We spent three incredible months traveling in many regions, cities, and villages around India. The visit was a cultural experience that was better than we ever anticipated. At first, we questioned whether we would find places that suited our needs, yet we were pleasantly surprised by the plethora of quality accommodation in India. In fact, some of them were our favorite places to stay for the duration of any of our travels.
How we defined accommodation in India that suit our needs
We look at a balance between Quality and Price with our own specific criteria:
What we don’t want:
We do not pick the least expensive place or with the most stars in their review.
We aren’t hostel patrons; they don’t typically meet our needs.
Some level of privacy and personal space is important to us, so we will spend extra to get that.
What we do want- How we rate hotels
Ambiance/first impression – Let’s face it, you would never choose a place if there isn’t some eye appeal? It appears – clean, spacious, and pleasing to the eye.
Cleanliness and comfort – after reviewing the comments from traveler reviews
Room needs – We want at least a double bed and private bathroom
Friendly staff- Who doesn’t want to meet friendly people who like what they do, and enjoy meeting people from around the world?
Security – A place we feel comfortable enough to lock up our valuables, shut the door and leave without any concerns.
Space to do a short workout or yoga on our travel mat. Our preferred method is a morning run, but many places in India have limited running areas and are not conducive to it.
The Internet is important – to at least send/receive emails, it’s difficult to gauge the quality of internet until we get there.
Location: We like to walk, and prefer to be away from the action, ideally if it is withing a 2km walk from restaurants and cafes or a reasonable price for tuk-tuks (this is easy to find in India)
Bonus: Breakfast included – A good hearty breakfast that allows us to save some cash to fork out another meal of the day
Kitchen access for longer stays is a huge plus. This is where homestays and co-living spaces are ideal. Although in the case of India, we didn’t include kitchens in our criteria, since we weren’t in any one city for extended periods of time.
Homestays are the top of our list. These are the perfect way to meet locals, contribute to their business, and enjoy home-cooked food.
Here are our favorite accommodation in India and what makes it a special, worthwhile stay in both South and North India
Quiet, beautiful garden and grounds, each hut with patio and hammock
Great location in Virapuhar Gaddi among low key, funky vibe restaurants
We recommend you spend more to get a more premium cabin
In August 2018, Kerala was hit with the most devastating floods in over a hundred years. Almost a million people are displaced from their homes without adequate and clean drinking water. We are so saddened to hear about the devastation of this beautiful place in the world and we hope one day, Kerala will become a beautiful and happy place again. You can donate through Amazon and choose your NGO of choice mobilized on the ground to help bring supplies needed to the Keralan people. If you wish to donate you can click on the link provided here.
We hope to visit Kerala again and these beautiful places will one day be back to operating again.
Kochi is the capital of high-quality homestays in old colonial mansions, retrofitted for a B& B for guests
Owners/ married couple – Ashley and Sheeba are two of the most friendly, helpful and organized people. They take such care and attention with each guest, to ensure they can help plan their travel in any way possible.
Clean, comfortable, ornate, colonial rooms
Hearty breakfast relaxing from a rooftop balcony area
Great location- in the heart of Fort Kochi brimming with Dutch and English colonial buildings, and mansions
Home of the Backwaters of India, we found the perfect place to enjoy the views.
Young entrepreneurs/married couple Baiju and Arsha
The couple that runs this homestay is incredible. Young entrepreneurs/married couple Baiju and Arsha, open their home to guests and very quickly you will discover wonderful conversations about India, Kerala, and life.
Comfortable, clean rooms
Delicious, fresh Keralan breakfasts (included) and dinner (priced accordingly)
The location is directly in front of the Backwaters. Enjoy the sunset and watching the boats go by!
We stopped in Kollam as we slowly made our way down south through Kerala and to take a canoe trip around the backwaters of Munroe Island.
A welcome reprieve in the popular shopping area of Karol Bagh
The staff that goes out of their way to help. For instance, during the demonetizing of currency in India, the reception called us to let us know the ATM next door to the hotel was filled with money, and we would be able to get cash!
Clean, very comfortable rooms
Outstanding, eclectic roof top restaurant that doesn’t make you feel you are in one of the most populated cities in the world. Perfect sunset moments and excellent food.
The living fort city is one of the most fantastic places that we stayed in India.
The outside and lobby don’t look like much, but the rooms are some of the most attractive and tastefully designed rooms. In keeping with the historical fort- you feel like you are staying in a classic Rajasthani room with a touch of Arabian nights.
The rooms are all unique, comfortable with delightful sitting areas with colored stained glass décor
The rooftop restaurant gives anyone an incredible view of the city over the wall and views of the Thar desert, looking over to the Pakistani border. The food is also excellent and well-priced.
Highly attentive staff to make your visit memorable
Classic Rajasthani style design and tastefully decorated rooms
Great location to tour Jaipur but not too far from the action
Our visit here was a rest stop for the evening. It is the half-way point from Jaipur to Agra. We were so pleasantly surprised how impressive this guesthouse and gardens were. We used the afternoon and evening to completely relax and unwind here
The most comfortable stay of our entire trip to India
Large comfortable rooms, comfortable beds fully equipped with high-quality pillows, comforter and foam coverings
Modern bathroom and hot showers
Gorgeous courtyard in the center of the property, with seating areas looking over the grounds
Very quiet location, despite the hectic town of Bharatpur
How to find great accommodation in India
Judging from our post, it’s clear there are a lot of great options for stays in India. The perfect options are based on your own criteria and level of comfort. As for price our principles led us to pay from $15-23USD per night. We recommend you look for accommodations that are a good blend of Indian culture with a touch of western facilities for a touch of home, perfect for a reprieve from the sometimes exhausting Indian. Try to find locations farther way from the main tourist attractions and city core, in India, you will get more for your money, and travel by tuktuk or Uber are very inexpensive if you need transport.
How best to rate good accommodation in India:
We like Hotels combined, as the first stop to review and evaluate a location on pure visual aesthetics, our rating criteria, and price. Then we can choose the best pricing options which usually ends up with bookings on Agoda.com or Booking.com.
Then, when we narrow down our list of possible locations, we use Trip Advisor comments (not necessarily ratings) to make our final selection.
Also, we read blog posts from fellow travelers often, and bookmark recommended accommodations on a list, for future planning purposes.
Note: By using one of the links on this page (at no extra cost to you) it will generate a small commission from any sales. We recommend and use these online sites ourselves. We had a great experience with them. This keeps us providing quality content and tips for you. Thanks for your support.
6 Steps to Plan Your Escape and Unlock Your Dream Life Now
Sign up for our newsletter and get your free copy!
Dorene is a marketing consultant and freelance writer. She quit her 20-year career in marketing to redesign her career and lifestyle on her own terms by living location independent. Now with her husband Troy, she helps people who want to redefine their midlife and make conscious changes at TravelLifeX. She also trains & coaches travel and hospitality clients to improve their marketing at TravelLifeMedia.com