Review: Aman New Delhi

Introduction
Aman New Delhi
Aman-i-Khas / Safari in Ranthambore National Park
Amanbagh / Activities around Amanbagh


I had no clue what to expect with my first Aman stay. I’ve heard many people say “once you go Aman you never go back,” but I just couldn’t imagine the hotels could be that special.

The stay started with a greeting at Delhi Airport. Guests at the Aman New Delhi get a complimentary airport transfer. We were welcomed by Aman’s airport greeter, who immediately recognized us by name and escorted us to the Q7 waiting to take us to the Aman. He introduced us to the driver, who also spoke perfect English and asked us if we wanted something to drink. They had a cooler in the car with all kinds of cold soft drinks, so I had a Diet Coke and my friend had a Coke.


Car transfer

The ride to the hotel took about 20 minutes, and along the way the driver pointed out all the sights (mostly embassies), and told us a bit about India since it was our first time. As we were about five minutes away the driver called the hotel to advise them we were almost there.

Here’s where the stay goes from “really good” to “Aman.” As we pulled up to the hotel there were no fewer than five people lined up at the entrance to greet us, including the general manager. At first it was almost a bit embarrassing, though as I later found out this is the standard Aman greeting for all guests. Unbelievable.


Audi G7 that took us from the airport

The entrance was impressive, and I especially liked the decor.

It goes without saying that the keys to our room were ready, so we were immediately walked to our room without even having to worry about our luggage. Despite the hotel looking massive, there are only a total of 39 rooms.


Entrance


Entrance


Lobby

We were in room 405, which was the standard “Aman Room” (they have 31 rooms and eight suites) on the fourth floor.


Hallway

I couldn’t believe this was a standard room, since it was at least as big as a junior suite at most other hotels. It featured a king bed, table, daybed, and desk. The bed, and especially bedding, were super comfortable. It’s also worth noting that wifi at this hotel is free, and was fast.


Aman Room


Aman Room


Welcome note and welcome amenity

The bathroom featured double sinks, a tub, and a walk in shower.


Sinks


Tub

Literally the only negative I can think of with the stay is that the shower amenities were in dispenser bottles (without a brand name), which seems a bit cheap for a hotel of this caliber.


Shower

The towels, however, were the most plush I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been meaning to email the hotel for the past couple of months to find out what kind of towels they are (since they didn’t have tags), as I definitely want some for home.


Towels

The minibar featured all kinds of soft drinks (complimentary) as well as some beer. On the table above were snacks, ranging from peanuts to Pringles to pralines to freshly baked cookies, all complimentary.


Minibar


Complimentary snacks

The room also featured a large balcony, including a plunge pool and daybed. The views from the room were of the Aman as well as adjacent condos.


View from the room


Balcony


Plunge pool


Plunge pool

Like I said, this hotel was actually more or less an overnight stopover for us, since we were arriving in Delhi late at night and leaving for Agra the following morning. As a result we went to bed about an hour after our arrival.

The following morning we had breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant, which was fairly empty (though we were eating late).


Restaurant

I ordered the American breakfast, while my friend ordered the pancakes. Worry not, I ended up eating Indian food for most of the rest of the trip, though we had a five hour car ride ahead of us and I didn’t want to take any chances. šŸ˜‰

The American breakfast cost a very reasonable 1300INR (~$26USD), and came with freshly squeezed juice, coffee, a bakery basket, cereal, and eggs.


Cereal and bakery basket


Eggs


My friend’s pancakes

After breakfast we took the opportunity to briefly tour the hotel. We headed outside along the walkway down to the (50 meter) pool.


Hotel grounds


Walkway to lower level

The pool featured plenty of lounge chairs as well as some tables in the shade. Service was very attentive, as we were offered towels and drinks as soon as we approached the pool.


Pool


Pool area

The hotel also has three grass tennis courts, squash courts, and a very nice fitness center.


