Hotel Atulyaa Taj, 538, Near Shilp Gram, Taj Mahal Eastern Gate, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001
The location of the Hotel Atulyaa Taj is perfect for a trip to the Taj Mahal. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is only a short 5-minute stroll down the road and you can see it clearly from the rooftop.
That is the only good thing about the hotel location. Except for the Taj Mahal, and the Taj protected forest, there is nothing else in the local vicinity worth staying here for. If you are here specifically just to see the Taj, then of course the area is perfect, but it would probably be preferable to see the Taj Mahal on a day trip to save accommodation costs.
We paid around 2,100 INR (approx. £23/$31) per night for a “Deluxe Double Room”.
We had a deluxe double room in the Hotel Atulyaa. The bed was comfortable, and the furnishings were better than expected, and it had a noisy fridge which contained a variety of products, all of which were chargeable (and expensive for what they were – a litre bottle of water was 3 times the price of that outside the hotel).
The bathroom at first glimpse was perfect in size, layout and functionality. But at second glance, there were some issues. Firstly, showers with fixed shower heads – they just aren’t functional. The bad water pressure wasn’t enough to make up for the shower head and the water did not heat up. The water temperature wasn’t an issue for us as a cool shower was needed after being out in the heat – but might be an annoyance for others.
The room, although dust free, was dirty and obviously needed more attention. The blind in the bathroom that blocks the view from the bedroom had mould spots – obviously because it shouldn’t be used so close to the shower.
The shower area was about a centimetre lower than the rest of the bathroom which was not enough to keep the bathroom floor from getting wet. The floor never dried fully over the two nights we were there because there was no air circulation.
The air-conditioning wasn’t the greatest – it worked but wasn’t strong enough to cool the room properly without the fan being on as well.
The view from the room wasn’t great – not only was it overlooked by the hotel behind (directly into the room), but the room itself overlooked a yard of rubbish in which an emaciated horse was occasionally tied up and some local children played games. We don’t blame the hotel for the view– but think it’s fair to make anyone aware of any upside/downsides.
The WIFI at the Hotel Atulyaa Taj wasn’t great, it would often drop out. The WIFI was available throughout the property but the signal was weak in places. The individual passwords we were given ended the day before our departure which was a pain as we had to get new credentials: not the end of the world.
The Atulyaa Taj has 2 restaurants. One is a rooftop restaurant which is pleasant enough in the cooler evenings, with views of the Taj Mahal (depending where you are sitting). The food was tasty, if a little oily and the prices weren’t too steep for a hotel, with one meal costing us just over 1100 INR (approx. £12/$16.50 for both of us (we generally had a curry each and some naan).
The service was a major let down – slow and inattentive are the keywords. They also messed up the bill, leaving drinks off and then adding them on after we had payed. The worst bit about dining on the rooftop was that they seemed to compete with the hotel behind us to see who could play their music the loudest. To add to our dismay, we then had to put up with a pushy child who was performing a puppet show and badgered us to watch.
The downstairs restaurant was a little better regarding service, but none of our dining experiences were anything to rave about.
The hotel has a good-sized pool on the rooftop and rented out swimsuits for both men and women. The water looked clear and clean, but we didn’t use it.
As previously stated, the restaurant staff are generally inattentive. The receptionist seemed like he probably had something better to do than to be working when checking us in, but later was very smiley and happy to help.
As we left the hotel, the doorman (who was often not at the door) expected a tip for opening the taxi door for Matt. He literally just stood at the open door in the way of it closing until the taxi driver edged forward a bit. Whilst we don’t mind tipping, we won’t tip for next to nothing.
It was… fine. A little despondent compared to other hotels we had stayed in. There is more character to be found at a Premier Inn (a British chain, which is basic, clean, comfortable and every hotel has consistent branding etc…).
In conclusion: The Hotel Atulyaa Taj is a bit grubby and clearly unfinished in some areas (open holes in the stairwell where lights haven’t been fitted for example). Whilst it may seem a good budget option, it doesn’t deserve its 3 stars in our opinion.
Would we stay here again?
No. For reasons stated above, there is nothing here that would have us come back to the Atulyaa Taj.