I'd always heard that one should stay at one of the big luxury hotels in Delhi if one can afford it. While my employer would have covered the Taj, I decided I'd rather try something smaller and more homey, away from the crowds. I'm so glad I did. The staff was friendly and helpful, the room pleasant and well-appointed, and the rooftop dining was really nice, both for breakfast and dinner. (Breakfast is included, while dinner you just request sometime beforehand--both times I did it late-afternoon which was fine, and was given a 7:30-8pm slot.) In fact I ate dinner there for 2 of my 3 nights--the first night I met a lovely couple from Wales, which is the sort of thing that's easier to do at a smaller place like this. The chicken masala dinner was excellent, and the butter chicken dinner was very good.
A major plus for me was the Defence Colony neighborhood, which has lots of trees and is a welcome respite from the hustle of the city. The guest house is about a 15-min walk from shopping and restaurants, in a fun little neighborhood that's decidedly not touristy. There's a great little electronics shop there where I got a SIM card for my phone and some other items like a surge protector. At the owner's recommendation I took my last dinner at Swagath (fish gassi with appam), which was excellent. I probably should have gotten out a bit more, but after a day of sightseeing it's nice to just relax and eat on the rooftop.
The owner also has a jewelry shop, Amrapali, with a beautiful selection of art jewelry in Khan Market. That market and the shop are not the cheapest, but a lot easier to deal with for the neophyte or rushed husband than Chandni Chowk (the bazaar in Old Delhi), and I liked the offerings better. All told, I highly recommend this guest house.
PS--I was shocked that my guidebook and the advice I'd gotten barely mentioned Qtub Minar, which is 30 mins out of town. (I had a private car/driver for my stay--really nice.) This was by far the best site I visited in Delhi--really impressive.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A great favorite with business travelers and overseas tourists alike, offering a truly comfortable, elegant place to stay. Colonel's Retreat has been lovingly created by people who are frequent global travelers themselves and who take pride in maintaining the highest world-class standards of hospitality. All rooms are air-conditioned rooms with cable TV, refrigerator, free wi-fi, electronic safe. Attached baths, with hot and cold running water. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Colonel`s Retreat Hotel New Delhi