The capital of India - Delhi - dates back to 50 BC. Over the centuries it has expanded in size and with an estimated population of 32 million, is now around 1,500 square kilometres in area. The city is fascinating - filled with historic monuments - especially from the Mughal era and "British Raj" period.
Just two hours away by train is Agra - one of the most famous cities in the world and home to the epic Taj Mahal. No visit to India is complete without a visit to Old and New Delhi and setting eyes upon The Taj, a stunning white marble token of love from a Mughal Emperor to his favourite wife.
The BusinessClass.com guide to the best hotels in Delhi and Agra:
Oberoi Amarvillas – 9.5/10
Located around half a kilometre from the Taj Mahal, the design of The Oberoi Amarvilas is very much inspired by Mughal palaces. The hotel boasts terraced lawns, fountains, and pavilions. Each of the 102 rooms and suites feature a 24-hour butler service, air conditioning, a luxurious 12-inch pillow topper mattress and most importantly unrestricted views of the Taj Mahal. In the bathroom guests find bathrobes and complimentary toiletries exclusively designed for Oberoi Hotels.
Bellevue restaurant serves hand rolled pastas and sourdough pizzas, pan Asian and Indian specialities. Esphahan is the specialist tandoor dining space with candlelit tables and live traditional music. The hotel bar offers uninterrupted Taj Mahal views; enjoyed through large floor to ceiling windows from the comfort of silk sofa seats. The Lounge has a beautiful open-air terrace from which to enjoy picture perfect moments watching the play of light and shadows upon the marbled Taj.
The Oberoi Spa is also inspired by Mughal architecture with a beautiful domed roof and a white marble steam room. The treatment rooms on the fourth floor have views of the Taj Mahal. Choose from a selection of Aromatherapy, Eastern, Western and signature Oberoi massages aimed at relaxing, revitalising, and rejuvenating - the mind, body, and spirit. For more activity guests may take a dip in the pool or workout at the fitness centre. This is the only hotel in Agra from which you can enjoy the magnificence of the Taj Mahal without leaving the property.
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ITC Mughal – 8/10
The ITC Mughal is the only Indian hotel to have won the Aga Khan Award for its excellent representation of Mughal architecture. Each of the 233 rooms and suites - spread across 23 acres of gardens - has air conditioning with individual climate control, mini fridge with complimentary bottled water, and a coffee maker/tea service. Bathroom amenities include bathtub & whirlpool with spray jets.
Peshwari restaurant offers guests barbecued specialties and freshly baked Indian breads. Taj Bano offers buffet dining with choices from an assortment of Indian and international dishes. Mughal Pavilion offers casual dining or relax with a drink in the Maikhana lobby bar or Bagh-E-Bahar overlooking the Mughal-styled garden and swimming pool.
Kaya Kalp, the award-winning Royal Spa offers 9,200 square metres of gentle holistic care with Ayurvedic and western therapies customised for each guest. The focus on health and well-being is also possible through healthy menu options and special sleep-inducing spa programmes. There are two pools for outdoor swimming, there is a jogging trail and then inside the hotel fitness centre guests will find cardiovascular equipment and free weights. Beyond the gardens the Taj Mahal is just a 5-minute drive away by complimentary golf cart. This prime location enables allows guests to explore the wonder of the city at leisure.
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The Imperial New Delhi – 9/10
The elegant Imperial New Delhi stands in seven-acres of lush gardens, fringed by palm trees in the colonial heart of New Delhi. It is a haven of tranquility with art-laden corridors filled with Victorian charm and intricate details to transport guests back in time. The property offers luxury accommodation in 192 rooms and 43 suites, each designed with distinct interiors, overlooking the lush gardens. All guestrooms feature marble baths with Italian fixtures and Fragonard amenities, exclusive French linen, minibar, tea & coffee maker and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi.
The property offers 9 dining locations which include The Spice Route - famous for seafood dishes from Southern India, and pan-Asian dishes from across the East. 1911 Restaurant is open for breakfast and all-day dining with a selection of international cuisines. Daniell's Tavern features a Live Kitchen where Chefs recreate recipes from the far corners of India, San Gimignano for Tuscan style Italian pasta, risotto, and cheeses. The historic 1911 Bar and the Royal Bar- Patiala Peg both feature an extensive range of beverages and the most extensive wine list in the city. The large outdoor swimming pool offers welcome refreshment after a day sight-seeing in the city. The gym has cardio and strength training equipment, and the spa offers traditional Ayurvedic and Western treatments.
