Families come in all shapes and volumes—certainly in terms of both size and decibel levels—and anyone with kids knows that it can be tricky finding a nice hotel where you won’t feel like you've smuggled in noisy, unwelcome guests. While most hotels in Delhi will welcome children quite happily, there are some in the city that work quite hard to please this most discerning set of guests—and the adults accompanying them. At the best of these hotels, you can find shared fun with your children, or even just your other half. Some have enough organized activities—treasure hunts, cookie-making and movie screenings—to fill up a photo album or your Facebook page, while others excel in having supervised activities for the kids if you want a date night out with your partner. Here are five hotels that I recommend to visitors coming to Delhi with the whole family:
Trident, Gurgaon tries to keep young ones occupied so that you can let your hair down. Its no-charge Kids Club includes hands-on activities like crafts and baking, and the hotel also has a game room, library and splash pool, as well as supervised playtime during their boozy (for adults, that is) Sunday brunches, where children eat for free. Guests under age 8 stay free, unless extra beds are needed.
This 1952 building with classically decorated interiors has old-world charm, as well as the brilliant Sevilla restaurant and, in a nice contemporary nod, a temperature-controlled outdoor pool. The hotel puts on occasional evening entertainment like puppet shows; they also run programs like cookie-making to keep little hands busy.
Vivanta by Taj, Surajkund
If you want to get lost in an experience, this is the place. There’s something for everyone, whether it's the barefoot dining by the pool, street-food-style cuisine from the hotel’s Violet Line Metro, or the complimentary treasure hunt ands movie screenings for kids. And right by the lobby, you can see artisans and craftsmen from across India showcasing their skills in pottery and bangle-making.
The Oberoi (Delhi and Gurgaon)
People don’t always think of The Oberoi when it comes to family travel—but they should. For starters, the rooms are known for being fairly large, and the service is both fabulous and personable. Some friends of mine with kids stayed at the Gurgaon property for a month, and by the end the chef knew what both the children missed most about home, and the nanny knew their bedtime rituals.
If you’re looking for something less formal than a five-star hotel, this charming guesthouse is a great option. The Scarlette was started by a French expatriate who was homesick for shared meals around big tables; the house is lovely, homey and puts its guests right at ease, including the little ones, too. If you want a date night, babysitting services are yours to tap.