Summary : Accommodation in Delhi is very good
Accommodation in Delhi is very good, if expensive. As in Bombay, budget travellers stay here just long enough to acclimatise to the country or recover from it, before moving out to cheaper regions. The busy time for Delhi hotels is October to March; I uring these months, if you want a decent room it’s essential to advance-book. During 11w low season (May to September), many larger hotels offer 10-25% discounts, though you’ll still find the usual 20% expenditure tax on rooms costing more than Rs 1 200 /US$50 per night, and a 5-10% service charge on all hotel bills. A good many high-class hotels are located away from the city centre, in and around the select I )iplomatic Enclave. They are, however, not particularly convenient for sightseeing or shopping.
Prices In the gateway cities, tariffs are naturally higher. That said, it is possible to live in a great deal of style in the moderate price range; budget hotels are more difficult to find—harder still to recommend. We have listed those cheap lodgings which have managed to retain their reputation; others will come and go. If you are on a budget, keep your ear to the travellers’ grapevine. Prices listed below do not include tax.
Expensive-Luxury (US$100-250 per room night) The Taj Mahal Hotel, 1 Mansingh Rd (tel 3016162, tlx 31-61898, fax 011-3017299) combines quality, comfort and service. It is remarkably restrained and ‘personal’ for a five-star hotel, and is geared very much to the general traveller. There’s a good choice of restaurants, a nice pool exclusively for guests, and cosy (if smallish) rooms at US$160 single, US$175 double. India’s first modern luxury hotel, The Oberoi, Dr Zakir Hussain Marg (tel 4363030, tix 31-63222, fax 011-4360484), is still the smartest place in town, with the swishest pool, and the most livable rooms. There’s a wide range of facilities, including an executive centre for business visitors. You have a choice of views, of the golf course where peacocks strut on the putting greens, and of Humayun’s Tomb.
Two deluxe hotels next to each other on Sardar Patel Marg are the Taj Palace Inter-Continental (tel 3010404, tlx 31-61673, fax 011-3011252) and the Welcomgroup Maurya Sheraton (tel 3010101, tlx 31-61447, fax 011-3010908). The Taj Palace is a popular conference venue, with excellent rooms from US$140, good restaurants and what is probably the best hotel shop in India; The Khazana. The Maurya Sheraton is well known for its two Indian restaurants, its discotheque and the new Jazz Bar. Rooms are from US$135. Also in south Delhi is the Hyatt Regency (tel 6881234, tlx 031-61512, fax 011 78833) with rooms from US$140.
Nearer to the centre of town, on Janpath, at Windsor Place is Hotel Le Meridien (tel 3710101, fax 011-3714545) with views over Lutyens’s city. Rooms range from US$140. At the southern tip of Janpath is Claridges Hotel, 12 Aurangzeb Road (tel 3010211, fax 011-3010625) with a friendly atmosphere and large rooms. Rooms at US$70 upwards are excellent value for this price category. Even closer to the centre, the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza, Barakhamba Avenue (near Connaught Place) (tel 3320101, fax 011-3325335) is a smart new property with a wide range of restaurants and facilities. Rooms from US$140.
Mid-range (US$25-100 per room night) In the city centre itself, there are a variety of mid-range hotels. Hotel Kanishka, 19 Ashok Rd (tel 3324422, tix 31-62788), has 3 restaurants, 24-hour coffee shop, many facilities, and comfy rooms at Rs1350 single, Rs1500 double. Hotel Imperial in Janpath (tel 3325332, tix 31-62603 HIMP IN, fax 011-3324542) is famous for its colonial flavour and for its popular pool. A great many Westerners stay here. Friendly staff, good food, a nice shopping arcade, and charming rooms with floral wallpaper, Victorian furniture and TVs, make this a real favourite. Tariffs are US$54 single, US$60 double.
Other centrally located mid-range hotels with rooms from Rs800-1200 with a good reputation include Hans Plaza, 19 Barakhamba Rd (tel 3216861, fax 011- 3314830); Connaught Palace, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Marg (tel 344225, fax 011- 310757); and The Ambassador, Sujan Singh Park (tel 690391) which has a good vegetarian restaurant.
In Old Delhi, the Oberoi Maidens, 7 Sham Nath Marg (tel 2525464, tlx 31-66303) is a jewel of colonial architecture set amidst 8 acres of emerald-green lawns, and the only viable hotel in this area. It offers spacious old-style rooms for Rs1350 single, Rs1550 double and a quaint ‘peppermint pool’, tennis courts, and a restaurant with a good reputation for Western food.
Budget (under US$25/Rs750 per room night) Nirula Hotel, L Block, Connaught Circus (tel 3322419) is central and relatively cheap. The famous restaurant is just upstairs, the hotel is centrally air-conditioned, with pleasant rooms at US$24 single, US$36 double. It is noisy, though. Travellers speak well of the Asian International, Janpath Lane (tel 3321636), which offers smart singles/doubles at Rs380 /580). Good mentions too for the Ashok Yatri Niwas, 19 Ashok Rd (tel 3324511), which has a nice air-conditioned bar, passable canteen, “ pular restaurant specialising in south Indian food, and good- value single/double • rooms at US$11-US$15. A friendly place, modest and quiet, is Roshan Villa Guest I (tel 3311770, 3317240), 7 Babar Lane, 1 km south-east of Connaught Place. toil is good here, and staff take care of all your travel arrangements. If you’re new to the country, the best inexpensive place to use as your base while you adapt is the MCA Tourist Hostel, Jai Singh Rd (tel 311915). Comfortable and clean, it has useful ifnaclucdiinlgi mtioenesy exchange, travel agency, restaurant, swiming-pol, tennis courts, baggage room, and well-priced rooms at Rs235 single, Rs400 double (with air-conditioning, Rs420-700).
It is wise to advance-book this one, or be at the desk at 12 noon sharp to reserve vacated rooms. Cheaper rooms, in the high season, can be hard to find. As in Bombay, you often have to be at the better budget lodges very early in the morning to snap up any rooms goings. The main cheap hotel area is around Connaught Place—Ringo’s, Gandhi’s And Hotel Palace Heights—all with rooms from less than Rs50 a night. In Paharganj, popular cheapies include hotels Vivek, Vishal and Navrang. You can get a Rs25 nhared-dorm bed at several places near Old Delhi Railway Station. In many residential colonies of south and west Delhi private homes have been converted into small hotels and guest-houses with rates of about Rs450 and upwards. As many are located in residential areas they are usually quiet and moistly used by businessmen from out of town. Almost all have a limited form of loom service and most rooms are air-conditioned and have cable TV. The main tourist office in Janpath has an up-to-date list of guest-houses but a few worth noting are Shervani Fort View, 11 Sunder Nagar (tel 611771); Jukaso Inn, 50 Sunder Nagar (tel 690309), and Panchsheel Inn, C-4 Panchsheel Enclave (tel 433874).