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“Perfect location for exploring Old Delhi!”

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Hotel Tara Palace Chandni Chowk
Ranked #89 of 715 Hotels in New Delhi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 9, 2014

Date of Stay: 13 March - 15 March 2014

A bit about us: We are a 57 year old "Mum" and 34 year old "Daughter" who regularly travel together. This was our first visit to India - a whirlwind four week trip taking in Delhi, Rajasthan, Agra, Varanasi and Kolkata. We did a LOT of research both online and via guidebooks, arranging and booking the whole trip ourselves, from flights to trains to hotels to car hire!

Our travels would put us in Delhi both at the start and at the end of our tour through Rajasthan. We had worked out the sights we wanted to see whilst in Delhi and determined they really fit in to two distinct zones - Old Delhi, and the area south of the New Delhi station. To minimise our need for transport, and to maximise our sightseeing, we decided to split our time, starting with 2 days sightseeing in Old Delhi - we wanted a reasonably priced, clean hotel close to the “important” sights of Old Delhi.

Our Experience: We booked a Super Deluxe room online via the Agoda website, with the price inclusive of breakfast and free airport pickup (available from the International Airport only). The Agoda website indicated that the Super Deluxe room was available with 2 single beds / 1 double bed / 3 single beds / 1 king bed with the room type to be requested as part of the booking - being a Mum and Daughter travelling together, we requested 2 single beds.

We arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport via Indigo Airlines from Bangkok just after 3:30pm where we were met by a driver holding our names (we had quite honestly forgotten we had provided flight details and had not expected the pick-up, so had already purchased our prepaid taxi coupon - on the urging of our driver we returned to the taxi counter and were readily given a full refund with a smile - only one of us was allowed in as you’re not generally allowed back in the terminal once you’ve exited, and a passport had to be left with the guards who did allow the entrance after much pleading and explaining).

The journey to the Old Delhi started along wide, well kept roads. As we got closer to Old Delhi the quality and the width of the roads started to deteriorate, and the amount of traffic of all shapes and sizes increased! The last 3-4 kilometers of the trip took as long as the first 18km had taken. Once we had navigated the traffic, and passed by the congested markets on the streets around the hotel, we were dropped on the bustling street just near a sign proclaiming Hotel Tara Palace.

The Hotel is down a very narrow alleyway, too narrow for vehicles, which is why we were not dropped at the door - we knew this from our research so it was no surprose! Being down this alley provided excellent insulation from the noise of Old Delhi which is a busy, bustling, frenetic place. A very short walk down the clean alley, and we were greeted by a the Hotel’s security guard who held open the door - something that was done every time we approached the hotel.

The lobby area was clean, but quite small, with a couple of comfy chairs and a tv. The Hotel does not have in-room safes, however allows you to register your valuables and store them in the Hotel’s safe - the hotel was very careful to wrap and seal your monies in an envelope and copious amounts of tape, which you then had to sign all over to protect against the seal being broken (this is the same system we encountered all through our travels in Viet Nam a few years ago, and in Laos two years ago).

All of the staff we dealt with at the Hotel were friendly and helpful. Smiles were readily available, from the Manager, to the staff manning the small restaurant, to the boys who cleaned the rooms!

The hotel had a lift, something we were to discover on our travels was quite a luxury. It was a small lift, squishy with a couple of people and a couple of duffle suitcases, but certainly a great alternative to trying to lug your luggage up their very steep staircases!

Up to our room, which was a good size with a tv, a couple of chairs, a low coffee table and a little desk. Our one disappointment was the room did not have twin beds, but a large king bed. We have to say we peeked in a few rooms as we passed by, and did not see any rooms with twin beds, so suspect it may be that these are not available (we can’t confirm this, as we said we didn’t see any rooms with twin beds, however it was certainly advertised on Agoda that the hotel had twin bedded rooms). As we were only staying a couple of nights, and otherwise were very pleased with the room, we decided not to worry about asking for the room to be changed. There were two blankets on the bed, which we separated out to try to have the semblance of space - the staff took note as the next day when the room was cleaned, instead of making the bed up as one, the two blankets were folded neatly separately, one for each of us.

