5 of the Oldest Hotels in India

Some of India’s most popular hotels are not just lodging facilities, they’re historical landmarks! Often referred to as heritage hotels, many of these historical establishments opened their doors a century, or more, ago. Most have been renovated to include more modern accommodations than those original to the facilities.

Great care was taken to preserve the historical integrity of the hotels while updating them to cater to today’s travelers. India’s magnificent historical hotels are located all across the country so vacationers can enjoy a rich cultural experience, no matter where in the country they’re visiting!

1. The Oberoi Grand - Located in Kolkata, the City of Joy, the Oberoi Grand is one of India’s oldest and most renowned hotels. Over 125 years old, the Oberoi Grand features a stylistic mix of classical Victorian style and traditional Indian style, making for a beautiful representation of the Kolkata’s colonial history.

Located in Kolkata’s major business and shopping district, the hotel is within walking distance of most corporate and government offices and convention centers. The hotel is also within close proximity to banks, clubs and other offices and consulates making it an ideal destination for business or leisure travelers.

2. The Taj West End - Bangalore’s Taj West End first opened as a boarding house in 1887. Opened by Mrs. Bronson, an English lady, to meet the increasing need for lodging in the booming city, the hotel was eventually purchased in 1912 by the Spencer family. The Spencers updated the grounds and facilities to give the hotel a country club feeling that fosters rest and relaxation for guests, adding features such as a dining room, billiards room and stables. Outside the 91 rooms and 26 suites, the grounds offer 125 years old Banyan trees and a 20 acre garden for recreational guests, and, for the business travelers, there is a 24-hour business center equipped with modern amenities and conveniences.

3. Clarkes Hotel - A heritage hotel since 1889, the Clarkes Hotel is located in Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. Only 10 minutes from the Shimla station and 45 minutes from the Jubbarhatti Airport, the Clarkes hotel is conveniently located near the area’s major attractions and destinations. The grounds offer guests recreational activities such as badminton, basketball or ping-pong.

The city itself is world renowned for its building style, an imperial style architecture that dates from the Colonial Era. The Clarkes hotel is keeping in this style, making for a truly breathtaking escape. Many of the spacious rooms offer magnificent mountain views while others feature amazing city views.

4. Maidens Hotel - The Maidens Hotel is one of Delhi’s oldest hotels, opened in 1903. The hotel boasts colonial style architecture and several acres of lush gardens and trees. Guests at the Maidens may choose lodgings from a standard room to a full, luxury suite. There’s a restaurant, coffee shop and bar located on the grounds for convenience.

The Maidens Hotel is near the Civil Lines Metro Station as well as several of the Mughal monuments and the famous Chandni Chowk shopping center. Set in North Delhi’s residential area, the hotel is also close to the bank of the Yamuna River and the University of Delhi’s campus.

5. The Taj Mahal Palace - Located in Mumbai, the Taj Majal Palace is the creation of Mr. Jamshedji Tata. Opened in 1903, Mr. Tata built the hotel to rejuvenate Mumbai’s image and attract visitors. The hotel has undergone renovations and additions over the years and now offers 560 rooms, 44 of which are suites. The Taj Mahal Palace is built on the sea front and it overlooks the Gateway of India as well as the city’s historical and commercial hub.

The goal of the Taj Mahal Palace is to provide guests with modern amenities and to maintain the elegant old-world style it is so famous for. The hotel now offers a concierge service as well as business and fitness centers.

This guest post was written and provided by Erica Gustafson who is a freelance writer and consultant for Expedia.


18 comments :

  1. I think staying at hotels such as these which preserve the feel of India past are just what I would have once chosen before my income changed. They sound vey special!

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  2. @ RNSANE: You are so wise in that thought!

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  3. It is a good collection and information about hotels.

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  4. Have only heard these names I wish I could visit some day.

