Our Passage to India: The Leela Palace New Delhi

The Leela Palace New Delhi

The drama begins with the massive, beautifully carved sandstone duo of royal elephants gracing the porte cochere. Opened this spring, The Leela Palace New Delhi has changed the landscape of meetings in India’s capital. It is the first luxury hotel to open in three decades, the most expensive hotel ever built in India, and the first purpose-built LEED Gold property in the city.

The grandeur continues as you enter the soaring 2-story lobby. You’re greeted with the warmth of yesteryear Indian hospitality and sincere willingness to make your experience wonderful.

“The Leela service style embodies true Indian hospitality,” says spokesman Priyanka Paul. “And the hotel architecture is tastefully influenced by, and in harmony with, Indian culture and history.”

A butler welcomes you to one of the 260 suites (550 sf or more) replete with a large hi-def TV and internet mood lighting. He ensures your glass-covered plates on the dresser are continually refreshed with tasty Indian sweet treats. The white bed sheets are super soft, and the plush comfy beds are richly accented with Indian fabrics in soothing earth tones of gold, sage and rich reds.

The four restaurants helmed by CIA alumnus, executive chef Glen Eastman, bring an abundance of worldwide cuisines to The Leela. We loved the many global choices at The Qube, serving Indian, Thai, Chinese and others. This 144-seat dining room is literally a “tall glass house” with a view of the magnificent inner court gardens. Here, groups can watch chefs from around the world create their dish in the live kitchen. We chose Guangshi Chao Zia Qu—a sauteed tiger prawn with seasonal veggies. Also, don’t miss the Angus filet with foie gras glaze and pinot noir jus.

For exquisite fine dining, the Jamavar Indian restaurant seats 66. The Tandoor lobster and Nizami Tarkari Biryani—fresh vegetables and aromatic basmati rice—are highly recommended.

Total meeting space is 10,400 sf. For post-meeting incentive travel, combine New Delhi with The Leela Palace Udaipur. And keep an eye on The Leela Group as it brings more product to market in the near future. Upcoming properties include Chennai this winter, followed by Agra and Ashtamudi Lake next year.

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Laurel Herman is publisher/editorial director of Prevue. She has spent the last 39 years roaming the globe with the focused belief that sharing stories of different cultures and experiences is an integral way to foster world peace. It all started in 1972 while she was finishing her college education in London, when she had the opportunity to backpack throughout Europe. Laurel continued her love affair with travel by expanding Recommend Magazine to a worldwide destination brand when she became its publisher/editorial director in 1985. She then launched the Prevue brand in 2009, which has taken her to destinations like Egypt, India, Australia, France, Barcelona, Thailand, Italy and Israel, among others.