The bathroom was wet room style, quite large and very clean. We found the water pressure to be OK, and there was plenty of hot water. We don’t recall having to run the tap for ages to get hot water, we ran it for a bit, but that’s not an uncommon thing to have to do in even some of the more fancy hotels we’ve stayed in (staying on the 7th floor of a 4 star hotel on Batu Ferringhi in Malaysia meant no water pressure and having to run the tap for ages to get hot water).

On our first night our first stop was off to the open roof top to check out the views we had read so much about. Fabulous! We could see the Red Fort, the Digambar Jain Lal Mandir, the Gauri Shankar Temple, the Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib, and the Jama Masjid.

The hotel does have a little restaurant (the menu is vegetarian only, but plenty to choose from), a hotel room that has been converted in to a clean but bland restaurant with about 4 tables. On request the hotel will readily set up a table on the roof top and serve your meal there - we could not resist, so this is where we ate our first meal in India!

For dinner we enjoyed (prices as at March 2014):
Aloo Gobi Rp105
Vegetable Biryani Rp110
Dal Fry Rp85
Plain Parantha Rp35
Garlic Naan Rp50

We washed our meal down with a 650ml Tuborg Beer (Rp160 - A$2.90) and a Lassi (Rp55 - A$1). Beer is not listed on the menu, something we found very common throughout our time in India, and it will not be listed on your bill as “beer” either (we had various descriptions through our travels, our favourite being “big drink”). We understand this to be something to do with liquor licensing regulations. Though not on the menu you could certainly order at the hotel - if ordering through rooms service it will come to you in its own little “beer-cosy” to disguise what is being carried on the tray.

That dinner was simply the best start to our India trip - sitting on a rooftop with great food (we’ll note we did have far too much food, eyes definitely bigger than our stomachs, and we warn that the little bowls are deceptively big when it comes to serving) and great views.

Breakfast was served in the bland restaurant. There was a set menu included in your room price, plus if you wished you could also order from the a-la-carte menu. The set menu included both Indian and Western options - as we were in India, we chose Indian. Our first morning included Aloo Parantha for one, and Indian fried bread with potato curry for the other (day two we both had the bread with curry as it was yum!).

The location: The hotels address is 419 Esplanade Road, Cycle Market Opposite Red Fort, so is in the market area. The entrance to the alleyway is decorated with an amazing tangle of electrical wires and a rather faded sign for Hotel Tara Palace - yes, it looks a bit scruffy (and perhaps scary - well, to our family in Australia to whom we showed pics found online, but not to we intrepid adventurers) but it is quite okay! The sights we could see from the roof top are very close so the only transport you need is your feet! The amazing, bustling Chadni Chowk area is seconds away.

Some people may say that the area is very dirty - yes, when we arrived it certainly was, BUT, when we headed out early the next morning all the mess had been cleaned up and the day starts all afresh. The rubbish off the streets was collected and deposited in to a rubbish sorting building (a building with 3 walls and a roof not far from the hotel, inside which you’ll see piles of rubbish with people going through and sorting it - taking out recyclables etc).

Old Delhi is amazing. We had read in one of our guidebooks that the only place you should not choose to visit on your first day in India / New Delhi is Old Delhi as it is too much, too overwhelming… It is noisy, smelly (some bad and some, like at the spice market, superb), it’s dirty (sometimes!), and busy, and crazy, and we loved it and could not think of a better place in which to start our India experience!!! Hotel Tara Palace is in the perfect place to be able to step out and enjoy it all.

If we are lucky enough to visit Old Delhi again, we would not hesitate to stay at the Hotel Tara Palace.

