Now I am back from some fabulous days in India which will be a memory for life. It was such an amazing country in many ways and I would recommend everyone a visit. It is so different from life in Scandinavia and it really gives you a perspective on life to go there, not like going to the US where the everyday life and culture is basically the same as here in the Northern Europe. Before we took off this plan included a bit of organizing (here you can read about my travel planning) with visas, arranging a driver, booking a hotel and so on but I would say that is a must when going to India. There are so many choices and things to see and do so if you want to have the most out of your vacation, do the research. If you want to have Western standard of your accommodation I recommend to book a place of an international recognized hotel chain.
Courtyard by Marriott Agra
Our flight arrived at 1 am on Saturday night so we killed a few hours at Delhi Gandhi airport before our driver picked us up at 6 am and drove us to Agra. It took 3,5 hours but felt like a day. The road was much better than expected and it was asphalt and no stones as I expected. When we arrived to our hotel Courtyard by Marriott in Agra it was with a warm hearted welcome from the staff after passing through two security checkpoints which felt really good that they had. Although we arrived well ahead of check in time we immediately got the room. A service that I really appreciate.
The room – Executive suit
Then the next surprise came, we got an upgrade to the executive suit and it was huge, fresh, new and with nice design. Full score. Then we looked at the desk and guess what? the staff had made the sweetest chocolate arrangement ever welcoming us to Agra, India. That was really sweet and I love those unexpected extras.
I am a big pool junkie and the fact that we wanted a huge swimming pool in the 30+ degrees hot India was one of the reasons we picked Courtyard by Marriott in Agra. I have been arriving to hotels where the pictures shows a nice pool but when you get there it is not bigger than your bathtub but this pool was perfect. Good for swimming, relaxing at and also the music was great if you like dance/house/techno. So guess what we did the arrival day after taking a nap? of course spending the day at the pool.
I love doing exercise so when I travel I like to have a gym good enough so I can at least do an hour of workout and when I found out that the gym at our hotel was perfect for doing a vacation routine of 40 minutes at one cardio equipment and 30 minutes of strength training me and my restless legs were all happy. The view from the workout machines I cannot complain about either – pool view. The only disadvantage, if you see it in that way, was the muscle pain in my shoulders that I got the following day.
The hotel had a restaurant, bar, buffet, a la carte menu, room service and also offered private dining which we checked out. Since most Europeans get stomach issues in India I was more afraid than ever to get it so if I am picky with what I eat normally, I was in more now. The hotel food felt safe though. The morning we arrived we got pancakes at delivered to our room and in the evening we tried out the pizza. The following day we had breakfast after visiting Taj Mahal and in the evening we got a really amazing private dinner with indian food at the balcony which I could strongly recommend you if you go to this hotel. The staff was very friendly and if you wished you could also get a packed breakfast to bring with you if you wanted to if you made an early checkout. How perfect isn’t that?
When traveling to India I do more than ever recommend to research the hotel market to find something that suits your needs. Read the reviews, look at the pictures and the map then and make your choice. It is worth to put a few rupees extra to book a place of good standard.
This was the first part of my Indian adventure. The next parts will follow and I will guide you through our adventures visiting Taj Mahal in Agra, Jaipur and Delhi which together builds up the popular tourist route Golden Triangle.
/ Pernilla that loved the Indian adventure