While planning for our trip to see the world wonder Taj Mahal, it was pretty worrying to learn that the weather was scorching hot at 44°C in Agra during the peak summer month of May. Knowing that the hotel we would be staying at is a luxury collection of ITC Hotels, I thought we might as well stay indoor to escape from the heat and enjoy the facilities at the ITC Mughal.

You might think that it’s yet another award-winning hotel among many others. Unassumingly, this is one of our best hotel stays ever – the beautifully landscaped ITC Mughal is nothing short of impressive; it’s the great hospitality of the staff that touches our hearts deeply. I could still remember the warm and sincere smile on their face!

Upon arrival at the central railway station in Agra after a 5 hour train ride from Jaipur since 6 a.m., a staff of ITC Mughal greeted us and we were whisked off to the hotel in a nicely appointed car.

ITC Mughal Agra

Enter the Mughal dynasty as you step into ITC Mughal at the imperial city of Agra. As touted, ITC Mughal is one of the finest architectural expressions in the city of Taj Mahal. An attraction in its own right, the red brick and sandstone edifice nestled amidst verdant landscaped Mughal gardens and fountains appears like palaces of the Mughal empire. Highly rated as one of the greatest hotel resorts in India, ITC Mughal is the only Indian hotel to receive the prestigious “Aga Khan” award for excellence in Mughal architecture.

There are 233 well-appointed rooms including 4 out of the 52 specially designed suites overlooking the Taj Mahal. The Khwab MahalPalace of Dreams is the new wing and the most opulent building of the Mughal paradise comprising 42 luxury suites and rooms exquisitely designed for modern people to relive the ambience fit for the royal Mughals. Three types of suites make up the “Palace of Dreams”: the contemporary Mughal Chambers with exotic trimmings, the plush Royal Mughal Suites that suggests a strong and regal Mughal mood and the two grandest Royal Presidential Suites named after Mughal Queens to recapture the royal spirit.

Khwab Mahal Presidential Suite personal plunge pool.

Khwab Mahal Royal Mughal Suite (where we stayed)

Turn down service with rose petals bath.

Sleeping kit with aromatherapy.

Bedtime snacks

Nicely folded laundry.

Natasha and Dino, our cute little companions during the 2 night stay at ITC Mughal.

ITC Mughal is located close to Taj Mahal – it’s a mere 4 km away. Admire the “lustrous pearl” from the Jharokha-e-Taj, the grand observatory of the hotel.

(Taken with 200mm zoom)

View of Taj Mahal from the observatory deck.

Service with a Personal Touch

#1. While on the way to ITC Mughal from Agra Cantt. Railway Station, it was only then I realized that I left a beautiful souvenir of Hawa Mahal – the Palace of Winds – in the train compartment.

The souvenir was a special gift from friends in Jaipur so we were pretty upset and thought that we would never retrieve it as Indian railway stations have always been very crowded. With the slightest glimpse of hope, I related the situation to the hotel staff. She acted promptly and called the train station immediately and tried to trace the souvenir left in the train that was heading to the next station.

When we were told that the next station was 115 kilometre away and the hotel would send someone to that station to retrieve the souvenir if found, I felt sheepish and reiterated that we would give up the souvenir instead. On the very evening, to our surprise, the souvenir was delivered to our hotel room! We were very impressed with the efficiency of the staff from ITC Mughal.

#2. I experienced what must be one of the worst fears of a traveller: to fall sick during the trip. After visiting the world famous Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, I fell very sick, probably due to the freaking hot weather and dehydration. The hotel staff called for a doctor to attend to me. Ila, our caring and attentive lady butler, had been constantly checking if I need any assistance and making sure that I was comfortably resting in the room. Despite busy schedules, Sanjay and Jyoti even popped by our room to pay me a get-well-soon visit. I felt very pampered in a luxury yet homely hotel surrounded by helpful staff, no, friends!

Our lady butler, Ila. Very young yet professional.

Our lovely Jyoti. Her name means “light”.

More information on ITC Mughal Agra.