Arrival/Check-In: I don’t think a single property can beat the warm, gracious greeting I received at The Taj Mahal in New Delhi. I landed at the airport after an overnight stay in Mumbai and was picked up by the hotel. The driver radioed ahead, and the staff and concierge, Lakhya, were ready to take care of my rushed schedule. Two women in saris welcomed me, garlanding me with flowers and placing a smudge of vermillion (red dye) on my forehead. I had been in India for five days, but this simple ceremony made me feel even more welcome. I was taken to my eighth-floor club-level room and checked in. I also met my butler. I was preparing for a round of golf when Lakhya called, saying Delhi Golf Club had an 11:30 a.m. tee time for me. It was 11:10 a.m., so I rushed to the course.
Guest Quarters: The room, although not very large, was quite functional. The minibar had items for purchase and free items on two different shelves to avoid confusion — a great idea. A large, comfortable, king-sized bed with four pillows was on the right. Toward the large window were a small, comfortable settee; a coffee table; and a desk with all the proper amenities, including outlets (and a power converter) at desk level. A large, flat-screen TV was on the opposite wall. The room had ample storage for clothing and luggage.
I was impressed with the housekeeping staff, who arranged my mess in an orderly fashion after I left quickly for the golf course. Eyeglasses were placed in a little leather box with a lens cloth around them; keys were in another box; a replacement toothpaste (the same brand I was using) was in the bathroom, as I was getting low — all with a little note from the staff. My bed was prepared with one pillow on the left and the other three stacked. They seemed to know how I preferred to sleep! Slippers at the foot of the bed, my shoes placed neatly and a little cloth topped off the effect. My butler was wonderful and left some snacks for me, a terrific treat when I returned from a day touring Agra.
Services/Amenities: I made great use of the concierge for my golf game, a trip to Agra and a city tour of Delhi. I entertained clients in the Taj Club Lounge, which has complimentary cocktails from 6–8 p.m. every evening and daily breakfast for club-level guests. There are many restaurants and dining choices, including Rick’s (the hotel’s bar), Machan (international cuisine), Emperor’s Lounge (lobby lounge), The Grill Room (Chef Ingo Möller’s continental cuisine), House of Ming (one of the best Chinese restaurants in Delhi), Wasabi by Morimoto (Japanese) and Varq (Indian).
The hotel aims to handle every desire with class. The grounds are beautiful, particularly the back of the property with its expansive pool. I wished I had a few days to relax. I did schedule a massage before my flight home, which included a body scrub, a 60-minute body massage and a 30-minute head massage. I recommend this to all flyers!
The Experience: The Taj has a few things missing from our checklist, but with a butler, you don’t need an ironing board. The hair dryer is in the drawer and is pre-plugged and appears to be sufficient. They could offer a larger safe to hold laptops. It’s a wonderful hotel, and the staff makes The Taj Mahal a top choice in my book.
- Reasonable arrival-to-room time
- Separate tub and shower
- Large vanity
- High-quality towels
- Large, flat-screen television
- Large desk with convenient outlets
- Complimentary WiFi
- Ample lighting
- Quality bed linens
- Choice of pillows
- Powerful, unattached hair dryer
- Iron and ironing board
- Easy-to-set alarm clock
- On-site restaurant and bar
- 24-hour room service
- Coffeemaker in room
- Large, complimentary laptop safe
The Taj Mahal Hotel
One Mansingh Road
New Delhi 110 011, India
tel 91 11 2302 6162
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