New Delhi Travel Guide
New Delhi is just one of those crazy places that can either inspire or send you into a spiral of despair and frustration. Traffic is bad and it takes forever to get wherever you plan to go, so the most important thing is to only try and fit in two things per day and enjoy your leisurely morning as nothing opens till 10 am.
WHERE TO STAY
I love to stay in small, relaxed and family run boutique accommodation as this is more my style.
$185AUD (approx) per night
One of my favourites is The Scarlette New Delhi which was set up by a young French designer who was looking for a nice place for herself and her friends and family to stay during her long design trips in Delhi.
This gorgeous little guest house has lovely and artistically appointed rooms and the most charming and relaxed communal living space. The highlights are definitely the delicious home prepared breakfast and the chocolate cake which you can help yourself to when you are needing a little sugar hit to keep you going. This place attracts many creatives and designers which is nice as you can share stories and contacts if you are lucky!
$200AUD (approx) per night
Another fab place is The Manor, a luxurious private home which has just been completely upgraded in a quiet and exclusive enclave in New Delhi. The house is set in a lush garden and the style is colonial. Food is always good and with only 14 beautifully appointed rooms you feel as though you are a guest in someone’s house.
$310AUD (approx) per night
If it’s an experience to remember that you’re looking for, look no further than the magical and truly majestic Imperial Hotel. Also known as India’s ‘best historical luxury hotel’, you’ll be transported back to the days of splendour from the moment you are greeted by the lovely doorman. The interiors of the hotel are truly sumptuous, with old memorabilia, photos, Persian rugs and glorious flower arrangements. The food is also fabulous! Make sure you pop into the gift shop to buy a bottle of the Imperial Hotel jasmine room spray to take home and remind you of your travels.
The Khan Market is one of my favourite places as it has a lovely assortment of wonderful boutiques. Amongst them my favourite, Good Earth, where you can buy truly gorgeous ceramics, bedding and clothing all made in India
Another very well know shop is Anokhi which sells only block printed items, all-so-pretty and make for wonderful gift. I am particularly fond of the sarongs and makeup purses.
Ahilaya is an exquisite clothing label - a second generation company dealing in intricately hand-embroidered dresses. They have stores all over India, but in Delhi you can find them at the Khazana Boutique in the Taj Mahal Hotel.
You will also find a wonderful ayurvedic body care shop called Kama Ayurveda, their products are so perfectly packaged and also heavenly to use, leaving you in a scented dream.
Another great area to shop is Hauz Khas Village which has interesting shops and up-and-coming Indian designers selling their creations.
Jan Path Bazar is a bit more rustic and good for trinkets. All the shops are owned by Nepalese traders selling their jewellery and crafts.
Last, but not least, is Sundar Nagar Market for antiques, arts and crafts. This little area has many shops that are more high end and sell lovely old things from paintings, silverware and gorgeous old Indian jewellery - my favourite!
EATING AND DRINKING
Well I certainly recommend a gin and tonic in the bar at The Imperial Hotel. From there I would go to The Claridges hotel and enjoy a delicious meal in their Indian restaurant, it is fabulous!
If you feel like sitting out doors Claridges Mediterranean restaurant in the garden is also divine.
When at Khan Market I recommend visiting the roof top cafe at Good Earth. You’ll want to try a refreshing Mango Lassi!
Bukhara, located inside the luxury hotel ITC Murayan, is renowned as Delhi’s best restaurant and has been frequented by luminaries such as Bill Clinton and many other presidents and heads of state. Note to newbies - you’ll be expected to eat without cutlery, so if you’re unsure about how dextrous your hands are as forks, you might want to dress accordingly!
Visit Chandni Chowk, the old New Delhi Market in a rickshaw and take in all the chaos, spices, flowers and activity this vibrant market place has to offer.
Visit a spa - perhaps Kerala Ayurveda and enjoy an Indian treatment like the well known oil head massage.
Have a cocktail at The Imperial Hotel
Visit the beautiful Lodhi Gardens for a bit of tranquility, also enjoy the drive around this area and the beautiful homes along the lovely boulevards now mainly used by ambassadors. The colonial architecture is glorious and transports you to a time of opulence.