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“One of the best reasons to visit Delhi”
Review of The Imperial Hotel

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The Imperial Hotel
Ranked #13 of 779 Hotels in New Delhi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 3, 2007

This is a superb hotel - and if you are going to Delhi and want to treat yourself - this is the place to do it. The dining is wonderful with several options - some of the best Indian food I have ever eaten has been here. The rooms are wonderful - spacious and clean. The ambiance in the hotel is just very restful and elegant. At night centerpieces with candles are in the main hall intersections, during the day the candles are replaced with flowers. There are areas to meet to enjoy a drink with a friend - all with fine service. Forget check-in at the desk, a clerk escourts you to your room and fills out the paperwork after pointing out the amenities and seeing if you are comfortable. Where else is there a "Pillow Menu" ?(no kidding) - choose your favorite type of pillow. This same type of treatment is given thoughout.

There are a few areas for improvement. Reservations in particular could use some help. I booked on Orbitz and even though I tried to communicate to the hotel several times they could not find the record. Finally they did, and I was informed by email that everything was OK - when I arrived the airport pick up was not arranged - there was a staff member from the hotel stationed at the airport - who was very kind, and arranged for a "taxi" but it was not the hotel car (and not the same price either) so it was all ok.... he was very kind to two weary travelers - but it should not have been a problem in the first place. A similar confusion was met at the front desk before they "found me" (even after the phone call from the airport from their own staff member) and then I was wisked upstairs as described - all was good. Then on checkout - a similar problem - they did not show me as pre-paid, and it took a while to striaghten it out. Again, very professionally handled but it should not have been necessary in the first place.

I rebooked for our return on the hotels web site. Be careful - they require 72 hour notice for cancellation. I unfortunately had to cancel due to flight changes, and I again had a confusing back and forth email interchange where they told me to cancel through the booking agent used - but the agent was THEIR web site that did not allow me to cancel due to the several days of back and forth that occurred. Email interactions with the hotel take 24 hours - agan too slow for a Hotel of this caliber. They did straignten it out - eventually - but these types of things should not be a problem and mars an exceptional hotel visit.


But let's put things into perspective. Even with this confusion - this is just a great hotel - and worth every penny.... Luxury tax or not.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank T00ManyAirMiles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,489 - 2,495 of 3,131 reviews

Reviewed August 28, 2007

We booked to stay at the Imperial twice. On our arrival in Dehli we couldn't have been more pleased with our choice. The style and ambience of the hotel gave it a great deal of charm and character. The room, service and breakfast was everything you would expect from a high class establishment.
The location is great for walking to Connaught Place but if you want to travel further I suggest you walk a few minutes away from the main gate to get an auto rickshaw as the opening price drops considerably before hangling begins.

Things however were not so pleasant on our return. We were due to stay here again on our last night before flying home, arriving around midnight on the train from Agra. On arrival we were told, despite having made the reservation at the same time as our earlier visit, that the hotel was full (government delegation) and that we would need to transfer to another hotel (The Park ).

Given the lateness of the hour we reluctantly agreed only to find that this hotel was not a patch on the Imperial despite our being upgraded to a suite. In the morning therefore we returned to the Imperial to complain about our treatment. To their credit they did try to make amend by giving us the use of a room for the afternoon (our flight was in the evening), a complimentary meal in the Spice Routes restaurant and a transfer to the airport.
However double booking is not something I expect from five star establishments

Overall if you get to stay at the Imperial you will love it but be aware that they may not honour your booking.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TonyBoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2007

At checkout - all guests find out that there has been a 12.5% luxury tax applied to their bill which is standard in India. The SCAM is that The Imperial applies the 12.5% tax to the RACK RATE not the room rate that we were charged. Our nightly rate was $189, but the luxury tax applied was based on a $450 room rate. For two nights, this was more than $100. This tax situation is never mentioned when you book your room or when you check in, you find out when you check out.

We also stayed at The Park Hotel in Delhi - and they are doing the same SCAM to their customers, but in their case we were charged 12.5% of a $300 rack rate (about $75 for two nites), when our room rate was $168.

This proves that the RACK RATES are randomly assigned and have no basis in reality. The hotel staffs say that everyone who checks out has the same bad reaction. Who wouldn't? This is unacceptable from any hotel, especially on this level.

Since The Imperial is a Preferred Hotel, we will be reporting this situatiuon to them. In addition, The Imperial is often selected as one of the best hotels in the world by Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure magazines, we plan to inform them as well.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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24  Thank CPelino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2007

I'd definitely recommend the Imperial as the best place to stay in Delhi. True, the Oberoi and the Shangri-La are probably even more luxurious, but neither of them has a tenth of the character of the Imperial.

I stayed in a suite, which was breathtaking. But the standard rooms are excellent too. The restaurants are the best in New Delhi, especially the Spice Route. The buffet lunches are also not to be missed - if you can't afford to stay here, it's well worth dropping in for a lunch or afternoon tea.

The standard of service is absolutely top-notch, and the hotel's interior is one of the most beautiful anywhere in the world - and scrupulously clean. I couldn't have enjoyed this place more.

