The Imperial, New Delhi (and Maiden’s Hotel, Delhi)

1 - Imperial New Delhi

The Art Deco facades of The Imperial, Delhi. Unfortunately, due to widening of Janpath, it is no longer possible to get a full frontal view of the hotel’s facade.

In Delhi, I had the splendid opportunity to stay at not one, but two of the city’s historic grand hotels.

The first, was, of course, Hotel Imperial (today’s The Imperial, New Delhi), Delhi’s modern and luxurious hotel establishment, the equivalent of the Raffles Hotel in the Indian capital.

Just south of Connaught Place on Queensway (today’s Janpath), The Imperial was opened in 1936, in an Art Deco style – in terms of architecture, it is the contemporary of the Connemara Hotel in Madras (Chennai), built in 1937 in an Art Deco style.

It has, of course, hosted its share of heads of state, royalty, celebrities and writers in its time; and it is undisputedly, one of the most atmospheric hotels in the city, whatwith its splendid collection of historic furniture and art, displayed in the endless corridors and public spaces.

It is conveniently located in the centre of New Delhi, and has marvellously nostalgic bars and restaurants in which one can ensconce one’s self and lose one’s self for hours on end.

The other grand hotel is the equally historic, and somewhat older Maiden’s Hotel Delhi.  Established in 1902 in its present location, and carrying the original name of the Metropolitan Hotel.

It was the grand hotel predating Hotel Imperial, receiving a Royal Warrant of Appointment to the British Monarch (as its luggage label attests), alongside another grand hotel that will feature later in this Grand Tour – Faletti’s Hotel in Lahore.

Unfortunately, being situated in Civil Lines, the former headquarters of the colonial establishment before Delhi was declared the new capital, it was somewhat eclipsed by The Imperial when the headquarters of the colonial government moved south to the newly built New Delhi.

Today, the hotel is a quaint reminder of a time when Civil Lines was the centre of colonial society. It is not easy to get to, and thus, not quite the best option in terms of convenient accommodation.

It does provide, however, a somewhat charming (if a little more basic – if we use The Imperial as a benchmark) sojourn.

The Imperial, New Delhi 

2 - Hotel Imperial Delhi Luggage Label

Hotel Imperial Delhi Luggage Label.

3 - Close-up

Close-up of the facade of The Imperial Delhi.

4 - Fountain

The Fountain Court, The Imperial.

5 - Durbar

Oil painting of the Delhi Durbar.

6 - Art Deco

View up the Fountain Courtyard – note the Art Deco fluorishes.

8 - Courtyard

The Atrium restaurant.

9 - Heading up

Public area leading up to second floor.

10 - Room

My bedroom…

20 - Breakfast

Breakfast is at the 1911 Restaurant.

12 - Bar Downstairs

1911 Bar.

13 - Bar upstairs

The marvellously cosy Patiala Peg – the Royal Bar, on the second floor.

14 - Drinks

Champagne at Patiala Peg.

15 - Second Flr Corridor

Wandering around the second floor.

16 - Portraits

One of the ante-lobbies to the Royal Ballroom, the original ballroom, opened in the 1930s with the Hotel.

17 - Ballroom

The Royal Ballroom.

18 - Queen V

Portrait of Queen V at the other ante-lobby to the Royal Ballroom.

19 - Crest

The Hotel Imperial Crest.

Maiden’s Hotel, Delhi

21 - Maiden's Delhi

Facade of the Main Building, Maiden’s Hotel Delhi, Civil Lines.

28 - Maidens Delhi

Maiden’s Hotel Delhi luggage label

22 - Maidens Delhi

Porte-cochere and rusticated entrance facade.

25 - Main and Sub

Main and side wing.

24 - Bedroom

My bedroom

23 - MAidens Delhi Lobby

Lobby lounge.

26 - Maiden's Delhi Lounge

The Cavalry Bar entrance.

27 - Dinner

Goodbye Delhi!

Next stop on the Grand Tour – Agra.

29 - Imperial Hotel I

Goodbye Hotel Imperial! Goodbye Delhi!


About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
This entry was posted in Art & Architecture, Cities & Regions, Culture & Lifestyle, Heritage, India, Landmarks & History, Sociology & Urban Studies, Travel & Mobility and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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