Colonel’s Retreat Delhi
We’ve seen Delhi in bits and pieces over several day-trips from the neighboring town of Gurgaon, which is about 30kms southwest. This doesn’t do complete justice to the capital city as the 1.5hrs of commute back home is always on your mind as you try to wind up sight-seeing activities for the day. Ideally, to experience Delhi completely one must stay in the city overnight, see its monuments light up the night sky and enjoy dinner at some of its fabulous restaurants. And that’s exactly what we got to do when we stayed with Mr. Arun Khanna at his charming Colonel’s Retreat.
Located at the center of New Delhi within the sprawling Defence Colony, our stay at Colonel’s Retreat was like staying with family while exploring the city. It’s a 3-storied bungalow with private residences on one floor while the rest have been opened up for guests. Each guestroom has a double-bed with a separate work-study table, storage armoire, flat-screen TV with satellite connection, air-conditioning and a modern, super-clean, attached bathroom with all the required amenities. Our room was simple yet elegant and extremely comfortable – we felt right at home, the minute we deposited our bags there!
All rooms open out to a cozy lounge area where guests can meet other travelers, watch TV, read and even dine together. The walls are decorated with some original artwork, which are absolutely stunning! This lounge area was our favorite part of the retreat as we met some real interesting people here. Moreover, this was also where we sat with Mr.Khanna, who is an avid traveler himself, and exchanged travel stories and experiences.
Breakfast is included in the room rent and this consisted of generous helpings of eggs, breads, cornflakes, fruits, juices and tea/coffee. It was served in the dining area adjoining the lounge by efficient and courteous staff. Mr.Khanna’s kitchen is famous for its home-made Banana Bread, which was offered to us as soon as we checked in yummy stuff!
For dinner we explored the fabulous Defense Colony market, which is within walking distance (or a Rs.20 cycle-rickshaw ride away) of the retreat. It has some really nice restaurants and shops to indulge in. So every night, after a full day of sight-seeing we stopped by here for a relaxing meal before heading back to the comfort of our room.
Overall, Colonel’s Retreat is an ideal place to have a home-stay like atmosphere in the heart of New Delhi with access to its numerous attractions being just minutes away by Metro trains or cabs. Mr. Khanna is full of ideas and suggestions on how best to explore his favorite city and does his best to give his guests a comfortable and memorable stay. It’s his attention to small details like providing travel information in each room along with suggested itineraries and travel tips that makes his place unique and a stay at his retreat an absolute must for all travel-buffs, who want to see Delhi through the heart and eyes of a true local fan.
Rating: 10 out of 10