Review: The Leela Palace – New Delhi

In the past Hyatt Regency New Delhi was my go to property for stays in the New Delhi area. It was close to my aunt’s house in Safdarjung Enclave and was available for Hyatt’s credit card annual free night for the longest time. Hyatt has since stopped managing the property and given the luxury taxes in India the Hyatt isn’t exactly cheap anymore.

How I booked it:

What really made me favor the Leela Palace for this particular stay were the $200 AMEX FHR Credits I still had on our AMEX Platinum Cards on top of the Fine Hotels and Resorts $100 Dining Credit and free breakfast benefit. And so while the nightly rate at the hotel was around $300 (including taxes), I was able to bring down the out of pocket expense to $100 using those credits. That’s not including the $100 dining credit or the value of free breakfast.

Arrival and Check In:

We arrived around 2 PM from the Andaz New Delhi via a taxi my uncle hired. The hotel does offer its own chauffeur service for an extra cost (~$50 per way). As soon as we walked in we were warmly welcomed by the staff and garlands were placed around our neck. We were then escorted to the lounge area of the lobby where we were offered drinks while they finished up the check in formalities with our passports, OCI cards, and credit card. The hotel lobby is rather small for a hotel of Leela’s caliber, but I guess not bad for a 250 room hotel. I would describe the hotel as having traditional, but understated elegance. Despite it being Christmas, the decorations weren’t ridiculously over the top.

a large room with a chandelier and people sitting at tables

Check in formalities did take a while as they had to scan and clear all our bags as well as make copies of all travel documents. By the time they came back with our keys, I was thoroughly enjoying a nap on a lounge chair. Anyway, we were then escorted to our rooms on the 4th floor of the hotel. The hotel is a true old school class act all the way through and you can see it every step of the way to the room.

Grand Deluxe King/Twin Room

The first thing I noticed before opening my room was the sign showing that it was sanitized. I kind of respect this because there have been instances recently where I’ve walked into a room where there were people already staying there. Atleast this is some indication that the room has been cleaned and is ready for occupation.

a door handle with a sign on it


The old school elegance continued into the decor of the room. It was tastefully decorated and spotlessly clean. As soon as you entered there was a luggage rack on the right and the restroom on the right.

a hallway with a mirror and a mirror and a desk

The bathroom featured a double vanity, soaking tub, and a massive stand-in shower. The water pressure was outstanding and frankly the shower was more like a car wash 🙂

Toiletries were Tishya branded and definitely a step above what you would find at a normal Hyatt or Marriott.

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Across from the soaking tub was a LCD TV in case you like taking bubble baths and watching movies.

a bathroom with a television and a mirror

Going further into the room, there was either a King bed or 2 Double Beds next to each other depending on room type. I accidentally grabbed the wrong key and ended up photographing my parents’ room. There was really no difference between the two rooms other than the bed situation.

a bedroom with a bed and a chair


There was a bottle of water on both ends of the bed and a comfy lounge chair by the window. I was pleased to note that I didn’t need to plugin my US adapter to charge my electronics as the outlets next to the bed fit US plugs.

There was also your standard desk, TV, coffee making kit, and some welcome amenities which included some fresh fruit and water.

Wi-Fi was fast throughout our stay for streaming or teleconferencing as would be expected of a hotel its caliber.

Fitness Centre:

The hotel’s fitness centre is located on the second floor alongside the hotel spa.

two chairs and a table in a room

It featured a good assortment of equipment, weights, and yoga mats and had towels as well as water bottles available everywhere. The gold coloured fabric paneling finish certainly made it seem like an upscale gym.

I was there for the greater part of the two evenings and it was pretty much empty. For your reference, the hotel does have a pool and it is located on the rooftop or the 11th floor. I don’t quite understand an outdoor pool though given


Breakfast @ The Cube

Breakfast is served every morning from 6:30 am to 10:30 am at the hotel’s multi-cuisine fine dining restaurant: “the Qube” which is across the courtyard.

a woman standing in front of a door

There is no doubt that you should get to the restaurant early due to the hotel’s frequent visits from diplomats and business professionals who often gather for morning meetings. Service as a result was a mixed bag. The food however was good for the most part with the buffet featuring a vast assortment of dishes from across the world.

While the breakfast at the hotel is enjoyable, I wouldn’t necessarily consider it the absolute best I’ve ever had. That is perhaps reserved for the royal experience you get at the Taj Lake Palace or even the Westin Hyderabad where the buffet is more extensive. Specifically the coffee, tea, and made to order items like dosa were rather average at best. Actually, my parents mentioned that perhaps the breakfast at the Andaz Delhi Aerocity was a step above this one. Again I would classify this as a first world problem because any buffet at a reputed Indian hotel trumps anything you will find anywhere else.

In Room Dining

Ok so I have a confession to make. Despite having $300 in dining credit, I actually didn’t end up using more than $40 worth during our stay. Credit to my aunt who provides a better than five star experience dining experience at her home, but I can’t say that I maximised the credit to get the most bang for the buck. Any way one evening, I did end up ordering food after my workout. This included a grilled veggie sandwich (served with a salad and fries), a couple of diet cokes, and an assorted dessert tray. The portion sizes at the restaurant were notably generous, and the desserts, including the gulab jamun, ras malai, and rabdi, were absolutely delightful in terms of taste and flavor.

Hotel Grounds:

We did take a walk around the hotel thoroughly after breakfast one morning and they were neatly decorated and elegant. However, the grounds themselves weren’t that huge to spend too much time wandering.

Bottom Line:

The Leela Palace Delhi is a solid hotel experience in an ideal location to explore the city or rather mingle with the city’s elite diplomats. According to TripAdvisor it is considered among the best if not the best hotel in the city. There is some merit to this as the rooms are modern, elegant, and spotlessly clean. However, when compared to other hotels of the same caliber, I wouldn’t say it’s that much better in terms of service or appearance. If I didn’t have AMEX credit, I probably wouldn’t choose to spend more of my out of pocket money here. There is simply not much of a wow factor.

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