Luxury hotels
THE IMPERIAL, NEW DELHI

It is hardly a secret that I'm a fan of Imperial Hotel and make it a point to book staycations whenever I need a break from work and daily routine — the management pampers guests with personalised service, spa therapies, fine dining and the most hospitable stay. The service is so personalised that I just make a call to an executive and within a few minutes, he confirms the booking. Its location—in the heart of Delhi—makes it ideal for leisure and business travellers, pilgrims and shoppers.

 

Each time (this is my third staycation) the hotel car heads up the palm-tree lined drive way to the white Art Deco façade, and I step through the entrance I feel like Alice In Wonderland… taken back to the historic era when it was inaugurated by Lord Willingdon. Since1934, The Imperial is a historical landmark that rises over the Lutyen's Delhi. And I'm always awe-struck by the works of art from the seventeenth- eighteenth centuries… in the rooms, the restaurants, the corridors… Did you know The Imperial has the largest collection of land war gallantry awards in India and also orders and decorations bestowed by the Emperor of India as an honor to local Maharajas and ruling Princes of different states?

 

Coming back to my stay, the location allows for space with a chic reception | Tuscan restaurant Sam Gimignano | Oriental restaurant The Spice Route | Daniel's Tavern I All-Hours 1911 I  Jiva Spa I gym, rackets court and outdoor pool! After a pick-up and check-in, I was escorted to Grand Heritage Room where the usual pot of welcome tea, gourmet chocolates and a fruit platter awaited. What impresses me is the spacious bathroom, floor length mirror; bright light, work space, huge sofa set, smart television, wi-fi and the usual amenities.

 

After check-in, my mother and I headed to San Gimignano for luncheon. Interestingly, the restaurant has been awarded Top Restaurant Awards 2019 by Conde Nast Traveller. And though the menu was extensive, the chef helped us select Pan- braised Chilean Sea Bass and lamb chops, accompanied by Bellini. Beyond sumptuous! When mom went home with a satisfied, sparkling smile, I spent the rest of the day pampering myself at the spa and outdoor jacuzzi astride the pool.  The day flew past and soon I was rushing up to my room to get dressed for an evening at the alfresco bar with a few friends — do try the espresso martini! 

 

The following morning, I jumped out of bed at 8 a.m., glugged black coffee and sped home in a hotel car to unpack and head to my many work commitments. It was the perfect staycation. VERDICT: At Imperial, the management goes out of its way to make guests feel comfortable and safe and the service at the restaurants, bar and spa is engaging and efficient…. which brings me to the last thoughts: the warm hospitality, the discreet luxury, the large outdoor spaces that one can enjoy alone, with friends or with family, and of course, the bespoke service will ensure I will be back yet again :)

— JASMEEN DUGAL