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  #1  
Old 02-07-2010, 11:33 PM
Omi no Kami Omi no Kami is offline
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Airport hotel recommendations in New Delhi

I'm flying to India in a few days, and the logistics of my travel have ended up forcing me to stay a day in Delhi, instead of traveling straight from the airport to my next flight. Travelocity and Expedia keep recommending me luxury hotels, however, and I know there are also lots of crummy slum-ish spots near the airport, so I was hoping someone could recommend a decent (read: clean rooms, no insects/thieves/other nasties) hotel within a few km of the airport? I was hoping against hope to find an airport hotel for less than $150 that I could crash in for a night without worrying about bugs, break-ins, or anything else dangerous.

(Yes, I know I'm being way over-paranoid- this is my first trip to India, so I have an excuse for a few more days. ^^)
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  #2  
Old 02-08-2010, 08:00 AM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
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Just returned from a trip to India via New Delhi; stayed a few days there.

I don't have a specific recommendation but I do suggest finding a hotel which offers transport from and to the airport. This is fairly common and makes the distance from the airport matter much less. The cost is trivial.

You come out of baggage claim and walk outside to a couple hundred guys hawking you hotels and rides, and if you only have to find the one guy from your hotel with your name on the placard it's a lot easier.

I travel cheap (mostly for the fun of the experience) so I stayed in a pretty mundane hotel (Ananda) for about $35/nite. This would not be acceptable for a typical westerner, though, not used to the less glorious amenities of the third world. In any case, it's not that close to Indira Gandhi International, which is way on the southwest side of Delhi. I travel with my permethrin-impregnated silk sleeping sack and try not to worry about bedbugs and the like when I visit the third world. If you are looking for a western hotel, I might suggest using Tripadvisor as an additional resource...over the years I've stayed in everything from the Ritz to the Pits depending on whether or not my wife is along. For one night I don't worry about it too much, but in India you are correct to be a little nervous, especially if you plan to use the facilities, so to speak.

You can try TripAdvisor, or perhaps post a query on Indiamike.com.

Best

Last edited by Chief Pedant; 02-08-2010 at 08:01 AM..
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  #3  
Old 02-08-2010, 08:54 AM
Aghris Aghris is offline
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It's less than 30 mins by taxi to Pahar Ganj, which has hotels for less 10$ per night, and also has pretty good eating dives. Metropolis is nice, but a bit more expensive (around 20$ I think) and right at Main Bazaar.

I know, not what you asked for, but in my opinion the better choice.
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  #4  
Old 02-08-2010, 09:35 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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I stayed in the Lemon Tree in Gurgaon in May. Good, efficient pickup, clean place, medium-quality business hotel. Calvin & Hobbes cartoons all over the walls of the landings!? A little restaurant across the courtyard. Nothing much to do or see around Gurgaon, however, unless you get a taxi to a mall nearby, but it's near the airport.

On my way back I stayed in the Courtyard Residency in Gurgaon too. They screwed up the hotel pickup and I only had the hotel number in my email (and there was no internet anywhere in the airport!) but after 2 hours of waiting we sorted it out. The hotel was a little further from the airport than the Lemon Tree - took about 30 minutes to get there - but it was absolutely gorgeous. A real western-standard boutique hotel, with very nice food, complimentary drinks to apologise for the mix-up with the transfer, and very good, attentive staff.
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  #5  
Old 02-08-2010, 02:56 PM
Panurge Panurge is offline
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Delhi is notorious for it's lack of decent mid-range accomodation. I have always found it difficult to find anything in between cheap (and dingy) hostels and the big expensive hotel chains.

As Aghris mentions, Pahar Ganj is definitely the cheapest place but it can take some time to get to and from the airport - often around 45 minutes but that is hardly unusual in New Delhi. I just stayed there at Hotel Relax which is a decent place. A lot better than most Pahar Ganj-hotels and hostels anyway. We payed 1200 rupees/night for a double. We also spent a few nights at Likir House, a Tibetan-run guest house in Lajpat Nagar, around 45 minutes from the airport. Most of the guests are Western Buddhist pilgrims (I wasn't), it's quiet, and serves Tibetan food. IIRC it was around 1500 rupees/night. There is no website but the place is discussed here (address + email in post #12).