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The Leela Palace New Delhi – 9/10
The Leela Palace New Delhi is a contemporary palace hotel located in Diplomatic enclave of New Delhi. It has 254 guestrooms ranging from Grande Deluxe to suites with Royal Club Lounge access. The complimentary Club offers light afternoon snacks, traditional English tea, and cocktails. All room amenities include an in-built multi-layer air filtration system, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, mineral water bottles and a tea and coffee maker. There is complimentary internet for hotel guests.
All day dining is available at The Qube. Here diners can watch chefs creating delicious, exotic dishes including Asian wok-fried specialties, pizzas, and pastas at live cooking-stations. Jamavar is the signature fine-dining Indian restaurant, Megu offers Japanese cuisine with Signature dishes that include Alaskan King Crab and Cucumber Salad, Salmon Tartare and MEGU original crispy asparagus. Other offerings include Le Cirque – the famed New York restaurant brand - for fine-dining Franco-Italian cuisine, The Library Bar and The Lobby Lounge.
The sprawling facilities of The Leela Palace New Delhi Spa are spread over two levels and feature a café, a fitness studio, separate relaxation lounges for ladies and men, heat experiences with steam and sauna, personalised lockers and lifestyle showers, treatment rooms and spa suite. On the top floor of this eleven-story building is a temperature-controlled Infinity swimming pool; the highest and the only rooftop pool in the capital; open year-round with stunning views from its open-air terrace.
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The Lodhi – 9/10
The Lodhi is a boutique hotel property and urban oasis spread across 7-acres of gardens centrally located, near the Lodhi Gardens in the heart of Lutyen’s New Delhi. With just 40 rooms - guests benefit from Posturepedic mattresses, plush pillow tops, Goose down feather pillows, complimentary Wi-Fi access and USB charging ports, HD smart televisions, air purifiers, fully stocked private bars and TWG tea selections – arguably the finest tea brand in the world.
The property is highly acclaimed for its food and beverage options which include Élan - an al fresco dining spot with seasonal menu options served over-looking the lawns under canopies in the hotel courtyard. Perbacco serving contemporary Italian cuisine, The Safari Lounge with an extensive repertoire of rare whiskies and international food. The bistro-style Pool Café, Indian Accent serving inventive Indian cuisine and finally The Lodhi Bakery with freshly baked breads, puffs, pastries, cookies, and classic cakes.
The Lodhi Spa is oasis of tranquility offering a collection of traditional Indian therapies and modern rejuvenation treatments. The spa features an exclusive Sauna and Hammam with separate sections for men and women. The Lodhi Salon features ten private treatment areas, with a range of hair and beauty treatments for men and women. All guests enjoy access to recreational facilities including tennis courts, squash courts, Pilates studio, and gym.
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The Oberoi – 9/10
The Oberoi, New Delhi, enjoys views of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Humayun’s Tomb and the forested golf course. Guests can choose from 220 rooms and suites with spacious walk-in closets, teak floors, oak wood desks and complimentary high-speed Internet. All rooms feature hypoallergenic goose down pillows and duvets, a fully stocked personal bar and Nespresso coffee machine. The Italian marble bathrooms feature high pressure shower, full length bathtub, separate shower & toilet cubicle, and toiletries exclusive to Oberoi Hotels. Guests breathe easy with state-of-the-art air purification systems that assure air quality on par with global best standards.
At Omya - the culinary philosophy is by London-based Chef Alfred Prasad, India’s youngest ever recipient of a Michelin star. The two Michelin starred Chef Andrew Wong has created a menu of dishes from fourteen regions of China served at the rooftop restaurant Baoshuan. The open-air venue Cirrus 9 offers a selection of cocktails and eclectic international food menu. There are a further two bars, a cigar lounge, and patisserie.
The hotel spa offers specially curated treatments, self-heating massage beds, a private relaxation area, en-suite aromatic steam shower and a washroom. There is a couple's spa suite and an infra-red sauna; the holistic treatments include Aromatherapy, Eastern, Western and signature Oberoi massage. There is also complimentary yoga in the mornings.
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Taj Mahal Hotel – 9/10
The Taj Mahal, New Delhi is situated in the heart of the city and stands as tribute to legendary hospitality and service. An icon of old-world grace and charm where grandeur meets elegance, guests are surrounded by antiques and priceless art. Each of the 194 luxurious rooms and 36 suites offers superb views of India’s capital; all benefit from Posturepedic mattresses, pillow menu, tea-coffee maker, bottled mineral water, well-stocked private bar, both complimentary basic Wi-Fi and newspapers. All guests have access to the swimming pool and fitness centre.
