Hotel Mumtaz Mahal is conveniently located near the East Gate entrance of the Taj Mahal and only 100m from the ticket office. When we arrived, the hotel wasn’t quite as I remembered on the website. The cows out the front laying in the muddy water certainly weren’t there! Nevertheless it appeared to be a nice budget hotel just off the main road and we were eager to check in.
The main foyer was presentable and we had assistance with our bags up the stairs which was greatly appreciated. The staff at the front desk weren’t overly welcoming and although in the middle of serving us, when a family of Indians arrived their focus shifted on sorting their booking out before finalising ours. Slightly annoying when we had a very energetic boy wanting to cause havoc in the foyer.
Not quite what we were expecting
Eventually we were shown to our room on the 2nd floor, which again didn’t resemble the photos. It was however, comfortable and appeared to be clean which was a bonus. The room was an average size, with enough space for Jack’s pop up bed and our luggage, but not much more. The bathroom also was a good size, but probably could have used a little TLC.
The room had good air conditioning, a fridge that didn’t work, cable TV that regularly cut out, WiFi that was useless and no hot water (the staff did however offer to bring buckets of hot water up when required). The view from our room was unmemorable looking over to another apartment block, but you did get to see and hear locals wheeling their fruit and vegetable carts down the adjoining lane selling their produce.
Incredible view from the rooftop restaurant
The hotel has a open dining room restaurant on the top floor overlooking Agra and with an impressive view of the Taj Mahal. The staff in the restaurant were welcoming and seemed genuinely glad to see us which was a pleasant change. A buffet breakfast was served there daily consisting of toast, omelette, a pasta dish, an Indian curry, rice and nan bread. Tea and coffee were included, however juice, water and any other beverages were an additional charge.
The restaurant also served dinner and lunch with an extensive menu of mainly Indian dishes. The prices were reasonable and we enjoyed a lovely dinner with the friendly wait staff and also a group of fellow travellers. There is also a cafe on level 3, however this was in construction during our stay.
The services left a lot to be desired
Hotel Mumtaz Mahal offered a laundry service which was a complete rip off at almost $AUD1 to wash a t-shirt. This was the only service they offered. They weren’t greatly forth coming with any recommendations on where to go or directions. It seemed the best advice they could offer was ask a driver to take you as everything was too far to walk or too difficult to show on a map.
They would also prefer payment via cash although they will not have any change to give you in return, so ensure you have the correct money. We only required 24 Rupees in change after paying our account, but the manager was unable to provide it and offered to give it to us when we collected our luggage at the end of the day. Upon arriving to the hotel that afternoon their was no movement the give our change.
Besides the friendly staff in the restaurant and the close proximity to the Taj Mahal (the main, if only, reason to visit Agra), the hotel was disappointing and we were glad to be only staying there one night.
Hotel Mumtaz Mahal
Near Shilp Gram, Taj Mahal