Room Tip: Rooms are all nice and quiet as the hotel is protected from street noise.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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6  Thank Leesree_and_Subbi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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111 - 117 of 501 reviews

Reviewed June 30, 2014

As others have said, this hotel is in the heart of Old Delhi opposite the Red Fort and the entrance is not easy to find. However we were met at Delhi International Airport on our arrival by a representative from the hotel who ordered a car which took us to the door free of charge (we paid 800Rs for an air conditioned car to take us back to the airport at the end of our stay).
The hotel staff really could not have made us more comfortable and made sure that we had all the information we needed to navigate the local area which was very busy and extremely hot (it was June). The hotel restaurant is very simple and very quiet but the food is good and we chose to eat in our room (as I think most others do). All in all this was a great experience and I would stay at the Hotel Tara Palace again if I wanted the full-on Old Delhi experience!

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled on business
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1  Thank Heaven1308
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2014 via mobile

Hotel entrance is down a side street right in the heart of Old Delhi. Room was basic but served its purpose. TV and satellite but remotes did not work. When using room service for drinks be sure to have the correct money as they never have change. Need to let shower run for a good 10 mins before you get any hint of hot water. Breakfast was ok but restaurant not very inviting. Read small print regarding free airport shuttle service. Is only free if your stay is for 3 nights or more. I am sure there are better hotels around this area of Delhi and wouldn't stay here again.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Luv-my-hols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2014 via mobile

When I arrived first, 2am and in India for the first time, I did wonder what on earth had I done!
But must admit freely the hotel was adequate with clean fresh smelling rooms and very friendly staff.
I would definitely go back! Great for access to Old Delhi a real experience!
Thank you

Stayed: April 2014, traveled solo
1  Thank Donovan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2014

Anything more than 1-2 days may not be a good idea here.
Very clumsy entrance which is quite hard to find. I reached at about 11pm and kept on searching for the entrance for half-an-hour even though I was within 5 minutes walk from there. Moreover the locality seemed very unsafe at night. Sorry but for me this hotel will not a first-rate choice even in the budget category.

The guys doing room service were, however, very very good. Quite understanding and helpful. One of the receptionist was helpful while the other one was not.

Complementary breakfast is okay for the price.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
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3  Thank Sagar_C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2014

I visited your restaurant when I took a walk in Old Delhi in January 2014. Because I stayed in your hotel in 2009, I knew that your restaurant is a peaceful oasis in Old Delhi. The hotel looked as clean and nice as before and the food was good.
However, I think you should open up your big roof top for the tourists. It has an unusually good view, but since 2009 you still have only one table there, so the roof top is mostly frequented by your staff or used for drying laundry. I think you would have space for all of this!
Unfortunatelly most hotel owners in Delhi don't know how much tourists love roof tops :-) But if you look up "Marrakech riad" or "Marrakech hotel le Gallia" on Tripadvisor, you will see with your own eyes what I mean. I chose your hotel the first time because of the roof top and I think I'm not the only tourist who does that. If you advertise your hotel as an oasis with a roof top restaurant with good food, you will get many visitors :-)

Room Tip: I guess the few rooms with a window to the street are a little more expensive, but also the rooms wi...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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1  Thank Punavuorenkatu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2014

I travelled to Delhi for business purpose and expected a business hotel. I reached Red fort and was told that I cannot reach the hotel by car - cycle rickshaw is the only option. The lane got smaller & smaller and my shock factors kept increasing. Finally I reached a place which would have passed off as an airconditioned photocopy centre with scrap-shops as neighbours. ShockedI wanted t cut-short my stay at the hotel but decided to stay for a day as the payment was already done.
As the day progressed, I experienced that the hotel was neat & clean, No noise, wide corridor, efficient & friendly service, good food, fast & free wi-fi and more. Located next to Chandi-chowk, you can get excellent street food. Getting transportation is easy.
Decided to go ahead with the three days stay. Apart from the enterance, this is a good place to stay.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled on business
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2  Thank Rajesh R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Tara Palace Chandni Chowk

Address: 419 Esplanade Road | Cycle Market opp. Red Fort, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi 110006, India
Location: India > National Capital Territory of Delhi > New Delhi
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#21 Best Value Hotel in New Delhi
Price Range: $27 - $40 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Tara Palace Chandni Chowk 3*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Tara Palace is a friendly hotel which provides comfortable accommodation, free breakfast and free airport pickup. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tara Palace New Delhi
Tara Palace Hotel Delhi
Tara Palace Delhi

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