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The Leela Palace New Delhi, India

Don’t panic if you let out a little gasp as you enter this imposing hotel. Designed to replicate Edwin Lutyens’ colonial India, it is opulence on the grandest scale.

Think huge chandeliers, lavish furniture, precious metals adorning every table and an astonishing 14,000 fresh flowers delivered every day. However, it’s not a case of waste not, want not. The blooms are donated to an NGO and used to make dye for the annual Holi festival.

There are 254 palatial guest rooms and suites, all with opulent decor. Suites come with butler service, access to the exclusive Royal Club Lounge and larger suites with private plunge pools. Once you’ve picked your jaw up, take a dip in the rooftop infinity pool, a welcome reprieve from the steamy city. Located in the upmarket Chanakyapuri district near the park-filled neighbourhood known as Diplomatic Enclave, it’s full of well-heeled holidayers and businessmen.

Its five dining options play perfectly to its clientele. There are outposts of New York’s Le Cirque and Megu, plus its signature restaurant Jamavar also has a Michelin-starred outpost in London. Savour dishes such as gosht ki nihari (Awadhi lamb delicacy lightly flavoured with saffron) and daal Jamavar (lentils with tomatoes and cream). After dinner, retire to The Library bar, with its extensive whisky menu and Indian-spiced cocktails such as a chicory marsala martini. AD. Doubles from $285. preferredhotels.com

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