Who says you have to spend a fortune on accommodation to get great service in New Delhi? The city is now seeing the rise of a new kind of nesting space—boutique guest houses. These tiny inns, in the heart of neighbourhoods like Safdarjung Enclave, Greater Kailash and Hauz Khas Village, provide an intimate setting, chic décor and many of the services that hotel chains offer, at a comparatively lower tariff.
Take, for example, the newest kid on the block, The Rose (www.therosenewdelhi.com). Situated in the creative hub of Hauz Khas Village, it has 12 sunlit rooms, each overlooking a pretty rose garden. Accommodation here ranges from the smaller Cabin rooms (doubles from Rs4,730) to the luxurious Grand Suite (doubles from Rs6,980), which comes with a study and a walk-in closet.
The Rose also offers amenities like airport transfers, daily housekeeping and laundry, free wi-fi and an in-house masseur.
So, what sets such guest houses apart from standard hotels? Firstly, their location. Most hotels are situated on busy main roads, giving guests no sense of the neighbourhood they’re in. Guest houses, on the other hand, are right in the thick of things. For instance, Hauz Khas Village’s many art and retail attractions are just a step away from The Rose.
Having hosts in the know is another thing that works in their favour. The owners are always around to give assistance, making for an informal atmosphere. You won’t get standard ‘go to Dilli Haat’ answers, either. Instead, you’ll be privy to non-touristy nuggets of information, like the best places to eat and shop, or the most happening bars in the city, that only people in the know are able to impart. The Rose takes the interest factor up a notch with their acoustic music on Saturday nights and their artist-in-residence, Julien Segard, who exhibits paintings in the lobby.
Thirdly, even the deluxe rooms at most guest houses are considerably cheaper than a hotel’s basic rooms, and they have the same amenities—along with some chic, eclectic décor.
All these are factors that travellers have woken up to, boosting the renewed success of guest houses. So the next time you visit the capital, book a room at one of these boutique spaces for a cool, comfortable stay.
NEW DELHI'S COOLEST BOUTIQUE GUEST HOUSES:
Amarya Villa Located in Safdarjung Enclave, it has nine rooms based on the navratana, or nine jewels, concept—blue and yellow sapphire, coral, diamond, emerald, pearl, ruby, topaz and zircon. High-speed wi-fi comes free with each room and spa treatments are offered through the Tattva Mobile Spa. (www.amaryagroup.com)
Bed And Chai Guest House This charming little property in Greater Kailash I has five rooms decorated in cheerful yellow and blue, with eclectic elements like kettles turned into lamps. If you’re a couple with children or a group of friends who don’t mind sharing, check out their dormitory-style room, which comes with bunks and a queen-sized bed. There’s also a large kitchen, free wi-fi, and a rooftop garden to enjoy your morning cup of tea. (www.bedandchai.com)
Amarya Haveli This quiet guest house is centrally located in HauzKhas Enclave, not far from HauzKhas Village. Each of its six spacious rooms is decorated and themed around a different Indian state. Hence, the Jaipur Room has pink accents, while the Mumbai Room has kitsch Bollywood posters. (www.amaryagroup.com)
Tree of Life It occupies two floors of a private house in Saket, each of which has three bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and a fleet of staff. The owners live on the top floor and are handy for any sort of advice. Free wi-fi, a library of DVDs and books, and power back-up (essential during the Delhi summer) are neat little extras. (www.tree-of-life.in)
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