ITC Grand Bharat
Set at the foothills of the Aravalli range, India's first all-suite hotel is a relaxing retreat from its capital. Enjoy regal dining at India Room, a 12-room spa complex, 27-hole golf course (designed by pro-golfer Jack Nicklaus) and an unbeatable list of activities.
- Megan Lambert, Travel Writer
ITC Grand Bharat is immediately impressive, rising out of the rugged Haryana countryside like a glimmering white mirage. There's little to do in the area, but the guided early morning walks unearth neighbouring Gurjar villages – a tribal community native to Haryana – and countless peacocks strutting around majestically. An hour or so from Delhi, it's not the place to explore the city, but a perfect retreat after a long trip. Indira Gandhi Airport is 24 miles (38 km) away.
Style & character
A presidential palace. ITC hotels are known as the choice of stay for visiting dignitaries (Obama stayed at their New Delhi property) and their Haryana outpost is no exception. As you approach along its formidable driveway, a wall of billowing flags and a formidable Sikh guardsman approaches. Inside its grand sandstone edifice, décor is a mixture of styles: white marble interiors and deep green Indian textiles are juxtaposed with roaring Twenties dining at India Room, which sports royal blue velvet booths (designed in the shape of seashells) and glistening chandeliers.
Service & facilities
Activities abound at ITC Grand Bharat. From India's only 27-hole golf course (even non-golfers can appreciate its beauty) to the tennis and squash courts (equipment available), the facilities are excellent. Children will be in seventh heaven with zorbing, quad biking, cycling and archery – the list goes on. The sprawling spa complex offers authentic Ayurvedic treatments, following a private consultation with their in-house doctor.
Staff are numerous and very eager to please. The service could be slicker, food can be a little slow at times, but it's a small point.
- Room service
- Tennis court
- Fitness centre
- Golf course
- Steam room/hammam
Rooms are not as grand as their surroundings but are very spacious, if a little dark. There's a separate living room, leading out onto either private pool access or a large terrace. Those with pool access include loungers but are entirely in the shade. So if you want some sun, better go to the main pool. Large, hand-carved mahogany beds are very comfortable while cream marble-clad bathrooms, with separate bath and shower fixtures, include very generous vanity kits, complete with little extras from lip balms to sun cream.
Food & drink
Four dining options provide a wide range of cuisines. Breakfast and all-day dining is served at Aravalli Pavallion. Choose from a selection of pastries, fresh-pressed juices made to your preference, eggs any style, and several Indian options. India Room serves Western classics upon monogrammed dinnerware and sparkling cut glass. Choices might included perfectly cooked salmon, cheese soufflé, and a delicate caramel mille-feuille. Apas Promenade offers an elegant setting by the pool and serves hearty Indian favourites alongside smoky barbecued meats.
Value for money
Double rooms from 17,500 INR (£198) in low season; and from 26,265 INR (£297) in high. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
There are several adapted suites.
This hotel is perfect for families. There's a kids' club and a list of activities almost impossible to get through. Adjoining rooms are available, and some include sofa beds.