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Reviewed March 26, 2013

Several people I know who have stayed here were very impressed, but we felt that it was a very good hotel, yet not five star. We were here three nights as part of an Abercrombie & Kent tour of India, and it had some stiff competition for being rated five stars among the other wonderful hotels where we stayed. Indeed, the public areas are very interesting; lots of art to look at and beautiful Art Deco touches. It is a busy hotel; the lobby is small and always seemed crowded; the area outside the hotel is also rather chaotic due to the subway construction (not the hotel’s fault of course!); and the hotel seems to host big groups for conferences. All in all it didn’t seem an oasis to us, unlike some of the other Indian hotels where we stayed. We were booked in a Heritage Room by A & K and it was fine - although it was on the ground floor it was not in a noisy area, but neither did it have much of a view. It was a very large (and clean) room, Art Deco styling with high ceilings. Small bathroom had both a tub and separate shower- and a loud water hammer in the loo. Hairdryer weak, anchored in a drawer (hate that design) and cord too short. Pleasant toiletries (Fragonard.) The king-sized bed too firm for our taste, even though we prefer a firm mattress. A/C fan was too violent, even on the lowest setting – and aimed right at the bed. We ate in the hotel’s restaurants each night, and had breakfast in the 1911 Restaurant. There is a wide selection on offer and the breakfasts were good, although a large conference group ate breakfast all at the same time one morning and it wasn’t restful then - the staff were harried. We had dinner on the verandah of 1911 one night when we just wanted something light after a big lunch (at an excellent cooking class with Jyoti of “Gourmet Desire”, see separate review.). Sat outside and it was pleasant. A second evening we ate at the “1911 Brasserie”, where we were one of only two tables. The meals are “nostalgic” retro choices, many flambéed at the table, with dishes like lobster thermidor. In the daytime it is the breakfast room but in the evening they hang up banners with pictures of old movie stars and it becomes a retro dining room. There is a pianist, but she was having an off night when we were there, and kept stopping and starting and it was not restful. However we enjoyed the meal very much and the service was friendly and personable. (Even though we were far too full for dessert they brought some anyway.) On a third evening we ate at “San Gimignano”, which was disappointingly nothing like any restaurant where we’ve eaten in the real-life San Gimignano. It wasn’t bad (apart from the very poor quality olive oil served with bread for dipping), just underwhelming. Again, only one other table was occupied while we were there. (We were advised on booking that there was a dress code - “no shorts, no slippers” - which was the first time we have ever encountered this. maybe that scared away other diners!) The room was attractive; the staff polite but distant. We found all of the staff in the hotel to be courteous, but those in 1911 (at breakfast, lunch and dinner) were more in the mould of the wonderful staff we encountered in the Taj group hotels - both efficient and pleasant. We should have tried the much-lauded “Spice Route” I guess, but living in Australia we eat a lot of Thai food, and this menu seemed to lean heavily in that direction. Also it has many negative reviews online. As we were at the end of our three weeks in India we were beginning to want Continental food for a change. Would have liked to try The Atrium but it was taken over by the large conference group on the only afternoon we were free.
Note: If you decide to walk to the Central Cottage Industries Emporium from The Imperial then ask the hotel concierge for directions – this government-run craft store is just across the road from The Imperial but because of the subway construction chaos there are hoardings screening it from view. There may be attempts from people on the street to misdirect you (see separate review) as happened to us.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank ozitravlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

The hotel expands the imagination. Set on 8 acres in Janpath, the gardens are manicured with
detail and the potted plants are moved daily to create a change in scenery with colour and depth.
The marble throughout is gentle on the eye and beautiful works of art hang throughout the hotel.
Art deco figures grace areas and it is an experience of taking your time as you stroll and smell the
gentle fragrance of oils infusing. The staff are polished and serve with grace and charm. I have
had the opportunity of making friends in this memorable hotel and I will return in the future.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank belinda w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

This hotel is outstanding. I have traveled the world and this is right up there as one of the best urban hotels I have ever visited. We stayed twice, once in a Grand Heritage Room and the second time we were in a suite. The public areas of the hotel are full of history and are immaculate. The pool area is stunning. The accommodations are beautifully furnished and more than comfortable. The staff helpful and not over-bearing like some places in India. Breakfasts were all you could ask for and we had a wonderful evening at Spice Route enjoying their tasting menu and received a detailed tour of the restaurant. The bars were full of atmosphere. We felt quite at home. This is a truly unique historic property right in the center of New Delhi. I could not imagine staying anywhere else.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank SteveTait
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Eventhough the stay was very short,I throughly enjoyed the stay.Beautiful hotel with amazing ambience.food was alright.hotel's location is in d heart of the city.will come back for a laid back vacation soon!

  • Stayed: January 2013
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Thank snigdha_sharma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2013

Doormen and doorwomen, draped in stiff, bygone uniforms, usher you in with a "Welcome Home." I suppose it could work. I mean, if there were a culture of familial warmth then, yes, I'd buy that. But I'm afraid it just won't wash. For all its polished elan, make no mistake, this is a corporate venture where guests are profit opportunities not welcome relatives. Lovely room and tip-top nibbles in the bar, but these birds have flown this nest never to return.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank AndrewandStephanie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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