Whether you are a solo traveller exploring India for the first time, or you are looking for somewhere that little bit special for a weekend away with your friends or partner, THE Park New Delhi offers a luxury haven away from the bustling Indian capital. Part of the luxury five-star boutique hotel chain – THE Park Hotels – the hotel has everything you need to enjoy a memorable stay, from an award-winning spa to a poolside bar - the only downside means it makes it hard to want to leave to explore all that Delhi has to offer. With a central location and personalised touches that make you feel like you are a VIP guest, the hotel certainly does itself justice by striving to be 'anything but ordinary'. We were lucky enough to be invited to stay at THE Park New Delhi, having the hard task of finding out just how much it has to offer while exploring just some of India's iconic landmarks.
THE Park New Delhi has everything you need for a memorable stay
THE Park New Delhi is located in Connaught Place – the capital's entertainment and business district, boasting views of the 18th century observatory Jantar Mantar. Getting a driver while staying is recommended to take you to and from the airport – a 45 minute drive away - as well as into the district of Old Delhi, which is well worth a visit and takes around 25 minutes in the car. It is also a short ride away from New Delhi station, giving you the opportunity to experience India's iconic train rides.
Room service with a difference
The rooms really make the hotel special, and after a long plane ride, it was very tempting to just stay and relax in them rather than venturing out and exploring the city. One of the things that stood out the most about the rooms – apart from their stylish interior – was just how well-equipped they were. Nothing had been forgotten, right down to the UK plug sockets. If you are wishing for room service, there are plenty of options, and they take breakfast in bed to a whole other level - champagne anyone? As well as being able to order food at all hours from the five different restaurants on-site, there is also the option of having your very own indoor picnic with food served in colourful tiffin boxes – the traditional packed lunch box for children in India. With everything from a picnic blanket to put over your bed to a vast selection of cuisine – everything from Indian to Italian – it really was the perfect feast to kick-start the day with, whether you are a solo traveller or with a group.
Enjoy a picnic in your room with food inspired from all four corners of the world
Entertainment and eating
The hotel has its very own nightclub which serves a selection of cocktails and plays music until the early hours. Adult guests of all ages enjoy going there, with the advantage of your room being not too far away once you leave. There is also an outside swimming pool which is very popular with guests, particularly when they host their famous pool parties. The hotel's poolside bar and restaurant, Aqua, is also popular come the evening, and live music is often performed there as you sip a cocktail or two. When it comes to unwinding, it is worth booking in at Aura, the Spa, a relaxing sanctuary offering every massage you can imagine, as well as beauty treatments and even haircuts.
The hotel's pool is the perfect place to relax
There are five restaurants in total at the hotel. For your morning's breakfast, MIST – located conveniently by the lobby – serves a delicious buffet each day, featuring everything from eggs, beans and potatoes to bread and cheese. There is also every kind of cake and pastry you could wish for – just don't get too full as you will be wanting to check out award-winning restaurant Fire by the evening.
Aura spa offers every massage under the sun
More than 80% of the ingredients used on Fire's menu are organic, many of which are even from the hotel's own rooftop garden, where produce is grown in re-used bathtubs. The restaurant serves a seasonal menu with dishes, with executive chef Abhishek Basu aiming to both celebrate the diversity of Indian cuisine and to be sustainable.
There is also a Sunday farmers' market at the hotel, which welcomes farmers across Delhi to come and sell their produces. With everything from white aubergines resembling eggs – which explains the American name Eggplant – to homemade jams and chutneys, there is a lot to see and sample, so make sure to go before your breakfast!
The hotel is opposite the late-night Janpath Market. With a treasure trove of finds – from clothes to jewellery – it is well worth a visit for the experience and atmosphere alone, and if you are good at haggling – even better! You will also find a boutique inside the hotel – The Box – selling handpicked home accessories, clothes and beauty products – all of which have been curated by Priya Paul herself. Old Delhi, meanwhile, has plenty more markets sprawled over the cobbled streets with the delicious aroma of spices filling the air. Just make sure to bring an empty suitcase to avoid having to leave anything behind at the end of your stay!
The markets are a must-see
Things to do in Delhi
One of the things you should definitely do during your stay in New Delhi is ride a tuk tuk. We got on one before heading into Old Delhi. Not only is it the best way to avoid some of the infamous Delhi traffic, but it is a great way to soak up the atmosphere of the city and capture some great photos – that is if you are brave enough to balance your phone while holding onto the sides. In close proximity to the hotel is Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, a beautiful Sikh temple with a gold roof and a stunning courtyard. As well as paying a visit inside the temple, you can visit the nearby art gallery, museum and library. Free food is also given out outside, where everyone is welcome to share a meal – irrespective of their religion. A short walk away is an ancient Hindu place of worship - Hanuman Temple, one of India's oldest temples with a bangle market just behind it – where locals and tourists alike come to shop for glitzy bracelets in all the colours.
This beautiful Sikh temple is within walking distance from the hotel
When it comes to eating outside of the hotel, it is well worth a trip to Karim's – a family-run restaurant located in the heart of Old Delhi that has been running for over 100 years, and is considered one of the cheapest restaurants in the city for locals, meaning for tourists it has steal-worthy prices. The restaurant has an open kitchen allowing for you to watch the chefs busy at work, flattening out dough and grilling kebabs – its most popular dish. Another place to go is Natraj, a small corner shop which we were told by our guides that we simply had to try out. Be prepared to wait a while as there are always long queues lining up by the counter – a testament to how popular it is. What's more, it only sells two dishes; lentil dahi bhalla – a popular Indian appetiser made from lentil dumplings with yoghurt and chutney, and aloo tikka – a fried patty made from boiled potatoes, onions and spices.
The friendly staff made the hotel, they just couldn’t do enough to help. From helping with heavy bags to recommending all the best places in the area, they had so much knowledge and passion for the city.
Old Delhi is best explored on a tuk tuk Photo credit: Getty
About THE Park Hotels
THE Park New Delhi is one of the 15 boutique hotels owned by Priya Paul. Priya inherited three hotels from her father aged 24, and has since opened up an additional 12 across India, in cities including Calcutta and Goa – where there are two branches, THE Park Calangute – located on the beachfront, and THE Park Baga River – the newest of the sites, and the first adult-only hotel of its kind. We spent our last two nights in the latter, located within close proximity to the centre of Goa as well as the beaches. All hotels can arrange excursions for guests during their stay, including city tours and boat rides. During our stay in Goa, the hotel organised a boat ride, where you can stay with friends on your own boat over night with guides who will provide food, drink and music to make it a memorable experience.
To book a stay at THE Park New Delhi, visit http://www.theparkhotels.com/new-delhi.html, or visit http://www.theparkhotels.com/goa/park-baga-river.html to check out the Goa's adult only hotel