ITC Mughal Agra
India’s second largest hotel chain, ITC Hotels is the exclusive franchisee of The Luxury Collection brand of Starwood Hotels and Resorts in India. It is a part of ITC Limited and is head-quartered in New Delhi. The 233 room ITC Mughal opened its doors in 1976.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Every ITC Hotel is inspired by the history of the city it is situated in, and ITC Mughal is no exception. Located in the city of India’s beloved Taj, the hotel emulates the royal opulence of the Mughal empire at every step. The hotel is an odyssey of royal colour palettes and intricately designed furnishings. Detailed silver murals behind the intricately carved reception desks face two royal-blue (velvet) sofas. A large chandelier placed in the middle of the marble-floor lobby adds grandeur to the space. On the right is a separate orange-toned lounge area with a large swing (known as the Mirabai swing), that opens to rooms and suites. It is no surprise that the hotel is the winner of the “Aga Khan Award” for its representation of Mughal architecture; a trip to the ITC Mughal is definitely a visit to another era.
WHERE IS IT?
The sprawling property (35 acres) is about 10km from the airport, 6km from the railway station and 3km from the Taj Mahal, making it quite centrally located.
The base category Mughal rooms (33 sqm) offer a tea/coffee making machine, work-desk, a mini-bar, LED television (42-inch), and chargeable wifi. The Mughal rooms (33 sqm), Royal Mughal rooms (33 sqm), Mughal Chambers (33 sqm), EVA rooms (33 sqm, for single lady travellers), Mughal suites (70 sqm), Royal Mughal suites (66 sqm), Presidential suites — named Tansen (124 sqm) and Raja Mansingh suites (96 sqm) and the Grand Presidential suites (90 sqm) namely Mumtaz, Nur Jahan, Zeenat, Nusrat Begum and Farzana are the room categories. My Royal Mughal suite, as the name suggests was designed keeping in mind the aesthetics of royalty. It opened to a cosy lounge area and work-desk alongside the window that allowed sufficient natural light to enter. The bedroom was artistically designed, with a unique, cloth-draped ceiling and an additional grey-coloured seating in-front of the bed. Deeper tones and delicate lighting added a sense of intimacy to the suite. The marble bathroom, with a lavatory and shower-area, was divided by a glass window panel, that accentuated the entire area. The toiletries were kept in little embroidered boxes and house-keeping provided me with soaked-almonds, and an Indian digestive each night, as a traditional ritual. My butler, Trevor was a delight and made sure my requests were promptly taken care of.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
ITC Hotels are known for their signature Indian restaurant — Peshawri, and this extends to their Agra property as well. Their Dal bukhara is cooked on a light simmer through the night, to give its distinctive flavour. Taj Bano is its all-day diner and Maikhana is the lobby-bar. The staff at Taj Bano cooked a meal called Agra ka swad (taste of Agra) that encapsulated some of the best dishes of the city. For not so experimental palates, the Mughal Pavilion with its varied cuisine is a good option. The hotel has another lounge called Bagh e bahar that is known for its discerning alcohol collection.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
The hotel’s larger than life feel is emulated in its expansive meeting spaces as well. Dewan-e-khas (636 sqm) is its pillar-less ballroom and Majlis (224.8 sqm) is another conference room; both can further be divided into three parts. The property has sprawling open spaces for events namely Gulbadan garden (5,280 sqm), New lawn area (1,408 sqm), Sher Shah Suri lawn (2,475 sqm), Locomotive lawn (3,900 sqm), Dek south lawn (506 sqm) and Dek west lawn (366 sqm).
Its award-winning Kaya Kalp spa, spread across 9,197 sqm, is Asia’s largest spa, and a haven for Ayurvedic and ritualistic treatments. The hotel’s pool and fitness centre is housed in the same space as the spa. Their Kaya Kalp massage accompanied with their signature oils was quite de-stressing.
Exemplary luxury and warm hospitality amidst a royal setting; the ITC Mughal offers a refined travel experience in the city of the Taj.
PRICE: Prices for a mid-week stay in December started from ₹9,975 per night for a Mughal Chamber.
CONTACT: ITC Mughal, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001; tel: 0562 402 1700; itchotels.in