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    1. Start saving today; it will help for sure :)

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  5. which is the india oldest hotel

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    1. Wikipedia has noted it as Watson's Hotel [Esplanade Mansion] located in the Fort area in Bombay.

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    2. The Great Eastern Hotel, Park Street, Kolkata is the oldest hotel in India. It was built in 1841 as Auckland Hotel. It was named after the then Governor General of India, Lord Auckland. Until 1865, it was popularly called Wilson’s Hotel. It changed hands many times and its guest list, reportedly included British Royalty, author Mark Twain and cricketer Frank Worell.
      During its heyday, the hotel was known variously as the “Jewel of the East” and the “Savoy of the East” and was prosaically described by Kipling in his short story City of Dreadful Night. In 1915 it was rechristened as the Great Eastern Hotel. In 1961 it even hosted Queen Elizabeth II and her entourage and this could well be called the curtains for it before Naxalite terror started to spread and the hotel started to epitomise the worst of capitalistic decadent culture.

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    3. What a great additional information Somnathji! Thank you very much!

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  6. Spence's Hotel in Kolkata was the oldest hotel in Asia. It opened in 1930. Also Old Harbour Hotel in Fort Kochi is a 300 years old Building, making it the oldest!!! Modern Kolkata was created by the British by Job Charnok, whereas the Portuguese and The French had developed other parts of India long before- like Kochi,Surat, Pondicherry.In Simla there is The old Dalziel Hotel, built in the 1840s and sold in 1890 to the same Mrs. Hotz who later bought the Cecil. It remained with her or her family until 1972 and is still very much in business.

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    1. Thank you so much Rohit for your valuable information here in this post!

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  7. Change your heading, and stop writing such erroneous articles, the list is neither accurate nor complete! When most of the details can be found in any urban history book or nowadays in the interweb I don't understand how you can make such factual blunders except for sheer apathy.

    First off, The Oberoi Grand is NOT India's oldest hotel! It’s "The Great Eastern Hotel" which was established in 1840 /41 by David Wilson, (now officially named the Lalit Great Eastern Hotel) in Kolkata. This is 170yrs+ old (at-least 25yrs older than Oberoi). For further reading I would suggest (page 197; chapter, Journeys to The East; Grand Hotels: Reality and Illusion by Elaine Denby).

    As far as Rohit's comment is concerned though John Spence's Hotel is older it doesn't exist any more, the building which housed the hotel is now the Treasury Building and recent abode of Accountants General Bengal. The Le Colonial, building was constructed in 1506 but the hotel was started in 2004, as is the case with Old Harbor House hotel. The Dalzell Estate was built around 1844 the hotel came into existence around a decade later, has was being gutted and renovated and except for the facade nothing is old there.

    The next in the heritage hotel list is the Taj Connemara - now renamed Vivanta (this hotel began as the Imperial Hotel in 1854 under the proprietorship of Triplicane Rathinavelu Mudaliar). This is far older than the entire hotel in your list! Probably the only continuously functioning heritage hotel in the same building without breaks.

    These two hotels are the oldest functioning hotels in India.

    Vijayan.

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    1. Hi Vijayan,

      Although I didn't like your tone when I read your comment, I am not deleting it as it has valuable input to the post. And of course, there is no guarantee that your input is indeed true.

      Well, as you must have read the complete post, you must have noted that this is a guest post written and provided by Erica Gustafson who is a freelance writer and consultant for Expedia.

      Best wishes for you with a hope that you understand how to approach with politeness.

      Regards,
      Bhavesh Chhatbar
      www.chaukhat.com

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    2. Christine Osborne22 April, 2016

      You may not like his tone, but accuracy is everything, especially when it involves dates. theme of your article being the five oldest hotels in India. Thank you.

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    3. Hi Christine,

      It seems that you too have not read the whole post, just like Vijayan! At least, read my reply comment.

      Delete
  8. Protima Sharma06 November, 2015

    Nice post. I like your blog.

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