Home to numerous rituals, spiritual practices, colourful saris and the sacred Ganges, Varanasi enchants visitors and what better base to explore this fascinating city from than the Secret Retreats selection from the many Boutique Hotels in Varanasi. Here, everything is turned up in intensity. Whether it’s the people, animals and rickshaws jostling for space in the maze of dusty lanes, evening rituals on the banks of the river or the opulence of hotels in Varanasi, this ancient city offers travellers a world of discovery.

Looking for the best hotels in Varanasi or wondering where the best place to stay in Varanasi is? Look no further. When it comes to visiting this fascinating city and booking Varanasi accommodation, Secret Retreats can help you with not only finding boutique hotels in Varanasi, including luxury hotels in Varanasi or a resort in Varanasi, but also creating a bespoke experience that makes the most of this incredible destination.
Brijrama Palace

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Brijrama Palace

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Discover the Sacred City of Varanasi from one of the Luxury Hotels in Varanasi

One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Varanasi is located in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state. There are many luxury hotels in Varanasi catering to both devotees and tourists, business people and locals. Of the many hotels to stay in Varanasi Secret Retreats concierges look for the best heritage hotel Varanasi has to offer. Also called the City of Light, Benares and Banaras, Varanasi holds a favourable spot on the left bank of the Ganges River and is considered one of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism.

The city was one of the first Aryan settlements in the middle Ganges valley, rising to become a major centre of religion, philosophy, art and industry by the end of the 2nd millennium and the capital of the Kashi kingdom in the 6th century BC. While the Buddha gave his very first sermon during this time at the nearby town of Samath, Varanasi is strongly Hindu and is known as a city of Lord Shiva.

It has long been believed in the Hindu faith that anyone who dies in Varanasi will be released from the cycle of reincarnation and those who aren’t fortunate to pass here are still often brought here for cremations – a little too late to enjoy the boutique hotels in Varanasi though.

Venture back in time while staying at the best hotels at Varanasi

Today, Varanasi’s riverside setting continues to lend an air of auspiciousness to the city, which is a major pilgrimage site and the best hotels at Varanasi are usually riverside. Believers come from all over the country, and the world, to bathe in the Ganges River walking down to the sacred waters from Varanasi’s miles of ghats, or steps. Washing in the Ganges is said to cleanse one’s sins. The jam-packed city also boasts a number of shrines, temples and palaces, along with its infamous maze of winding alleys where Varanasi accommodation, shops, restaurants, goats, cows, people, bicycles and more jostle for space. Even if the call to bathe in the Ganges doesn’t beckon, travellers from around the world still flock to Varanasi to take in its picturesque sights and unique atmosphere. Simply wandering around is often enough as Varanasi offers a feast for all the senses but there are still several intriguing sights and activities that a trip to Varanasi would not be complete without experiencing.
One of the most interesting parts of the city is its ghats. Simply walking along these ancient stairways offers endless intriguing sights. A quintessential Varanasi experience, however, is hiring a boat to take you down the river at sunrise or dusk to see life unfolding along the ghats.
The nightly Ganga Arti prayer ceremony, held every evening at Dasaswamedh Ghat also tops the list of Varanasi experiences. Furthermore, the city hosts numerous religious festivals that draw in an even higher number of visitors. The Ganga festival held annually in November or December, for instance, is dedicated to the goddess of the Ganges River, which is considered sacred in the Hindu religion, and involves thousands of flickering oil lamps placed on the ghats and in the river.
Alternatively, the Dhrupad Mela, an annual music festival held in March, celebrates renowned Indian musicians and artists at the Tulsi Ghat.

Aside from spiritual endeavours, Varanasi is also an excellent place to shop for silk, particularly India’s iconic saris, and musical instruments. As with many centres of culture, the city features strong music, classical dance and yoga offerings as well.

Retreat to a heritage hotel in Varanasi

Varanasi is a thriving hub of humanity with life and death at every turn, animals crowding the streets, and myriad people, products and places all blending to create a never-ending kaleidoscope of colour. When staying in such a historic city, it only makes sense to base your explorations at a historic heritage hotel in Varanasi. Many say that the best place to stay in Varanasi is Brijrama Varanasi, one of Varanasi’s oldest landmarks set right on the river at the Darbhanga Ghat.

Here, guests are treated like royalty, complete with a bajra (traditional Indian wooden boat) ride along the river to arrive at the towering palace, which is decorated with countless artefacts, antiques and works of art, and boasts a spectacular view of the Ganges.

Note that the best time to travel to this sacred city and enjoy a stay in luxury hotels in Varanasi or boutique hotels in Varanasi is from October to March when the weather is at its coolest. Winters in this part of the country are refreshingly pleasant while starting in April, temperatures rise to sweltering levels, before the monsoon rains come from July to September. Whenever you travel, however, you’ll be sure to find some of the best hotels in Varanasi.

Book Boutique Hotels in Varanasi with Secret Retreats

Being a highly popular pilgrimage site, the options for Varanasi accommodation are seemingly endless and difficult to choose between. With Secret Retreats as your guide, however, you can find the perfect place to base your travels, whether you prefer a heritage hotel in Varanasi, boutique hotels in Varanasi or luxury hotels in Varanasi.

Simply contact the Secret Retreats concierge to start planning your personalized journey to this sacred city.