A cool, contemporary sanctuary in New Delhi, The Lodhi hotel combines the best of spa and city escapes. Courtyards, reflecting pools and intricately carved stone screens help the modern building and vast gardens feel like an intimate escape, with a selection of squash courts and tennis courts, a lap pool and a restorative spa. The beautiful gardens and impressive amenities could keep entertain guests for days without venturing off the three-hectare estate, but two destination-dining options and the sensational city views from the elegantly minimalist rooms with sensational views are a reminder that the best of Delhi awaits just outside the grounds.
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A jet lag or foot massage each for two guests on arrival
Noon, but flexible subject to availability and an additional fee. For departures until until 6pm, an additional half-day charge will apply; for departures after 6pm, a full extra night's charge applies. Earliest check-in is 2pm.
Double rooms from £193.90 (INR20,054), including tax at 18 per cent.
Rates do not include breakfast (from INR1000).
The Lodhi works with Chennai-based Apparao Galleries to source contemporary Indian works from some of the country’s best artists for public spaces and guestrooms in the hotel. The pieces rotate frequently, giving the space a dynamic design.
All rooms at the Lodhi have private plunge pools and spacious layouts. But the Lodhi Premier Rooms are particularly special, located on the highest floors of the hotel with treetop views of the Delhi skyline.
Dotted with stunning columns, the heated outdoor lap pool has sun loungers for secluded relaxation. The hotel operates a casual all-day Pool Café for light fare.
The tranquil Lodhi Spa offers Ayurvedic, Asian and Western treatments in eight private rooms, each equipped with a tub, shower, day bed and massage table. The spa has male and female hammams with several plunge pools of varying temperatures to ease sore muscles and travel-weary joints after long trips.
Don’t stress if you run out of reading material: the library includes a stunning selection of tomes, including photographic histories of India and contemporary works about Delhi.
The salon has 10 special treatment areas, and is equipped to offer hair, nail and light massage services.
Children of all ages are welcome, though the hotel has no specific child-friendly menus or facilities.
Our pick would be one of the tables outside on the terrace. For special occasions, the hotel can arrange moonlit meals in the gardens or on guests’ private balcony.
Neutral colours and long linens are ideal for the contemporary, minimalist settings.
Elan is an international coffee shop, open from breakfast through late-night dinner, with open-air dining on the courtyard on pretty days. The menu showcases food from throughout India, with light fare available between meals.
Elan has a cosy bar at the end of the restaurant, with deep chairs ideal for settling in over gin-based Imli Martinis or creative mocktails.
Elan serves from 7am until 11:30pm.
Available anytime, the menu includes breakfast options, traditional Indian dishes and a full wine selection.
The Lodhi is in leafy south New Delhi, near Lodhi Gardens and scenic Old Delhi.
Delhi's hub, Indira Gandhi International Airport (www.newdelhiairport.in), is 15 km from the hotel, though the drive takes at least 30 minutes. International and domestic flights touch down daily, and the hotel can arrange transfers from INR4000 (about £45).
Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway, 1 km from the hotel, serves Western and Southern India, via Indian Railways. Transfers are available for INR3000.
The hotel offers valet parking, but Delhi’s traffic is notoriously chaotic, so most travellers opt for private car services or taxis.
Worth getting out of bed for
The Lodhi is a sanctuary of green space in New Delhi, and it’s easy to pass the day strolling the grounds or enjoying Pilates, squash or tennis, spa treatments and a swim.
Just beyond the hotel’s grounds are some of the city’s most spectacular and expansive parks, including a private golf course across the street, which is available to golf-loving guests. Down the road, the 36-hectare Lodhi Garden is stunning, with rolling greens and 15th-century architecture. The hotel can arrange for guided morning yoga or a tour.
On the other side of the hotel, Nizamuddin Village is a historic colony that is home to the 14th-century Mughal-designed Humayan’s Tomb.
Old Delhi has enough to keep visitors occupied for weeks, but the Jama Masjid mosque and sprawling 17th-century Red Fort are two near-mandatory sites. The hotel can arrange private tours, including to nearby bazaars and textile shops.
A 15-minute drive from the hotel, Bukhara in the Hotel ITC Maurya is frequently praised as one of the city's best restaurants. The menu showcases regional cuisine cooked in traditional tandoor ovens, including kebabs, breads and lentils. Watch the formally clad chefs prepare it all in the open kitchen.
Indian Accent, a 4km drive from the hotel, serves contemporary, inventive Indian cuisine by Manish Mahrotra, one of India's top chefs. The clever small plates pair delightfully unexpected ingredients, resulting in options like chicken tikka quesadillas with peppercorn raita, or beet-peanut butter tikki with caper-wasabi chutney.
The boldly decorated Veda on Connaught Circus conjures the bold flavors of India’s cuisine through red walls, backlit mirrors and staggered chandeliers. Dishes are an edible journey through the country, with tandoor meats, masala-spiced okra, and chicken in rosewater with saffron.