Giant carved sandstone elephants welcome guests at the entrance to this palace-style, AFAR Collection hotel. The front doors open to a grand, two-storied, chandeliered lobby. Attentive service starts at check-in, with gifts of bindis and fresh jasmine necklaces. The hotel’s Edwardian-inspired bar draws locals and guests alike with its 25-page whiskey and scotch menu. Opened in 2011 in New Delhi’s diplomatic quarter, the Leela Palace boasts a rooftop pool with stunning city views. Unique amenities include an on-call astrologer, and, for women travelers, the option of an all-female service staff, including butler, room-service delivery, concierge, gym instructors, and private city guides. Rooms, at 550 square feet or larger, are richly decorated with oriental carpets, jacquards, and hand-embroidered brocades. Those on the higher floors offer panoramas of the city skyline, but many travelers choose to look out over the internal courtyard or the expansively landscaped garden (and away from a 16-lane highway) for a sense of calm.
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The hotel is a stand-alone compound in the forested diplomatic quarter, a short drive from Dilli Haat, a modern shopping complex with open-air food stalls and a large traditional crafts market. All within a 30-minute drive (depending on traffic), Old Delhi’s heritage sites really require two days to do them justice. The short list includes the Prime Minister’s residence (originally built for the British Viceroy), the National Museum, the Qutub Minar, the Mughul Red Fort, and the 16th-century Humayun’s Tomb. Shopping addicts should plan a walk through Chandni Chowk, the grand bazaar of Old Delhi with its maze of shops clustered according to the items on offer—sari silks, spices, sweets, leather, brass—and a souk devoted to fixings for India’s famously elaborate weddings.
Need to Know
Rooms: 254 rooms. From $147. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: All-day Qube serves multiple cuisines (Indian, Asian, Mediterranean) in a dramatic, glassed-in room surrounded by garden greenery; MEGU specializes in modern Japanese; Jamavar is the signature Indian restaurant. The chef of Le Cirque, the hotel’s French-Italian gourmet eatery, leads a culinary tour of some of New Delhi’s most interesting restaurants. Spa and gym details: The hotel has a gym, ESPA spa, and rooftop pool.
Who’s it best for: Luxury and business travelers who prefer the community of a large hotel; solo female travelers seeking a sense of security. Our favorite rooms: The 8th- and 9th-floor Royal Club rooms are worth the extra money for free airport transfers, breakfast, all-day snacks, afternoon tea, drinks, and private butler service. The Grand Suite has a private indoor pool with Jacuzzi and impressive city views. Explore the area: Skip a guided group tour, and book the hotel’s reasonably priced hotel car with driver service for sightseeing.
Luxury bathrobes, hair dryer, and complimentary toiletries.
Laptop size in-room Electronic Safe. Wired LAN or wireless Internet access. IDD telephone. Satellite TV, DVD Player, and CD Music system. Individually controlled air conditioning. Computers and laptops available for hire.
Views of New Delhi and the inner courtyard.
Spa by ESPA—Specializes in Ayurvedic-inspired therapies. Features products with natural ingredients. Roof terrace, relaxation lounge, and finishing studio. Sauna, steam and drench rooms. Café and fitness studio.
The Library—features a whisky collection, martinis, first edition books, and cigars.
Fitness studio in the Spa by ESPA.
The Qube—live show kitchen and an eclectic menu from around the world. Jamavar—Northern and Southern Indian cuisine. Le Cirque—French-Italian dishes and a show kitchen. Megu—formal Japanese cuisine. The Lobby Lounge—Light meals, finger sandwiches, pastries, coffee, tea, and other beverages.
New Delhi's only rooftop, temperature-controlled swimming pool; 24-hour butler service; dedicated concierge for all guests arrangements; On-call astrologer to draw your horoscope; Airline reservation service; BMW luxury fleet; audiovisual equipment available on hire; meeting rooms with open terrace; secretarial services; express check-in and check-out; baby-sitting service.
KAMAL - custom program catering to female travelers, including female housekeepers, butlers, and a dedicated KAMAL concierge.
Indian Journeys - custom travel itineraries around India in partnership with other Leela properties.
GRAND DELUXE ROOM
Equipped with modern facilities, impressive decor, and state-of-the-art amenities, these 552-square foot rooms also offer views of the city skyline and inner courtyard. Rooms are located from the second to seventh floors of the hotels, and amenities include complimentary hair dryer, iron and ironing board, mineral water bottles and a tea and coffee maker.
These rooms offer a picturesque view of the iconic Devi statue in the plush greens of the palace. They come equipped with modern facilities, impressive decor, and state-of-the-art amenities as well.
ROYAL PREMIER ROOM
With 600 square feet, these rooms provide a sweeping view of nature and greens at the palace. They come equipped with modern facilities, impressive decor, and state-of-the-art amenities as well.
GRAND PREMIERE ROOM
These large rooms offer panoramic views of the city skyline, luxury amenities, the latest technology, and spacious lounge seating.
THE ROYAL CLUB
The 600 square foot Royal Club guest rooms are designed to offer supreme comfort and luxury. Guests enjoy exclusive services such as complimentary food and beverage at the Royal Club Lounge, boardroom use, spa style shower heads, complimentary airport transfers, concierge services, and more.
The 840 square feet suite includes exclusive artwork, handcrafted tapestries, brocades, and rich wooden floor. Located on the second floor with views of the inner courtyard, there is a separate living room, bedroom, and connected bathroom with walk-in wardrobe.
With nearly 1,000 square feet, this two-bay suite has classic elegance. Located on the second, fifth, or ninth floors, rooms offer views of the city and inner courtyard.
GRANDE SUITE WITH POOL
Artistically designed with a grand Indian theme, this 1,090 square foot, two-bay suites offers both city and inner-courtyard views. The space features an expansive living room, separate bedroom, walk-in wardrobe, and bathroom. The highlight of this suite is the open to sky plunge pool that comes with Jaccuzi and can be temperature-controlled with a sitting area around.
The 1,520 square foot, two-bay suite on the ninth floor boast a spacious separate living room with vaulted ceilings and ornate detailing. In addition to the Leela's modern in–room comforts and amenities, the room has a private temperature-controlled plunge pool and Jacuzzi with seating overlooking the city skyline.
This 4,800 square foot private palace on the eighth floor features state-of-the-art facilities, such as a spacious bedroom, dining area, spa rooms, Jacuzzi, walk-in wardrobes, private gymnasium and more, with views of views of the inner courtyard. Amenities include 24-hour butler service and, understanding many Presidential Suite guest's need for privacy and enhanced security, the suite is equipped with bulletproof glass and a direct private elevator.