New Delhi, March 16 -- Joan Didion, in her 1979 essay In The Islands, wrote, "Of course great hotels have always been social ideas, flawless mirrors to the particular societies they service. Had there never been an Empire there would not have been a Raffles." This idea holds true for the 40 properties showcased in publishing house Roli's recent book, Glorious Hotels Of India. Each hotel offers a singular imprint of the place it belongs to, drawing on the history, geography, cultural traditions, art, architecture and food.

Writers Cosmo Brockway and Harriet Compston teamed up and travelled across the country seeking hotels that had a "unique spirit". Their slow travelling style and languid descriptions are accentuated by photographer Karam ...