My wife and I stayed at Shangri-La’s Eros hotel in New Delhi for a couple of days in April 2012. I booked the hotel online on Agoda and it cost 475 USD for two nights for the superior room. I travel a bit for work and pleasure and I have stayed at various 4 and 5 star hotels around the world just to give you an idea about the background for this review.
We normally just use public transportation to get from the airport to our hotels but as this was our first time in India and since we had such a short time in Delhi, we decided to pre-book transport from the airport to the hotel and combine this with a half day tour afterwards. The trip from the airport to the city takes 30-45 minutes depending on where you are going and how heavy the traffic is. You can arrange for transportation through the hotel but I think it was a bit expensive (costing about 3000 Rupee – (60 USD)) – but if you want to really live it up you can be fetched by the hotel’s Rolls-Royce if you pay for it When we arrived at the hotel there was an inspection of the car before entering the hotel area and before entering the hotel we also had to go through a security check including scanning of bags and metal detectors. I have to say that the check was pretty superficial. I was a bit disappointed when entering the lobby as it didn’t have the signature scent that I feel one finds in other Shangri-La hotels that I have stayed at.
Check in was pretty quick but I was told that I had to pay extra as I had only booked a room for 1. I reminded them that as a Golden Circle Jade member this is one of the benefits. I also asked about breakfast and reminded them that this was also a Jade member benefit and they agreed to that. The lady that checked us in also took us to our room 1014. We also got a complimentary gift of two Kingfisher beers, Perrier water and some chocolate – it was great of them to give us a room so early in the morning (we arrived at about 9 am). When entering the room the floor was in large black tiles but it went over to a carpet as you stepped into the bedroom. There was a height difference between the tiles and the carpet and I kept stepping on it for some reason. In the hall there was a wardrobe with two robes, enough hangers, a mini safe (large enough for a laptop and with a socket to plug the laptop in) and there was also an iron and ironing board. The small mini fridge included soda and beer and a coke was about 200 rupee (about 4 USD).There was also a water boiler in the entrance and a selection of tea/coffee – and the drawers included coffee cups and glasses. As tap water is not recommended to drink we got two big bottles of complimentary water each day.
The room itself was in cream and yellow colors with dark furniture – one desk and chair and one small table with a chair and stool. The main feature in the room was the HUGE king-size bed which was firm but comfortable. A lot of downlights and lamps filled the room with enough light. The flat screen TV was mounted on the wall and it was a bit to the left of the bed – it would have been great to be able to pull out the screen to see it directly from bed. There were a number of local and international TV channels. One thing that was slightly annoying was the smoke detector on the ceiling directly above the bed – the blinking seemed to light up the room and woke me up in the middle of the night. The aircon seemed to work fine even if it did get a bit hot in the room at night.
The bathroom was in white and black tiles and included a sink, toilet and bathtub with a shower option. As per the new trend, there was a window between the bathroom and the rest of the room but there was also a blinder that could be pulled down for privacy. As usual at Shangri-La there are lots of amenities but the brand of shampoo etc was not the same as I have seen in Asia-Pacific – maybe that have changed it recently? But other amenities included shower cap, toothbrush, sewing kit etc. A cool detail is the heat in the mirror that prevents it from steaming up when taking a shower. The shower curtain worked out pretty good but make sure you have one curtain on the outside and one on the inside to prevent minor flooding
The view from our room was towards Windsor place – basically a large roundabout and towards Le Meridien hotel. Even if there were lots of traffic on the outside, it was not disturbing at night.
The breakfast buffet was very good – they had a great selection of cereal including granola, muesli and fruit. There was also staff at all stations to provide us with fresh juice (even a mix to your liking), waffles or pancakes, eggs the way you like them etc. There was also a good selection of local breakfast dishes but also bacon, sausages etc. Basically this place had all that I could think of having for breakfast. The staff did seem to get a bit stressed out when the restaurant was completely full and on two mornings we were placed at a table where someone had already been assigned. This lead to a bit of discussion between the waiters and the welcome staff in the restaurant but staff in general were very helpful and brought us the food that we ordered. Note that you can also sit outside near the pool area to enjoy your breakfast.
The pool was reached by taking the lift to the lower ground level and it was a large pool with depth of 1.35 meters. When we were there pool seem to go into shade at about 4.30 PM – and you might have to fight for your place in the pool as there were lots of pigeons that seemed to enjoy taking a dip! We also tried out the spa at the hotel and we enjoyed some Indian massage. 1 hour of massage was 3900 rupee (75 USD) according to the spa menu but when we were done with the treatment we found out that this was excluding taxes so it got closer to 5000 rupee (95 USD)– so this is something to keep in mind!
The concierge was very helpful and helped us book restaurants and they also made sure that taxi drivers understood where we wanted to go and they gave us a Shangri-La business card that we could use in case we needed to call the hotel for assistance. I also got help from them to buy a local sim card to be able to call locally without breaking the bank. The shopping arcade in the lobby was a bit of a joke – only two stores and not much happening. And every time you enter the hotel you have to go through a security check.
Location of the hotel is pretty good – located half way between Rajpath and Connaught Place in New Delhi, it is in one of the better neighborhoods of the city. You can actually walk to the places mentioned above but if you do this you must be prepared to be mentally “assaulted” on the way by the auto rickshaw drivers, by beggars and by “accidental” friendly people that want to show you the way to a shopping mall that is very cheap.
Shangri-La hotels are normally a safe choice and the Shangri-La in New Delhi did not disappoint in any way. We had a great stay there and I can’t think of many things that could be changed to make the hotel any better. If you are going to Delhi and want to pay for a 5 star hotel you should really consider Shangri-La Eros.
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