3 x Delhi havens of calm
Visitors to the Indian capital welcome some peace at the end of a frazzling day. We choose three favourites of Delhi accommodation.
Luxury and indulgence
The Taj Mahal Hotel is a favourite luxury retreat at the heart of the mayhem.
Towering above the broad and leafy avenues of New Delhi, the hotel offers sumptuous rooms, top dining, and easy access to the best markets (fashionable Kahn Market is a five-minute auto-rickshaw ride away) and attractions such as the India Gate and Old Delhi landmarks including the Jamil Masjid mosque and Red Fort.
The jewel in the crown is the excellent menu at Varq, one of seven restaurants, which eschews any attempts at Indo-Euro fusion. Diners feast on creations drawing on Indian ingredients and culinary tradition.
Elsewhere, the gourmet buffet offered by magnificent Sunday brunch at multi-cuisine Machan is something of a Delhi institution. Rick’s lounge bar sets a trendy pace especially at weekends with after-dinner jazz and dance. A spacious spa and outdoor swimming pool complete the list of therapeutic options. tajhotels.com
Cosy and comfy
Homestay Thikana Delhi in the leafy Gulmohar Park suburb, halfway between the international airport and New Delhi, is a ten-minute cab ride from the trendy boutiques and restaurants of Hauz Khas Village. Hosted by the ever friendly and welcoming Atul and Sheetal Bhalla, Thikana is one of the most stylish and comfortable guesthouses in town and a favourite home-away-from-home with repeat visitors.
Bedrooms are spacious and tastefully decorated, the lounge areas are decorated with striking ornaments and elegant furniture, and the breakfasts are plentiful. Although there is no restaurant, guests can order in from the many eateries in the vicinity, while the rooftop terrace is the perfect place to meet other guests and enjoy a calming sun-downer. thikanadelhi.com
Cool and calm
Good boutique hotels are thin on the ground in Delhi, which makes Shanti Home in the Janakpuri district a special treasure. It’s a 30-minute metro trip into the heart of New Delhi from Shanti Home, but it’s worth the return journey at the end of the day to experience the tasteful, ornately decorated rooms, and the gallery of fine contemporary Indian art.
Shanti Home’s ace in the hole is the Lantern Terrace Garden Restaurant on the rooftop, romantically candle-lit with only a hint of Bollywood schmaltz and specialising in delicious northern Indian tandoori dishes. This is also where guests enjoy breakfast, look out across the rooftops, and watch Delhi’s morning life begin to stir. shantihome.com
Text and photos by Tim Bird
This article is published in the November 2016 issue of Blue Wings.