Review: The Leela Palace Hotel New Delhi, India

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For our stay in New Delhi, we were looking for a hotel that could provide an end to end experience, including safe and secure tours around New Delhi along with an option to visit the Taj Mahal. After substantial research and several recommendations, we ended up at The Leela Palace New Delhi. The Leela Palace New Delhi was an outstanding pick and our needs were certainly met and fulfilled through our three day stay at this property.


This post is one chapter on our third Round the World trip via South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, the Maldives and India. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport (World of Hyatt) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Hotel Review: The Leela Palace Luxury Hotel, New Delhi, India

“A classically designed, but exceptional luxury hotel in New Delhi with world class services levels featuring unrivalled levels of attention and hospitality”


Booking and Getting There:

I had chosen The Leela Palace New Delhi hotel for several reasons. It had favourable reviews on FlyerTalk and a colleague at work had recently stayed here on a trip home and had raved about it. Lastly, the hotel advertised private tour services through their website. We were looking for a hotel where we would be led on tours, including an option for the Taj Mahal, as opposed to our usual independent self guided adventures. It was also a member of the Global Hotel Alliance Group (Pan Pacific, Anatara, Kempinski chains). All of this fit the bill and with excellent reviews on trip advisor, and ratings as one of the Top 100 hotels in the world by the Robb Report and Travel and Leisure magazine, we were all set. 

We were met on the public side of the arrivals hall by several Leela Staff whom were attired in three piece suits. You could tell it was “showtime” as the staff were professionally attired at the hour of midnight, above a level of the typical but somewhat dis-interested airport meet and greet service. 

We were led out to a crisp white BMW 525i for our transfer to the Leela Palace. Of note, the hotel offered BMW 5 series car transfers included the Royal Club room rates. The staff were exceptionally professional. The driver asked if we wanted radio music (or not at all) and advising us once seated in the car that they had placed 4 bags in the trunk and not to worry about any details.

BMW 525i Transfer from Indira Ghandri to The Leela Palace Hotel

As perhaps expected arriving to New Delhi, India, there were a few horses running around the road on our midnight drive in. It was mostly quiet except for a few commercial lorries. Our driver indicated that New Delhi has restrictions on commercial trucks during the day, and that most are forced to drive at night. 

Arriving to The Leela Palace:

The Leela Palace New Delhi Hotel
Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110 023, India

After a short twenty minutes transfer from airport to hotel, we arrived to The Leela Palace at the Diplomatic Enclave in Chankayapuri, New Delhi, India. The hotel is well guarded with a security check of the vehicles and trunk for hazards amid a high wall and multiple security guards. We had our effects security screened and entered the lobby. 

Our first impressions on arrival were outstanding. It’s absolutely fabulous looking hotel. Even MrsWT73, the road warrior these days, was thoroughly impressed commenting “it’s not too often you enter a hotel that takes your breath away”.

Lobby of The Leela Palace Luxury Hotel, New Delhi
Beautiful Fresh Flower Accents
Inviting Lobby Spaces

The beauty of The Leela Palace continued through the lobby and arrival area. It was dark when we arrived and we finally got to take a look at it in the day light of the morning. There was of course a lobby bar for tea and many people waiting for their appointments. The lobby was opulent and full of fresh flowers. Surprisingly, the reception and bell desk are practically invisible. I actually had to ask where they were. You know a hotel is doing well in the service department when you haven’t had a need to go to the front desk to get anything. Everything was brought to us and taken care of us in a pro-active manner by staff approaching us the minute we stepped off the elevator. 

Getting back to our arrival, we were met at the front door by a member of the concierge team. We were immediately led up to our Royal Club room on ninth floor. The check – in formalities were completed in the room. I also arranged and confirmed our New Delhi tour for the next day. The simple ability to be able to do this from the comfort of your room immediately after a late arrival was a fantastic service touch. I had visions of running around in the lobby at 1:30 AM after arrival looking for a concierge tour desk at 2 AM trying to confirm the departure time. The bags were also brought up immediately and without delay. 

Elegant Hallways of The Leela Palace
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The Room: A Royal Club Room

One King Size Bed:

The Royal Club room was exceptionally well appointed for a standard club room. It has a beautiful ceiling, nicely patterned carpet, which set the tone for a traditional but elegant stay.

Royal Club King Size Bed
A Club Royal King Size Bed
Royal Club Room Looking Towards the Living Area
Conveniently Placed Bedside Slippers

The hotel offered more amenities that we had initially expected, including placement of comfortable slippers bedside.

A Couch for Room Lounging

The room also contained a beautiful marble inlaid desk. The desk had two chairs for convenient in room dining.

Desk and Television Area
Seating for Two
A Beautiful Working Desk Space

A first for me, the room’s pillow menu didn’t disappoint; horse hair, neck supporting or down?

