Christmas in India

Christmas in India might be the perfect time to visit one of the perfect destinations. Swap the UK’s sub-zero (well, nearly) December temperatures for the sub-continent and experience everything that incredible India has to offer.

For first timers to India, the beguiling combination of the capital, Delhi; Agra for the Taj Mahal and the highlights of regal Rajasthan would be perfect. The blend of seductive cities such as Jaipur and Udaipur, the beauty of rural Rajasthan and the chance to see tigers in Ranthambhore National Park is hard to beat, but it's important to note that Northern India is not going to be boiling hot at this time of year. That said, we're talking a very civilised mid teens, which might not be such a bad thing for an itinerary that includes several cities and game parks.

If heat is the key consideration, then India still works, but visitors will want to head to the south of the country, with the best beaches in the charming southern states of Kerala and Karnataka. Kerala in particular has a fascinating colonial history (you could even celebrate Christmas in Cochin in one of the many churches) , elegant yoga retreats and beautiful backwaters work well as a standalone destination, or as a twin centre trip with the north.

One final thought - you'd be amazed how many months ahead of Christmas and New Year the best hotels and flights get booked up, so we would strongly recommend planning WELL in advance.

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Where to go

India

India

Utterly original, which probably explains why we love India so much.

Where to stay

The swimming pool at Oberoi Udaivilas, luxury hotel in India

Oberoi Udaivilas

The hotel stands on the banks of Lake Pichola facing Udaipur, with views across the water to the 17th century palaces of of Jagmandir and Jagniwas.

pool at Neeleshwar Hermitage, luxury hotel in India

Neeleshwar Hermitage

The entire resort has been built according to the traditional architectural principals of Kerala Vastu, which dictates that a building should be constructed so to conform to the subtle laws of nature.

Leopard at Jawai Leopard Camp, luxury camp in India

Jawai

Jawai pioneers a new age of camping in India. Sujan’s latest ‘glamping’ experiment is located in the remote wilderness of the Aravalli Hills between Jodhpur and Udaipur, where would you believe it, leopards roam freely.

Pool at Taj Lake Palace, luxury hotel in India

Taj Lake Palace

Built on top of a small island in 1746, the structure was purposely designed without any land visible beneath or around it, creating a surreal and enchanting atmosphere.

Malabar House, luxury hotel in India

Malabar House

Malabar House is situated on a peaceful green in Fort Cochin. In 1996 Malabar House became India’s first boutique heritage hotel.

Samode Palace

Samode Palace

The hotel offers a quiet, elegant and luxurious atmosphere, and the owners, (the existing royal family of Samode) play a very active role in running the property.

Sher Bagh

Sher Bagh

Just minutes from the gateway into Ranthambore National Park, Sher Bagh is a charming and romantic jungle camp that remains probably our favourite place to stay in the region.

Balcony at Raas, luxury hotel in India

RAAS Jodhpur

RAAS is situated at the foot of the mighty Mehrangarh Fort, in the heart of Jodhpur’s (Blue) Walled City.

Purity, luxury hotel in India

Purity

This boutique hotel is situated in the backwaters of Kerala, on the shores of Lake Vembanad.

Serenity, luxury hotel in India

Serenity

A sister hotel of Malabar House, Serenity's location makes it the ideal stopover on the long journey between Cochin and Thekkady.

Shalimar Spice Garden, luxury hotel in India

Shalimar Spice Garden

The resort's five acres are reached across a wooden suspension bridge, which leads into a world of landscaped gardens, palms and mango groves and fragrant spices and nutmeg trees.

The Lodhi

The Lodhi

Located in the heart of New Delhi, The Lodhi is a luxurious boutique city hotel, exemplifying contemporary Indian culture.

Brunton Boatyard

Brunton Boatyard

Brunton’s Boatyard hotel is a beautifully restored 19th century building where many of Cochin’s Raj era vessels were built and repaired by the firm of Geo Brunton & Sons.

The Lotus Houseboat

The Lotus Houseboat

The Lotus Houseboat allows guests to cruise uninterrupted through the backwaters of Malabar in Northern Kerala, soaking up the sights of the diverse surrounding nature and wildlife.

Pool at Oberoi Amarvillas, luxury hotel in India

Oberoi Amarvilas

The Oberoi Amarvilas - Sanskrit for ‘Eternal Haven’ - is set among lush and serene Mughal-inspired pools and terraced gardens.

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