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“Really Over-rated.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Imperial Hotel

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The Imperial Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Janpath, New Delhi 110001, India   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 626 Hotels in New Delhi
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Los Angeles
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Really Over-rated.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2007

We spent 3 days at the Imperial in December 2006. All the advance press about it touts it as "the best hotel in Delhi"...Sure it looks great. But below the surface it's just mediocre. The staff while seemingly willing and friendly never manages to deliver on any request. Most of the rooms have windows on interior courtyards which means they're really quiet. If you get an outside view room be prepared for lots of noise. Including the bang bang of the staff fixing chairs while you're trying to recover from jeg lag. The Spice Route is claimed by Conde Nast Traveller to be one of the 10 best restaurants --- but clearly their reviewer has not been eating in any even middle of the road fusion restaurants in New York, London or Los Angeles. A good restaurant in any of these places wins hands down in a competition with the Spice Route. Where by the way the staff attitude is decidely unfriendly. Now let's talk about prices. Every meal was over priced but the most riduculous offense of all was that the Imperial charges as much for a bottle of domestic Indian white wine (Sula) as they do for an import from France or California: between US$60-70 for something you can buy on the street for US$8.00. Bottom line: over priced, over rated, under delivers. They clearly have contempt for their well travelled target market who all have enough experience to know this hotel is a sleekly packaged rip off.

  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,947 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (332)
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california
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2007

It is highly recommended due to its reputation, and I'm actually fine with their practice of keeping those pesky tuk-tuk drivers off the premises. The facilities look opulent inside and the air smelled of lemon or giner in the halls, which is very refreshing after coming in from the pollution outside. The restaurants can get costly. I didn't think the Spice Market restaurant was anything to rave about. Decent, pricey and it was really dark in there! The pool was nothing special. The gym is small, but I enjoy small hotel gyms. The building is old of course, and the windows are pretty thin because one can hear all kinds of outside noises from the room. Bathing was quite an experience: I got dirtier than if I hadn't bathed because as I filled the tub, the water was yellow! To top it off, we were ripped off with the taxes at check-out (should have been based on the discounted rate that we reserved the room for and not based on full price!) Management didn't care to apologize or rectify this even after we lodged a formal complaint. Also, I think that having people constantly open the entrance doors seems a bit pesky and impractical. Why not install automatic doors?

Stayed May 2005
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2006

We have stayed at all the top hotels in India including Udaivilas, Rajvilas and Amarvilas and found that The Imperial more than holds it own. The hotel is full of authentic old photographs and furnishings but has been thoroughly renovated to a very high standard. We particularly recommend the heritage rooms if you staying with a child as the room is beautiful and very large to accomodate the third bed. In fact, we declined a heritage suite because the room was so good. The food is fantastic in Daniell's Tavern and we really enjoyed the life music. The food was among the best we've had in India and no health problems. The hotel is also surprisingly quiet and tranquil given that it is bang in the centre of New Delhi. Frankly, the only place to stay in New Delhi. I note another reviewer complained about the pricing but we never felt ripped off. The hotel is expensive but delivers. And if the security guards are hesitant about letting in autorickshaw at least it shows that are making a safe environment for guests.

  • Stayed November 2006, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2006

I had high expectations on booking this hotel based on past reviews and previous travellers to Delhi who saw the hotel from the outside.
The trouble started even before we got there. Their pickup charge from Nizamuddin train station was INR 4000?!? So we took a normal taxi from the train station instead (cost: INR200 and we overpaid).
When we got to the driveway, we were prevented from stopping in front of the lobby. Instead our taxi was directed away from the sheltered porch like some kind of pariah. Despite a 2 year old son in my arms, I had to call attention to my luggage.
This was to happen 2 other times when we took an auto-rickshaw back to the premises of this rarefied "high-class" hotel even though by then it was obvious that we were guests
. When I brought up this issue to the hotel manager, he was unapologetic and said things about how there are many beggars and such in India, and that auto-rickshaws (which run on LPG by the way) were a source of pollution.
I think he really meant that "proper" guests at his wonderful hotel should not use Tuk-Tuks. Our interaction with the staff was characterised by this "better-than-thou" attitude. And this to paying guests mind you. They obviously treated caucasian guests better (I'm Singaporean) so if you like that kind of thing, you will be right at home.
Even though we stayed in a suite, we had no view, and the bathroom was lousy (shower spurted at all the wrong places, bathtub stopper did not work).

