The old riverside district of Varanasi, India’s most sacred Hindu city, can get intense and you’ll doubtless be glad of the cool, calm respite offered by the Taj Ganges Gateway, a luxury five-star located 6km north of the centre in the grounds of a former royal palace.
Set amid a 40 acres of sprawling landscaped gardens, the multi-storey building’s a relatively bland, modern one by Indian standards, and in truth has become a little worn around the edges, but the décor is pleasantly old fashioned and rooms impeccably smart and comfortable.
Moreover, the staff here are welcoming and efficient, and the outdoor pool is great – large enough for a serious swim after a day’s sightseeing. Wonderful north Indian dishes are served, along with many equally tasty multi-cuisine alternatives, at the Varuna restaurant’s copious daily buffets.
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