A candlelit meal in an ancient palace, a moonlit boat ride, your own private island—romance often blossoms in a magical setting. We’ve picked the top Indian resorts guaranteed to make you go weak at the knees:
Vaamika Island Kochi Ahilya Fort Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh The Oberoi Vanyavilas Ranthambore Nandadevi Estate, Binsar, Uttarakhand Bungalow on the Beach Tranquebar, Tamil Nadu Butt’s Clermont Houseboats Srinagar Wildernest Goa The Machan Lonavala Glenburn Tea Estate Darjeeling Devi Garh by lebua Udaipur Barefoot at Havelock Andaman Islands Taj Falaknuma Palace Hyderabad Elsewhere Goa Shakti Ladakh Ri Kynjai Shillong Moksha Himalaya Spa Resort Parwanoo, Himachal Pradesh The Tamara Coorg Wildflower Hall Himachal Pradesh The LaLit Resort & Spa Bekal Kerala The Serai Chikmagalur Karnataka
You may also like 7 MUST VISIT ISLANDS IN THAILAND FLYING DURING THE MONSOONS - WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW THE 5 BEST BEACHES OF KERELA Vaamika Island Kochi. Photo: Dan Kullberg - This seven-acre private island along Vembanad Lake has two main residences—Sun Rise and High Noon—which reside on their own islets with access to private lagoons. These centuries-old Kerala homes, restored and relocated onto the island from nearby villages, come with lakefront pools, gardens, massage pavilions and a private butler service. You can reach this secluded spot (wi-fi enabled throughout) via speedboat from Kochi’s Bolgatty jetty. Ahilya Fort Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh. Photo: Tom Parker - Whitewashed walls lined with royal images, bougainvillea-festooned courtyards and age-old bronze idols all tell stories of love, romance and valour. The hotel’s 13 rooms—including the spectacular Narmada Suite overlooking the river, and the Neem Suite that Maratha queen Ahilya Bai Holkar once occupied—have been restored using traditional textiles such as the Maheshwari and indigo block prints from Indore. The Oberoi Vanyavilas Ranthambore- A stay at Vanyavilas is perfect for couples looking for adventure without compromising on luxury. You’ll wake up at dawn to drive into the beautiful Ranthambore forest in the hope of sighting a tiger; and by midday you can return to the plush comfort of The Oberoi’s 25 luxury tents (replete with huge bathrooms, beautiful tubs and teak floors). Nandadevi Estate, Binsar, Uttarakhand - Lying deep in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, this heritage estate is perched at a height of 7,500ft on the Kumaon Himalayas. With three bungalows affording dramatic 500km-long unbroken views of the mountains and surrounded by lush forests, it offers absolute privacy. Book the Goralkot Bungalow, which comes with wide verandas, an extensive library and an open fireplace to curl up in front of. Bungalow on the Beach Tranquebar, Tamil Nadu. Photo: Michel Figuet - The tiny town of Tranquebar has few attractions (two churches, one restaurant and an arts and crafts store), but that also means fewer distractions. The island’s remoteness from Chennai and Trichy—the closest city with an airport—ensures that very few will make it this far. Bungalow on the Beach is a quiet hideaway, where you won’t be interrupted by any trappings of city life. Butts-Clermont-Houseboats-by-Michael-Turek - Experience Kashmir, the quintessential honeymoon destination, in quiet seclusion by staying in one of the five Butt’s Clermont houseboats. Moored in a sheltered corner of Dal Lake, the five houseboats offer stunning views of the placid waters and surrounding snow-covered peaks. Set up home in a cosy houseboat built with cedar wood and furnished with carved wooden pieces and Kashmiri objets d’art. Wildernest Goa - High up on the Western Ghats at the meeting point of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka, this resort provides the perfect escape in the lap of nature. You’ll see abundant greenery on every side, but we suggest you pick a room with a view of the waterfall. It might be far from the pool, but that only means you’ll stay away from loud families The Machan Lonavla - This chic hotel with four tree houses just off Lonavala’s town centre is a boon for couples looking to escape the hustle and bustle of cities such as Mumbai and Pune. Located in Jambulne, a botanical hotspot, the luxury eco-resort’s 30ft to 45ft high tree houses offer stellar views of clear, star-studded skies and the surrounding 25 acres of forestland. Glenburn-Tea-Estate-Darjeeling-by-Martin-Morrell - Overlooked by the mighty Kanchenjunga, the tea estates around Darjeeling offer some of India’s most idyllic scenery. Hidden among their emerald hillsides is the Glenburn Tea Estate. Each of its eight suites comes kitted out in lavish colonial style, with four-poster beds and roll-top baths. You’ll