Three Must-Sees: Land in dizzying New Delhi, and have your driver (book him for the whole trip) jet you to The Manor, a 15-room jewel. Work out the kinks with an ayurvedic massage in the spa. Doubles from $158 (low season) and $179 (high season), with breakfast.
Soon you're off to the Taj Mahal in Agra. It's mind-blowing being at the marble mausoleum and hearing its love story: Emperor hearts empress; empress dies; voilà, sublime shrine. Get the royal treatment at the Oberoi Amarvilas, where the Taj views (and the fig ice cream) are unmatched. Doubles from $735 (low season) and $799 (high season).
From Agra, drive to Jaipur, the country's gem and textile capital. (Do bargain with the shopkeepers—it's customary.) We're mad for Rasa, a luxe, tented desert camp just outside town, where the coconut prawns are out of this world. Doubles from $325 (year-round), with breakfast.
Don't Forget to Pack: Airy cotton tunics: They're the best way to beat the heat.
Celeb Fans: Katy Perry and Russell Brand flipped for the gleaming palaces, posh hotels, and powdery sand dunes. And we're crazy for the curry. —Tanvi Chheda