Home is where the heart is; and occasionally where the fluffy bathrobes, chocolates on pillows and TVs that appear out of thin air are. Unless you’re feeling a bit lost in translation, chances are that you’ve had one of those moments when all you needed was to step into a rain shower and an already turned down bed to know why exactly you decided to check in to a luxury property. It’s almost always worth every rupee, no matter whether forex was playing friend or foe. Delhi does luxury in ways that reflect both old and new: The Oberoi and Taj properties are like their all-knowing concierges who’ve seen the city’s visitors drift out and in over decades, always coming back for more, while well-established hotel groups like The Leela and The LaLiT have brought in their hip brand of hospitality to the city. Here are my five picks for the best of Delhi’s luxury travel.
The Oberoi, New Delhi
One of the city’s oldest legacies, The Oberoi New Delhi manages to run like clockwork, but without any hint of feeling in their service. The staffers always seem to know what you want—even when all you want is a bit of space. You’ll find superb detail in the elegant décor which, like their service, is never overwhelming.
The Oberoi, Gurgaon
Almost in direct contrast—aesthetically only—is this super-luxe Oberoi hotel, just past the Delhi-Gurgaon toll, which has swept the hospitality awards since it opened its tree-lined gates and torch-lit shimmering water bodies in 2011. What has not changed in this modern marvel is the perfectly old-world hospitality delivered by the ladies and gentlemen of The Oberoi.
Taj Mahal Hotel
If you’ve wondered how many degrees separate you from the heads of state from around the world, check into the legendary Taj Mahal Hotel. Chances are, they’ll only be three doors down. The property feels appropriately stately with its domes and mosaic; and no matter who you are, you’ll get the red carpet treatment.
The Leela Palace
We love our palaces in India, don’t we? When the upscale hotel firm the Leela Group opened this Chanakyapuri property in 2011, they gave us their take on luxury that seems to fit most naturally in a palace setting. Pair that with their excellent contemporary dining options, and you’ve got a winner.
If hip and happening is more your thing (and you didn’t blink at the mixed-case spelling of the name), then the LaLiT could be where you want to spend your nights in Delhi. It has a sleek but quiet rooftop pool, and soundproofed rooms—nice, whether or not you decide to spend your evening at the Kitty Su nightclub in the lobby.