What India lacks in cutting-edge boutique hotels it more than makes up for in classic old-world luxury hotels. And really, what else would you expect from a hotel called the Imperial? This place is generally regarded as New Delhi’s most elegant grand hotel, and it’s certainly got the pedigree; it was built in the Thirties by an associate of Sir Edward Lutyens, the man responsible for so much of the city’s classical architecture.
More than just a city hotel, it’s almost an urban resort, complete with an outdoor swimming pool, a spa, and a wealth of dining and drinking options. Despite the central location the Imperial’s garden is a tranquil little oasis. The rooms, all generous in size, range in style from old-world and very English to a rather contemporary take on Art Deco, and the amenities can’t be faulted: fine Porthault linens, bath products from Fragonard, and indulgent marble bathrooms. But as impressive as the rooms and suites may be, it’s the public spaces that go out of their way to impress. The veranda, the dining rooms, the absolutely classic 1911 Bar — these are the places that earned the Imperial its reputation, and these are the spaces you’ll remember long after you’ve gone.