Upmarket Larry's China restaurant with Chinese lunch and dinner
Room service available around the clock
Two on-site bars serving cocktails and spirits
Basic fitness center with cardio and weight-training equipment
Business center with printers plus a boardroom for rent
Interior dome-facing rooms can pick up noise from events
Some decor looks a bit dated in lower-category rooms
Free Wi-Fi works poorly; fees for high-speed access
No pool (though guests can use pool at sister property)
The Vivanta by Taj - Ambassador is a three-and-a-half-pearl hotel with 88 rooms located in Central Delhi, right next to the upscale shops and restaurants at Khan Market. Rooms are bright and mostly modern, with big bathrooms, though those facing the hotel's interior can get noisy when events are taking place and free Wi-Fi works poorly. The hotel's restaurants are popular with guests and locals alike; the 24-hour Yellow Brick Road is particularly well-liked and serves a huge breakfast buffet. While there is a small fitness center, there's no pool; the pool at the nearby Taj Mahal Hotel is free for Vivanta guests. Travelers looking for an on-site pool should compare rates at the much larger ITC Maurya, which has great restaurants and a similar style.
Lower profile business hotel and popular wedding venue from a recognized high-end brand
Vivanta by Taj - Ambassador, known by most locals simply as The Ambassador, attracts business travelers and tourists alike thanks largely to its excellent location in central Delhi. It's part of the Taj Group's Vivanta chain of hotels, a more affordable, business-oriented alternative to the luxurious properties for which the brand is best known. Guests drive through a gated, secure entrance and up to the door-side unloading area, where they pass through a metal detector before entering (standard practice in Indian mid-range and upscale properties). Across from the door is a grassy lawn where events such as wedding receptions are frequently held during cooler months.
Inside the lobby are a couple of seating areas and a short set of steps leads to the main reception area, with marble floors and a large floral centerpiece below a shimmering crystal chandelier. The reception desk is off to one side and there's a collection of chairs and tables with off-white patterned upholstery and bright-pink (the Vivanta signature color) cushions. Generally, the vibe is relaxed, but a word of warning: If you plan to stay here during wedding season (usually in November, just after Diwali), be prepared for noise. The hotel frequently hosts weddings and receptions, complete with blaring music, and rooms facing out the interior open section of the hotel can be noisy well into the night.
In the heart of central Delhi, right next to upscale shops and dining at Khan Market
The Vivanta by Taj- Ambassador is located in Central Delhi's Sujan Singh Park neighborhood, right next to Khan Market, an high-end shopping area full of restaurants and boutiques. It's just up the road from the Delhi Golf Club and a seven-minute drive down the road from Humayan's Tomb, one of the city's three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sprawling Lodhi Gardens, full of Lodhi-era tombs and meandering paths, are within a four-minute drive or 15-minute walk of the hotel. It's 12 minutes by car to central Delhi's Connaught Place and 10 minutes to Jantar Mantar, a collection of ancient astronomical instruments. Getting to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Delhi's best-known Sikh temple, takes about the same amount of time to reach.
Old Delhi Railway Station and Old Delhi's bustling market area -- Chandni Chowk -- are both about 20 minutes or so or so away by car, while it's a 15-minute drive to New Delhi Railway Station. South Delhi attractions such as the Lotus Temple and the Qutub Minar also take about 20 minutes by car to reach, but the journey can be much longer depending on traffic. The Indira Gandhi International Airport is about half an hour away by car without traffic, but can take significantly longer during peak hours.
Bright and modern, with classic decor, huge bathrooms, and many with balconies
Rooms at the Ambassador are mostly pleasant, modern, and bright, though decor does verge on old school from time to time. Expect to see wood floors and monochrome or elegantly patterned bed runners plus simple floral prints on the walls. Some of the dark and mid-tone wood-veneer furniture looks a bit dated, mostly in lower-category rooms. The hotel offers four room types, starting with entry-level Superior Charm units that have either a king or two twin beds and balconies that face out on the interior dome ceiling of the ground floor (there's no courtyard), which can be noisy during events. The interiors and features are more or less the same in the Deluxe Delight Rooms, though these look out onto the exterior of the hotel (either the front lawn or the back surrounding roads, which are quiet); however, not all of them have balconies.
Things change a bit in the Premium Indulgence Rooms, which are bigger and have more modern decor and lighter wood that gives them a less old-fashioned look than the lower category rooms, primarily due to the use of light-colored wood in furniture and flooring. The top category is the Deluxe Allure Suite, some of which can be as large as 772 square feet (72 square meters), and come with separate living areas and bedrooms; however, the balconies face out on the dome so they can be noisy when there are parties going on down in one of the event spaces.
Amenities are similar throughout room categories, and include desks with ergonomic work chairs, flat-screen TVs, kettles for making tea and coffee, minibars, and safes. Rollaway beds and cribs are available on request. Bathrooms are large and done predominantly white marble tiling; many have windows. All come with shower/tub combos, hairdryers, makeup mirrors, and toiletries from Forest Essentials, a high-end natural products company.
Excellent bars and restaurants, fitness center, event spaces, and abysmally slow Wi-Fi
The Ambassador offers a decent array of amenities, with especially good restaurants and 24-hour room service. The Yellow Brick Road is a colorful, casual restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating and bright decor with a Provencal feeling, complete with pale-yellow and white striped wallpaper. It's open around the clock. The breakfast buffet served here is varied and filling, with a rotating selection of hot Indian breakfast specialties including masala dosas and parathas. Larry's China is open for lunch and dinner and has a darker, more formal ambiance, with paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling and plenty of red and dark wood used in the chairs and booths. There's also a cocktail bar -- Insomnia -- with low velveteen easy chairs; it offers a huge range of mixed drinks along with Chinese, Italian, and Indian snack items. Just off the lobby, Lutyen's Lounge gas a few plush sofas and chairs and a selection of teas and cocktails, but it's usually empty.
There's no pool, but guests can use the facilities at the nearby Taj Mahal Hotel free of charge. There is, however, a small fitness center spread over three little rooms with a couple of treadmills and elliptical machines plus a rack of free weights. It leads out to a small outdoor terrace space, though the lack of furniture makes it one of the less attractive places to hang out.
The hotel also offers indoor and outdoor event spaces, a board room for meetings and a 24-hour business center with a couple of computers and a printer, but it's cheaper to head next door to Khan Market, where there's a proper print shop if you need a lot of documents printed. There's also a small bookshop in the lobby with lots of coffee table books about India and a tiny market outside the main entrance selling cigarettes and soft drinks. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel, if you can get it to work; even basic emailing is rendered easier by purchasing a high-speed package through the front desk for a daily fee. Parking is included in room rates.
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