by Jesse Stirling
Contemporary Colonial Grandeur
Welcome to Asia’s finest luxury hotel. The Imperial is a legendary property, embracing India’s history while looking towards the future. More than just a luxury hotel, the Imperial is a destination in itself – a marvelous mélange of Victorian, Colonial, and Art Deco styles. The grand entrance, fine dining options, amazing outdoor pool, world-class spa, spacious high ceilings, stunning crystal chandeliers, sparkling marble floors, plush furniture and impressive collection of art are constant reminders of the elegance of the colonial era. The indelible Imperial experience makes your visit perfect in every possible way.
New Delhi’s landmark hotel is located on Janpath, an exclusive area of the city, steps away from the renowned shopping district of Connaught Place and other major attractions. Built in 1931 by Blomfield and inaugurated by Lord Willingdon, the hotel was named and conferred the exquisite lion insignia by Lady Willington in 1936. India’s great personalities have walked the corridors of the hotel, sharing ideas over a cup of tea in one of the many on-site restaurants and lounges. Pandit Nehru, Mahatama Gandhi, and Lord Mountbatten would meet at The Imperial to discuss the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan. From conception, the hotel was designed to be one of the finest monuments of the capitol city’s original master plan. In fact, the 24 king palms that lead up to the porch were in place before the very creation of New Delhi.
Awash in white, The Imperial is a unique blend of old and new. The past aura is preserved through an impressive wealth of original 18th and 19th century art that adorns the corridors. Art has been synonymous with The Imperial since its inception. The hotel’s extensive collection of Colonial images and memorabilia has earned The Imperial the monicker “Museum Hotel.” While the Imperial’s history, grandeur and warmly attentive service keep the regulars coming back, modern touches such as high speed wireless internet, the finest bathroom amenities, as well as breathtaking and contemporary flower arrangements bring a touch of 21st century luxury to this jewel of India.
The Imperial boasts 192 spacious guest rooms and an impressive collection of 43 suites. The Presidential Suite spans 3000 square feet, including luxurious dining and sitting areas, an expansive master bedroom and spacious study. D. Porthault linens, Bang & Olufsen televisions, a private steam room, sauna, and jacuzzi contribute to the suite’s overall feeling of elegant opulence. Throughout the property treasures abound, including: “1911” restaurant and bar, the royal ballroom, the award-winning Imperial Spa, San Gimigano Italian eatery (Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence”), The Atrium (“Best Tea Lounge,” Times & Food Award), and the delicious, amazing, unique, not-to-be-missed Spice Route restaurant (“Best Dining Experience Award” CNBC). Other hotel recognitions include: “500 Best Hotels in the World” (Travel + Leisure), “Top 12 Hotels in the World” (Agoda), “Best Luxury Hotel in India” (World Luxury Hotel Awards),“India’s Leading Business Hotel” (World Travel Awards), and “World’s Best Places to Stay, Gold List” (Condé Nast Traveler).
The Imperial is a perfect confluence of a rich historical past and contemporary international appeal. After many restorations, the charm is preserved and former glory exudes. Explains General Manager Mr. Vijay Wanchoo, “A hotel is only as good as the people who work there. We believe we have the most intelligent and highly trained staff in all of India. Yet we are never satisfied, and always looking to improve, to provide our visitors with exquisite service, perfectly tailored to each guest’s needs.” This lofty promise is delivered upon. The Imperial is a jewel of architecture, and its location in the heart of the city makes it the ideal venue for tourists and dignitaries around the world.