The recent opening of Andaz Delhi in Aerocity in January this year created a lot of excitement in the hotel industry in India this being the Andaz brand’s first hotel in India and 16th worldwide. So when I was invited for a fam to this interesting new hotel, I was naturally curious to know what the excitement is all about. Represented in world-class cities like London, New York, Tokyo and Shanghai, Hyatt’s luxury lifestyle brand celebrates local culture and the unique spirit of neighbourhoods and is now making news in the city of Delhi.
“Andaz derives its name from the Hindi word for ‘personal style,’ and each location offers guests a fresh and stimulating hotel experience that fuels creativity and inspires them to engage in their own personal sense of luxury and style,” said Kurt Straub, Vice President of Operations, India, Hyatt. “The opening of Andaz Delhi marks a significant milestone for the brand.”
Conveniently located in Aerocity, the hotel is within easy reach of downtown Delhi and the business hub of Gurgaon. Designed to capture the spirit of Delhi by renowned architect Bauer Latoza Studio from Chicago and interior designer Virgile and Partners from London, the hotel integrates traditional Indian elements, colours and flavours into a modern design inspired by the unique craftsmanship of India. Andaz Delhi has a partial inventory of its residential-style 401 guestrooms, including 45 suites. As I was ushered in my spacious suite with a beautiful view of the pool, I was delighted to see artisanal chocolates and brownies as welcome amenities along with a welcome note from Arpana Pradhan, the hotel’s Marketing Communications Manager.
Each guestroom at Andaz Delhi features a unique curated piece of art that celebrates a reason to “fall in love with Delhi.” The collection is skillfully integrated into a book displayed in each room called “401 Reasons to Fall in Love with Delhi,” written by well-known travel writer Fiona Caulfield. While there is much to love about Delhi, navigating its myriad twists and turns can be a challenge, therefore the book has been designed to highlight twelve different categories for those to discover areas of specific interests, including: Delhi’s Building Heritage, Taste of Delhi, Creative Delhi, Delhi Celebrates, Cultural Delhi, Sporting Delhi, Delhi Shops, New Delhi Architecture, Delhi Devotion, Delhi on the Move, Natural Delhi and Iconic Delhi. I was told I can take a copy of the book along as a parting gift. In true Andaz fashion, all non-alcoholic mini-bar drinks and locally inspired snacks are complimentary, as are local telephone calls and Wi-Fi, making a stay at Andaz Delhi as seamless and barrier-free as possible.
“We are pleased to introduce Andaz Delhi to a city synonymous with style and local history, two elements that are core to the Andaz ethos,” said Heddo Siebs, General Manager, Andaz Delhi. “With our stylish, innovative restaurants and expansive function spaces, we hope to offer our friends in Delhi dining and event options that have not been available before.”
As I proceeded towards AnnaMaya, I stopped in my tracks to capture a photograph of the eye catching life-size pomegranate with its seeds spilling over near the entrance of the foodhall. As I browsed through the food menu on the first evening while sipping on tea, I was pleasantly surprised to notice that Andaz Delhi emphasizes consciously sourced ingredients and local artisanal produce in the uniquely conceived European food hall – AnnaMaya. Here, everyone can eat mindfully by sampling delicious European and local cuisine inspired by the colours and flavours of India.
A cup of refreshing tea was followed by a visit to the `Andaz Spa’ which has a unique concept and invites you to mix, blend and enjoy the purest elements of nature into an experience that’s custom tailored for everyone who visits. Blending the purest elements and ingredients to restore energy and balance, the Andaz Spa offers a journey guided by your aura and physiology, stimulating the senses through locally relevant activities and services that support well-being. Andaz Spa offers an innovative apothecary approach guided by Chakra energies and desires. Products for the spa journey will be handcrafted at the Apothecary blending bar, while Andaz Spa signature experiences combine seasonal fruits, herbs, minerals and essential oils with authentic therapies to balance the body and mind. Being mindful of the environment, locally sourced ingredients are used wherever possible. With 6 treatment rooms, including one couple treatment room with changing rooms, private rain showers and an efficient Spa manager Krishna who gives you just the right advice based on your requirements, I had a fantastic experience in the Andaz Spa and almost dozed off during the treatment. The spa features a unisex relaxation room, locker rooms complete with sauna, steam room for both men and women.
In my state of bliss after a really relaxing session at the Andaz Spa, I was invited to a gin tasting session at the snazzy Juniper Bar – India’s first gin bar. Through the use of pure ingredients such as hand-picked herbs, fresh juices and carefully distilled liquors, complemented by the creativity and originality of their mixologists, Juniper Bar is heaven for gin lovers and enthusiasts. Even though I am fan of wines, I was tempted by the bartender to try a few varieties of flavoured gins and cocktails based on gin. A diverse selection of stylized gin and tonic infusions, all revolving around the botanical and medicinal history of juniper await to be explored at Juniper Bar. In addition to the diverse selection of stylized gin, the hotel has also created their own version of Delhi Sapphire. The concept here was to bring out the rivalry between Delhi and Bombay. The same bottle as Bombay Sapphire was used and made to look more opulent to suit Delhi. Inspired by the Indian fireworks, candles and other lighting that is used to mark special occasions or celebrations, a suspended lighting feature has been designed to hand in a void that visually connects that Juniper Bar with the Studios. The seating around the Juniper Bar offers small individual groups and communal tables; this blended arrangement allows the ambience to adapt from a buzzing cocktail reception to a more intimate late night relaxed and sensuous private bar.
“Eat Mindful. Shop Artisanal. Raise Awareness”, this interesting phrase is the motto of AnnaMaya the fascinating foodhall at Andaz Delhi. Like many European food halls, AnnaMaya at Andaz Delhi, is a place where food is served and interesting artisanal produce and items are available for sale. The food hall follows the ‘Made in India’ concept, as all products used have to be produced in India, must have a socially inspiring story behind the business execution and their current business module must be socially relevant in order to help communities and their respective environments within India.
During my stay I was guided by Vipul Gupta-Director of Culinary Operations – Annamaya to try the foodhall’s signatures such as Amritsari Kulcha with chole for breakfast, the coconut and dill infused sweet lassi, the innovative cruffins-a combination of muffins and croissants, the delicious focaccia stuffed with cheese, healthy salads such as the tomato and raw papaya salad during lunch along with the most delicious portion of vegetable Khichadi that I have ever eaten. AnnaMaya has a huge selection of desserts including several varieties of ice creams, kulfis on display as you enter the foodhall and if you have a sweet tooth like I do, the pastry chefs at the foodhall are ever willing to suggest the dessert of the day. I tried a sinfully delicious portion of the Oreo cheesecake recommended by the chefs there and could not put my fork down because it was the most delicious thing I have ever eaten. AnnaMaya’s interiors incorporate Old Delhi in all its glory through sacks of spices, colourful hand-painted glass windows such as those found in Chandni Chowk and weathered wooden doors — a scene that is reminiscent of the picturesque bylanes of Old Delhi’s markets. Larger than life floral sculptures selected by renowned art curator Rajeev Sethi, add colour, form and an interesting dimension to the space.
Andaz Delhi was a revelation in itself along with being a delightful experience, everything from the design element to the food to the drinks to the accommodation was unique making it a fabulous experience and one that is a must try while in Delhi. Worth several visits!
Address: Asset No.1, Aerocity, New Delhi, Delhi 110037, India
Phone: +91 11 4903 1234