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“It's fine, but stay elsewhere”
Review of The Imperial Hotel

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The Imperial Hotel
Ranked #12 of 715 Hotels in New Delhi
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“It's fine, but stay elsewhere”
Reviewed 31 July 2012

My wife and I visited India for the first time in January 2012, and stayed for 2 weeks. During our stay we visited these hotels, in order: Leela Palace (Delhi), Raas Haveli (Jodhpur), The Serai (near Jaisalmer), Oberoi Udaivilas (Udaipur), and The Imperial (Delhi).

The Imperial was the lowest quality hotel of these five. This hotel might feel impressive if we were visiting 50 years ago. I have almost given a 2-star Tripadvisor rating, simply because it was so underwhelming relative to its price and stature. I've opted for 3-stars because there was nothing "wrong" with our experience, per se. It's mostly that the hotel is dated, lacking room amenities, and in need of renovation. It feels cold and bizarre inside; I almost felt like we were in The Overlook Hotel from the film "The Shining".

First a few good things. It is centrally located. Other "5-star" hotel options in Delhi are generally not right near city center. The staff was friendly and service efficient. They arranged a day trip to Agra for us, which went smoothly; the driver was kind. However they packed a beyond-mediocre "picnic" breakfast for us. I felt like I was getting a school snack in 5th grade.

Now the not-as-good parts. Even the lobby here suffers a renovation and layout issue as it just doesn't feel well-kept or cohesive. The main problem is the room itself. We paid more for this room (quite a bit more as I recall) than the Leela Palace for a FAR inferior quality. Though fairly clean, it was not as sparkling as you'd like at this level. From the sheets to the furniture to the bathroom, everything felt heavily used, old and run-down. Like the common areas it lacked inviting qualities. The layout of the space was odd and our window looked out over a staff service entrance. The bathroom was honestly no better than a Holiday Inn. While large in space, it had few amenities, a completely nondescript shower, and lifeless walls and floors. Towels were bad as well.

A special note of shock goes out to the Spice Route restaurant: it is simply not good. If you're factoring it into your decision to stay here, don't. I have no idea - NO IDEA - why this restaurant is famous. The dishes and flavors were straight out of a fast-food Chinese-American establishment. I can't even say the quality redeemed it. Service was hurried and careless. For the price, you're better off visiting McDonald's twenty times. Please, please, even if you choose The Imperial, do not bother with Spice Route.

At the end of the day, having experienced the Leela Palace there is no way we could reserve The Imperial again. I could only (barely) understand staying here if location was that important. But I'd wager that nicer accommodations could be found. Or, I'd recommend budgeting an extra 30 minutes into your comings and goings and staying at a far better hotel away from the center.

Clearly The Imperial feels it has the demand to keep room prices at a 5-star level, but if you are a Tripadvisor user you're likely savvy enough to make a better choice!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank iranison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2012 via mobile

very luxurious, top standard service and facilities. Colonial but in a tasteful and not too heavy way. Gym absolute world-class in equipment selection and luxurious ambience. Pool and pool-side very spacious but exposed to busy main-road traffic noise. Cannot imagine that I'd get tired of the amazing selection and quality of the breakfast buffet in a month! Spa superb. Room on arrival a bit stuffy due to monsoon dampness but was fixed with scent from oil-lamp. Excellent value for money. Would go back any day for business or pleasure; this is the new benchmark for all my future travels (previously Traders, KL)

Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Floh T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2012

Staŷed twice now. Very well appointed hotel with some great decor. Very friendly, helpful and attentive staff. Very smooth airport transfers to/from airport even with late running inbound flight. Good breakfast spread. Ate twice in Daniell's Tavern - really tasty and authentic Indian dishes at reasonable prices. Comfy bedrooms. Both the Patiala Peg and the 1911 bars are very atmospheric and good for pre/post dinner drinks.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank J786
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2012

All the superlatives have been used about the fabulous art deco surroundings, the delicious food, the great location and the comfortable rooms but I would like to mention the warmth of the service. Perhaps I was expecting a trifle on the stuffy side but thankfully that was not the case. The Imperial staff were welcoming and genuinely proud to be working in such a glorious property. The lovely maitre'd of the Spice Route gave us an illuminating guide to the artwork and layout of this beautiful restaurant.
Even with some minor room refurbishment going on in the property, our stay was a delight. My only regret is that our 3 days passed so quickly.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank DreamingSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
94 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2012

Elegance, history, luxury, comfort, beauty, art, food, service....and the list can go on and on....It is deffenetly the BEST hotel I have ever stayed! We travel lot and usually stay in 5 stars hotels around the world but The Grand Old Lady as they like to call this fine fine property is one of its kind. We stayd in the Grand Heritage Room, timeless elegance, comfort and beauty!
The spa is fantastic too. Well worth the money!

Room Tip: The Grand Heritage Room was fantastic but I am sure any room you stay in is just as beautiful.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank TatianaAbuDhabi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jodhpur, India
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2012

One of my favourite hotels in India. The heritage rooms are comfortably colonial, bathrooms spacious. Deco suites are beautiful and luxurious. Service is usually quite prompt and efficient. The choice of restaurants is great, some of the best dining in Delhi. Love the breakfast spread - a definite highlight of the day. The location is perfect, it is fun to walk along Janpath and visit the Tibetan market, lots of trinkets to be found.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cbn13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2012

The Imperial exceeded all our expectations. Our room was spacious and comfortable, extremely good mattress and pillow library to go with it - good aircon, Bose TV, writing desk with stationary, a complimentary fruit bowl on arrival, lovely bathroom with hot water 24/7, and all amenities. Service in all the restaurants was faultless. The atmosphere in the hotel was friendly and felt boutique - it didn't feel like a big hotel at all. The art and interior decoration is a fine balance between colonial nostalgia and modern chic. Spa was also highly recommended and yoga at the health club. So lovely we hardly went out!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ExperienceKenya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Imperial Hotel

Property: The Imperial Hotel
Address: 1 Janpath, New Delhi 110001, India
Region: India > National Capital Territory of Delhi > New Delhi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in New Delhi
#8 Spa Hotel in New Delhi
#8 Business Hotel in New Delhi
#10 Luxury Hotel in New Delhi
#12 Family Hotel in New Delhi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Imperial Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 233
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Imperial Hotel New Delhi
Imperial New Delhi
Imperial Hotel Delhi
The Imperial Hotel Delhi
Hotel Imperial
The Imperial New Delhi
Grand Imperial Hotel
The Imperial Palace Hotel

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