WHAT’S IT LIKE? The hotel, which is over 50 years old, is a low-rise, three-floor complex consisting of three buildings that join together to create a partially enclosed courtyard with a swimming pool. It sits on a three-acre site with a driveway, lawns and gardens. I arrived by car and my bag was promptly taken by a porter. The receptionist quickly found my paperwork and I was shown to my room, my bag arriving as I was being shown the in-room facilities.
WHERE IS IT? In Lutyens’ Delhi, centrally located for both business and diplomatic districts as well as many historical landmarks. It’s about 30 minutes from both the domestic and international airports.
ROOM FACILITIES There are six room categories, including three types of suite. The 72 Deluxe rooms are the lowest tier and are of a good size (30 sqm on average). Claridges rooms are about 36 sqm and have a larger sitting area as well as a terrace. Club rooms are 40 sqm and have separate living and sleeping areas. My Deluxe room was a mix of modern and classical design with a light marble hallway, and a wooden floor with a large rug in the bedroom. The décor features dark wood furniture and cream and white upholstery and paintwork. There was a desk with a stationery box and a multi-region power socket, plus a comfy chair, stool, coffee table, flatscreen TV, minibar and safe. The large bed had a down duvet and pillows. The bathroom had a single sink and a combined bath and shower, although some Deluxe rooms have showers only. Claridges and Club rooms have a mixture of showers and baths, with some having both. As the hotel is made up of three buildings, all rooms are different. Wifi internet access costs Rs 220 (£3) for an hour or Rs 770 (£10.50) for a day.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS There are four restaurants, all located on the ground floor. None are large, so booking is advised. Pickwicks is open 24 hours and has an international breakfast and lunch buffet. I enjoyed Jade, which is open for lunch and dinner. It is a Chinese restaurant serving a wide selection of dim sum and other Chinese dishes. The Dhaba restaurant was my favourite, serving north Indian cuisine. It is decked out as an Indian roadside café complete with a mural of a lorry on one wall. The food is superb, from the prawn and meat dishes to the desserts, which must be tried. (Dhaba is very popular and takes bookings only until 8pm – many people were being turned away while I was eating.)
Sevilla opens in the evening and serves Mediterranean dishes. You can dine inside in conservatories or al fresco – the setting is enchanting with pools of water and flaming torches. There is a wide selection of food, including seafood, meat, pizza, paella and pasta. I was given a taster portion of cauliflower soup and then had tapas to start – a cold and a hot plate with Parma ham and melon, olives, dips, pitta bread, liver and bacon, chorizo, cheese and fish – followed by tomato and chilli pasta with flatbread. If you are looking for a snack, you can eat in the lobby lounge, the garden or by the pool. There is also Ye Old Bakery and the Aura bar, which serves more than 75 types of vodka. Room service is available 24 hours and guests staying in a Club room or suite can use the Senate Executive lounge on the first floor. Breakfast is served here from 7am and free drinks from 6pm-8pm.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The business centre, located in the lower lobby level, has four workstations, video-conferencing capabilities and a boardroom. There are also two conference halls, both capable of holding about 150 people theatre-style – the Viceregal on the second floor, which has its own pre-function area, and the Maharani on the ground floor, which opens on to the poolside for receptions. There is also an additional boardroom for up to 14 people and a well-appointed private dining room for eight.
LEISURE FACILITIES The health club and spa in the basement can be accessed either from the hotel or the pool. It is small but has modern Technogym equipment, a couple of treatment rooms, a spa bath, a sauna, a solarium and an outdoor pool. It’s open from 7am-10pm.
VERDICT A luxurious, good-value hotel in the heart of Delhi that offers great service and facilities that cater to all your needs.
HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 137 rooms, including 12 suites.
ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The room was comfortable and well maintained with good technology.
PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in April started from Rs 7,493 (£102) for a Deluxe room.
CONTACT The Claridges New Delhi, 12 Aurangzeb; tel +91 1141 335 133; claridges.com