This is a five star hotel in the diplomatic enclave, which is far and away the cleanest and safest part of Delhi for foreign travelers. We got very reasonable rates for the quality of the hotel--under $200 USD/night and free late checkout--much cheaper than the Leela as a comparable hotel. It is 30-45 minutes from the airport, but Taj drivers meet you at the arrival gate and whisk you right to the car--which is quite nice. Don't forget to buy a SIM card for your phone in the airport--difficult for foreigners to do so on the economy because of some weird bureaucratic restriction--welcome to India.
If you enjoy being pampered, Taj is the place for you. The rooms are very well-appointed with comfy beds, deep baths, western amenities in the restroom, fast internet, and very luxurious decor. Gym is well appointed also, and the in-house dining and restaurants are satisfactory-excellent. That said, it does put you in sort of a gilded cage, so if you really want to experience the grit, you'll have to step out of the hotel.
For runners willing to brave the Delhi smog, Nehru park is an easy jog from the hotel where all the locals go for exercise. The park itself has a well-maintained dirt track loop, and it is fun to run with the Indian youth (I got smoked), and see the different groups doing yoga, martial arts, or just enjoying a day in the park. Morning is best because the heat will BEAT YOU DOWN later in the day.
Agra and the Taj Mahal are about a 3 hour drive if you leave EARLY (we left at 5am). You can use a hotel driver, which is spendy but fast and comfortable, or the concierge will be happy to arrange you a taxi. Taj can also arrange a guide from their hotel in Agra for about $30 USD all day. The guide is good, but clearly takes a commission from the shops he will try to lure you into afterward--particularly the the photographer at the Taj and the very expensive inlayed marble shop. If you're not looking for glamour shots or high-end souvenirs, I would make that clear with him up front.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Modern crescent-shaped hotel situated on 6 acres in the diplomatic enclave, 15 minutes from city center. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Taj Palace New Delhi
- Hotel Taj Palace
- Hotel Taj Mahal Palace
- The Taj Mahal Hotel New Delhi
- The Taj Mahal Hotel Delhi
- Taj Mahal Hotel Delhi
- Taj Mahal Hotel New Delhi