As chaotic as New Delhi is, we could spend weeks, even months here. For many others, they see it as no more than a quick stopover, the gateway to the rest of India. Luckily, the ITC Maurya offers just the place to acclimatize. Situated at the heart of the diplomatic quarter, the property is an opulent testament to the modernity of India’s capital and a celebration of contemporary Indian art and culture. Art is everywhere in this hotel, not just the walls of the lobby, but also all across its grand ceiling. The dome in the lobby is adorned by an amazing mural by Indian artist Krishen Khanna, featuring vibrant hues of blues, greens, browns and reds, depicting everyday life in the city (minus the traffic jams, we noted) complemented by contemporary furnishings, in a bold yet distinctly Indian colour palette. This modern oasis has been designed to meet every need of today’s luxury traveller; our wearied souls enjoyed a pick-me-up at the fitness centre and the spa, Kaya Kalp. Five stars mean five restaurants – we were spoilt for choice. We opted for Bukhara, where we were transported to the rugged North West frontier, with stone-clad walls typical of the villages in the region. An open kitchen meant we could watch everything being cooked and our meal made us consider flying back just to have it again. But the thing that tops off a stay here is the hotel’s ethos of responsible luxury. Cutting-edge, sustainable practices are built in, like a solar thermal system for hot water and a rainwater harvesting system. Also, more than 99% of the total solid waste is either reused or recycled through recycling programs or converted into manure by an organic waste converter. This approach is followed through in the food; ITC Hotels is India’s first participant in WWF’s Choose Wisely programme collaborating with the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, aimed at enabling guests to make a responsible choice at the point of ordering.

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