As soon as it arrived in New Delhi&rsquos Aerocity development&mdashand in India, being the first desi outpost of the brand&mdashthe Hyatt Andaz settled comfortably into the role of disruptor in the hospitality space. Their main restaurant, AnnaMaya, styled after a European food hall, offers only a la carte meals, barring the lavish buffet at breakfast (I still dream about their donut wall.). They do a mean Sunday brunch, and even that is sort of a la carte. In a 401-room hotel&mdashnot to mention apartments&mdashthis is no mean feat, especially when the food is inventive and exceptional. Their Hong Kong Club, prosaic name notwithstanding, is the best Chinese restaurant in town by a long chopstick. And the food it serves is completely non-spicy. You can put that jaw you dropped back now. The Juniper Bar, with its 35 stylised gin and tonic infusions, has patrons quaffing gin like its going out of fashion.
The Andaz rooms, which I saw long before travel magazines scrambled to do exclusives on them, were sublime and Zen-like&mdashbut not monastic&mdashevolved in their layout and colour palette, and created to appeal to a sophisticated clientele. There were hyper-local touches, the attention to detail occasionally unnerving Solan No. 1 and Patanjali munchies gracing the minibar, for instance.
The Residences, which were launched later, are geared towards longer stays, so they are deliberately plainer and uncluttered. They feel less hotel room and more empty apartment. Until you check in, that is. The excellent kitchen comes equipped with some basic supplies, and you&rsquore likely to make use of those if you&rsquore staying for a while. If you&rsquore incorrigible or, more likely, end up falling in love with the Andaz&rsquos F&B offerings, just call room service. A lot of care has gone into ensuring guests eat healthily when staying at the Andaz. Even the air inside the Andaz is cleaner. So the next time Delhi&rsquos pollution levels go off the charts, you know what to do.
Accommodation options for guests interested in the Residences include one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, as well as swank duplex townhouses, which come with two or three bedrooms. The Residences have their own private pool, although you&rsquore free to use the bigger hotel pool if you like. One of the USPs Andaz is betting big on is its location, midway between Delhi and Gurugram, and therefore able to cater to long-stay executives working in either city. The other is security.
Guests with conventional expectations may be flummoxed by the lack of check-in desks or the cool denim overalls that the waitstaff seems to favour. They shouldn&rsquot really fret. Beyond the bells and whistles, this is a truly great hotel. In fact, it&rsquos one of a kind. I just wish there were more of them.
Location Aerocity, New Delhi
Accommodation 401 rooms and suites, and 129 apartments
Tariff The apartments start from @INR17,500 per night (excluding taxes) including breakfast and two-way airport transfer
Contact 91-11-49031234 hyatt.com