Review: Holiday Inn Delhi Airport, A Step Above

The Holiday Inn – Delhi Airport is located in the New Delhi Aerocity, which is a shopping and hospitality district located adjacent to International Terminal 3. Please note that this is not to be confused with the Holiday Inn Express T3, which is actually attached to the terminal itself. I chose to stay a little off airport because this hotel cost the same in terms of points and got better reviews.


Introduction: Incredible India
Focal Point: Incredible India in 8 Pictures
AMEX Centurion Lounge – DFW
Lufthansa Business Class Lounge DFW
Lufthansa A330 Business DFW-Frankfurt
Lufthansa Business Lounge Gate B21
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Frankfurt
Lufthansa A380 Business Frankfurt – Delhi
Holiday Inn – New Delhi Int’l Airport
Air India Economy Delhi – Udaipur
Taj Lake Palace – Udaipur
Focal Point: Lake Pichola
Hyatt Regency New Delhi
Air India Business Class Lounge – Intl Departures T3
Plaza Premium Lounge – Intl Departures T3
Air India 777 Business Class Delhi – Hyderabad
Westin Mindspace – Hyderabad
Focal Point: Golconda Fort
Focal Point: Raitu Bazaar
Plaza Premium Lounge – Hyderabad Intl Airport
British Airways Club World Hyderabad-London
No. 1 Lounge London-Heathrow T3
BA Galleries Lounge Heathrow – Terminal 3
AA 777W Business Class London – DFW


Holiday Inn New Delhi Int’l Airport
Asset Area 12, Hospitality District Aero City
Delhi International Airport New Delhi 110037

IHG Point Requirement: 20,000 points/night

It took us approximately 15 minutes to get to the Holiday Inn Delhi Airport because of traffic and the way the roads are arranged in India. The ride was included in the package I had bought from the hotel, which included 5 pieces of laundry, breakfast, and an airport ride. For around 2000 INR + taxes (~$50 including taxes) it was a very good deal considering the ride itself can cost more than half the amount in a hotel car. I used points on this stay since I had quite a few left over from mailing in postcards for the 2015 IHG promotion and because taxes on hotel rooms in India are fairly high.


The Lobby:

It was almost 2 am in the morning so the hotel lobby was very much empty when we arrived except for a lone receptionist manning the counter. Stepping inside a Holiday Inn in India isn’t like what it is when you go to one in the U.S. Though the hotels may be 3 or 4 star in reality,  the ambiance is that of a 5 star, modern property in the Western World. This lobby was no different with its wall of lighted art work, sitting area, and decorations for the upcoming Christmas and New Year festivities. Just a look at the main sitting area is enough to understand that this was one of the nicer Holiday Inn properties.

Check In:

We were not so promptly checked in because they had to make a copy of our passports, but I suppose it was as quick as international hotel check-ins go. And for the first time ever, I was recognized for being a IHG platinum (from having the Chase credit card) and was upgraded to a Executive Suite. If you know anything about IHG, you know that they really don’t care much for elites especially on award stays like this. Call me surprised.

Executive Suite

I don’t know how I managed to take any pictures having not slept a wink over 15 hours, but I really took one for the team. The suite featured a powder room or half bath at the front along with a sitting area and desk. There was a bedroom adjacent to the sitting area separated by sliding doors, and a massive bathroom with a shower, tub, and double vanity. In addition, there was also a ridiculously large closet attached to the restroom. WiFi in the room was quite fast and charging devices was quite simple with the abundance of connectivity ports near the desk and bed.

Though the room looked better finished and more modern than a normal Holiday Inn, it still had Biotique branded toiletries (found at most Holiday Inns) and not exactly the highest grade furniture. In fact some of the furniture looked like it came from Wal-Mart and was covered in dust. Comes to show that this property may not survive the test of time.

Dusty Lounge Chairs

Breakfast:

It’s needless to mention that Indian hotels take breakfasts to a whole new level, above and beyond anything you see in Asia. It’s very easy to overindulge and keep 911 on speed dial while eating in India. Normally I skip eating breakfast or just grab a quick coffee at a Starbucks on one of my morning photowalks, but when in India I make it a point to review hotel breakfasts. This hotel was no exception to fantastic buffet spreads with the buffet offering a wide variety of items from Asia, India, and the Western World. And of course, there were an abundance of vegetarian options on the menu as is always the case in India. There really wasn’t anything that wasn’t on the menu, and service was outstanding on this particular morning. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves (yes there are a lot!)

After a long debate on what to eat, I settled on a South Indian breakfast with a Masala Dosa (Wheat Crepes) and fresh Idli (rice cake) with chutney. Both items were very good despite not being among the best, and the waiter even brought me another Dosa after noticing that I went through mine super fast.

After breakfast we packed up our stuff and hung out with some family at the hotel, before heading back to the airport for our flight to Udaipur. Upon checkout the hotel car was waiting to take us to the airport and everything went quite smoothly (other than we still didn’t have our luggage).


Bottom Line:

You can’t really go wrong with a quick overnight stay at the Holiday Inn New Delhi Airport, especially given the value it presents. There are nicer hotels in the area (specifically the JW Marriott New Delhi Aerocity), but the rate premium is nearly double for only a 25 percent improvement in experience. Pricing for packages such as airport transfers, breakfast, and afternoon tea are all quite reasonable given that it was $50.

Rooms at this hotel were modern, breakfast was great, and service was excellent and truly representative of a Holiday Inn which is a step above its foreign counterparts. Having said that, I do have one complaint about the hotel: cleanliness and maintenance. They really need to dust off the sofas and lounge chairs in the rooms. I realize that Executive Suites are probably not occupied as frequently and so there are more lapses in maintenance, but that’s really not the impression you want to make to IHG elite customers. I didn’t complain to the manager about the untidy furniture since it was much a quick stay, but I may have word with him if this continues for future visits.

I will most certainly return to this hotel for quick overnights. However I would much rather prefer the JW Marriott if I were staying for more than a couple of hours given that it is a Marriott/Starwood property and gives me better elite recognition.


What do you think of breakfast buffets in India? What do you think of Holiday Inns outside the U.S?