The Leela Palace was our first stop in India. Rated on Trip Advisor as the #1 hotel in Delhi, it is easy to see why. Our flight from Australia arrived at a very early hour, and by the time we had cleared immigration, and all that goes with arriving in a new country, we found with ease the complementary hotel car which was there to collect us, and which whisked us away to arrive at the hotel at about 4am. In keeping with a place of this standing, we were greeted professionally and respectfully, and given a brief orientation to the hotel before collapsing into bed.
We had 2 further nights at the Leela, and could not fault the place. Everywhere we went the staff greeted us with a friendly “Namaste”, and what seemed to be a real smile. We had chosen to stay in one of their “Royal Club” rooms, which gave us a more personalised breakfast experience, and complimentary drinks/canapés of an afternoon. Having said that, we chose to take breakfast in The Qube on the ground floor for 2 of our 3 meals. The selection is wide, as ever the service quite marvellous and the overall layout/ambience excellent, looking out as is does into the gardens.
An example of the service … I needed a large (ish) amount of Rupees. I asked one of the many people on the front door where the nearest ATM was. I as directed across the road. Not being familiar with the withdrawal limits at ATMs, I was unable to withdraw as much as I wanted, and thought the machine was faulty. I walked back to the hotel, and another of the security men asked if all was well. I said I had a problem, and attempted to explain it. We had a bit of a language barrier, and so he removed his gloves, issued an advice (in Hindi) to one of his work colleagues, and signalled for me to follow him. I had no idea why/where. We disappeared into the bowels of the building, and then we arrived, deep down by the HR department, at what I figured to be the staff ATM. He waited outside until I completed my transaction (unsuccessfully, but that was not of his making, but mine as I later figured out), and then showed me where to return by a shortcut to the main foyer. Completely above and beyond, especially from a man whose job was mainly to direct traffic and provide security, not necessarily had direct guess contact.
Another thing I liked was the sign in the room which said the hotel discouraged individual tipping, and that a lump sum could be left discreetly at reception upon departure, if the guest so wished, and that this would be distributed equitably amongst the team. This is a great concept, and also alleviates the pressure of constantly having your hand in your pocket, and wondering whether you have given a reasonably amount. A number of other hotels did this also – a great practice.
Whether the Leela deserves its #1 rating is a big call, but it certainly is very good, and worth the tariff. It’s a special place, and amongst the top hotels I have ever stayed at.
- Also Known As:
- The Leela Palace New Delhi Hotel New Delhi
- The Leela Palace New Delhi Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Leela Palace Kempinski at Chanakyapuri is located in the exclusive Diplomatic Enclave and has room sizes starting from 520 Sq ft. The hotel is close to the seat of government and houses four restaurants, two bars and a spa floor area of 6500 sq ft. The Hotel offers complimentary broadband access of 10 mbps for its club guests along with breakfast and round trip airport transfers by a BMW 5 or 7 series car. ... more less
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