Favorite hotels in Delhi

By Carole
This item appears on page 12 of the April 2022 issue.

As a 15-time visitor to India, my favorite place to stay upon arriving in Delhi has been Hotel Saptagiri (L-73/L-322, Mahipalpur Extn., National Highway-8, New Delhi - 110037, India; phone +91 11 4616 0000, www.hotelsaptagiri.com).

Providing a soft intro to India, this has been a very much OK hotel for one to three acclimating nights. My most recent visits were in 2017, 2018 and 2019, when a mid-range room cost about $50 per night (credit cards accepted) — a low cost for the quality and service.

The people were nice, the food was good, and the hotel was clean. It had an elevator, newspapers in the lobby, and room-service meals. Breakfasts, included, were made to order, and I also was allowed at least one airport transfer.

The street in front is a service road — bustling, noisy and dusty. School buses stopped in front; it was fun to see the children in their spiffy uniforms.

The side street out the back door was quieter and mostly for pedestrians. One time there, I was carrying a few bananas, and a wandering cow assumed they were for her, so they were. The side-street shops are good for necessities and low-cost earrings.

It was a joy to tip the Saptagiri’s pleasant staff, but I preferred giving rupees to the manager, Mr. Pawan Yadav, for him to distribute as appropriate. Pawan arranged for my hotel-airport transfers, for drivers for trips about town, and for a male escort to a nearby shop so I could get a local SIM card for my phone. One time, he even booked two onward flights and a hotel in another state for me.

• For a pricier alternative, especially at the end of a visit to India, I can recommend the Holiday Inn New Delhi International Airport (888/465-4329; www.ihg.com). When the hotel I was staying at (the Ambassador) was closed temporarily in March-April 2020 due to COVID, I spent 15 quarantine days there at about $100 per night, with tax. This included three meals and afternoon tea delivered to my door daily.

• For an end-of-travel splurge, however, the Delhi hotel I prefer is the excellent, heritage Ambassador, New Delhi (Sujan Singh Park; phone +91 11 66261000, www.seleqtionshotels.com), where I stayed for 3½ nights in 2019 and, unfortunately, just one night in 2020. A suite cost about $268 per night, which included breakfast, one airport-hotel transfer and tax.

The Ambassador has a nice beauty shop. It also is just a short walk from the city’s wonderful Khan Market, a shopping center of upscale shops, cafĂ©s, bakeries, etc.

Waterloo, IA