Friday, June 15, 2012

Palace Intrigue, New Delhi

By Nicholas Walton

Old-world opulence meets contemporary sophistication at the new Leela Palace New Delhi, executive summary by darmansjah

The look. The city’s newest and most lavish house of slumber bring a distinctly Victorian vibe to the colonial-era embassies and mansions of the tony Chanakyapuri diplomatic enclave. Interiors are light and airy, with a vaulted lobby, towering windows overlooking manicured lawns, and gilded accents galore.

The Quarters; With 241 spacious rooms (the smallest measure 51 square meters), three lavish suites boasting private plunge pools, and a Maharaja Suite that more than lives up to its name, the Leela has been the talk of the town since its May opening. Rooms many an elegant old-world design persona with cutting-edge technology: Blu-ray players and iTouch ‘digivalet’ systems come standard as do 500-thread-count lines and over size bathrooms with indulgent soaking tubs.

The Food; Breakfasts are a leisurely affair at the glass-encased Qube, while the signature Indian restaurant. Jamavar, is a firm new favorite among Delhi’s A-listers. The hotel has also teamed up with Sirio maccioni’s award-winning restaurant group to bring the Mediterranean cuisine of New York’s Le Cirque to the Indian capital. Make sure you leave room for a post prandial tipple in the gentlement’s club ambience of the library.

Facilities; the hotel has a Jeffrey Wilkes designed ESPA on the first floor, offering a host of authentic Ayuverdic treatments and rituals. There is also a comprehensive fitness center equipped with the very latest cardio equipment and a dedicated team of personal trainers that, for once, do more than just hand out water bottles and legal waivers.

Don’t Miss The first Indian branch of New York’s iconic Megu restaurant is slated to open here in October. The brainchild of Design Studio Spin of Japan, it promises to be the hottest spot in town for rubbing shoulders with the Delhi beau monde. Chanakyaprui, New Delhi, 91-11/3933-1234;; doubles from US$625

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