Tennis courts


Squash court


Gym entrance


Gym

Lastly we stopped by the spa, where I had a quick look at the menu. The treatment prices were reasonable, in the $60-80USD range for hour-long treatments.


Spa treatment room

The property itself was stunning, though what stood out most to me were the people. They were not only friendly, but also incredibly sincere and polished. The hotel is very well staffed, so you run into an employee at almost every corner, and they’re all constantly smiling and eager to help.

As we left the hotel, the departure experience was just as impressive as the arrival experience. Once again about five people (including the GM) lined up to wave goodbye to us.

There’s really no way to sum up this hotel other than saying it’s in a league of its own. That being said, at the end of the day it’s a city hotel, while a majority of Aman properties are in the middle of nowhere. So even this hotel couldn’t prepare us for our two subsequent Aman stays.

The rates at the Aman New Delhi for the “Aman Room” are $550 off season (May 1-September 30) and $650 during season (October 1-April 30). If you book through a Virtuoso agent you get a room upgrade based on availability, complimentary breakfast daily, and a complimentary lunch once during your stay. If you book through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts you get a room upgrade based on availability, complimentary breakfast daily, guaranteed 4PM check-out, and a 50 minute massage once during your stay for up to two in room guests.

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Comments

  1. wow. For $500+ per night it seems like it’s the least they can do to line up and wave to you. šŸ™‚

    I think that’s a bit out of my league…and I’m not a poor person!

  2. Cheaper than the Park Hyatt Zurich and on par with the one in Tokyo – actually I’m surprised at the rate, it isn’t too bad for what you get!

  3. @ Ralph — Q7, G6, same thing. Stupid typo on my part. šŸ˜‰

    @ RakSiam — It’s not cheap, but after staying at this Aman and others I do find them to be an excellent value if you’re willing to pay for a luxury product. Think about it, you’re getting a room double the size of most standard rooms, free internet, free airport transfers, free minibar/snacks, and truly spectacular service. When you look at it from the perspective of this being a 39 room hotel with probably 100 employees on duty at any given time, I’d say it really is an incredible value.

  4. Looks fantastic. I am guessing this was the least impressive of the three Aman Resorts you stayed in while in India?

  5. Lucky, does Aman have points program like others? Given that it’s a luxury property, it probably doesn’t have one… but your reviews of Aman has got me started with Aman properties! Saw the porfolio of propoerties and they were simply awesome. Points or no points, I certainly will have to save up for at least one nice week-long vacation at Aman properties someday!

  6. @ stef — This was hands down one of the most impressive city hotels I’ve ever stayed at. That being said, it really can’t compare to a heavenly oasis two hours down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, so I’d say the other two experiences were more “life changing,” if that makes any sense.

  7. @ brahms77 — Unfortunately to the best of my knowledge they don’t, though I’m told they have excellent guest tracking software, so if you’re a repeat guest they take especially good care of you (then again, I’m not sure if they can take better care of someone than they do with first time guests either).

  8. I agree with @Murphy. My first thought was of a Soviet bunker to ride out a nuclear Holocaust.

    But it looks nice overall. I disagree about the soap pumps being cheap. I think they’re a lot easier to use than the minis that run out and have to get replaced every other day. As long as they’re not in giant dispensers mounted on the wall, they’re fine.

  9. It certainly does look nice. But “value” would not be a word I would choose for a room I was basically just staying overnight in. At $550 a night that “free” wifi surely isn’t “free”. Maybe complimentary. šŸ™‚ But I have read that in India you basically have the 5 star luxury hotels with their attached stratospheric prices or ramshackle places that are cheap without much in the middle. But I have not been to India. Contrast it with a place like Thailand though that is full of beautiful 3 or 4 star type places at extraordinarily reasonable prices. Or even 5 star luxury available for not that much more money. I guess I just fall more into the camp that thinks spending a huge amount on hotel stays seems a little silly given how much time you actually spend there.

