DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Agra Review
The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Agra is located to the east of the city, about 2 miles from the city's main attraction - the Taj Mahal. There are a number of developments nearby, including the Four Points by Sheraton. Check-in was friendly and fairly quick. I had booked through an OTA. Hilton is a chain that does not automatically honor elite benefits (despite its name Hilton Honors). However, many properties DO provide benefits for status holders. My Diamond status got me free breakfast and an upgrade to a room with a Taj Mahal view (indeed a very nice room) but I would NOT be upgraded to suites. Fair enough! When entering the room, I noticed how similar the room was designed compared to the DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur - one of my favorite hotels, where I make the effort to return to at least once a year. Even the AC control panel was the exact same! I felt the room was in fantastic shape; it had those warm beige colors I like and the bed was hard and soft at the same time. The bathroom had a huge rain shower (just like in KL), the desk had a comfortable chair and there was super-fast Premium Internet (free for Diamonds). The AC worked very well and was almost inaudible. The Taj Mahal indeed was only viewable from a few rooms and we loved our view quite a bit. The hotel features a swimming pool (in a rather odd shape - almost like at the W hotel in Santiago de Chile). There is also a spa and gym ( which I did not use). The lobby features 24/7 restaurants and an Indian restaurant that specializes in Tandoori-style kebabs. We did like the breakfast spread; many of the Indian dishes were excellent (but can be rough on your stomach for an early breakfast). The western items and coffee were just okay - certainly edible but nothing great. While the hotel seemed pretty empty on day one, a huge number of (mostly Spanish) bus tour groups occupied the hotel on night two. I found the staff to be very friendly and fairly knowledgeable. Requests would usually be understood but getting them done took a second round of questions. The DoubleTree by Hilton Agra can be had for under $50 in the off season (summer/monsoon season) and I thought that was a fantastic deal for a very modern, highly-functional and beautiful hotel. I wish there was an Executive Lounge (not a brand standard for DoubleTrees yet) but as it is, I found that almost nothing needed to be changed. I'd be happy to return anytime! You can book the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Agra here.