Tried & Tested

The Ambassador Hotel

1 Mar 2006 by business traveller

What's It Like? Over 60 years old and a protected building, the hotel has a mixed colonial and art deco feel. The Ambassador is a Taj hotel, but is very different from the five-star luxury you come to associate with the company's properties, being a member of its Business Hotels Division.

Where is it? The hotel is well situated in the consular area of Delhi, a short drive from the business and shopping districts. It is 22km from the international airport and 17km from the domestic airport.     
How many rooms? 88 rooms split into standard, superior and executive (which has a bedroom and separate sitting area) plus 12 deluxe suites.

Room Facilities I was staying in a deluxe suite which consisted of four rooms: bedroom, sitting room, dressing room and bathroom. The bedroom was large and had a double bed, comfortable chair, desk, satellite TV, minibar, tea and coffee-making facilities, and complimentary bottles of water. Both the bedroom and sitting room had a ceiling fan as well as air conditioning.

My dressing room was equipped with a suit stand, plus wardrobes with a safe. All three main rooms were furnished in creams and browns with matching furniture. The bathroom, fittingly, was decked out in cream tiles and brown/red marble, with a combined shower and bath. There was a good selection of toiletries from a local Indian firm, Biotique.

I was provided with a pillow menu, but rather than the usual down pillows and so on, it consisted of slim, cotton, spondi (firm), Tranquillity (with genuine Tibetan and Himalayan herbs), Peace (lavender and camomile), and Energy (Himalayan herbs again).

Undecided whether I needed energy for the morning or peace to help me sleep, I eventually stayed with what I had been given – standard man-made pillows. My sitting room had two wicker sofas, a coffee table, fireplace, TV and desk. I chose to work in this room even though the hotel staff told me that the wifi was faster from the bedroom.

Restaurants and Bars The hotel has one bar and two restaurants. H20 is a bar with a seaside feel which serves snacks as well as drinks. Chinese food is served at Larry's China, while Yellow Brick Road is an all-day restaurant open from breakfast onwards. The decor is yellow and has hints of American deli mixed with country café and the Wizard of Oz. The international food was tasty and included burgers, pizzas, pasta, sandwiches, curries and tandoori dishes.

Business and Meeting Facilities There are three meeting rooms that can seat 25 people boardroom-style, 200 theatre-style – or up to 200 for a reception. The hotel grounds can also cater for an event of up to 600 people. Wifi is available across the hotel once you have obtained a username and password from reception. Access costs Rs736 (£9.50) for 24 hours and can be bought by the hour for Rs246 (£3.20). There is a dedicated business centre that is open 24 hours with all the usual services.

Leisure Facilities There is a small health and wellness centre with four cardiovascular machines and some free weights. There is also a treatment room where a 20-minute massage costs Rs800 (£10). You can also have a "Mystic Executive Ritual" that lasts an hour and costs Rs2,400 (£31). A small outdoor pool (12x4.5m) was being built when I was there and should now be open, with an outdoor terrace for dining and drinking. Guests can also make use of the health club and pool at the Taj Mahal Hotel, which is a short drive away.

Price Telephone rates for a midweek stay in March started at US$231 for a superior room, and US$326 for a deluxe suite, including breakfast.

Verdict A quirky hotel with good service at a reasonable price.

Contact The Ambassador Hotel, Sujan Singh Park, Cornwallis Road, New Delhi, 110 003 India, tel +91 11 2463 2600,

Julian Gregory

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