I recently traveled to India & Bhutan. You can read my trip reports here
- Review: Swiss Airbus A330 First Class from Zürich to Delhi
- Review: India Aman Tour – The Lodhi New Delhi
- Review: India Aman Tour – Aman-i-Khas, Ranthambore National Park
- Review: India Aman Tour – Amanbagh, Rajasthan
- Review: The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra
- Review: The Oberoi New Delhi (today)
- Review: Six Senses Thimphu, Bhutan
- Review: Six Senses Punakha, Bhutan
- Review: Six Senses Paro, Bhutan
- Review: Bhutan Airlines A320 Business Class from Paro to Delhi
- Review: The Leela Palace Delhi
- Review: Taj Lake Palace (Udaipur)
- Review: The Oberoi Udaivilas (Udaipur)
- Review: Lufthansa A380 First Class Delhi to Frankfurt
Today (October 2, 2019): Review of The Oberoi New Delhi (India)
- Location: Google maps
- Hotel website: The Oberoi New Delhi
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso
Reopened in 2018 after an extensive refurbishment, The Oberoi New Delhi hotel reflects the spirit of India’s capital city in a harmonious blend of tradition and contemporary sophistication. The property offers spacious, light-filled rooms and suites with cutting-edge technology and sweeping views of Delhi Golf Course and Humayun’s Tomb. Restaurants include Threesixty for all-day fine dining, a contemporary Indian specialty restaurant and a rooftop Chinese restaurant. There is also an open-air rooftop bar, a wine cellar and a new cigar lounge. Wellness facilities include The Oberoi Spa, temperature-controlled indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a 24-hour fitness center.
Have you ever stayed at The Oberoi New Delhi? If so, what was your experience? Leave a comment.
In this review (more info and photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- The Oberoi New Delhi enjoys a central location near government offices, shopping, financial and business districts. The hotel sits off a busy road on the edge of chaotic Old Delhi and New Delhi (built as the Indian capital by British colonialists with wide, clean, and shady streets). Humayun’s Tomb, one of the city’s prime attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is within walking distance and the beautiful Lodhi Gardens are just down the road. The property is a 30 minutes drive from the airport and within a few minutes distance from the international exhibition grounds of Pragati Maidan and many embassies.
- The Oberoi New Delhi was a beacon of modernism when it welcomed its first guests in 1965. After wrapping up its landmark golden anniversary, the iconic property closed its doors in early 2016 and reopened again in 2018 after a $100 million USD dollar, top-to-bottom renovation. The latter was directed by the internationally renowned designer Adam D. Tihany who took Sir Edwin Lutyens’ modernist vision as his inspiration. The result is a brilliant decor that fuses modernist details long loved by Oberoi loyalists with thoroughly upgraded design features like rich polished teak floors, gilded gold accents, custom furniture, and chic social spaces.
- The property features a stunning white marble lobby, which overlooks a courtyard with spiral staircase and waterpond. An intricate silvery jali installation hangs wall to wall, floor to ceiling at the lobby’s entrance and was designed by local artist group Kaaru as an ode to the disparate interpretations of time. The lobby’s hanging lamps, armchair and other furniture are reproductions of original designs by Edwin Lutyens. The checkerboard-floored lobby also features a small shopping arcade with designer boutiques, including royal favorite the Gem Palace. The hotel’s signature carved ‘Tree of Life’ (made in the 1960s) is located at the end of the lobby; its design was inspired by the jalis at the Sidi Sayed mosque in Ahmedabad.
- During the 2016-2018 renovation, the property’s room count was reduced from 283 to 220 rooms (including 34 suites), making them larger and brighter, with floor-to-ceiling windows and commodious bathrooms. During my visit, I was upgraded to a fabulous Oberoi suite, featuring a grand master bedroom (with kingsize bed), a living area, and an ensuite bathroom equipped with twin vanity counter, enamel bathtub, and separate shower and toilet cubicles. Views from the picture window looked over the historic Delhi Golf Course. The modern suite was decorated with Mughal, Victorian, Lutyens and art deco design elements, and its vibrant color palette reflected the saturated teals, pinks, and reds of the city outside.
- The Oberoi New Delhi features a lovely, tranquil and well-manicured garden, which is a welcome respite after an exhausting day of sightseeing or doing business in the hustle and bustle of India’s capital city. The garden has a fairly large, cobalt-blue swimming pool at its center. An ivy covered wall and a dozen comfortable loungers with orange cushions surround this refreshed original outdoor pool. Pool service is provided with snacks and drinks offered throughout the day, while the pool garden is also used for al fresco dining offering Korean grills at selected night. The property also features a second, indoor pool, which is temperature-controlled and housed within the spa (more on that below).
- The spa at The Oberoi New Delhi was also refurbished during the 2016-2018 renovation. It’s an intimate space, located between the garden and the lobby, and exudes a Zen like ambience, perfect for total relaxation. Specially curated, holistic treatments are performed by skilled therapists in private rooms with self-heating massage beds, a private relaxation area, an ensuite aromatic steam shower and a washroom. There’s also a couple’s spa suite, an infrared sauna, and a large, well equipped gym. Complimentary yoga is offered in the mornings.
