Mother-In-Law’s First Trip to India: Radisson Blu, Agra

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Emily:  We were in Pune, India, for Christmas and boarded our IndiGo flight to Delhi the day after Christmas and hired a van from Delhi to Agra.  The IndiGo flight was cheap and punctual and got us to Delhi on time.

Radisson Blu Agra

At Delhi Airport

We rented a small van for all of us, including our luggage.  Daraius booked the van for us at half the price of what the Radisson would have charged.  We paid INR 16,000 ($292) to drive from Delhi to Agra and back and use the van while we were in Delhi and Agra for 4 days total.

Radisson Blu Agra

Our Van

We were informed that the trip would take 3.5 hours by car, but it took 5 hours due to an unexpected detour and traffic.

Radisson Blu Agra

Traffic!

Delhi was only 13 degrees Celsius or around 55 Fahrenheit in December so we were pretty cold for most of the car ride because there was no heat.  It’s standard in India for some cars not to have heat and so this was not entirely unexpected.  Bring sweaters and coats in case you get cold while traveling in winter!

I had 5 layers on and was still cold, as it eventually got down to 43 degrees Fahrenheit.  This does not seem too cold, but imagine sitting in a car for four hours in it.

Daraius:  I was fine!

Radisson Blu Agra

Emily in the Van Trying to Put on a Happy Face

Emily:  On the way, we stopped at a rest stop to use the restrooms and get some food.  The food offerings were pretty bare, and we decided to stick to packaged food like chips and cookies.

Daraius:  I had a samosa which warmed me up!

Emily: After almost a whole day of traveling, we finally arrived at the hotel.  Daraius redeemed points to stay at the Radisson.

Radisson Blu Agra

Radisson Blu, Agra

It was very foggy when we arrived, and we were warned not to visit the Taj Mahal early in the morning because we wouldn’t be able to see anything.

Radisson Blu Agra

Radisson Blu, Agra

The hotel was large, modern, and clean.

Radisson Blu Agra

Hotel Lobby

There was a large lobby.

Radisson Blu Agra

Boxing Day in Agra

And a walkway with furniture and a bar on the right.

Radisson Blu Agra

Lobby

There was a small shopping arcade, but nothing very exciting.

Radisson Blu Agra

Small Shopping Arcade

Daraius had booked standard hotel rooms, but we were all upgraded to the executive floor.

Radisson Blu Agra

Executive Floor Room

There was a bed, desk, chair, and TV.

Radisson Blu Agra

Bed & TV

There was small desk as well.

Radisson Blu Agra

Small Desk

The bed was very comfortable after a day of traveling!

Radisson Blu Agra

Radisson Blu Agra – Bed

We received complimentary bottled water.

Radisson Blu Agra

Bottled Water

Darius set up his laptop on the desk, but it was a bit cramped.

Radisson Blu Agra

Desk & Chair

The room did not have any heat, and I was very cold in the 40 degree weather!  So we turned off the AC and the roomed warmed up a bit, though I still needed to layer up. This was my biggest disappointment with the hotel!

The bathroom was modern and clean.

Radisson Blu Agra

Bathroom

There was a marble countertop and tilework in matching brown tones.

Radisson Blu Agra

Countertop

The shower had the same tiles.

Radisson Blu Agra

Shower

There were the usual amenities.

Radisson Blu Agra

Amenities

And there was also a hot water heater to make tea and instant coffee.

Radisson Blu Agra

Hot Water Heater

We went to the hotel restaurant (which also did not have heat, but had small space heaters).  There was an Indian restaurant.

Radisson Blu Agra

Indian Restaurant

And a Continental restaurant/coffee shop.

Radisson Blu Agra

Coffee Shop

We ordered spaghetti…

Radisson Blu Agra

Spaghetti

…chicken Thai curry…

Radisson Blu Agra

Thai Curry

…a kathi roll…

Radisson Blu Agra

Kathi Roll

…and a hamburger, tomato soup, and a club sandwich.

I loved my spaghetti and it was some of the best “continental” food that I have had in India.

Aunt Judi really liked her hamburger and potato wedges too.  The potatoes were served very hot and fresh.  Darius really didn’t like any of the food in the hotel and thought it was the worst food of our trip!

The service in the restaurant was pretty slow—we had to remind them about our drinks and two of our meals were served 15 minutes after the previous plates were served so we all had to eat separately.

There was also a large buffet, but we just wanted a snack, and the food was very overpriced.  However, the hotel was close to the Taj Mahal, and it was free.  I would have been more disappointed if I had actually paid cash for the hotel!

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15 responses to “Mother-In-Law’s First Trip to India: Radisson Blu, Agra

  1. Jason Tsongas

    The hotel really had no heat? Is that common in hotels? I never would have even thought to consider heat as an “option” for a hotel.

  2. Comment on picture at Delhi Airport: That a lot of baggage for a 2 week trip!

  3. Of miles and points interest, briefly how did you acquire your Radisson points (cards, program transfers, etc) and how were you able to get the sweet upgrade to the executive floor. Was it simply just charm, possibly a nice tip to the front desk clerk, or are you at a specific level in the hotel rewards program. Thanks.

  4. I stayed here with points in September 2012 and thought it was a great place to stay. Clean, great buffet (~$15 per person), and friendly staff. We even got massages in their spa ($$) after a hot day at the Taj Mahal.

    • @Ed L – They weren’t *my* bags!

      @Kent C – We earned the Radisson points from their 50K promotions for 1 night stays. We got the upgrade just for being a member of the Club Carlson program. I had status matched to an elite status a year or so ago, but had no status at the time of check-in.

      @Mick – We would have had a better time if we weren’t so cold!

  5. @ Ed L- We had a small army of luggage. We went with around 8 bags and brought 4 back. The smaller ones we fit inside the larger ones.

  6. Which serVice did you use to book a car?

    • @Lauren – I used a service which a friend recommended, but the drivers didn’t speak much English, so I wouldn’t recommend it unless you had someone in your group who speaks Hindi. But you should be able to arrange tours or cars from most hotels in India.

  7. Hi MMS

    I am looking at going to Agra from Delhi. Is there are reason to avoid the train? It seems like it would be the better way to go. There are only two of us, so versus your four that may be the difference.

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  12. @CD – The Agra- Delhi road is an expressway ( not really, just a very good highway ). Being from India, I would chose to do the journey by road than rail.