When searching for accommodation in India, it’s worthwhile seeking out a ‘homestay’. While in Agra, we stayed at The Coral Court Homestay run by our host Suraj and his wife.
Why pick a homestay?
There is one large benefit to a homestay. You are literally staying in a room in the house the owners are living in. Obviously, the house is on the larger side to accommodate guests in a private room.
You can enjoy the homely feel, homemade breakfast and many offer dinner for a small added cost. The family is on hand to help out with anything you need. From a bottle of water to tips on where to eat, shop and hang out, nothing is too hard.
The Coral Court Homestay
You can see from their Airbnb listing that The Coral Court Homestay isn’t exactly budget accommodation. If we traveled like this for a year, it’s fair to say our mortgage would take a backward slide. However, if you’re on your annual holiday, you’ll find the price very reasonable. Even more so when you consider the generous breakfast included in the nightly price.
The best bit
Agra has plenty of stunning history and architecture to offer visitors – but it’s obvious that everyone has come to see one thing – The Taj Mahal. If you’ve read our post about the Taj, it’s easy to see why it’s the star attraction in town. For me it was one of those ‘pinch yourself’ moments – I never thought I’d have the chance to go to many of the places I’ve been, never mind seeing them before 30, but that’s a post for a glass of wine and reminiscence.
The benefit of staying at The Coral Court Homestay is the ticket office for the Taj Mahal is no more than three minutes walk away. We can definitely recommend visiting at sunrise, so staying here, you can roll out of bed, walk around the corner and buy your tickets. A quick shuttle up to the entrance gate and you’re gazing at the Taj Mahal 15 minutes after getting out of bed.
Once you’ve enjoyed the Taj at sunrise, you can take the gentle 10-minute walk home and sit down for breakfast. Each morning we were treated to fresh fruit, toast, tea, coffee, and eggs. The staff are incredibly eager to please and are on hand to make your morning beverage just the way you like it and make sure you’re filled for the day.
Once you’re done for the day, you can also join other guests for a home-made dinner – one of the best we had in all of India. There is a small but reasonable cost for this.
Quiet, comfortable and so helpful
Suraj and his wife are well traveled and understand what guests are looking for when they come to stay. They were able to help with anything we needed; tips for the best order to visits places, booking a rickshaw and even arranged a henna artist to come to the house for Sarah.
They have beautifully decorated their home, combining artwork with family photos which give the place a nice homely feel. Our room had a small conservatory type space just outside, which was perfect for relaxing, reading and blogging. The house also has a great rooftop space, perfect for a cold beer in the afternoon sun.
Agra has no shortage of hotels, we know. But, if you’re in India, you must enjoy a homestay to soak up the local culture. Therefore, we highly recommend you do so at The Coral Court Homestay. Use Airbnb for the first time and get a sweet discount!