Leela Palace New Delhi
When the Leela opened in the leafy Diplomatic Enclave neighborhood in 2011, it added a touch of glitz and glamour to Delhi’s hotel scene. Its interiors are opulent and contemporary, the extensive private art collection is impressive, and two of the restaurants are major international brands: Italian Le Cirque and the exquisitely designed Japanese Megu. Despite this cultural weave, however, the hotel still feels decidedly Indian.
With its regal mansion facade, the hotel looks right at home in this area, which also boasts the Presidential Palace, foreign embassies and the Prime Minister’s office. The contemporary-styled 260 rooms and suites are generously sized; in fact they are the largest sized rooms in the capital. All come with personalized butler service, huge marble bathrooms with soaking tubs and plasma televisions. Cutting-edge technology includes ITouch digi-valet for in-room electronics control and entertainment on demand. Even more impressive is the Leela’s eco-friendly design scheme, which ensures zero waste of natural resources.
While the streets surrounding Leela are wide, and beautiful parks can be found throughout the area, jogging in the heat of Delhi may not be for everyone, so the exceptional gym is a welcome addition. Adjacent to it, global spa brand ESPA offers a wide array of services and indulgent, traditional Ayurvedic treatments. Delhi, home to millions of people and a seemingly equal amount of cars, can be loud and congested, so the hotel’s infinity-edge, rooftop pool is a quiet breezy retreat with stunning views.
In addition to the traditional afternoon high tea, live jazz plays Thursday through Saturday. The hotel’s Library Bar, reminiscent of English Gentlemen’s club with its collection of leather-bound first editions makes The Leela the fashionable meeting spot for visitors and locals.
Formerly the Aman New Delhi, the Lodhi became an independent boutique hotel in 2013 but has maintained its Aman-like aesthetic and attention to detail. Set amid one of Delhi’s greenest neighborhoods (the setting of the Delhi Golf Course), the hotel exudes a chic sense of serenity. Public spaces are at once grand, with huge glass walls looking onto water features, but also warm with plush seating areas and a hushed ambience. With resident managers who are beloved fixtures in Delhi society, guests feel like honored visitors with insider’s access.
While the building is large and can seem imposing, the hotel holds only 40 guest rooms, so each guest receives personalized, excellent service. Guest room are the size of a small apartment with a sitting area, workstation, dressing room and spacious bathrooms. The pièce de résistance is each room’s large balcony and plunge pools with double chaise lounges upholstered in beautiful woodblock prints. Nothing could be more refreshing after a day of Delhi sightseeing than a dip in your private pool and emerging for a drink on the protected patio.
The Lodhi spa is particularly luxurious; treatment rooms each have their own showers, steam rooms, bathtubs and chaises. The state-of-the-art fitness area offers TRX, Pilates and personal training, as well as yoga classes, which can be taken in the adjacent park amidst parakeets and historic tombs. For the athletic-minded there is a 50-meter swimming pool, as well as tennis and squash courts.
Excellent dining options include the stunning OTW, a peaceful oasis built of glass that sits over one of the property’s many water features. Elan is a more casual restaurant option that serves a variety of Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine. Indian Accent, serving gourmet modern Indian cuisine, is a must for foodies.
Taj Mahal Hotel Delhi
Taj Mahal Hotel Delhi is centrally-located in India's capital city with an outdoor pool, spa, fitness center and five dining options.
The Oberoi, New Delhi