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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

A boutique Agra getaway at Ekaa Villa

Ekaa Villa is a boutique hotel inspired by the city’s ancient heritage and architecture, set in the heart of Agra …

By Udit Hooda
Co-founder of Ekaa Villa

Set in the heart of Agra, Ekaa Villa is a boutique hotel inspired by the city’s ancient heritage. I believe that everything starts from great design, so we worked with a brilliant architect who came up with a modern interpretation of the classic Mughal architecture of Agra. For instance, rooms feature elements of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort in everything from the inlay colours to hatchling patterns. Each of our 12 rooms has its own character and a clean, minimalist feel.

The name Ekaa comes from a Sanskrit phrase and loosely means unity – we wanted something very Indian in its soul that stands for inclusivity. We have beautiful common spaces to encourage guests to mingle, such as a pebble courtyard covered in plants and a living room with a library and musical instruments; we’re currently developing our third-floor rooftop. Our staff are from Agra and everything in the property is locally sourced, from our handicrafts to handmade betel nut leaf plates and pottery cups.

We think that food is an essential part of travel, so we offer authentic Indian, home-cooked dishes that you won’t find anywhere else. Guests love our traditional thali and breakfast of aloo-bedawain, deep-fried unleavened bread stuffed with spices and potato curry. Everything is Indian and high-quality, including our organic tea from the Glenburn Estate in the Kanchenjunga mountains.

Experiences are a big part of Ekaa Villa and although we’re in prime position near the Taj Mahal’s east entrance, we’ve also developed some unique tours led by locals. One is our Secret Taj tour, where we’ll take you to off-the-beaten-track spots that have amazing, uncrowded views of the Taj Mahal. Then we cycle or walk to a small village on the banks of the Yamuna River, where we have tea and admire views of the Taj from the wheat fields. We also offer handicraft experiences where you can meet the real artisans of Agra and sample the city’s top street food. It’s that personal touch that guests remember about Ekaa Villa.


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Alfred & Udit Hooda

Ekaa Villa is the brain-child of Udit Hooda, who also runs bespoke tours of the city through his travel company, Travelsense India. Udit started his career straight out of college, running one of his family’s handicraft showrooms in Delhi, then later launching his own backpacker’s hostel. In 2015, Udit secured funding to open Ekaa Villa and is passionate about providing an authentic, inclusive stay for guests.
Udit Hooda, co-founder of Ekaa Villa

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