Have a look around Tripadvisor and indiamike - lots of people are posting the same question as you, and I'm sure there is usually a ton of helpful people there. LP's Thorn Tree could be worth a look as well.
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  #6  
Old 02-08-2010, 10:04 PM
Omi no Kami Omi no Kami is offline
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Wow, this is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for- thank you, everyone, for your feedback! ^^
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  #7  
Old 02-09-2010, 02:52 AM
Aghris Aghris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omi no Kami View Post
Wow, this is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for- thank you, everyone, for your feedback! ^^
Enjoy your stay in India! Are you planning to stay in Delhi, or are you just having a layover? Keep in mind that if you do decide to go to Pahar Ganj, the area is a backpackers mecca so be prepared for lots of hairy and smelly tourists, crowded streets (not that this is anything unusual in Delhi), shady indians who want to sell you pot, touts, peddlers and con men. The upside: it's cheap, lively, central, close to New Delhi Railway Station and Metro, has great bars and restaurants, has everything you need as a tourist, and is pretty fun to get lost in.

I still can't recommend Metropolis enough. I think I should be entitles to lifelong free accomodation there for all the recommendations I've done. The atmosphere is great, rooms are large and cheap (single for 800 rupies, double for 1200, both with AC) and the restaurant is close to spectacular (it's easily the best of Pahar Ganj and probably Delhi). It is at the beginning of Main Bazaar, so right in the center of the action, but close enough to the main road so that you don't have to carry your bags very far (no cars are allowed on Main Bazaar).

And the best part (although this is true for all of Delhi): strangely enough, the streets are deserted after 1AM so you dont have to worry about you night's sleep.
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  #8  
Old 02-09-2010, 05:25 AM
Omi no Kami Omi no Kami is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aghris View Post
Enjoy your stay in India! Are you planning to stay in Delhi, or are you just having a layover?
I'm just there for a night on a layover, and I'm going to try and time my exit to ensure that I don't need to spend a night on the return trip. ^^
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  #9  
Old 02-09-2010, 05:47 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Having visited Pahar Ganj a few times, though the distances to some of the satellite 'burbs are kinda comparable, I'd say the traffic getting to Pahar Ganj is going to be way worse. If Omi doesn't have time to sightsee, I'd personally recommend not bothering going all the way into the city centre and just stick to the kind of hotel and location I recommend.

Last edited by jjimm; 02-09-2010 at 05:50 AM..
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2010, 02:52 AM
Panurge Panurge is offline
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Personally I wouldn't stay in Gurgaon - too far away, I think. Unless you stay at Vasant Kunj (Grand Hyatt - comfy but expensive ) or anywhere else really close to the airport it will take around 45 - 60 mins. to get there, depending on traffic and time of day. That goes for almost the entire South Delhi as well. I was there last month and the Paharganj traffic wasn't too bad, actually; gave me the impression that some of their construction projects have actually been finished.
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  #11  
Old 02-10-2010, 11:01 PM
Omi no Kami Omi no Kami is offline
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Holy crap, I chose an odd time to travel: I'm my hotel right now (I got a reasonably good prince on a room at the radisson airport hotel right near Indira Gandhi), and I'm reading on the news that there was apparently some american who was recently arrested at the airport after they found suspicious stuff in his bags. I don't know if it's related, but security was really high at my hotel: x-rays, guard dogs, and some dude with an AK-47 were all perched outside the hotel doors.
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  #12  
Old 02-11-2010, 02:43 AM
Panurge Panurge is offline
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Security at Indira Gandhi (and most high-profile places in Delhi) has been pretty intense this year, especially around Republic Day (Jan. 26th). But overall as well, there were a lot more armed guards than I have seen previously. For some reason the hotels closest to the airport seem a lot more paranoid than elsewhere. Perhaps most of their guests are angry passengers whose flights have been cancelled?
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