Nestled in the eastern flank of Delhi, hugging Shahdara on one side and Surajmal Vihar on the other, Kempinski Ambience Hotel—belonging to Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group, Kempinski Hotels—stands tall and wide.The hotel is 25 kilometres away from the IGI airport (45 minutes' drive). The Delhi Metro is a convenient and faster option for commuting when you are not tied down by luggages.
The first Kempinski flagship hotel in India, it consists of The Club Tower and the Hotel Tower. Both the towers have a pre lobby, main lobby on the third floor, a gymnasium, a business centre and a swimming pool.
Wanting to check out this new address in east Delhi, I chose to stay at one of the plush Club Rooms of the Club Tower. My room on the 11th floor had a breathtaking view (the Shahdara side of the tower)—huge green expanse meeting the city. The room had a king-sized bed, a personal study table, a well-stocked mini bar and couple of chairs with comfortable upholstery. Note: all the rooms are non-smoking rooms. The bathtub looked inviting after a long and tiring day and so I thought it was a good idea to immerse myself in it. The glass walls of the bathroom even allowed me to watch television while took a warm soak. But if you are a little fussy like me, then, the absence of a bidet spray (no sign of the humble bucket and a mug either!) will be a tad uncomfortable. Having an option would have been great is all I’m saying!
Now let me walk you through the dining scene in Kempinski Ambience. The Club Tower has the Indian specialty restaurant, Dilli 32 (Dilli Battis)—the reason behind the name? I tried, uselessly, to guess some smart reasons, only to be told that it is because the pin code of the area is Delhi 110032. To match with the very local name, there are some fantastic food for you—their special golgappe and the refreshing banta (chef’s special spices—secret spices sadly). A must-try is their signature rich and creamy Dilli battis dal. Weight watchers better have a cheat day! I desired for less oily food and easy on the salt, that’s exactly what I got. The chef will insist on their second signature dish nihaari ghosht (mutton gravy), don’t refuse. Mutton is a very tricky meat to prepare with a very distinct characteristic, but do not fret, not in this case. The best part is, you can tell the chef how oily, salty and spicy you want (or do not want) your dish to be. Also to be tried is their melt-in-the-mouth galouti kabaab and their dum ka murg (chicken in gravy). Dilli 32 is only open for dinner though. The Awadhi and North West frontier cuisines found a perfect home in the restaurant’s live kitchen.
Mei Kun or ‘beautiful universe’, the Asian specialty restaurant (also dinner only), is literally 20 steps away from Dilli 32 if you want to try something from the Orient. The restaurant has some great selection of wines. Also there is Cafe Knosh, an all-day-dining and multi cuisine restaurant, overlooking the pool. The lavish buffet during my visit consisted of an impressive spread of Chinese and Western cuisines.
In between the Club Tower and the Hotel Tower, there are these three restaurants and a bar (Cherry Bar). On the opposite side, you have a beautiful alfresco dining area overlooking the pool and the city lights. If you have time, you can do some shopping in the Galaxy Mall next door.
After all the great food and a restful night’s sleep, a visit to the spa located in the Club Tower—Shanaya spa (meaning ‘first rays of the sun’)—would be a fitting complement I decided. Shanaya offers a choice of international and Ayurvedic therapies. Upon entering the spa facility, I couldn’t help but gawk at the beautiful wall that was made of many old wood columns and pillars. The spic-and-span, wood floored, dimly lit, fifty shades of brown facility looked a world away from the concrete floor I just passed by! After the mandatory consultation with the physician, I was escorted to the massage room. What happened after that was a blur but I will try...I was given the cocktail therapy (no, not the drink!)—it was a mix of dry and oil therapies. The lovely lass from the beautiful town of Tuensang in Nagaland twisted my stiff limbs back to life; this was followed by a dry massage. My back never made so many popping noises, but what a release it was!
The Club Tower is perfect for the business traveller—guests have Club Tower exclusive privileges like access to the Club Lounge, fitness centre (City Club), 24-hour check-in/check-out, in-room dining, 24-hour butler service, complimentary one-way airport transfer, complimentary mini bar, assistance from the Lady in Red (the hotel does not call them the concierge but brand ambassadors) in case you want some shopping tips or looking for a cooking class with the chef, and even wanting to know about baby-sitting facilities!
Specially designed and maintained keeping the business travellers in mind, the tower has three meeting rooms (70,000 sq. ft. of meeting space). Also provided is the complimentary usage of Business Centre Conference Room, for maximum of two hours, for each day (subject to availability). Although the emphasis is on making the hotel useful for business travellers, the Kempinski Ambience Hotel can be a good option for leisure travellers too.
Where: The Club Tower,Kempinski Ambience Hotel, Delhi. 1 CBD, Maharaja Surajmal Road, Near Yamuna Sports Complex, Delhi – 110032
Accommodation: The Club Tower has 180 rooms: Presidential suites, Club suites and Club Rooms. For tariff and more information, visit www.kempinski.com/delhiDining: Dilli 32—7pm-11:45pm; Mei Kun—7pm-11:45pm; Cafe Knosh—Breakfast: 7am-10:30am, Lunch: 12 noon-3pm, Dinner: 7pm-10:30pm; and special 24-hour room service for the guests.