The Imperial New Delhi Hotel in India

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Updated: October 9, 2019

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Review of The Imperial in Delhi, India.

The Imperial New Delhi – Indescribable elegance, charm, and history, yet very convenient.

Built in the 1930s, The Imperial is irrefutably the city’s finest. It just oozes colonial history – from the airy atriums and Victorian-era décor of the bars to the chandeliers, marble lobby floors, wrought-iron balustrades, and staff in appropriately regal attire. The rooms and suites are as exquisite as imagined, with several reminders of British India. Spend countless hours sipping gin and tonics on the lawns, splashing about the gorgeous pool, admiring the hundreds (if not thousands) of prints from the Raj era lining every wall, and indulging in the Turkish-style spa. On only four levels, all this elegance and tranquility is within just a few minutes’ stroll of all the facilities at Connaught Place.

The Imperial New Delhi – The Location

  • Address: The address is simply ‘Janpath, New Delhi’. Everyone knows it.
  • Area: Janpath is the main road heading north to the city center at Connaught Place. Lots of facilities within walking distance of the hotel, but parts of Janpath Road are unpleasant because of taxi touts and beggars.
  • How to Get There: From the airport, take the shuttle bus to the Aerocity metro station. Go to the New Delhi metro station and then get a connection to the Janpath station (just across the road from the hotel gates). Otherwise, a taxi (unmetered) to/from the airport will take about 45 minutes (20km).
  • Handy to: Connaught Place.

The Imperial New Delhi – The Basics

  • Guests: The colonial setting and history appeal more to tourists on upmarket trips than business people.
  • Views: On only 4 floors and distant from ugly high-rises. Rooms overlook the gardens, distant road (with soundproofing), or lawns. Some rooms do face inwards to an atrium.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Some suites feature jacuzzis in the bathrooms.
  • Wi-Fi: Should be available free for all guests throughout, but double-check when booking.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)11 2334 1234
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: theimperialindia.com

The Imperial New Delhi – Amenities

  • Pool: Undergoing extensive renovations in early 2019, the pool is large and very nicely designed. Plenty of shade and lounge chairs. Classes in ‘aquayogarobics’ also available.
  • Spa: The Imperial Spa is quite extraordinary: underground and Turkish-style, with a jacuzzi (free for guests). Special massage rooms for couples.
  • Fitness Center: Near the spa, the Health Club is the only part of the hotel that is really modern. All the latest gear, yoga classes, and personal trainers.
  • Other Facilities: Boutiques. Money-changing. Travel desk. Cooking classes. Racquet Club.

The Imperial New Delhi – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants: 1911 Restaurant – Exquisite setting, seemingly straight out of a film set about British India. All-day dining and lunch buffets. Terraced seating and suitably dressed staff. • The Spice Route – Award-winning and offering a menu specializing in cuisines from across India and Southeast Asia. Dress up. • Sam Gimignano – Italian bistro with terraced seating. Inspired by the Tuscany region and voted as the finest of its kind in Delhi. • Nostalgia at 1911 – Another very sophisticated café; this one focusing on European food. Extended wine list and live piano music. Dinner only. • The Atrium – Enchanting setting within an atrium. Light meals all day and very popular for afternoon High Teas. • La Baguette – Delicious pastries and cakes as well as light meals, e.g. quiches. • Daniell’s Tavern – Contemporary Indian cuisine and open-plan kitchen. Dinner only and live music nightly.
  • Bars: 1911 Bar – Very attractive U-shaped marble bar counter as well as leather chairs and even more wall prints. Wide range of cocktails and imported spirits. • Patiala Peg – With more chandeliers, prints of the Raj, and cocktails.
  • Breakfast: Not included. Can be paid for when booking.
  • Room Service: Available 24/7.

The Imperial New Delhi – Rooms

  • Room Types: Deco Rooms • Imperial Rooms • Heritage Rooms • Grand Heritage Rooms • Heritage Suites • Deco Suites • Luxury Suites • Royal Imperial Suites • The Eliza Experience
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking is allowed in the rooms or public areas.
  • Best Room: The Royal Imperial Suites feature 4-poster beds, jacuzzis, and huge living areas with full-length windows and gorgeous old-fashioned furniture. The chunky wooden doors, polished marble floors, and chandeliers add to the immense appeal.
  • For Families: Not really set up for families but could squeeze in an extra single bed into some rooms and suites. Some suites have connecting doors.

The Imperial New Delhi – Local Transport

  • Walking: Only 600m to all the shops, cafés, bars, and other facilities around Connaught Place, but this is one of the most traffic-clogged places on earth. Janpath Road, which links Connaught Place with the hotel, is home to a few unsavory taxi touts and beggars.
  • Public Transport: The Delhi Metro is quick, reliable, and excellent value. The closest metro station is called ‘Janpath’ and just across the road.
  • Taxis & Rickshaws: Taxis are white, poorly-signed, and surprisingly hard to find. Best to arrange through the hotel. None will use a meter and all are outrageously overpriced, so many locals use Uber and Ola. Contrastingly, auto-rickshaws are everywhere.