- Since its opening in the 1960s, the iconic property has always been a magnet for celebrities, artists, political luminaries, CEOs and well-heeled travelers. Over the years, The Oberoi New Delhi has played host to the rich and famous of the world, from Omar Sharif, the Beatles, Mick Jagger and Giorgio Armani to generations of Bollywood stars, along with heads of state such as Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Afghanistan’s former president Hamid Karzai, and the former prime minister of Australia, Tony Abbott.
- The Oberoi New Delhi has been equipped with innovative concepts, such as state-of-the-art ‘clean air’ technology, which is basically an indoor air purification system that prevents the entry of harmful air particles into the building, ensuring guests are treated to the purest of air on par with global standards, despite New Delhi’s increasingly problematic pollution. Further, all rooms are equipped with Oberoi E’nhance – an iPad wherein you can control lighting, draw curtains, check your bill, or order room service.
- The Oberoi New Delhi serves delicious food in its three restaurants:
- Akin to a fashionable drawing room for Delhi’s elite, 360° is the hotel’s main restaurant, located on the lobby level. Lavish buffet breakfasts are served here, and the restaurant is also open for lunch and dinner, with a choice of European, Japanese, Thai and Indian cuisine prepared by the Oberoi chefs in their open kitchens.
- The fine-dining restaurant Omya is located next to 360°, and serves outstanding contemporary Indian food created by London-based Alfred Prasad, India’s youngest ever recipient of a Michelin Star.
- The Chinese rooftop restaurant Baoshuan serves innovative Chinese cuisine under the guidance of Michelin starred chef, Andrew Wong. Its menu is a culinary symphony that captures the beauty and complexities of Chinese cuisine, from Cantonese to spicy Szechwan.
- The real draw of the Oberoi New Delhi has always been its buzzy social spaces:
- The property features an extensive rooftop space, where guests can mix and mingle with Delhi’s beau monde while enjoying a craft cocktail at Cirrus 9, the hotel’s fashionable bar which offers great views of the forested golf course and Humayun’s Tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Next to the lobby is New Delhi’s first exclusive indoor cigar lounge, offering a curated collection of the finest hand-rolled Cuban cigars, which guests can store in personalized humidor lockers.
- The property also features an award winning patisserie and delicatessen, which sells hand crafted cakes and desserts, breads, pies and pastries baked fresh throughout the day, homemade single origin chocolates, imported meats and cheeses, homemade pasta, condiments and more.
- The hotel is one of the flagship properties of Oberoi, one of the world’s most exclusive hotel groups. The Oberoi story wrote its early chapters in 1934 in Shimla where Mohan Singh Oberoi pioneered the idea of luxury hospitality in India by opening his first hotel. In the following years Oberoi – assisted by his two sons – continued the expansion of their group with properties both in India and abroad. Today, the group operates 35 hotels and cruise ships in six countries under the luxury ‘Oberoi’ and five-star ‘Trident’ brand. The group still practices the hospitality philosophy that began with Mr. Oberoi himself and are now echoed by his son and current chairman Prithvi Raj Singh Obero: The guest is everything.
- India is renowned around the world for its hospitality, but the Oberoi New Delhi even goes beyond and delivers phenomenal service. If the luxurious setting doesn’t make you feel like royalty, the super-attentive staff – all fluent in English – surely will and they make this place truly unforgettable. Doors are magically opened, handbags carried, special treats brought to your table, and every room comes with a 24-hour butler service. Every single staff member (from room service to front desk to the concierge) smiles endlessly, is uber-friendly and unfailingly polite. I dare to say that the warm, personalized service at an Oberoi is even better than what you get at an Aman or Four Seasons property.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
The Oberoi New Delhi, which recently went through a $100 million USD renovation, is the best luxury hotel in India’s capital. With its lovely decor, outstanding restaurants, world-class service, and excellent leisure facilities, there’s little to say against the property, except for the following:
- The hotel’s concrete exterior from the sixties is not very attractive, despite being an intrinsic part of the city’s architectural highlights. The interiors are completely redone though and feel modern and airy, with new ceilings, custom-made lighting and exquisite furniture.
- The location is in the heart of downtown New Delhi, but you’ll still need a car or taxi to get anywhere.
- The hotel is popular with business travelers, and therefore it may feel busy at certain times.
- Location: 8/10
- Design: 9/10
- Pool: 9/10
- Rooms: 9/10
- Food: 9/10
- Breakfast: 9/10
- Spa: 9/10
- Service: 9/10
- Value for money: 9/10
- Overall experience: very good 8,8/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: get complimentary VIP perks at The Oberoi New Delhi when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and one complimentary lunch for two).
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Autumn (October and November) or Spring (February and March) are considered the best times to visit Delhi. During this period, the weather remains pleasant and sunny with comfortable temperatures, drawing many tourists from various parts of the world. It is not recommended to visit Delhi in summers because of the unpleasant weather. From April to June, Delhi sees sandy, hot winds and Delhiites get roasted by extremely high temperatures, sometimes hoovering around 45° C (113° F). The months of July, August and September are the monsoon season in the city: while the temperatures see a considerable dip, the humidity constantly rises with the highest rainfall occurring in July and August. Delhi’s winter months of December, January and February bring biting cold weather, heavy fog and cool winds.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Oberoi New Delhi is about 12 miles from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, which takes around 30 to 60 minutes by taxi (depending on the traffic). Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that provide direct flights to Delhi.