Hotels in India
The name India is derived from Indus, which is derived from the Old Persian word Hindu, from Sanskrit Sindhu, the historic local name for the Indus River.
The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, the people of the Indus.
The Constitution of India and common usage in various Indian languages also recognise Bharat as an official name of equal status.
Hindustan , which is the Persian word for "Land of the Hindus" and historically referred to northern India, is also occasionally used as a synonym for all of India.
India has 28 states and 7 Union Territories
India is a federal republic of twenty-eight states and seven Union Territories.
All states, the union territory of Puducherry, and the National Capital Territory of Delhi have elected governments.
The other five union territories have centrally appointed administrators and hence are under direct rule of the President.
In 1956, under the States Reorganisation Act, states were formed on a linguistic basis.
Since then, this structure has remained largely unchanged.
Each state or union territory is divided into basic units of government and administration called districts.
There are nearly 600 districts in India.
The districts in turn are further divided into tehsils and eventually into villages.
Note: Stayzilla.com has hotels affiliated in over 451 districts in India.
Navigate to State
- Mumbai (formerly Bombay) - The financial and entertainment capital of India. The place where "Bollywood" dreams are made and broken.
- Delhi - The political capital of India for a thousand years and the heart of Northern India.
- Bengalooru (formerly Bangalore) - Once the garden city and a sleepy home of pensioners is now the IT capital and a city of pubs, technology and companies.
- Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) - The cultural capital of India, Kolkata is home to numerous colonial buildings. It is known as The City of Joy.
- Chennai (formerly Madras) - Known for its Carnatic Music, Bharatanatyam and conservatism. Its home to the second largest beach (Marina). The Automobile Capital of India and a fast emerging IT hub.
- Agra - city with one of the seven wonders, the Taj Mahal. As such Agra needs no introduction. It is also home to two other World Heritage sites, the Agra Fort in the city and Fatehpur Sikri nearby.
- Hyderabad - is the capital of Andhra Pradesh in Southern India, also known as City of Pearls, the City of Nawabs, the Biryani City and, because of its high-tech draw, Cyberabad. A city rich with history and tradition, Hyderabad now competes with Bangalore, Chennai for being the IT capital.
- Ajmer - in Rajasthan is home to Dargah (tomb) of Moinuddin Chisti who is a Sufi saint with huge following among Muslims, Hindus and Christains alike. It is also one of the largest Dargah in India. A sacred site for Muslims.
- Amritsar - in Punjab is an holy site for Sikhs due to to it being home of the Golden Temple.
- Aurangabad - in Maharashtra is known as the city of gates is also home to the Ajanta and Ellora caves which are magnificient monasteries and temples cut into caves. A sacred site for followers of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism.
- Badrinath - in Uttarakhand is the most important of the four sites in the Char Dham Pilgrimage. A sacred site for Hindus.
- BodhGaya - in Bihar is the place where Buddha attained enlightenment. A sacred site for followers of Buddhism.
- Delhi - apart from being the capital of India is also home to the largest mosque in India, the Jama Masjid which is a sacred places for Muslims.
- Gwalior - in Madhya Pradesh is known for its rock sculptures, Sun temple and Vaisno Devi Temple among other such places. It is a sacred site for Jains for its rock sculptures.
- Haridwar - in Uttarakhand literally means Gateway of God is one of the main Hindu holy site where pilgrims go to take a dip in the Holy Ganges.
- Hyderabad - in Andhra Pradesh is home to Mecca Masjid which is the second largest mosque in India. A sacred site for Muslims.
- Kushinagar - in Uttar Pradesh is a holy place for Buddhists as this is where Buddha died and was cremated.
- Madurai - in TamilNadu known as the temple city is home to the famous Meenakshi Amman Temple. A Sacred site for Hindus.
- Mount Abu - the only hill station in Rajasthan is home to the Dilwara Temples a beautiful marble Temple. A sacred place for Jains.
- Nashik - in Maharashtra is a sacred site for the Hindus. It is believed that Lord Rama cut the nose of Shurpanakha (sister of Ravana).
- Puri - in Orissa is home to the famous Lord Jagannath Temple. A holy place for Hindus.
- Rishikesh - in Uttarakhand is the site according to legend where Lord Rama did his penance for killing Ravana. A sacred site for Hindus.
- Shirdi - in Maharashtra is famous the temple dedicated to SaiBaba. A holy place for Hindus (particularly Saibaba Devotees).
- Shravana Belagola - in Karnataka, famous for its statue of Gommateswara also is known for its once 12 yearly Maha-Masthaka-Abhisekha centered around this statue. A sacred site for Jains.
- Tirupati - in Andhra Pradesh is home to Lord Sri Venkateswara Temple (also known as Lord Balaji, Govinda, Vishnu). A sacred site for Hindus.
- Ujjain - in Madhya Pradesh is home to Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga. It is also widely known for its Khumbh Mela festival held every 12 years. A Sacred site for Hindus.
- Varanasi - in Uttar Pradesh is a sacred site for Hindus for its holy shrine of Lord Kashi Vishwanath.
There is an huge variety in types of accommodation available in India.
It does not matter if you are a back-packer looking for a budget hotel or a business tycoon looking for a luxurious and exotic hotel stay in India.
Hotels and dormitories can be found from Rs 100 (per head tariff) in a large number of places.
Even in cities like (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore..) hotel rooms can be booked for Rs 400 - 500 ($10-$12).
The sudden boom in the economy (non-agricultural) has lead to the average increase in house hold income for the middle class.
As a result their spending has also increased, particularly for travel related activities.
This has lead to a situation where demand for hotel accommodation far outstrips the supply.
