Staff greet us in the courtyard, holding huge umbrellas over our heads as we move from car to hotel, shielding us from Delhi's late monsoons. Security is tight – the car was checked before we entered the grounds and our bags pass through an airport-style scan before we descend the vast spiral staircase that leads to reception where smiling staff and welcome drinks await. We're checked-in immediately and our bags arrive at the room just a few minutes later.
About 15 minutes after leaving Indira Gandhi International Airport, we turn off of the busy Delhi highway that connects Gurgaon and New Delhi and into the entrance of the hotel grounds. Being so close to the airport makes this place ideal for stopovers or business travellers and Gurgaon's shopping, markets are just a few minutes away. That said, once you drive on to the hotel grounds, you feel like you're miles from city life thanks to eight acres of gardens and innovative design elements like the towering barrier of sculpted steel leaves in the courtyard that functions as an effective sound breaker, shutting out the highway noise.
The hotel is relatively quiet when we arrive on a Friday, with the majority of other guests there in a corporate capacity. Weekends play host to well-heeled Delhiites looking for a peaceful weekend retreat not too far from home.
Humungous, reminding me of a scene from Mary Norton's The Borrowers, but on a much more luxurious scale. The window stretches from floor to lofty ceiling, extending the width of the room, with a seating ledge and views out to the gardens. From the bigger-than-king-sized bed to the dual sink carved out of a massive chunk of marble and a day bed that could comfortably fit five, space certainly isn't limited. Finishings are sleek and the room is fully-electric with curtains, music, room service and lights all controlled by an iPad. Sliding privacy screens mean you can open up the room into one massive space, perfect if you want to make use of the free-standing bathtub while continuing a conversation or watching a movie.
Faultless, from almost magically appearing with umbrellas in hand whenever the rain started to pour to being knowledgeable about items on the menu and nearby attractions.
Chi Ni is the only fine-dining restaurant in Delhi that's housed under a tent canopy. Serving traditional Chinese cuisine under the watch of Chef Ban, who trained in a Michelin-starred eatery, it draws diners from across the city. The menu is split into two sections, the first with a variety of seafood and meat dishes and the second being vegetarian-friendly with a whole range of "mock-meat" tofu dishes. We tried the half Peking duck with Hoisin sauce (2,800 Indian rupees, Dh157) and shrimp lettuce wraps with seasonal vegetables (680 rupees, Dh39). Mains included wok-fried "vegetarian chicken" served with asparagus and shallots (1,000 rupees, Dh56) and braised king prawn noodles with ginger and spring onions (2,300 rupees, Dh129), and the dishes lived up to the hype. Elsewhere, Kiyan is the all-day dining restaurant, where international and creatively-plated Indian dishes are served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A visit to the nearby organic farm to help pick some of the hotel's home-grown ingredients is a great way to get a sense of that farm-to-table experience.
The unique design of the hotel. Built on the site of the farmhouse belonging to the owner’s family, not a single tree was cut down in the hotel’s construction, resulting in a layout that’s unusual but flows effortlessly. We also loved the small art gallery and selected pieces of work dotted throughout the hotel and the oversized everything – from cutlery to towering pillars and 6m-high doorways.
Despite getting one of the best massages I’ve ever had at Aheli Spa (Aheli Signature treatment, 90 mins, 6,500 rupees, Dh365) it’s hard to fully relax with the loud banging noises coming from the construction of a new wing of rooms in the hotel. Thankfully, this is due to be completed by early 2018. Over in IAH Bar, thumping Justin Bieber tunes don’t seem to quite fit the tone of the property and makes communicating with the eager-to-please bar staff almost impossible.
Not at all what you’d expect when visiting busy Delhi, this place is an excellent choice for a soothing retreat where staff aim to spoil.
The bottom line
Rooms at The Roseate are from 14,142 rupees (Dh796) per night, including taxes.