Orchha is small, with few decent lodging options, all much the same; given that it is very popular be sure to book well in advance, particularly in winter when tour groups can arrive en masse. The best room in Orchha is the Maharaja Suite in the Sheesh Mahal Hotel (tel. 07680/25-2624 or 011/2336-6528; www.mptourism.com; Rs 4,990); alternatively the Maharani Suite, at Rs 3,990. An enormous room, with a domed ceiling over an assortment of paintings, cabinets, and fascinating Raj-era relics, the Maharaja suite has its own dining area and a wonderful terrace with magical views. Even the bathroom is huge, with a marble tub and polished stone flooring. Despite refurbishments, the rest of the hotel's guest rooms are quite ordinary, and, like most government-run establishments, the place is poorly managed, and the second-rate food is only to be consumed if you have no other option. Despite these shortcomings, the Sheesh Mahal -- no doubt because of its heritage status -- is usually booked up days in advance If you can't book either of these two suites consider the Amarmahal Hotel (tel. 07680/25-2102; www.amarmahal.com doubles from Rs 3,150). Built in a style meant to imitate that of Bundelkhand royal architecture, this is the smartest modern option in Orchha -- large spacious rooms with latticework on the ceilings and four-poster beds, spotless marble throughout the hotel, good views, lovely pool, plenty of green areas and marginally more intimate than Orchha Resort (though be warned, it too caters to group bookings). It's a tossup between Amarmahal Hotel and Bundelkhand Riverside, really: the benefit of staying at Budelkhand Riverside (tel. 07680/25-2612; www.bundelkhandriverside.com; from Rs 3,400 double) is, as the name suggests, its location, literally hugging the Betwa river and giving splendid views (specially postmonsoon); it's the main reason to book here, so do ask for a room with a riverside view. The rooms were a tad run down when we last visited but it does have a charming sitting area on the roof, again with lovely views, and is particularly atmospheric in the evenings. It is however quite popular for local functions, which can reach unbearable volumes so do check with reservations if anything is happening here before confirming. Although also located on the Betwa river, The Orchha Resort (info tel. 07680/25-2222, or 0562/222-5712 for reservations; www.orchharesort.com; Rs 2,550-Rs 4,950 double) does not have any views (unless one literally climbs the wall by the pool), but remains a popular choice particularly with European tour groups, with plenty of amenities. The resort is built in attractive pink sandstone, and includes 11 deluxe tents (pitched Oct-Apr 15) arranged around the tennis court; at Rs 2,250 double, these are best value. They're comfortably furnished and include all the regular amenities as well as en-suite toilets and showers and a small porch from where you have an incredible, close-up view of several impressive cenotaphs. Guest rooms in the main building are more expensive; they have marble floors, smallish bathrooms with tubs, and good-quality fabrics in shades of green and cream. Do beware of the slippery area around the pool when you go for a post-sightseeing dip. Owned by Jains, the restaurant is strictly vegetarian, but the food is fresh and appetizing.
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.