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!
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Odigeo, Agoda, Hotels.com and Ebookers so you can book your The Imperial Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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