Hotel in Delhi and transportation to the Taj

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<p>Will be spending 2-3 night in Delhi before going to Nepal. Looking for a good hotel with airport pick up (might be late night arrival). Reasonable roome rates would be best. Also, looking for the best way to visit the Taj. I see you can take a train, fly or drive but don't want to stop at all the extra shopping areas that most tour companys include. Possible to hire a private driver to see the Taj and head back to Delhi...don't want to make that visit a 12 hour day. Is it better to see the Taj from the Red Fort and call it good? Do I really need to go inside for the tour?? </p>

Delhi boasts of some fabulous hotels. The finest I would rate as the Imperial, ITC Maurya, Oberois etc. Lemeridien,(non-smoking rooms especially the Le Royal Club category), is a good business hotel. The Imperial is a museum in itself, The ITC has some of the finest restaurants in Delhi & Oberois service is reputedly as good as the best anywhere! However, these are expensive.
Close to the Connaught Place is Hotel Metropolitan (4*). It is reasonably priced, comparatively. The hotel has a few drawbacks, but not as bad as being made out in the Trip Advisor!
The Manor, in Friends colony west, is another good choice. These will all send a car for pick-up.
As to your question of train travel, the morning Bhopal Shatabdi super fast train leaves New Delhi rly. station at 06:15am, from platform no. 1, arriving in Agra in a couple of hours. B'fast is served onboard. The flights to Agra have been called off since last season, as to all I know.
Taj must be seen and appreciated from with in & not a couple of miles away from Agra Fort. The mists rising from the river obscure the vision. It is amazing at the first light of the day, when crowds are at the minimal & light conditions appropriate, for photography.
Why make it a salesman's trip to Agra in the first place? Stay overnight at The Oberois Amar Vilas, the finest luxury hotel in Agra. They will send a car to pick you up from the rail station.
Happy travels!