  • Liked — nothing
  • Disliked — staff
  • Tips/Secrets — avoid
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottetown, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2006

An absolutely beautiful hotel - the 'museum hotel' in all its grandeur. The service is top rate; the restaurants are out of this world. I have stayed in five star hotels all over the world and would rate this at the top of my list for best overall. If I had to quibble with anything it would be the hard mattress but that is a minor complaint in an otherwise superb hotel experience.

  • Liked — ambience; restaurants
  • Disliked — hard mattress
  • Tips/Secrets — Call ahead for hotel taxi to meet you at Delhi Airport
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2006

After traveling in the North of India for work, this hotel could not have been more of a lifesaver. The room was gorgeous and very comfortable - fantastic bed and linens, beautiful marble floors and bath, excellent amenities. Had excellent meals both at Spice Route (a must just for the exotic decor) and the french bistro. Spent some time in the bar working on my laptop - service was attentive and very friendly. I felt extremely comfortable in this hotel despite it's imposing public rooms - I found the service had just the right tone. Highly recommended.

  • Liked — impeccable decor and comfort, fgracious yet riendly service
  • Disliked — paying for internet access in a hotel of this caliber
  • Tips/Secrets — Spice Route restaurant is a must see
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Top Contributor
137 reviews 137 reviews
135 hotel reviews
Reviews in 111 cities Reviews in 111 cities
720 helpful votes 720 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2006

I had heard good things about The Imperial, but I was still genuinely surprised when the hotel car from the airport dropped us off. You would never for a second believe that the hotel is 75 years old – it looks brand new. The refurbishment has been total – every fixture, every fitting replaced, whilst retaining a 1930’s look. It is as good as Raffles in Singapore, and without the hordes of passing tourists (although tourists still seem to make up 90% of guests - very few suits). Acres of marble and hundreds of artworks line the corridors. The five restaurants offer a superb variety of food from around the world. Even the location is good (for a tourist) – right in the middle of New Delhi.

The only problems surrounded our original room, a Deco Suite, which seemed to be cursed! The electronic door control wouldn’t work, the air con would not go off, the TV had a constant hum unless it was unplugged and, to cap it all, the room overlooked some noisy equipment on the roof of an adjacent hotel building. We were moved to a huge suite, with a combined steam room / shower and a Jacuzzi bath!

If you stay here, I recommend hiring a green and yellow Delhi cab from the hotel rank for a day. It will cost around $10-$15 and is the easiest way to get around the New Delhi sites – Gandhi museum, Nehru museum, India Gate, parliament building, Hurmayan’s tomb (highly recommended) and Khan Market. If your flight departs very late at night, you can negotiate a very late check-out (11pm in our case) with the hotel for a charge. In summary, there are cheaper five star hotels in Delhi but none are as beautiful or offer the same variety of eating and drinking as The Imperial.

  • Liked — The beautiful renovations
  • Disliked — Too many problems with our original room, but none with the replacement
  • Tips/Secrets — Price dropped sharply 3 weeks before arrival - keep rechecking the hotel website
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Imperial Hotel

Address: 1 Janpath, New Delhi 110001, India
Location: India > National Capital Territory of Delhi > New Delhi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in New Delhi
#4 Business Hotel in New Delhi
#4 Luxury Hotel in New Delhi
#6 Romantic Hotel in New Delhi
#7 Family Hotel in New Delhi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Imperial Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 233
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Also Known As:
Imperial Hotel New Delhi
Imperial New Delhi
Imperial Hotel Delhi
Hotel Imperial
The Imperial Palace Hotel
Grand Imperial Hotel
The Imperial New Delhi
The Imperial Hotel Delhi

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