be woken each morning wat outdoors, book a stay in the Glenburn Lodge and Campsite on the banks of the River Teesta Devi Garh by lebua Udaipur - Over the years, the clifftop hotel has been refurbished to reflect a more contemporary design. While local marbles and semi-precious stones have been used in its minimalistic décor, the ancient sandstone exterior has been left intact, and the result is breathtaking. If you’re looking for A-class luxury, check into the 1,200sq ft Devi Garh Suite. Barefoot at Havelock Andaman Islands - Known for its pristine white-sand beaches, azure waters and abundant coral, Havelock Island makes for a tranquil holiday spot. Right next door to the spotless Radhanagar beach, Barefoot at Havelock is one of the finest resorts on the island. You’re bound to fall for the hotel’s 19 elegant cottages and villas (either fan cooled or air-conditioned), each of which is built using local materials and features tribal architecture. Taj Falaknuma Palace Hyderabad. Photo:Tom Parker - Perched atop a hill with the city of Hyderabad at its feet and nothing but the sky above, Taj Falaknuma Palace is a place for true old-world romantics. With 60 beautifully restored rooms, grand, marble staircases and plenty of antique objets d’art, it will make you feel as if you’re living in your own fairytale palace. Elsewhere-Goa - You’ll be surprised how close you are to the action on Ashwem beach, yet how cut off you’ll feel from it. The property’s four beachside Portuguese bungalows, owned by fashion photographer Denzil Sequeira, seem to exist in a bubble of solitude, thanks to the creek that surrounds them. Make the 10-minute walk for a delicious French feast at La Plage, or pack it up to eat under the stars on the beach in front of the property. Shakti Ladakh - These high-end village homestays offer a seductive combination of absolute seclusion, spectacular scenery and five-star comfort. You’ll stay in charming village houses surrounded by flower-filled meadows and sparkling streams. Each group of guests gets a village home entirely to themselves, so you and your partner can star-gaze from your rooftop gazebo, share a bottle of wine around the wood-burner or enjoy a five-course dinner in your cosy cottage kitchen, with only your butler Ri Kynjai Shillong. Photo: Tom Parker - There’s nothing more romantic than a monsoon break in idyllic natural surroundings—which is why Ri Kynjai is the perfect honeymoon spot. Located in the Cherrapunjee-Mawsynram district—one of the world’s rainiest areas—the resort has been designed in Khasi style, with upturned boat-shaped roofs to shrug off excess water. The pine-panelled rooms have balconies overlooking the serene Umiam Lake. Moksha Himalaya Spa Resort Parwanoo, Himachal Pradesh - This is an all-out spa retreat, where time seems elastic as you spend your days indulging in aromatherapy massages or doing yoga and meditation in the pavilions. At night, sit in the fire-lit Infinity Pool-bar & Pavilion with a bottle of wine and gaze up at the sparkling Himalayan sky or the illuminated city of Chandigarh far below. (Parwanoo is only half an hour from Chandigarh.) The Tamara Coorg. Photo: Michael Turek - The long drive to Kabinakkad Estate, 260km from Bengaluru, sets the tone for the languorous agenda ahead. You’ll find no dramatic elements en route here; just gently curving roads and blossom-scented air that lead you to 170 acres of pristine, private space. Set among lush coffee plantations, the cottages on stilts seem to float above the misty Kodagu valley. Wildflower Hall Himachal Pradesh - Wake up to the sweet smell of pine and cedar wafting through your suite, as the Himalayan monal chirps softly outside your window. Situated on a forested cliff, this refurbished colonial structure overlooks the snowcapped Pir Panjal range on one side and the mountains of Nanda Devi on the other. It’s one of those entirely romantic spots you can’t help falling for, where the suites come with four-poster beds, teakwood flooring and cosy fireplaces. The LaLit Resort & Spa Bekal Kerala - This stunning resort is located in Kasargod, which despite being North Kerala’s foremost beach destination is still largely undiscovered; go there before it changes. Just a two-hour drive from Mangalore airport, it’s set amid 26 acres of lush landscape fringed by palm trees and is surrounded by backwaters. The Serai Chikmagalur Karnataka - Karnataka’s lesser-known coffee country is home to miles of rolling plantations as well as majestic temples—and The Serai is bang in the middle of it. The resort, where no kids are allowed, has four private villas with pools, jacuzzis and large bay windows; book the Estate Terrace which has a paddy field as its backyard. Let the pleasing smell of spices from nearby fields intoxicate you on walks.