An in room Pillow Menu
Horsehair, Down or Spelt Pillow?

While we were on the topic of sleep, I also found the room to be exceptionally quiet. It was at the end of the hall and was completely isolated from hallway noise from other guests.

Aside from the pillow menu, the room also featured a half fridge, mini bar, and 24 hr room dining. It was a very impressive and competent and professional arrival considering what a disaster Air India was on the way up from the Maldives. 

The Bathroom:

Even the bathroom was over the top. It had comfortable robes, clean tiles and a television for the bathtub in a tasteful old world setting.  it even had a TV in the bathtub.

An Elegant Old School Bathroom
The Bathroom Featured Separate Shows and WC stalls
A Televised Bath Tub
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Around the Hotel:

Visiting the Royal Club Lounge:

We took it easy the next morning and enjoyed breakfast in the Royal Club Lounge. Every area of the hotel was well appointed with high end furnishings. Wainscoting on the walls, marble in the hallways, and fresh flowers were all around The Royal Club lounge was an opulent place with comfortable tables and couches in a nice “men’s club” type of environment with a royal flair. 

Reception: The Royal Club
Fresh Flower Displays Accent Most Public Spaces
Fresh Flower Displays
Elegant Seating Spaces
A Gentlemen’s Library Feel
Various Seating Areas
A Beautiful Rose Display
Spectular Red Roses
A Combination of Lounge and Dining Tables for Dining or Working
Classic and Opulent Surroundings
The Royal Club Lounge Food and Beverage:

While there were a few buffet items, we ended up ordering a la carte menu items. We were promptly attended to by wait staff and served breakfast to order. We started tame with Eggs Benedict, and before the end of breakfast, we were sampling Indian favorites that were out of this world. 

Buffet Items
Eggs Benedict Breakfast (with and without hollandaise) with fresh orange juice and coffee

We were brought a sampler plate of Indian Specialties was nothing like I’d ever had tasted before. The food was exceptionally fresh with excellent flavor and depth.

Indian Breakfast Selections
Indian Paratha, Dosa, Idlis and Uthappam breakfast items

The Royal Club offered prompt attention and really attentive service. We couldn’t get up at any time to get anything, with everything brought to us. All of the food in the Royal Club was included with the room rate, with 5 separate food offerings and menu themes per day (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, happy hour with cocktails, dessert buffet). The majority of the food was made to order and we took little of the food offerings that had been set out (ordering off the menu for most snacks and light meals).

Outdoor Pool and Recreation Center:

After breakfast, we took a look at the pool on the roof top of the building. The pool was an infinity pool surrounded by a green wall and a view of embassies and embassy residences. This was a neat place with an interesting view of the surrounding area. 

A Roof Top Infiniti Pool
Outdoor Infiniti Pool: A Space to Cool Off
A Pool with a Skyline View
A roof top view of the Diplomatic Enclave at Chanakyapuri, New Delhi

The hotel gardens:

Before we left on our New Delhi tour, for the day, we took a look at the gardens outside Cube, their international restaurant. The ground floor offered a patio for drinks outside in a nicely landscaped restaurant. I would imagine that this also doubled as a wedding area. 

Hotel Gardens off the Lobby
Hotel Gardens by “Cube”; the all day dining restaurant
The Cube’s Patio Spaces for Outdoor Dining.

The Qube Restaurant: All Day Dining

We returned to the hotel and had dinner one evening at the Qube (international themed) restaurant on the Leela Palace hotel property. We were aiming for the fine dining Indian restaurant but it was completely closed for the night due to a private function celebrating the life of the hotel founder that had recently passed away.

The Qube International Dining
Contemporary Dining at The Qube

I don’t have any exciting food shots for you tonight – we ended up splitting a pizza. The interior was pretty interesting with a neat contemporary flair that was much more exciting than the usual general hotel dining restaurant. 

The Bottom Line: Our stay experience with The Leela Palace New Delhi

Our three day stay at The Leela Palace was flawless. It was easily one of the top ten hotel stays of my life; perhaps even within the top five. It’s easy to have things go well on a hotel stay when you are staying one night, or are spending most of your time outside of the hotel sightseeing or for work purposes. It’s harder to leave a good impression when you’re using every feature of the hotel (breakfast, restaurants, lounge, concierge etc…) By using every part of the hotel, you in essence test each part of the operation. The hotel was exceptionally well appointed, refined and super comfortable. Every need we could have possibly wanted was taken care of, even when arriving at 2 AM in the morning after an international flight. The service by all the staff members was excellent and the treatment we received as Royal Club guests was outstanding. I couldn’t recommend this place more highly.


If you’ve stayed at The Leela Palace, did you experience exceptional service like we did?

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