On December 10, 2010, I arrived to Indira Gandhi International Airport at approx. 12 o’clock in the afternoon. I was greeted by the driver from the Le Meridien Hotel and was nice enough to offer a chilled bottle of water, as well as, the local newspaper in English during our drive to the city. As we left the airport, I looked out the window and realize how similar the country was to my parent’s native country of Indonesia. I couldn’t help but smile at a family of 4 riding a moped, the father stirring the bike, while one little boy sits in front and the other 2 sit behind him. I remember when I was younger, I would complain to my parents about the AC not working in our station wagon and hated being in the heat. As I see this family pass by, I couldn’t help but realize how there is so much more to appreciate about life than the material things. I could go on about how I felt about the city, but my blog is dedicated to my hotel experience and so I must continue.
As we approach the hotel, I noticed I was staying very close to the Parliament house. The driver pulls up to the Le Meridien driveway and was only allowed to enter because he held a pass that allowed him to enter. I then opened the car door, headed to the trunk to pick up my luggage and soon realized… my luggage was being taken through a scanner. It was apparent at that moment, I was within the vicinity of government buildings and the hotel needed to take extra safety precautions. The hotel staff were polite and I didn’t question their intent to keep their guests safe.
My journey to India was a long one, it took me 11 hours to arrive at Heathrow Airport. After 11 hours on the plane, I had a 4 hour layover and decided to lounge at the American Airlines Admirals Club. After 15 hours of anticipation, my journey from Heathrow Airport to Delhi was 7 hours. Furthermore, knowing that it would take me a whole day of traveling to get to my final destination, I decided to book this 4 star hotel. I had done my research beforehand, looked into photos and reviews before booking this hotel. All I could think about when I was assigned my room key was sleep. As I opened the door to my room, I remember how contemporary the rooms looked from the photos and to my comfort, it represented the photograph I had seen. Hardwood floors, flat screen TV and a comfortable bed. The bathroom was just as contemporary as I pictured it and overall, the room was clean and comfortable to sleep in.
After a night’s rest, I woke up in the morning and decided to check out the restaurant by the Hotel Lobby. To my surprise, a breakfast buffet awaited my arrival and was inclusive with my hotel room. On second thought, for the rate I paid on this room, the buffet should have been included. I was delighted by the fact that I was able to enjoy both a traditional American breakfast, but also Indian delights at the same time. I took a risk in drinking the fruit juices they offered, but it was well worth it because it was rich in ingredients. After eating breakfast, I decided to walk around the hotel and check the marketplace located on the second floor. Unfortunately, I was not impressed by the stores the hotel had to offer. It was apparent that the merchants were trying to attract the tourists who did not feel comfortable leaving the hotel, or those who didn’t know there were local flea markets in which you could find a better bargain. It was a bit uncomfortable being a woman and walking around the second floor by herself, the men kept staring at me to get me to come inside their shop and buy something. Luckily, I kept walking and ignored having to face them in the eye. The last stop I checked out at the hotel was their salon, I decided to treat myself to a mani/pedi. I was greeted by an Indian man and he polished my nails for me. The salon was just as contemporary as their guest rooms.
- Hotel Ambience: Contemporary
- Hotel Staff: Friendly and easy to communicate with.
- Hotel Amenities: Restaurant “The One,” great breakfast buffet and friendly staff. Merchants/Marketplace: Unimpressive. Better bargains at local flea markets or outside shops. Merchants made it uncomfortable to shop and approach. Salon was contemporary and staff were friendly.
- Cleanliness of Hotel: Clean
- Overall Experience: Based on the hotel I stayed in at the end of my Indian journey, this hotel would’ve been my number one choice to stay at. The hotel I stayed at with my tour package smelled like urine, room was not clean and the restaurant was not impressive. Furthermore, staying in India, I do rate this hotel a 4 star.