“A stylish and serene hotel tucked away in a quiet West Delhi suburb, with an excellent restaurant, small spa and personal service”
Each of the 17 rooms has been carefully themed to showcase a different region or feature of India, with antiques, quirky curios, photographs and framed prints complimenting the sleek modern furnishings. They are spread over 3 floors and divided into 3 categories: luxury, premium and deluxe, although little separates them other than size. There are 2 twin rooms, Bhuj and Dakshin (a further 4 can be configured as twins if required); the rest are doubles.
The most popular rooms are Oh Calcutta! - a spacious double with old lithographs of Calcutta and film stills from the movie Night in Calcutta, plus an old library desk lamp - and Bollywood - suitably indulgent in its homage to one of the biggest film industries in the world, with a lovely four-poster bed. But our personal favourite was Stupa, with its Tibetan furniture and door hangings (used as curtains), and colourful photographs from Ladakh. We also liked Bombay Masala for its nostalgic black and white Mumbai street scenes, kitsch film posters and gold sequined cushions.
If you're a very light sleeper, or have an early start the following day, you may want to ask for one of the rooms on a lower floor, as those nearer the rooftop restaurant can experience noise in the evenings.
The bathrooms are spacious with rain showers or tubs, but feel somewhat dated next to the carefully styled bedrooms - note that the hot water can run out quickly. Shanti Home provides custom-made toiletries by Fab India, and bathrobes are available on request.
The rooftop restaurant, Lantern Terrace Garden, is one of Shanti Home's biggest selling points, and is a lovely setting for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Breakfast (included) is simple but tasty, with fresh fruit, cereals and a small à la carte menu offering simple dishes such as omelettes and scrambled eggs. For lunch, there's a selection of Indian and Continental dishes to choose from, including club and grilled sandwiches, and paneer pakoras. But it's dinner that's the star attraction here, and the food is some of the best you'll find in Delhi.
The tandoor (clay) oven opens between 7pm and 11pm and you can either indulge in a 5-course tasting menu or go à la carte. The chef's signature recipe is murg makhani (butter chicken), but we also recommend the lamb seekh kebab (minced lamb marinated with masalas and cooked on skewers), murgh malai kebab (mildly spiced chicken marinated in cheese and cream and roasted in the tandoor) and the dal makhni (lentil delicacy). Also cooked in the tandoor, the naan breads and aloo kulcha (leavened bread filled with seasoned potatoes) are both delicious.
A 24-hour room service menu can deliver snacks such as toast, eggs and sandwiches, either to your room or to one of the lounge areas.
If you prefer to eat out, the nearby Hilton hotel has 4 restaurants with different cuisines, and within a 10-minute walk there are various chain eateries (such as Pizza Hut) and Moti Mahal, which serves good Indian food. You can always take the metro for additional recommended places, both chain and local.
Shanti Home also offers tailored 2-3 hour cooking classes where you discuss and choose a menu and learn how to make the dishes, which are then served to you for dinner.
Delhi often marks the beginning and / or end of a trip to India, which may influence how much sightseeing you wish to do. Shanti Home produces an in-house magazine with details of local sights and shops, and the travel desk can help arrange tours within Delhi.