Delhi, North & Central India, India

Dharampura Haveli is unique for being the only bona fide luxury heritage hotel in the former Mughal capital, Old Delhi. Six years of work were required to bring the 200-year-old building back from the brink of dereliction. It now offers a wonderfully atmospheric base in the heart of the city. Screened from the brouhaha of the surrounding streets by thick stone walls, the mansion is surprisingly quiet once you are inside its cusp-arched gateway. Arrayed over several floors, the rooms are spacious and decorated in Indian boutique style, with four-posters and generous sized bathrooms; some have projecting ‘jarokha’ balconies. Outside, pillared galleries enfolding a central courtyard lead to an airy roof terrace where you can enjoy a sundowner with a glorious view of the Jama Masjid’s domes and minarets. If you’re lucky, your stay might coincide with a recital of Kathak dance, held on one of the haveli’s colonnaded walkways on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

A word of warning: access to the Dharampura is on foot as the lanes leading to it are too narrow for motor vehicles. Your luggage will be carried by porters. An insalubrious corner or two may have to be negotiated en route, but rest assured once at the property you’ll be installed in the old city’s most fragrant and restful enclave!

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