Bengaluru's popularity as a venue for international and national conferences has made it achieve the highest average room rates and occupancy in India, especially during the week. On the positive side, there are a huge range of excellent top-quality hotels, of which our favorites (all reviewed) each have a unique personality -- we like The Park.hotel for its contemporary ├╝berslick styling and in-house nightlife, Taj West End Hotel for its gorgeous greens and heritage atmosphere, and charming Villa Pottipati, as the best-value deal in the city. We also recommend two great out-of-city options -- Our Native Village and Shreyas. However, you may want to compare online rates with the following roundup of the city's best hotels, which offer the same or similar top-end luxury and amenities.

No too far from the where all the action is, ITC Hotel Windsor Sheraton & Towers (25 Windsor Sq., Golf Course Rd.; tel. 080/2226-9898; fax 080/2226-4941;; doubles from Rs 20,000) retains the look and character of a neoclassical English country house. With its old-world charm and obvious Raj hangover, it's popular with Bollywood's elite and high-profile businesspeople and politicians; ask for a room in the Manor Block, which overlooks the deliciously cool garden. Another good reason to stay here would be the top-notch award-winning dining options, each of which are worth at least one visit. The Oberoi (37/39 M.G. Rd.; tel. 080/2558-5858;; doubles from Rs 21,000) is another excellent hotel, located in the heart of the shopping precinct, with the usual high service standards we have come to rely on from India's best hotel group. It's extremely picturesque, with balconies draped with blossoming creepers and set amid gardens with lovely views over the lawns and the swimming pool. Standard units are not quite as large or as elegant as those at the ITC Windsor Sheraton, but they're spacious enough and luxuriously decorated with floral fabrics and antique finishes; ask for a room on an upper floor for better views. Adjacent is the Taj Residency (tel. 080/6660-4250;; doubles from Rs 16,000), popular as a business hotel (and at press time offered better value than its sibling, Gateway Hotel on Residency Road), and abuzz after its recent makeover; it also has a fabulous new restaurant, Graze -- ask for a lake-facing room. If you're in the mood for really over-the-top opulence, Leela Palace Kempinski -- judged at the time of its opening in 2001 by Forbes Magazine as one of the world's best business hotels and, in more recent times, as the Best Eco Friendly Five Star in India by the Government of India -- is the hands-down winner, though it's not as central as Oberoi or Taj. A baroque rendition of contemporary Indo-Saracenic architecture, looming large in pale pink, it offers enormous "conservatory" rooms with private balconies and, along with all the modern conveniences, elegant four-poster beds, rococo gold-gilt lamps, and silk duvet covers. Deluxe rooms are also very spacious and styled in the same manner (23 Airport Rd.; tel. 080/2521-1234;; doubles from Rs 20,000; suites range from Rs 30,000 to a whopping Rs 1,500,000 for the Maharaja suite).

A good 20 minutes away from the city centre but offering good value given the size of your lodgings (one and two-bedroom apartments), the Royal Orchid (47/1 Dickenson Rd., tel. 080/2558-4242; one-bedroom from Rs 10,000), adjoins the Karnataka Golf Club, which means the views are lovely and green (a claim only the Taj West End and ITC can make). The temperature-controlled rooftop pool is a nice surprise, and free Wi-Fi a boon for those addicted to their laptops. Service is not as slick as you'd expect in a five-star hotel but genuine and well meaning nevertheless. Other than one- and two-bed apartments, they have very affordable suites and executive doubles -- be sure to ask for a room with a view. Following international trends, all-suite hotels are in fact becoming increasingly popular: The Paul (tel. 080/4047-7777;; doubles from Rs 9,000), a recent entrant, is the most exclusive option in this category, with 54 luxurious suites measuring between 120 sq m and 375 sq m (400 sq ft. and 1,250 sq ft). If you've visited their sister property, Kumarakom Lake Resort in Kerala, you'll expect the attention to detail and great taste lavished on the otherwise unimaginative hotel architecture so prevalent in the city. Warm teak wood floors and traditional sit-outs, plush rooms done in silks and tweeds, with massive televisions and efficient kitchenettes, fountains in the atrium with live piano in the evenings (except Tues) -- the only missing ingredient are good views; the quietest suites are on the eastern side.

Much cheaper and less luxe but perfectly serviceable, St. Mark's is a small, neat business hotel (tel. 080/2227-9090; with doubles from Rs 6,500; at this price it is extremely popular, so book ahead. Alternatively, if you would rather skimp on accommodation and splurge on other things, then Ramanashree Brunton (2/1, Brunton Rd.; tel. 080/3051-9000;; Rs 4,000-Rs 5,000 double) is another budget option that offers simple but functionally adequate rooms, ideal if all you're looking for is a clean and efficient place to rest your head after shopping at MG Road. Or try Casa Piccola, a pleasant homestay in a quiet neighborhood close to shopping destinations -- it caters to all basic needs, even throwing in free Internet and offers an air of relaxed informality which you may even prefer to the anonymity of hotel atmosphere (2, Clapham Rd., Richmond Town, near M.G. Road; tel. 080/2299-0337;; doubles from Rs 3,300).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.