    Is a hotel transfer really that expensive in India? Or the kind of stuff you get our of a minibar? I get that you guys got a deal due to your friend’s connections. If I got a deal I would be more inclined to stay at a place like that too. But for regular people it seems a bit too extravagant.

  10. Hotels are really expensive in India. BTW I wanted to bring attention to the large face of a woman sculpture at the entrance. It is by an Indian artist named Ravindra Reddy who makes gilded and painted fiberglass sculpture of women. They are very expensive and very much sought after.

  11. @ RakSiam — I certainly see where you’re coming from, though I think it comes down to the fact that “value” can’t be judged in absolute terms, but rather only in relative terms.

    ArizonaGuy tweeted me to say he has concerns about me considering $26 “reasonable” for the American breakfast. He says he can’t justify eating hotel breakfasts.

    I agree, in absolute terms you can have a cheaper breakfast. But as a relative matter, $26 for a fantastic breakfast at a five star hotel is a good deal, in my opinion. It’s the same cost as the mediocre buffet at the Grand Hyatt Tampa, and half the cost of the buffet at the Park Hyatt Shanghai. But at the end of the day I can’t argue for the value of a deluxe $26 breakfast over breakfast you could pick up on the street for $1. Some people would never touch an expensive buffet breakfast, while others would never touch street food.

    Similarly, not everyone values hotel experiences the same. Some people think of hotels as nothing more than a place to sleep, so they’ll stay at a hostel that’s $10. Convincing them that a $500+ per night hotel is worth it is impossible.

    Similarly, there are people that value hotel stays (and their limited vacation time) immensely, and only want the most luxurious accommodations.

    You ask if a hotel transfer is really that valuable. No, not if you would take a cab. But for a hotel transfer in a luxury car, yes, it would usually be pretty expensive.

    So my point is simply that everyone places different value on things. I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would buy a $100,000 sports car. After insurance, gas, and factoring in depreciation, you’re literally paying several dollars per mile. When I take the five mile trip to Starbucks it would really be “costing” me $30.

    Similarly, some people buy $50,000 engagement rings. Why would anyone pay that much for an “accessory?” Some people say it makes their spouse happy, and that’s priceless to them. And I don’t think I’m in any position to judge that.

    So Aman properties definitely aren’t for everyone, but if you value luxury hotels, they deliver an unparalleled experience. So compared to their five star counterparts, I’d say Aman hotels are a great value. Compared to a three star hotel, I don’t really think a fair comparison can be made.

    Does that make any sense?

  12. I absolutely understand what you are saying. For example I spend about a month each year in SE Asia. And I typically travel on private tours most of the time. Just me, a tour guide and driver. A lot of people would say that is a waste of money I suppose when you can do a lot on your own. But since I am on my own, I value (there’s that word!) seeing as much as I can and having some one show me around, avoid issues since they take care of almost everything, can help translate for me, etc.

    And I don’t mind staying in very nice hotels, but I don’t think I value the “experience” of that like I do other things. If it’s over $200 that doesn’t feel like a good value to me. But, to each his own. I would love to stay in those Taj old fortress hotels some time though. šŸ™‚

  13. Finally you stay and review a decent resort after all those junkyard parkhyatts that you have been staying at!

  14. beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. ahhh, to experience luxury and extraordinary, meaningful service; truly an intangible gift beyond description and one i love to share.

    it’s not often we are able to experience this level of service/care and luxury but well worth the splurge when it makes sense.

    if i’m shy on mileage and fly coach i’ve saved my pennies for what’s awaiting on the other end….aman, rosewood, four seasons, etc…once experienced it’s very difficult to go back.

    haha @ord-tgu, although sydney looks nice!

  15. FYI…

    All Amans have shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in unique containers. They are each individual for the resort and location. It definitely beats cheap tiny plastic bottles. Rest assured the quality of the product is just as high end as the rest of the resort. You can usually buy the containers on site as well.

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