- Shreyas Kulkarni
When you visit Delhi, you’ll quickly realize that the city caters to a diverse crowd. It’s the seat of the Government of India, the food capital of South Asia, and one of the most visited cities on the whole Indian continent. To accommodate its constant flow of visitors, Delhi hosts a wide range of hotels from luxurious five stars to cozy bed and breakfasts, offering comfort for every style and budget. Read on for our guide to the best places to stay in this busy, welcoming city.
The Leela Palace
Located in the Diplomatic Enclave, the Leela Palace is an outstanding hotel inspired by the architecture of Luytens. This butterfly-shaped building seamlessly mingles brilliant architecture and majestic Indian culture: the gorgeous suites are divided into four segments where you’ll be treated like royalty – or another type of world leader, if you opt for the intensely luxurious Presidential Suite. Each suite offers its lucky guests rich wooden furnishings, elegant textiles, beautiful bathrooms with plush bathrobes included, and modern amenities such as a mini bar and TV. The Leela Palace also houses several award winning restaurants: sample the international and Indian buffet at the Qube, or dine at the impressive Le Cirque or MEGU from New York. Drinks can be enjoyed from the two bars in the hotel. After a heavy workout at their state of the art gym, take a dip in the rooftop temperature-controlled swimming pool which offers spectacular views of Delhi. A stay at the palace is pure luxury every step of the way, from the moment you touch down at the airport: guests are transported to the Leela in a huge fleet of BMWs, or you can opt for a Rolls Royce detail instead. Presidential, indeed!
Chanakyapuri, Diplomatic Enclave, New Delhi, Delhi +91 11 3933 1234
True shanti, which means silence in Hindi, can be hard to come by in these modern times – but Shanti Home offers exactly that in its peaceful accommodations. Awarded Trip Advisor’s Traveller’s Choice for 2015, this boutique hotel is the best place to get off the grid and simplify in a serene setting. Offering luxury accommodation at affordable prices, Shanti has three suites comprised of 17 rooms in total. Each room is individually designed with a certain theme in mind, all honoring different Indian traditions and aspects of Indian culture. There are no TVs in these rooms, a gentle encouragement for guests to unplug and experience a deeper peace without glowing screens. The grounds offer plenty of amenities to help you truly relax, such as ayurvedic massages at Patra, Shanti’s own in-house steam room and massage parlor. Instead of binging on Netflix, head upstairs to their beautiful rooftop restaurant and feast on a menu of authentic, home-cooked Indian food. They even offer cooking classes so you can take these delicious tastes home with you to your own kitchen. Shanti’s chauffeurs drive guests out on daily tourism trips of Delhi, so you can always reconnect with civilization if you get stir-crazy. If you want to hit the town in style, they even have a tailor on site who will prepare customized garments for you: just show him any photo from any magazine or explain the concept, get your measurements taken, and your tailored garment will be delivered to you within 24 hours.
A-1/300, Janakpuri, New Delhi, Delhi +91 11 4157 3366
Hotel Shanti Home | © Patrick Rasenberg/Flickr
Set in Delhi’s Defense Colony, this quaint little bed and breakfast is the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate while staying close to the hustle and bustle of urban Delhi. This charming spot offers bright, clean-cut rooms, which extend into an open floor lounge. Every room contains modern facilities and comforts, like cable TV, personal refrigerators, and attached baths with hot and cold running water. The best part about Colonel’s Retreat is the owner Arun, whose family runs the b&b. The whole family is very charming and accommodating, and care deeply about giving their guests the best possible experience. This includes meals provided on request: try their heavenly banana bread for breakfast! After a sweet start to the day, head outside and you’ll find a wide variety of Delhi’s markets and restaurants within walking distance, as well as access to other parts of town via the nearby Lajpat Nagar metro station.
D-418, Defence Colony, New Delhi, Delhi +91 11 4660 4927
Opened in 2010, Amarya Villa is a breath of fresh air after wading through the heady noises and crowds of Delhi. The place offers boutique flair all the way with its gorgeous color scheme, lavish designs, and ample ornamental décor. The villa’s nine rooms are inspired by the ‘Navratna’, India’s auspicious nine gemstones; each room is filled with lavish fabrics and color themes coordinated to a different gem in the Navratna. Here you can bask in the plush comforts of queen-sized beds with superior quality linen, and high-quality bathroom furnishings like rain showers, fluffy towels and cotton robes. Every room is also equipped with a writing desk, a flat-screen satellite TV and safety deposit box. Amarya Villa serves a scrumptious breakfast each morning, from freshly baked bread, delectable crepes, organic muesli, and breakfast cereals, to sweet fruit salads and juices and farm fresh eggs made to order.
A2/20 Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi, Delhi +91 11 4103 6184
Taj Mahal Hotel
The preferred choice for visiting heads of State and other dignitaries, Delhi’s Taj Mahal Hotel is one of the most widely admired hotels in the city, and in fact in all of India. You can choose from no less than 294 rooms, including 27 suite accommodations such as their The Taj Club, Executive Suites, Luxury Suites, and the deeply impressive Grand Presidential Suite, which is revered as the most luxurious suite in the country. The Taj Mahal Hotel hosts the finest fitness centers, business centers, and lounges on its premises to make your stay more comfortable. You can also contact the staff to book an incredible massage, or to quickly arrange a trip for you. That said, you don’t need to go far to enjoy a delicious meal: the restaurants at this hotel are not only rated as the best in India, but the best across all of Asia. Try Varq for truly oustanding Indian cuisine, or Wasabi for an exemplary Japanese menu. After your meal, top off your evening with a nightcap at Rick’s.
Taj Mansingh Hotel Rd, South Block, Man Singh Road Area, New Delhi, Delhi +91 11 2302 6162