In case you didn’t gather it from my review of the Amanbagh, I am a bit of an Aman fanboy. For me, they give us a glimpse into the possibility of what hotels could (and perhaps should) be.
I mentioned in my review of the Leela Palace that it is my second favorite hotel in Delhi. The reason for that, is that the Aman New Delhi is my hands down favorite. I understand it may not be for everyone. The physical plant is a former government hotel and is not the most aesthetically pleasing building I have ever seen. The common pool isn’t in a great location and can be a hike from the rooms (same for the gym/spa) and the decor is very modern and minimalist. If you want colonial era grandeur, stay at the Imperial. If you want a standard 5-star experience, stay at the Leela Palace. If you want something unique, stay at the Aman New Delhi.
The same driver who had deposited me at DEL when I left for KTM met me on arrival from VNS and took me to the Aman. I don’t know if I was in better spirits because the sun had broken through the pollution haze that hangs over Delhi, or if the entire city cleans up Sunday before going to pieces for the rest of the week, but everything seemed clean and bright and colorful. It was much more cheerful than my two previous swings through Delhi and it almost made me sad to be leaving in the morning…almost.
Check-in took no time at all and quickly I was in the room. Oh the rooms…they are spectacular. My room had a large living room, bedroom, bathroom (with a long, narrow hallway running between all the rooms) and a sizable balcony with a private plunge pool located on the balcony. There are also long-stay “apartments” available at the Aman. I didn’t get a chance to see these, but if I were ever forced to relocate to Delhi for some reason, I imagine that’d be the best bet for lodging.
The room as I mentioned was spectacular, sleek, modern and extremely comfortable. If anything, the only “complaint” one can have with Aman’s is that their rooms are so nice, you almost feel bad staying there…almost. There was a welcome tray of cookies and such waiting in one of the alcoves along the main hallway running through the room.
The gym is located quite far from the rooms and you have to go down below the lobby and walk along an outdoor corridor. You pass a restaurant and the pool along the way. The gym itself was well equipped with nice, new machines. I’m not sure if they sell memberships or there were lots of people from the apartments using the gym, but it seemed rather crowded. I didn’t have a chance to avail myself of the spa.
I flirted with the idea of going out for a last hurrah in Delhi, but having previously sampled all the “cool” bars and come away thoroughly unimpressed, I thought it might be nice to get on a morning long haul flight without a hangover for a change.
I had my last Indian food from room service (not spicy enough) watched some TV and went to bed. It had been an interesting experience in India, but I was ready to leave. I wanted the heat, the humidity, the beach. I was ready to get off the subcontinent and back to Asia.