Le Méridien, New Delhi, India

LOCATION: Guests at this hotel can practically count the president and prime minister as neighbours; the hotel is the top point of a triangle, whose other angles would include the official residence of the President of India and the war memorial India Gate, with the grandiose Parliament building thrown into the mix for good measure. In British terms, it would be like staying up the road from Buckingham Palace, or within walking distance of Westminster.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Delhi’s business-like buzz is never more apparent than in this city centre hotel, which makes a refreshing change from India’s more traditional properties. It’s a must for travellers with a penchant for quirky design: the space-age lobby gives way to a chic cafe and bar complete with stepped waterfall, vast atrium and chairs that would look equally at home in a design show as they do in this light, airy space. It’s cutting-edge in a way that makes you feel cool just for being there.

THE FACTS: The 25-year-old hotel was refurbished two years ago and it shows in its elegant rooms, dark-wood furnishings and ultra-modern atmosphere. It feels like more of a business hotel than some properties in the capital, but there is still a strong enough contingent of leisure travellers that they would feel at home.
Dining options vary, from the relaxed coffee lounge and all-purpose restaurant on the ground floor, to the altogether more exclusive Henri’s Bar and east-Asian cuisine at Le Belvedere restaurant, both on the rooftop for stunning views of the city.

A GOOD BASE FOR: Exploring this enigmatic city, which somehow combines history both ancient and modern, with a forward-looking buzz that helps you understand why India is said to be the next sleeping giant in world economic terms. From medieval site Qutb Minar to 17th century street market Chandni Chowk and Raj Ghat, the memorial to national icon Mahatma Gandhi, this is a capital worth taking your time over.

WOW: The property has plenty to recommend it, but my favourite finishing touch has to be the television screens cleverly placed by each lift, playing a constant loop of Tom and Jerry cartoons to entertain guests as they wait – is there anything this hotel hasn’t thought of?

HOW MUCH: From £152 per night for a double club room, including taxes, breakfast, club lounge access and airport transfers.

lemeridien.com/newdelhi

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