Indian Hotels have had and are having record occupancy rates in the recent times.
The average occupancy rate for hotels in major cities are more than 70% and for some are hovering around 80%.
This has lead to a dramatic increase in the price of hotel rooms.
From 2003, the room tariffs have had a combined rise of almost a whopping 300%.
The price increase has not reached a plateau yet even though the hotel occupancy rate has hit a plateau.
The interesting thing to watch out for is the fact that, even though the occupancy rates are no longer rising, the price is still seeing a yearly growth of at-least 50%.
This suggests that there is still a severe shortage of rooms or that people are so enamored with the hotel industry that they are willing to pay higher and higher price for the same rooms.
The former seems to be a more likely case.
General advice for securing rooms is to plan and book early.
Though some quarters assign the cause of price rise to increased international tourists, the numbers suggests otherwise.
The number of International tourists has increased by 80% (provisional) from 2003 till 2007
(yet India's share in International Tourism market is un-palpable, hovering below 1%.)
The market in a predictable way is trying to provide some quick short term solutions while still investing and building a longer term solution.
As the hotel industry requires a huge upfront capital to build the infrastructure (which also takes time to build), other innovative solutions have come to be the saviors at the moment.
Lots of Serviced Apartments offering accommodation (and nothing else or limited service) have come up.
These are usually small buildings or bungalows with many rooms, converted into a decent place for lodging.
But some big real estate players have also entered into this field providing good rooms at good prices.
The drawback to serviced apartments is that, it is scalable and profitable mostly in the major cities as the capital required for starting and running this is by no means something to sneeze at.
Smaller districts and other tourist spots have hit upon the idea of an Homestay.
The Government of Kerala is actively promoting Homestays, with locals registering with them to get some respectability and trustworthiness in the eyes of the customers.
The concept of Homestay is unique in that you get to experience the local culture first hand with a knowledgeable guide who also doubles up as your accommodation service provider and caretaker.
This concept has been a major boon to lots of retirees who have found a great opportunity not only to make money but also to spend their time meeting and learning about new places and culture.
Lots of bond created during this brief period live on for a long time.
There exists a couple of variations of the Homestay concept.
In Coorg it has metamorphosed into an Estate stay.
The customer gets to stay in a Coffee or a Tea estate and also has a chance to see the local culture and take part in it to a greater degree.
Some of these estate accommodations have repeat customers who keep coming back for the peace, seclusion and the panoramic view.
Though, it must be mentioned that Coorg also has its share of Homestays.
In the North, particularly in Rajasthan, old palaces and in fact any old habitable building have been converted into Hotels with a classification of Heritage Hotels.
These building have been renovated keeping in mind the historic value and cultural implications of the building.
Another variation has been the house-boats.
These house-boats have been common in Kashmir for quite some time.
Kerala, though a late adopter, has definitely promoted and executed this well to its great benefit.
Majority of the gentry in Kerala who are into agriculture find that they have no work and therefore no income for as long as 6 months in a year.
The concept of house-boats has provided an alternative source of income to them and employment to the agricultural laborers.
Types of Accommodation in India
Hotels - They are generally at-least Government Approved and are usually classified from 1 star to 5 star Deluxe.
You can expect at a minimum, a clean room, hot water, television with cable, room service.
Boutique Hotels - These are hotels, that have designed each room with a theme in mind.
Staying in a boutique hotel is an experience in and of itself.
These types of hotels are not that prevalent currently. But this niche is blossoming.
Ayurveda Hotels - These hotels are built around the concept of promoting Ayurveda.
They offer various ayurvedic packages for your many ailments.
Usually these hotels are co-promoted by the State Government and a group (like Kairali Group)
who takes care of day to day running and maintenance along with offering their expertise in Ayurvedic treatments.
One of the successful examples of Public/Private partnerships.
Heritage Hotels - These are the hotels that were in the past some Nawab's summer house or a guest house.
After some minor renovation, these very palatial buildings have been converted into an Heritage Hotels offering an opulent stay.
Lodges - These are the un-approved hotels that offer a great deal on accommodation for budget travelers.
Majority of these lodges are situated around major transportation junctions like railway stations and inter city bus terminus.
You can confidently find availability in more than one lodge even when you walk in no matter what the occasions.
But insist on checking the rooms before you pay.
Also keep in mind that these hotels are usually located in a place with hectic activity and hence noise is something you have to get used to.
A good thing to bear in mind while booking these hotels are that you get what you pay for.
Home stays - You stay with your host who also takes care of your needs.
Be-warned, some homestays come with conditions like 'no liquor' or 'back home by 10 PM' etc.
Just make sure that you know exactly what is expected of you.
Estate Stays - Similar to home stays but you get to stay in a vast estate growing coffee, tea or other plantations.
Resorts - Another hotel, except, it is more than a hotel.
A resort aims to give you an 'away from home' vacation while usually being situated close to your home. Resorts themselves come in various shapes and themes.
There are the beach resorts which would like you to while away your time watching the waves or playing ad-mist them ,
the jungle resorts which want to take you on an adventurous trek etc.
Serviced Apartments - Your home away from home.
Some of them go so far as to give an almost hotel like experience.
While others want to rent you a 2 bedroom house with kitchen for the price of a single room in a 3 star hotel.
The later has limited service where your laundry, room cleanliness and basic food necessities are taken care of,
but still offer you the option to cook your own food or throw a party, (its your house remember.)
Boat Houses - A hotel on a boat.
Cruise around a lake for a day or a two.
The house boats come with your very own captain who also doubles up (or triples up) as your navigator and your cook.
Your food is carried on board based on your selection
(you can literally go along with your caretaker to the market and select what you are going to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner.)