Courtyard by Marriott Agra Review
India consumes you, every last bit of you. It’s exotic, striking, intense. There’s truly no other country in the world like it. I’ve been to India 5 times now, and every trip is completely different. Nothing in India is ever the same. But as my online businesses have grown I’ve learned, in my opinion, the best way to travel in India is to throw yourself into the hectic nature. The overnight trains, the street food. Experience it all. But, have a little oasis of luxury waiting for you at your hotel. You’ll need that after a long day traveling, or sight-seeing. So now, that’s how I travel in India, and it’s great value too. On my recent trip to India, I stayed at the Courtyard by Marriot Agra, and I had a great experience. Agra is a stunning place, home to the Taj Mahal. It’s a city everyone should visit in their lifetime.
The Taj Mahal, all to myself 😍 Wanna know how I managed to visit the Taj Mahal without the crowds?! Check out my blog Onestep4ward.com This is my 7th of the 7 World Wonders, which is your favourite? I also wrote a blog post about all 7, so check that out too! #tajmahal #thetajmahal #agra #india #unesco #unescoworldheritage #7wondersoftheworld #7wonders #onestep4ward
Luxury in Agra, India
I took a private car from my New Delhi to Agra, and it took just shy of 3 hours. As soon as I arrived in Agra, I wanted to catch up with some online biz, hit the gym, then go and find a nice bar or restaurant to watch the sunset of the Taj Mahal before exploring the Taj properly the following day.
So I choose the Courtyard by Marriott Agra as my hotel. 5* hotels in India are just amazing prices, a standard room here retails at $60, great value. And although normally I prefer boutique hotels, in India it’s often a safe bet to go with a brand you trust. On top of all that, it was Christmas Day! And The Courtyard by Marriott Agra was having a Christmas spread, so that was another incentive of course!
Courtyard by Marriot Agra rooms
After exploring the hotel, the great gym, the cute pool, and chatting with the staff, it was time to check-in. Soon we discovered we had been upgraded to a suite, which was perfect. As a blogger traveling the world, it’s ideal to have another room to set up a mini-office and make sure my online stuff doesn’t fall apart while I’m out exploring, so this was a welcome treat. “Happy Christmas” the reception staff said as they upgraded me. Super kind, and happy Christmas indeed!
When we entered our room, our bags already awaited us. The service throughout the 3 days I stayed was impeccable, to be honest. When I walked into the suite I was shocked how big it was, almost the size of my apartment in Bangkok! And then there’s the bed…. The real kicked about a quality hotel is the quality of the bed, and the Courtyard by Marriott Agra didn’t disappoint. India can be so tiring, so just having a 5-minute break on their bed turned into a 45-minute nap. Eeeek. After that, it was out to see the Taj Mahal from a rooftop somewhere.
Courtyard by Marriot Agra Location
With Agra, and the Taj Mahal, it’s tough to find a hotel with a Taj Mahal view. And actually the only hotels that carry those views are in the old city. $10 a night, no air-con, the odd rat and cockroach. And back in my broke backpacking days in my mid-20s, I’d be all over that. But in my 30s, and with my girlfriend, it wasn’t going to happen so once you sacrifice the view of the Taj Mahal, location isn’t so important. And that goes for a lot of India to be honest. Taxis and rickshaws are so cheap (a dollar here, 2 dollars there) that as long as you’re within a city’s limits, then your location is fine.
The Courtyard by Marriott is about a 10min taxi ride from the Taj Mahal, but me being me, I forced my gf and myself to walk there each day. It’s about a 40 minute walk, right through the old city. It’s a fascinating walk, and walking is always the best way to experience a new place, so off we went. You can see the route from the Taj Mahal to the Courtyard by Marriot Agra here, it’s about 3km or so:
Courtyard by Marriot Agra Restaurant:
India’s food is a huge draw for tourists and travelers alike. So for a hotel restaurant to lure you in, it has to be pretty special. One of the evenings I made a reservation at the new Anise restaurant. It’s a fine-dining Indian restaurant and has become a buzz place for Agra, not only for hotel guests, so that drew me in.
I spent 3 days in Agra, and it was my second time. I must say I had a much better experience this time around, treating ourselves to that extra bit of comfort. Knowing you have a luxury room to go back after the madness of Agra each day brings beautiful peace-of-mind, and for just $60 a night, it makes perfect sense. If I was going back to Agra, I would definitely stay here. And even if you don’t, make sure to check out Anise Restaurant, it’s really special. So thank you Courtyard by Marriott Agra, I’m always a little homesick over Christmas, but you guys gave me such an amazing time. Full marks!