If you’ve ever been to Delhi in June, you know how much you’d crave for a cool swimming pool and a room with decent A/C. While those are not the only reasons you’ll head for the Imperial Delhi, it’s also that time of the year where you can get amazing prices for a night in one of India’s oldest palaces.
The Imperial Delhi, the oldest palace in town
Close to Connaught Place (station: Rajiv Chowk), the Imperial New Delhi can impress with its historical character that seems to exude from exude from every piece of decoration. That should not come as a surprise: you’re in the oldest luxury hotel in town. That comes with great service, too, starting at check-in: you don’t have to worry about anything once you have entered the place.
We dropped our luggages in the Heritage Suite (a nice upgrade, I may say): a quiet bedroom, a big lounge with Bang&Olufsen devices and a smart television (the kind of tv that detects you in the room), a spacious bathroom and many closets. Oh, and a desk, just in case you need to work. Expect a nice choice of pillows with a dedicated menu (!) and you’re good to go.
OK, OK…you would not decorate your own place like it. The Imperial Delhi combines the British legacy with Indian traditions in an old-fashion way. But when it comes to a luxury escape and feeling like, for one night, you’re part of a legend, it works pretty well. Time for us to take a bath to try out the Fragonard products, and we’re all fresh to go enjoy a mango cheesecake at the Baguette, the pastry-shop of the hotel.
The Spice Route: a well-known restaurant with more than decent food
The Imperial Delhi boasts several restaurants and bars. As South-Asian food lovers, we choose the Spice Route over the italian restaurant.Is it expensive? Kind of, especially when you travel in India. But compared to our occidental criteria, it’s a deal… if you pay a little attention. The promise is kept: it’s tasty and the service is great (plus you get to enjoy the work of designer Rajeev Sethi). One thing though: the gastronomic reputation of the place is perhaps a little “too much”. It’s very good, but we’re not talking Michelin-starred here.
When it comes to food, actually, The Imperial Delhi has a secret weapon: the breakfast served at the Verandah lounge: live-cooking, amazing buffets, a nice terrace outside and…no, you won’t be hungry at 12. Or 4pm, for that matters.
Internet connexion? Good, but weird pricing.
It works, but part of it was free when we came (the business room access), the other was expensive (the WiFi access). We discussed that with the front desk (because no warning was given) and did not get charged for it in the end. But please have a clear policy about it!
Great pool and nice Imperial Spa + some free yoga classes
Yes, that’s a brief summary of what you can get in terms of well-being at the Imperial. The Spa features many kinds of high-end treatments (from different countries), a salon, a fitness room and… a more unexpected racketball area ! As for the swimming-pool (great one), all you have to do is sign a register (at least you get fresh water). Smokers beware: you can’t smoke there, but get a special room inside of the hotel.
Sex&the City Verdict: should you go?
At least for one night. Come on, it’s legendary ! Otherwise, you have plenty of very nice options in Delhi, from small boutique-hotels to big palaces (the Oberoi, Leela…)
The Imperial New Delhi
Janpath Lane, Connaught Place, New Delhi,Delhi
From 177€ (average price), can vary greatly between the different seasons
ps: Are you a businesswoman? The Imperial features “Eliza” rooms for ladies travelling alone. Not sure that’s useful here, but the initiative is nice.