One of the highlights of our visit to Costa Rica was a stay at Andaz Papagayo. I remember being fascinated by the way the hotel succeeded in integrating local elements with the traditional elements of luxury associated with the Hyatt brand. So we were rather excited to see what Andaz had to offer when it opened its doors in New Delhi.
Andaz literally translates to personal style. True to its name, it’s these personal touches, tied inextricably to the daily life of a city, that make every Andaz property stand out amidst a sea of luxury hotels. Andaz Delhi is no different – the interiors are unabashedly luxurious but they are peppered with little things that make India special – bright colours on walls, its characteristic mirror work on pens, bath robes crafted out of Indian handlooms, and an array of sweetmeats to greet guests to their rooms. After staying at the hotel on 5 separate occasions, we thought it was time for a review along with some tips for making the most of your stay at the hotel 🙂
The hotel boasts of 401 luxuriously appointed rooms and suites. Spacious rooms are done up in neutral tones of white and beige. Sumptuous toiletries, bath salts, and pristine white bathrobes dot the roomy bathrooms. The refreshments area boasts of a coffee machine and well-stocked mini-bar. But true to the Andaz branding, there are distinctive touches everywhere.
Guests are welcomed with fridge magnets and playing cards that represent the historical landmarks of the city of Delhi. The mini-bar has a number of Indian teas for guests to sample. The wardrobe has brightly-coloured yukatas with a busy print reminiscent of traditional Indian handlooms. The fruit bowl is peppered with seasonal fruits like ripe mangoes or Indian gooseberries.
There is no doubt Andaz Delhi offers a luxurious stay, as is expected from any premium Hyatt property. But it is the fact that this stay is peppered with truly unique experiences that makes it stand out. The focal point of this experiential stay is the book titled #401 Reasons To Love Delhi, a copy of which can be found in each of the 401 rooms of the hotel. The book includes a mix of historical, cultural, culinary, and experiential adventures in Delhi. Every room in the hotel is dedicated to one of these adventures. But the best part is that you can actually pick and choose any of these 401 experiences and the hotel will execute it for you. What’s more – you’ll get to explore Delhi in one of their colourful vintage Ambassador cars.
We could pick a lot of favourites from the book but if you’re a first-time visitor to Delhi, we’d definitely recommend the tea tasting and a tour of the chaotic by-lanes of Old Delhi. Another memorable experience is a visit to a 100 year old akhara, a traditional Indian wrestling ring. It is one of oldest akharas in Delhi and gives visitors a rare chance to meet wrestlers and experience a slice of Delhi that is off limits even to its residents. In addition to this, do take a tour of the historical gems of Delhi including Humayun’s Tomb, Safdarjung Tomb, and Lodhi Gardens. If you’re feeling brave on the day, then sample Delhi’s street food while you’re out and about. But if you’re apprehensive about the infamous Delhi Belly, then the hotel’s menu has several street-food delicacies on offer. Which brings us to the yummiest part of the stay – DINING!
Andaz Delhi has 2 acclaimed restaurants and 1 speciality gin bar. Hong Kong Club serves Cantonese food and some exquisite cocktails. Make sure you try their dumplings and cocktails tailored to the guests’ Chinese Zodiac signs. Juniper, the bar, is ideal for those who want a tipple or want to learn more about the speciality gin scene in Delhi. It the perfect place to acquaint oneself with some of the finest gins in the market.
But it is Annamaya, the European food hall, that is the pièce de résistance and my personal favourite here. The restaurant serves a melange of European and Indian specialities but you’re bound to think you’ve walked into Willy Wonka’s Candy Factory because an array of desserts greets visitors at the ice-cream counter upon entry. As you walk in, Annamaya’s fresh-fruit counter and colourful stained glass windows will catch your attention. There is no doubt Annamaya is eminently instagrammable. But that’s not why I love it so!
It’s a firm favourite for Sunday brunches with most of my family because the quality of the produce is truly exceptional. This isn’t the place for miniscule portions or fine dining. Instead you can expect hearty portions cooked to perfection. You could order literally anything off the menu and you would be surprised at just how good it tastes. Everything from the freshly-baked breads & vegetables to the desserts and chai (an Indian staple!) is done to perfection. Drop by for a meal at Annamaya when you’re in Delhi, even if you aren’t staying at the hotel!
Ordinarily airport hotels are ideal for 1 night stays owing to flights that take off or land at odd hours. Not in Delhi! The proximity of Indira Gandhi International Airport to the city means Aerocity makes for a perfect base to explore the hustle bustle of Delhi while being close to the airport at the same time. Most of Delhi-NCR’s largest shopping centres, trendiest art galleries, and coolest eateries are just a few kilometres away in Gurgaon or South Delhi. Delhi’s prominent historical and cultural sites are conveniently located less than an hour’s drive from the hotel. This is why Andaz Delhi makes for an ideal base for a getaway in Delhi, irrespective of whether you’re a first-time visitor keen on exploring the capital, or a frequent traveller visiting for work.
If you do have a flight at an odd hour, then make sure you hit the spa before flying out of the Delhi. The spa at Andaz offers a variety of relaxing massages and treatments. Try their ever popular chakra massage or customise a rejuvenating ritual for yourself with the consultants at Andaz Spa. There is a variety of natural oils, herbs, and organic scrubs on offer and they’re used to customise bespoke blends for each guest.
- Andaz Delhi is less than 10 minutes away from IGI Airport but it also makes for the perfect base to explore the city of Delhi.
- The hotel offers an experiential stay and local elements of the city of Delhi are woven in the very fabric of the property
- Their book titled #401 Ways To Fall In Love With Delhi offers the perfect introduction to the historical and cultural sights and sounds of Delhi
- Annamaya, the European food hall, is a firm favourite with both locals and tourists. Its acclaimed Sunday brunches are every bit worth the hype.
- The hotel offers rooms, suites, and long-stay apartments as well. See more details and book here
Want to explore Delhi? Check out a list of our favourite things to do in Delhi
Visiting India? Check out all our articles on India here