India colonial style

With the long awaited American release of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” this Friday, beautiful British colonial style interiors of India are on my mind. The movie tells a story of British retirees (played by Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy) who travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways… I can’t wait to see the set design!!!!

So, in anticipation of what, I’m sure, will be a feast, let’s examine the main elements of this distinctive style that still inspires today. And what a better way to do that than by exploring some of the historic hotels of India?

Let’s start with:

Element #1: High ceilings

hotels in india taj mahal palace mumbai

india heritage north east banyan grove in jorhat

Element # 2: Intricate wood carvings are one of the most important elements of British colonial style

india bangalore oberoi hotel

 india bangalore oberoi hotel 2

Element #3: Ceiling fans

india brunton boatyard hallway


Element #4: Woven cane and wicker furniture

india malabar-house-terrace

raheem residency india back veranda

Element #5: Bright accents

india mihir-gahr-hotel-rajasthan-india 3

india mihir-gahr-hotel-rajasthan-india 4

india mihir-gahr-hotel-rajasthan-india 2

india mihir-gahr-hotel-rajasthan-india

india mihir-gahr-hotel-rajasthan-india 5

Element #5: Natural stone floors

india sunita kohli designed surya mahal via architectural digest


Element #6: Dark wooden furniture contrasted against white walls

india tree-of-life-resort-and-spa-jaipur-india

india heritage north east thengal manor in jorhat

Oh, and good news! Architectural Digest launched its Indian edition last month so we should be seeing a lot of examples of exquisite Indian interiors soon!

Images via: