Opened in 2014, the main draw of this peaceful Thai-managed boutique resort, designed by Thai architect Khun Lek Bunnag, is a 330-foot swimming pool meandering through a lush, forest-backed, eight-acre garden. Vast, domed, iPad-controlled rooms (and phallic, gold leaf–covered pool columns) express an architectural fusion of modern Thai and Indian tastes. Guests are mostly couples and child-free travelers unfazed by freestanding bathtubs next to huge beds, and showers and toilets separated from sleeping areas by clear glass sliding doors. The many unfenced wooden walkways over the swimming pool and other water features make the hotel unsuitable for very young children, though older kids might appreciate the outdoor movie screenings.
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On the southwest side of the city, the hotel sits in one of New Delhi’s loveliest private gardens. It’s a mere 10-minute drive from the Indira Gandhi International Airport, in an affluent residential district surrounded by large villas and green plots. Travelers short on shopping time can head for the nearby Janakpuri branch of Dilli Haat, a modern, government-subsidized complex recreating a traditional weekly market, with more than 100 craft stalls, a music museum and auditorium, and a street-food court. The major historic sites and markets of Old Delhi are a half-hour away by car, as is the Hauz Khas Village, a South Delhi neighborhood rapidly gentrifying with art galleries, bohemian lounges such as Barsoom and new concept stores; this is the place to score an Indian designer swimsuit at Shivan and Narresh. A bit farther south, around the 12th-century Qutub Minar, the Mehrauli district is the epicenter of upscale nightlife, including Shroom, a molecular cocktail bar.
Need to Know
Rooms: 50 rooms. From $173. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Kiyan serves exquisite presentations of nouveau Indian, Italian, and Thai dishes and offers both indoor and outdoor seating. Ask about the chef-led tours of Old Delhi and Mughul sites and markets. Spa and gym details: The hotel has a small gym with limited cardio machines, an ESPA-branded spa, and a 102-meter-long, tree-shaded pool.
Who’s it best for: Swimming addicts; couples; travelers seeking solitude and downtime at the end of a long flight or hectic sightseeing tour. Our favorite rooms: All rooms are 650 square feet, with high, domed ceilings; rooms on the first floor above the restaurant have bathrooms that can be cordoned off with wooden screens. The Deverana Pool Room has a private deck over the pool, an advantage since the hotel has only a few shared sun loungers. Good to know: Staff will supply a coffeemaker on demand, which saves time on room service if the hotel is full. If arriving on a weekend, pre-book spa treatments, as locals use the hotel spa as a retreat from New Delhi’s crowds and urban challenges. The location far from the city center can mean guests are trapped at dinner. Hotel car service is expensive; if cost is a concern, book an outside operator or negotiate a taxi on a day rate for sightseeing excursions.