The Best Hotels in New Delhi

Delhi’s diverse hotel scene includes luxury palaces, family-run B&Bs, and even homestays that offer a window into local culture. Since the sprawling city is prone to lengthy traffic jams, it’s vital to select a hotel near your scheduled activities.

Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Delhi, India
Talk about first impressions: Carved sandstone elephants welcome guests into a two-story chandeliered lobby at this palace-style hotel. Attentive service starts at check-in, with gifts of bindis and fresh jasmine necklaces. At 550-square-feet or larger, rooms are palatial themselves, and richly decorated with oriental carpets, jacquards, and hand-embroidered brocades. Those on higher floors offer panoramic city views, but many visitors choose spaces overlooking the internal courtyard or expansive garden (and away from a 16-lane highway) for a sense of calm. The hotel’s Edwardian-inspired bar draws locals and guests alike with its 25-page whiskey and scotch menu, as does a rooftop pool with stunning vistas over New Delhi’s urban landscape. Unique amenities include an on-call astrologer and, for women travelers, the option of an all-female service staff, including butler, gym instructors, and private city guides.
National Highway 8, D Block, Samalka, New Delhi, Delhi 110037, India
Designed by Thai architect Khun Lek Bunnag—who has garnered a reputation for building luxury resorts that highlight the natural beauty of southeast Asia (Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai; Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve)—the centerpiece of this peaceful boutique property is a 330-foot swimming pool that’s anchored by four massive gold-leaf columns and meanders through a forest-backed eight-acre garden. Vast domed and wood-covered rooms are controlled with iPads and express a fusion of modern Thai and Indian aesthetics—think sleek marble surfaces, whimsical panelled walls, and silk throw pillows. Guests are mostly couples and child-free travelers unfazed by the freestanding bathtubs that sit next to king-size beds and showers separated from sleeping areas by glass sliding doors. The many unfenced walkways over the swimming pool and other water features make the hotel unsuitable for very young children, though older kids might appreciate outdoor movie screenings.
Janpath Ln, Janpath, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001, India
New Delhi’s original power hotel, The Imperial opened in 1936 and played host to celebrities and historic figures: It was here, rather than at Connaught Place that Pandit Nehru, Mahatama Gandhi, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and Lord Mountbatten met to discuss the partition of India and creation of Pakistan. Though renovation has lent a bit of a corporate vibe to the high-ceilinged hallways, the hotel still oozes nostalgia at every turn. A vast museum-worthy collection on display throughout public and private spaces includes life-size oil portraits of princely rulers, statuary, tapestries, old photographs, and British and Indian military and polo regalia. Rooms come in Victorian, Indian heritage, and Art Deco motifs, with marble floors, sumptuous velvet furnishings, and antique rugs. The centerpiece of the palm-studded lawn is a huge, beautifully tiled swimming pool where red-uniformed staff deliver ice-cold drinks to sunbathers in the stultifying heat, but if you prefer a moodier venue for your cocktails, the property has a library-like bar with wood-panelled walls as well as four atmospheric restaurants serving every kind of cuisine. And don’t miss the afternoon tea, enjoyed in the light-filled atrium.
Dr Zakir Hussain Marg, Delhi Golf Club, Golf Links, New Delhi, Delhi 110003, India
New Delhi’s first modern business and luxury hotel, built in 1965, is a contemporary white box amid a sea of greenery. After a $100 million makeover overseen by starchitect Adam Tihany, The Oberoi now has 220 large rooms inspired by Sir Edwin Lutyens’s original plans for the city, with peacock-blue accents, spacious bathtubs, and super fast WiFi. Beloved restaurant threesixty˚ maintains its see-and-be-seen status thanks to its airier layout, and a new rooftop bar has become the go-to cocktail spot on warm-weather days. But the enthusiastic, attentive staff remains unchanged, earning adoration from repeat guests who appreciate the brand’s reliable and faultless service. Indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, proximity to a large golf course, and the convenient location just south of Delhi Gate make this hotel a great place to relax at the beginning or end of a countrywide tour.
Subramaniam Bharti Marg
Still known to locals as the Ambassador, the hotel is a listed heritage site built in 1945 by colonial architect Walter Sykes George in a fusion of British and Art Deco styles. But its purchase and refurbishment by the Taj Hotels group ensures its present-day comforts, namely pet-friendly rooms with high ceilings, reliable WiFi, and 24-hour room service. While the early clientele included Indian royals, today the building attracts business and leisure travelers looking for a terrific value for their money and a convenient launchpad from which to experience modern New Delhi—it’s next door to one of the city’s most upscale shopping malls. Shop till you drop, then return to the hotel for international favorites like burgers, pasta, and steaks, as well as Indian tandoori specialties at Yellow Brick Road restaurant.
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