Haveli Dharampura is a Mughal era mansion now heritage hotel in the middle of Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, near Jama Masjid, the landmark Police station, where you’re quiet literally surrounded by four hundred crumbling splendid years of history.
Old Delhi is a must-experience; one can only capture so much of the travel-back-in-time feel and the thick, heady aroma that comes with it into words. Sit in a rickshaw, a royal one, and take a tour through the narrow streets. Listen to the competing mellifluous sounds massaging the air. Peep the glint of gold spilling out of tiny storefronts in the by-lanes. Hear the offer of deals and diamonds from merchants with hundreds of years of family history in the game. Take in the foreign costumes and the tribal markings. Tune in to the far away sounds of chiming bells and temple leaders’ chants. Hear too the disturb of all the car horns. And then after sensory overload, dip into Haveli Dharampura, and experience royal history in its finest restored glory.
A meticulously re-established Haveli is no small feat. Facilitated by its proprietor Vijay Goel, a Parliament member with the necessary credentials to push such an effort through – the result after 6-years tending to every architectural detail from the archways to carved sandstone façades – are 3-stories of old-world, majestic beauty.
The ground floor Lakhori restaurant, serving spruced up street food is the finest dining you’ll find in Delhi-6. The view from any of the 15 tables looks upon an open courtyard framed by colour panel doorways which serves as the lookover for the 13 rooms and suites sitting airily above practically spilling out onto the balconies giving them an outside/inside feel. The Shahjahan suite was all restrained opulence; poster bed, sprawling sitting area and ornate Indian accents without the sacrifice of flat screen, high speed amenities.
Magic is the rooftop terrace. This dim light wrap-around lounge area is the best vantage for viewing the swarms of kites animating the night sky while the bustle of the city below provides the fitting soundtrack. Four different religious monuments; Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Gurdwara Lal Mandir are on display. Have an aperitif. Cozy with your companion. Relax like a royal and take it all in.