  • Stayed: April 2006, traveled on business
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4  Thank JickyGodolphin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2007

Since moving to India, we have stayed there a handful of times but our last stay virtually mirrored our first stay nearly two years ago..... We arrived for a three night period and were met at the airport by driver AND greeter who escorted us to the hotel, where greeter swiftly disappeared after a few quick words with the front desk ... As we tried to check in, we were asked to take a seat in the lobby for a few minutes, after which time, a member of staff asked us to join him in a very quiet area of the restaurant. What had we done? Were our visa's not right? Had the corporate rate increased? None of the above. We were advised that a 'government delegation' had overstayed its welcome and would we mind being 'shifted' to the Shangri La (not shabby) two minutes down the road, just for one night. We negotiated a room upgrade and a complementary dinner, plus we were staying another two nights so all was not lost. Fast forward to July 4th this year.... we arrived at the hotel at 9pm with a booking at 9.30pm in their fabulously lauded and expensive Spice Route restaurant. As the receptionist pulled up our booking (which was made on the hotel's website a few months prior) the words BOUNCE BOUNCE BOUNCE flashed across her screen. When I asked what it meant, she quickly closed the screen and called the duty manager, who arrived with the familiar request to 'take a seat in the lobby...' This time we were ready! No, was our answer, let's sort it here... then came the old 'government delegation' chestnut. We refused to budge. It was the July 4th holiday and we were eating in a half hour. No way! Well, they asked, could we check out at 7am? No way! We were leaving on an international flight at 1pm. At which time, the duty manager 'scuttled away' (there is no finer way of putting this) without a word of an apology, leaving the receptionist to hand us our keys and show us to our room. Not a pleasant start to our short stay and one which, I have to say, has left me thinking of moving hotels next time we are in Delhi. We did file a complaint with the hotel and posed questions on their criteria for 'bouncing' guests to which we received a very hasty letter of apology in the mail - but no comped night or dinner!!!

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Bangalore_Bunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2007

I stayed at the imperial for a week at the beginning of July 2007 just after having spent few days at the Grand,intercontinental that I decided to leave after seeing the Imperial: what an excellent decision it was! At the Imperial everything was fantastic: the staff, the terasse of 1911 brasserie facing a peacfull garden, the spiceroute restaurant and its mysterious atmosphere, the swimming pool where squirrels and birds are playing, ... Althought I was working, I was there with my partner and it was a very romantic place to stay. It is the best hotel I have ever stayed in. Go there and enjoy.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled on business
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4  Thank beagenin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2007

just stayed a total of 7 nights here in june 07. after watching all the different opinions about delhi hotels in the last few months and after going back and forth, decided to try the imperial due to the elegant colonial atmosphere and the good location for walking around. we were not disappointed. being low season, rates were excellent, booked at the hotel website, just over $200 for the larger heritage rooms. the history and elegance of the hotel is just great, and the staff rates about a 9.0 or 4.5 depending on which scale you are using. i found none of the attitude problems a few others have mentioned. one of the concierges pointed us a new deluxe shopping center for luxury designer ladies clothing, the Crescent, which was the highlight of my wife's visit! many top designers featured in the indian fashion magazines have recently moved here from an older area that was demolished, and we certainly would not have found it without his assistance. all other staff members were always friendly and helpful. sometimes you definitely find some minor communications problems, and considerable shyness with some staff, who look like they are newcomers to the industry. but with a bit of patience and a smile you will get what you want. i would agree that there are a few corners of the hotel and some areas in some rooms that need renovated, but in general the hotel is shining and polished with luxury. in our second visit the towels seemed especially worn for a deluxe property, and the rather cheap plastic hanging shower curtain was out of place. but in both rooms the water pressure was excellent, we had no problems with drains or discolored water. keep in mind that the indian govt apparently charges very high taxes on all hotel services, as others have mentioned. you need to add about 20% to the confirmed room rate to get a true idea of cost, and the same thing is added to hotel limo and other services. but this seems to be clearly stated at all indian hotels so it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. we booked airport pickup both times with the hotel and it was handled flawlessly. we did not have breakfast as we were always busy taking off for somewhere, but i did walk through the buffet breakfast one morning and would agree that the selection was not bad but not what it should be. we had several meals at the 1911 restaurant, which were all excellent and the service the same.... expensive, sure, but you are at one of india's finest hotels! the location is one of the best for walking around the connaught circle shopping area, one of the better ones for street shopping with a minimum of street hassles. each street has its own gang of urchins who are all taught the same lines. curiously, after a day or two of totally ignoring them, we weren't hassled anymore, which shows that they spread the word that you aren't worth the trouble! one afternoon in old delhi we found a new scam.... a crazy looking guy started following down the street talking to us, and after a couple of blocks someone who was probably his cohort came along and said that he was accusing us of using his rickshaw without paying. anyway he was quite persistant, so we reached the red fort where there was a police post, and i told them that this guy was harrassing us. he calmed down a bit and we took a tuk-tuk out of the area. getting back to the imperial, i suppose the only criticism i would make is that having one of the most magnificient properties in the country, they should spend the money and make it 100% flawless and updated, instead of just 85-90%. this comparison was brought home after a few days at the fabulous rambagh palace hotel in jaipur (see my review if you are heading to jaipur), where you can search high and low and not find a single spot of the hotel that isn't perfectly clean, polished and of the most luxurious material. in delhi, the taj mahal has more ostentatious luxury, but the rooms are more standard business style. but if you are looking for an elegant, historic and colonial atmosphere, and a good location, i think you will be quite happy at the imperial as long as you don't expect perfection.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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8  Thank veteranworldtraveler
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 > Connaught Place/Janpath
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in New Delhi
#8 Spa Hotel in New Delhi
#8 Business Hotel in New Delhi
#11 Luxury Hotel in New Delhi
Price Range: $226 - $675 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Imperial Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 235
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Imperial Hotel New Delhi
Imperial New Delhi
Imperial Hotel Delhi
The Imperial New Delhi
The Imperial Palace Hotel
Hotel Imperial
The Imperial Hotel Delhi
Grand Imperial Hotel

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