At Taj Palace, New Delhi, concierge Rajesh Yadav draws on 15 years of experience to guide visitors to the best sights, sounds and meals in the capital of India. Rajesh strives to fulfill every guest’s request to make their stay memorable. Here he offers expert advice for business travellers.
What should business travellers have on hand when visiting your city?
It’s always useful to pack an international travel adapter. I’d also recommend downloading maps on your smartphone or tablet to get around the city and know where the key business districts are located.
What are your top restaurant recommendations for a business lunch or dinner?
At Taj Palace (2 Sardar Patel Marg Diplomatic Enclave, New Delhi 110021; Ph: +91 11 2611 0202) Masala Art serves authentic Northern Indian food. Or savour Vietnamese cuisine at Blue Ginger, the country’s first Vietnamese fine-dining restaurant. In our sister property, The Taj Mahal Hotel (Number One Mansingh Road, New Delhi 110011; Ph: +91 11 6656 6162) Wasabi by Morimoto offers world-class contemporary Japanese restaurant. The legendary chef, Masaharu Morimoto, creates magic with age-old favourites including tempura, teppanyaki and sushi.
If you’re in the business district and prefer minimal travelling time, go to Veda (H-27, Tropical Building, Connaught Circus, New Delhi 110001; Ph: +91 11 4151 3535) for an authentic taste of classic Indian cooking. Also in the vicinity is Q’BA (E-42/43, Inner Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi 110001; Ph: +91 11 4517 3333), a multi-award winning bar and restaurant.
For a cosmopolitan atmosphere, visit On the Waterfront (The Lodhi Hotel, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110003; Ph: +91 11 4363 3411). This glass-walled poolside restaurant offers cuisine ranging from Pan-Asian through Middle East to European.
What’s something that surprises guests about your city or hotel?
Delhi is a city of contrasts where heavy traffic and squatter slums live side-by-side with colonial mansions and art galleries. Visitors are often fascinated by Old Delhi and its charming selection of colourful bazaars and narrow winding alleys. The fascination continues with Lutyens’ Delhi, an area in New Delhi where the architectural design is more European in style with tree-lined avenues and spacious bungalows.
Visitors also delight in witnessing the folk sport Kabutar-Baazi, or pigeon sport. This championship competition requires pigeon owners to simultaneously release their pigeons, and the one that stays airborne the longest wins.
If business travellers only have a few hours for leisure, what must they see?
When you’re in New Delhi, don’t miss the India Gate. It stands at 42m in height at the city’s centre, like an archway in the middle of a crossroad. India Gate commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers killed in World War I. Also visit the Red Fort, its name is derived from its red-sandstone walls, one of the most popular tourist destinations. Stay on until the evening for a sound and light show that recreates events in India’s history.
There are other attractions to visit, but if time is limited, I’d recommend a visit to Qutab Minar. This 73m tower of victory is the world’s finest monuments built in 1193, after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom. Another historical monument is the Humayun’s Tomb, a magnificent garden tomb reflecting the Mughal architecture in India.
What’s the best option for outdoor exercise?
At Taj Palace, we provide joggers a map to Nehru Park (Vinay Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110023). It boosts beautiful landscaping and an oasis of greenery. You can also go to Lodhi Gardens (Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110003; Ph: +91 11 2464 0079) a city park spanning over 90 acres and a favourite picnic spot with the locals.