During winter, my to-do list took longer than combining reading War and Peace, watching Pearl Harbour and tackling the queues in Reiss during the Boxing Day sales. I was busy busy busy and the list of things I was meant to get done seemed never ending.
Between a full on work schedule, a number of blogger events, a season of birthdays, and trying to fit in personal training sessions, I had a trip to India to plan. I was going to attend a destination wedding. Given how crazy the year had been, and given that I knew Indian weddings are three days of non-stop partying I was desperate to book in at a fancy hotel where I could get some rest, and melt away the jet lag ahead of the events.
Here’s the issue – I had no time to plan it and my increasingly busy schedule left me exhausted at the end of each day, with no interest in completing another task. I was tired and burning out and there seemed to be so many hotels in Delhi.
So for once I put my Type A planner personality style aside, didn’t read thousands of reviews and blog posts and instead, we booked the first hotel that we had been recommended by multiple family and friends.
The closer we got to the date I tried to stay grounded and not freak out about my lack of research, “if it’s not great it’s fine…we won’t spend much time in the hotel anyway… it’s only three nights… at least the location will be good”. Fear of missing out is a terrible thing and I was starting to get nervous about my approach in picking this hotel. I’ll make a confession, I’m a big hotel snob. I’ve had my times where I’ve backpacked and I’d sleep anywhere safe and clean, but as my life is getting busier and the trips need to be more relaxing, the hotel is so much more important to me.
Our New Delhi hotel experience that followed was just beyond anything I could have expected… but I’ll get to that!
As well as a stopover before the wedding to get over jet lag, I visited Delhi to experience the vibrant culture, shopping and food offered by India’s capital. Our plans were mainly to be out and about enjoying the rich Indian culture, eat as much delicious food as possible and avoid being ripped off by sari merchants before we headed to my friend’s wedding. Despite all of the above, I was so impressed with our stay at Le Méridien hotel, New Delhi that I left feeling an overwhelming sense of how I needed to share this with you!
After a pretty long Emirates flight, we were greeted with an incredibly warm welcome, at Indira Gandhi airport, by the Le Méridien representative and their driver. They ushered us onto a brand new Range Rover to begin our journey to the hotel. I had expected a mad rush of people at the airport, similar to my first trip to India 15 years ago where swarms of people had run over to try to convince us to take their taxis, buy travel guides and offered bag handling surfaces. Nope, how things have changed. I felt calm, safe and surprised. I was put immediately at rest as the driver offered us refreshing cool towels and a little overview of the area. With minimal hassle, we were quickly on our way to New Delhi and our home for the next three nights.
After an hour’s drive, we pulled up at the Le Méridien Hotel, New Delhi. During our smooth check-in, we were introduced to Joel, our experience specialist, who explained that he would be our contact for any questions or requests at any time. We were lucky enough to be offered an upgrade to a suite and Joel kindly gave us a tour of the rooms.
Our suite was a modern, spacious set of rooms with wooden panelling, leather finishing and unrivalled views of the Indian presidential palace – it was an instant hit with us! From the bedroom and main bathroom, there were bold views of the Lutyens area, named after British architect Edwin Lutyens, a man who made a significant contribution to the architectural design and building when India was part of the British Empire.
Though the Le Méridien Hotel has been around for a while, it was clear that they have made efforts to modernise the suites; there was a docking station with speakers, bedside panel to control all the lights with ease, and two large flat screen TVs.
It was their attention to detail that caught my eye, little touches such as the complimentary Spanish red wine, daily fresh fruit and a truly brilliant complimentary shoe polishing service really stood out to me.
My favourite part of the suite was the main bathroom (there were two!) with an intensely powerful rainshower and a huge, freestanding oval soaking bathtub, which was the perfect setting to get the best views of New Delhi, in pure comfort. That bath in itself made up for all the busy days of the year. Honestly I think there’s something about a really good bath that could cure me of most stresses… Do you find that too?
The bathtub truly helps the Le Méridien New Delhi stand out from other luxury hotels in Delhi. It really was even more spectacular at night, with all of the Lutyens region glittering in the dark, but those of you who already follow me on Instagram will certainly know that!
All suites at the hotel come with access to the Le Méridien Club Lounge for drinks and snacks. Whilst we weren’t too impressed by the “afternoon tea” (really more a sandwich buffet!), we did love the happy hour, where along with a bar stocking a vast array of drinks there were some delicious hot snacks such as fresh kebabs and bhajis; these were so moreish that we had to stop ourselves from devouring them all, to keep space for the many dinners we had booked.
What really sets the hotel apart is the quality of the service – nothing was ever too much. From the complimentary shoe shining, the prompt organisation of drivers or recommendations for onwards travel, Mahendra and the Concierge team went above and beyond. Joel, our experience manager, ensured on our final day we had a smooth check out and a delicious packed breakfast for our trip to Jaipur, where the wedding we were attending was taking place.
As we came to the end of our three nights at the Le Méridien Hotel New Delhi my memories of my busy work weeks felt like a really distant memory. There are many hotels in Delhi but for those looking for a place to melt away the stresses in a city hotel, this is a great spot. I can imagine it would also be a great business hotel given it’s great location and the suite would double as a great place for hotel working. Usually for my holidays I prefer luxury boutique hotels, but despite the sheer enormity of this hotel I was very impressed. Finally, I’d recommend it especially for those on business travel, or those looking for comfort and good service, in a location at the heart of Delhi…
…Or those who just want to leave their busy days behind whilst in New Delhi, with a great soak in a fantastic bathtub with an exceptional view!