The health club and fitness centre features state-of-the-art workout equipment, training machines, strength workout stations, cross trainers, and a free-weights. The hotel also has a large outdoor swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi and steam baths. There is a dedicated Yoga Studio for meditation and tranquility.
Machan, is a much-loved dining destination with a culinary legacy that began in 1978 and offers an international à la carte menu. Varq offers a modern Indian gourmet dining experience with visually stunning dishes and aromas of Indian spices. Savour sumptuous Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine at House of Ming, Rick’s trendy, urban lounge bar serves innovative cocktails, alongside music and delicious Southeast Asian cuisine. Emperor Lounge offers a premium selection of teas, coffee brews and sumptuous finger food, indulgent desserts, and handcrafted chocolates.
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Haveli - Dharampura – 8/10
The boutique Haveli Dharampura offers five-star hospitality for the discerning traveller. The Haveli dates to 1887 and provides guests with an authentic, cultural experience. Its stunning design reflects the rich cultural heritage of the Mughal period with a unique combination of hotel services, architecture, interior design, entertainment, and cuisine. This three-storied building has 13 beautifully furnished rooms each with antique furniture and beautiful ceilings some with balcony and courtyard views. All rooms benefit from satellite television, tea/coffee maker, safe, hair dryer, mini bar, high speed internet connectivity, telephone, and yoga mats.
An old ethnic ambience lends an edge to Lakhori restaurant, a pioneer in bringing street food to the restaurant table; guests may choose from the famous papri chaat to the exquisite flavours of Chandni Chowk kebabs. Enjoy breakfast, coffee, drinks or light snacks on The Terrace, an ideal location for a summer’s evening. Entertainment features at the property include a Classical Kathak performance three times a week, Classical Music performance twice a week. Every afternoon guests can fly kites on the rooftop of the hotel and then enjoy a lavish a three course High Tea. Book ahead to experience the Friday night highlight which is the Live Bollywood Night twinned with a sumptuous dinner.
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JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity – 8/10
This five-star hotel offers 511 stylish rooms – and is located near the U.S. Embassy and Consulate General. Located in Aerocity - it is close to the airport and within 10 minutes’ walk from the closest metro station. The property offers easy access to the bustle of city life from a more relaxing haven. Guests are greeted by stunning floral arrangements in the sweeping marble foyer and lounge where they can sit and enjoy a drink overlooking the gardens. Rooms and suites feature featherbed and duvet, desk/workstation, complimentary Wi-Fi and 24-hour room service. The marble bathrooms have bathtub and separate shower, double vanities, Aromatherapy Associates amenities, bathrobe, and slippers.
K3 offers international cuisine buffet-style and showcases live kitchens serving Asian, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisine. The Delhi Baking Company is the hotel’s patisserie offers salads, homemade fresh breads, cakes and pastries, and the signature chocolate brownie. The Timothy Oulton Lounge offers international cuisine, here the furniture, lighting, and accessories radiate luxury. JW Lounge is elegant and full of natural light, a perfect location to enjoy hors d'oeuvres & cocktails. Relax by the swimming pool on a sun-lounger or workout at JW Fitness using cardiovascular equipment, free weights, and resistance machines. Quan Spa offers signature treatments including Ayurvedic massage, therapy baths, body scrubs and wraps. Beauty treatments such as facials, manicure/pedicures are also available. The hotel has complimentary parking and valet parking service for guests.
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Andaz – 8/10
Part of the well-known Hyatt chain - this luxury lifestyle property is also located in Aerocity just a 5-minute drive from the International Airport and with the metro station a mere 200 yards away. There are 401 loft-style guestrooms, including 45 suites, each with one of 401 curated pieces of unique art. Amenities include a complimentary minibar with non-alcoholic beverages and local snacks, Lounge sofa, work desk with enhanced lighting, individually controlled air conditioning and heat, walk-in shower, natural locally inspired toiletries, locally inspired robes and slippers, tea, and coffeemaker.
The hotel spa has six treatment rooms and offers locally inspired treatments. There is an outdoor swimming pool with sun deck, 24-hour fitness centre, complimentary Wi-Fi, and parking.
Andaz Delhi takes pride in an innovative approach to its bars and restaurants; Anna Maya is a modern European Food Hall inspired by the colours and flavours of India; the menu is designed around conscientiously sourced ingredients from local artisans. Juniper Bar is India’s first gin bar, here the highlight is the diverse selection of 35 stylised gin and tonic infusions, all revolving around the botanical and medicinal history of juniper. Soul Pantry serves nutrition dense flatbreads, seasonal salads, tea and coffee and healthy beverages. Enjoy modern Cantonese cuisine and enthralling live entertainment and nightlife at The Hong Kong Club.
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