. 4-minute walk (300m).

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). 3-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). 150m past El Clasico. 5-minute walk (450m).

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 250m along the street, away from the Taj Mahal. 3-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. 20-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. 30-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. 55-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 Taj Resorts – The Hotel

Horse carts are a unique way to reach the Taj Mahal nearby.

The hotel is along the eastern access road to the Taj Mahal, which is only 800m away. And one way to reach the ticket gate is by horse-and-cart.

The hotel is one of the best mid-range hotels in the area.

The Hotel Taj Resorts isn’t a resort, but is among the finest mid-range options along the eastern road to the Taj Mahal.

The classy mustachioed doorman sets the tone for the hotel.

The traditionally-dressed mustachioed doorman exudes more class than those at rival hotels.

The bright and airy lobby is very welcoming.

The hotel lobby is bright and airy, and staff are particularly welcoming.

The reception hosts a small shop selling handcrafted souvenirs.

At the reception area, a tiny shop sells handcrafted souvenirs.

Many of the souvenirs are made in the hotel basement.

Many of the souvenirs for sale near the reception area are made in the basement of the hotel.

The hotel basement also has shops selling saris and other clothes.

Plenty of saris and other clothing materials are available at the gallery and workshop in the hotel basement.

Bon Appétit restaurant opposite the reception serves breakfast in the mornings.

Opposite the reception area is the reasonably swish Bon Appétit restaurant, where breakfast is served.

The rooftop Taj Terrace restaurant offers distant views of the Taj Mahal.

On the rooftop (4th floor), the Taj Terrace restaurant provides distant views of the Taj Mahal.

The top floor offers better views of the Taj Mahal.

Up some more steps above the Taj Terrace, the highest position at the hotel offers slightly better views of Agra’s main attraction.

One can see the Taj Mahal in the distance from the rooftop.

Views of the Taj Mahal from the hotel rooftop are distant, but more impressive at night.

The rooftop pool is large and inviting.

A welcome surprise is the size and layout of the rooftop pool.

The hotel rooftop hosts an enviable pool and cafe.

The combined pool and café area on the hotel rooftop is far larger than at rival hotels.

The hotel corridors feature funky art.

Corridors are lined with funky art.

The compact rooms are functional and comfortable.

Rooms are compact, if sometimes a little undersized, but certainly functional and comfortable.

The rooms come with a decent decor.

The décor throughout all the rooms is likeable.

All rooms come with small desks.

A desk is squeezed into a corner of each room.

Most rooms don't offer good views.

Views from the rooms are unremarkable, except those facing the street in front. But these are still not as good as the views from the rooftop (where this photo was taken).

The street in front of the hotel is reasonably quiet.

The street in front of the hotel leads to the Taj Mahal, but is virtually devoid of cars and buses, and so is remarkably quiet.

Cycle-rickshaws are a fun way to reach the Taj Mahal.

One way to reach the ticket office of the Taj Mahal is by cycle-rickshaw. (The hotel is in the background.)

The Oberoi nearby houses The Bar, which is an excellent place to splurge at.

Absolutely worth a visit and splurge is The Bar at the incredibly elegant Oberoi resort, just up the street towards the Taj Mahal.

The Oberoi has several options for buffets and a la carte meals.

The Oberoi also offers several restaurants with buffets, and a la carte meals all day.

The Oberoi's excellent Esphahan restaurant offers pool and garden views.

Also facing the pool and gardens at the magnificent Oberoi is the Esphahan restaurant.

Full Treat Restaurant near the hotel is a good place to enjoy thalis at.

Almost next to Hotel Taj Resorts, the Full Treat Restaurant offers good-value thalis (platters with several dishes).

25 Hours Hangout Café nearby offers simple meals and cheap drinks.

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

Dostea Café Agra features a pleasant courtyard, good tea/coffee, and simple Indian meals.

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

El Clasico cafe serves simple Indian and western meals.

About 250m up the street (away from the Taj), El Clasico is a lively café offering a limited range of Indian and western meals.

Riva Restaurant a little further away serves excellent cheap thalis.

Worth a 5-minute walk up the street past El Clasico, Riva Restaurant provides a range of excellent and inexpensive thalis.

Several souvenir shops are located along the street.

Along the street between the hotel and Taj Mahal, various shops sell tacky souvenirs.

Craft Bazaar nearby is a better place to shop for souvenirs.

A more interesting place to shop is the Craft Bazaar, at the back of the Shilpgram tourist complex. This is about 250m up the street from the hotel (away from the Taj).

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

The East Gate to the mighty Taj Mahal is only 800m from the hotel.

The Taj Mahal has separate (and long) lines for men and women.

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

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

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

The Taj Mahal is equally popular with local tourists.

Obviously, the Taj Mahal is not popular among foreign tourists only.

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