A colleague and I stayed at the Radisson Blu Marina for nine nights in November 2012.
As arranged, a driver from the hotel was waiting for us in Arrivals and took us on the half-hour journey to the hotel, which is in the business sector in central Delhi. This is an 1800 rupee service, which isn’t cheap, but at least you’ll get taken to the hotel of YOUR choice! Suggest arranging your own taxi back to airport (600 Rs).
As for taxis: we had to make a five-minute journey each day to the office. Hotel cars provided by the Radisson cost 400 rupees. Drivers also expected a tip (we gave 100 rupees). A non hotel-supplied taxi cost us between 100-150 Rs. No tip required. I'm told a tuk-tuk experience would have cost around 30 Rs. However, as we value our lives, we passed up on that particular opportunity. I do not recommend hiring a car for driving around Delhi, unless you have nerves of steel and unlimited insurance, as it's definitely a case of 'every man for himself'. Repeated use of the horn is, of course, mandatory.
During the day, New Delhi is shrouded in some kind of haze, possibly smog. There's a lot of dust around, partly due to the large number of ongoing roadworks and the building of an underpass. Many of the pavements (sidewalks) in the vicinity of the hotel (as everywhere) are strewn with rubble, so watch your footing, especially in poor light.
The hotel exterior is identical to most of the other buildings in the district, and the signage is quite understated. The area itself is busy with traffic, and almost right outside the front door, just beyond the gaze of the doormen, you'll be harassed by tuk-tuk drivers, beggars, friendly types who want to take you 'to their brother's shop', not forgetting the shoe shiners (whose accomplices, somehow, squirt something nasty on your shoe) offering you their services! Plenty of wild dogs, too. Further afield, look out for the monkeys, pigs, cows, goats etc.
There are two best things about the Radisson Blu Marina: the staff and the restaurant food. The attitude of the staff was, without exception, outstanding. Nothing was too much trouble, and any questions or issues we had were dealt with in a timely, efficient and friendly manner. Congratulations to whoever selected and trained the staff but deepest thanks go to the staff who made our stay so pleasant and trouble-free, especially Arun, who made it his mission to ensure we were happy.
There are two restaurants: The Great Kebab Factory and fifty9. Both were excellent. The former serves little tasters of various meat, fish or vegetarian kebabs, with breads and sauces. All were heavenly. Unlimited replenishment! There was a choice of four cold offerings for dessert which didn't appeal so we decided not to try. The Kebab Factory offers this meal at the fixed price of 1100 Rs + tax.
On to fifty9, which is billed as an international restaurant and promises a selection of dishes from around the world. Indian and Chinese food feature heavily. I tried some of each and cannot sing its praises highly enough. Staff are more than happy to describe the dishes (as the menu includes only the name of the dish) and ply you with pre-meal nuts/snacks while you make your choice. Every dish was a winner. The Indian meals, perhaps unsurprisingly, were the by far the best I'd ever tasted (my first time to India). More of a surprise was that the Chinese dishes were also superb, much better than anything I've experienced in the UK. They are best described as ‘Chinese, with an Indian twist’. Mains cost between 500 and 900 Rs, with rice etc coming in at around 300Rs – all plus taxes. Again, we didn't try the desserts…..too full. On one occasion the bottled beer was decidedly flat. Don't know what happened there but a replacement was offered as soon as this was mentioned.
A bottle of Kingfisher beer will knock you back 250 Rs (plus taxes).
Breakfast is served in fifty9, every morning from 0700 to 1030. Where do I start? Meats, cheeses, breads, cakes, cereals, yoghurts, fruit, porridge, bacon (not crispy), little sausages, a selection of Indian snacks and breads, plus coffee and tea. The only disappointment was the orange juice, which tasted cheap and nasty. Luckily there was always an alternative juice (grape/guava/apple etc) and these were always fine. I thought the coffee had an interesting taste so generally gave that a miss, too.
Being a coward, I ate only in the hotel, except for one excursion to the local KFC, where a perfectly acceptable Chicken Zinger meal was devoured.
If you just want a drink, head to The Connaught Rooms, where you can while away some time, in contemporary surroundings with your drinks and nibbles.
Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the hotel except for a small outside terrace, close to the Kebab Factory.
My room was clean, nice and large with a double bed (comfortable, king-size with big plump pillows), easy chair/footrest, office chair, three zillion-channel LCD TV, three phones, desk, minibar, wardrobe, electronic safe. Air conditioning maintained the temperature at a steady 20°C and the complimentary wifi kept me connected.
The free wifi is a Godsend and is reason enough to stay at any hotel. There were regular technical issues, meaning that access was denied about every other day. That said, a quick call to the front desk always resulted in a timely visit from one of the IT guys, who got me up and running again. The wifi signal seems strong throughout the hotel but the connection is not blisteringly fast. Fine for emails, Facebook, streaming radio, but not fast enough for stutter-free video streaming.
The hotel rooms all have double glazing. Nevertheless, a certain amount of traffic noise does seep in (along with the incessant honking). I didn't find it a problem, though.
My colleague requested a room change…twice. On the first occasion there was quite a strong bleach-type smell. The room they moved him to suffered from noise from the lift. His third room was fine.
There's an in-room tea/coffee tray, with sachets of this and that, and a kettle. I took my own jar of coffee so did not sample the delights. Nice clean stainless steel kettle. At some point during the afternoon, two home-made (and clingfilmed to a plate) biscuits would arrive. All very pleasant.
A daily paper was delivered to the room, free of charge, as was bottled water. Bathroom goodies were generously replenished. These included posh soap, not so posh soap, toothbrush/paste, comb, shower cap, shower gel, shampoo, disposable razor and 'ladies things'.
Talking of the bathroom, mine could have done with a little TLC. There was a slight damp smell in the shower, and the mirror was beginning to decay. Apart from that, perfectly fine. There’s a large shower enclosure with conventional and rain shower options. In the main part of the bathroom were the bath (with another shower attachment), toilet, wash hand basin, a huge number of variously-sized towels and a hair dryer.
Other snippets: The mains sockets are UK 13 amp, round-pin 15 amp and Euro two-pin. The front desk was happy to exchange small amounts of UK sterling to rupees. For more serious amount of ready cash there is an ATM within 30-seconds walk of the hotel entrance.
On our final day we took a daytrip to the Taj Mahal, something we arranged with the travel bureau adjacent to the hotel's main reception at a cost of 8400 rupees, all-in. The journey, via the new toll road, takes around three and a half hours, and is well worth the trip. Being driven through Agra was even more eye-popping than Delhi!
All in all, the hotel offered a great experience: an oasis of calm in the otherwise busy and vibrant city of New Delhi. Would I stay again? Can't wait!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.