The Imperial New Delhi – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

  • Shrangi-La’s Eros – The closest hotel south down Janpath Lane (not Janpath Road). It offers: Tamra (variety of cuisines from India and across the continent) and Sorrento (award-winning Italian bistro/bar). 11-minute walk (850m).

A short walk north up Janpath Road from the hotel gates are many tempting choices (including Pizza Hut and McDonald’s):

  • 52 Janpath – The name is the address, but along a lane, so it’s distant from traffic noise. With a courtyard, charming interior, and a long menu of mainly western food. Live music on some nights. 4-minute walk (280m).
  • Café Delhi Heights – One in a chain of popular eateries. Upstairs for views, affable staff, and extra-long menu focused on healthy options. Drinks specials all day. 5-minute walk (350m).
  • And within 1.2km of the hotel – head right (east) along the outer ring road when reaching Connaught Place – are: Chili’s (grills and pasta, and always busy) (1km, 12-minute walk), Ministry of Beer (all sorts of ales and pub-style meals) (1.1km, 15-minute walk), and Brioche Dorée (inviting setting for pastries and light meals) (1.2km, 15-minute walk).

Shops

  • Plenty of places to spend money along Connaught Place, about 500m up Janpath Road. Don’t be put off by the incessant traffic and noise of the (one-way) outer ring road. Stroll among the endless places to eat, drink, and shop within the inner streets, and relax at Central Park, in the middle of the circle. 8-minute walk.

The Imperial New Delhi – The Hotel

The historic hotel has been renovated several times.

Built in the 1930s but renovated several times since, The Imperial only has 4 floors.

The hotel has a fantastic historical charm.

The hotel exudes a superlative historical charm, evidenced by the doorman.

The hotel's design reminds one of colonial times.

The design of The Imperial is so reminiscent of the colonial times when Britain ruled India.

The lobby and corridors feature marble flooring.

The lobby and the corridors radiating from it feature polished marble floors.

The hotel is filled with fascinating colonial-era Indian prints.

Every section of every wall is lined with different and fascinating prints of colonial-era India.

The spa's jacuzzi is complimentary.

Guests can enjoy the jacuzzi at the spa for free.

The spa offers rooms for couples.

Special rooms at the hotel spa are set aside for couples.

The on-site 1911 Restaurant has a wonderful historical charm.

The 1911 Restaurant at the hotel also exudes a historical charm unique in Delhi.

The Atrium is used as a tea lounge.

Because of the hotel layout, there are several atriums. One is used as a tea lounge and suitably called The Atrium.

La Baguette at the lobby is good for light meals and coffee.

For a light meal or leisurely coffee, try La Baguette near the lobby area.

The 1911 Bar also oozes historical charm and elegance.

The 1911 Bar is another section of the hotel that provides so much history and elegance.

1911 Restaurant offers outdoor seating.

Seating at the 1911 Restaurant extends outside and along the terrace.

Sam Gimignano Italian bistro also features colonial-era prints on its walls.

Sam Gimignano is an Italian bistro at the hotel. Its walls are also lined with fascinating prints of British India.

Sam Gimignano offers outdoor seating on its terrace.

Tables at Sam Gimignano spread out to an outdoor terrace.

The book and gift shop is very inviting and better than others in Delhi.

This is one of the more appealing shops within any hotel arcade in Delhi.

Heritage Rooms are exquisite.

The Heritage Rooms are as exquisite as imagined.

Rooms feature colonial era prints and decor.

The décor and prints all over the walls are reminiscent of colonial India.

The marble bathrooms are also very luxurious.

Of course, the marble bathrooms are also luxurious.

Sorrento restaurant at Eros hotel is close by.

A short walk down Janpath Lane is the Sorrento restaurant in the Shrangi-La’s Eros hotel.

52 Janpath is a courtyard cafe just steps from the hotel.

One of many within a 2-minute walk of the gates to The Imperial is the courtyard café called 52 Janpath.

Café Delhi Heights is very popular nearby.

Near 52 Janpath is the popular Café Delhi Heights.

The French-inspired Brioche Dorée is within walking distance at Connaught Place.

Along Connaught Place, and within 1.2km of the hotel, is the French-style café Brioche Dorée.

Ministry of Beer is popular for imported drinks and pub-style meals.

The Ministry of Beer is popular for imported drinks and pub-style meals, also along Connaught Place.

Chili’s is very popular at Connaught Place.

Another great place along the outer ring road in Connaught Place is the very popular Chili’s.

Connaught Place offers several places to eat, drink, and shop.

There are plenty of places to eat, drink, and shop along the roads within Connaught Place.

Central Park at Connaught Place is a welcome green oasis.

In the middle of Connaught Place, Central Park is a welcome patch of greenery.

The Connaught Place traffic can be overwhelming.

The traffic along the outer ring road at Connaught Place can be overwhelming at times.

The metro station is just across the hotel entrance.

The hotel gates are just across the road from the Janpath metro station.

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