The Connaught, plays it straight for a long innings, turns one

Sonali Chauhan, General Manager, The Connaught, New Delhi – IHCL SeleQtions, says the last one year has been a learning in many ways; bringing about innovations, enhanced agility and resilience

The Connaught, New Delhi opened its doors to guests on November 10, 2020. Located in the heart of the National Capital, The Connaught offers a kaleidoscope of the many avatars and charm of Delhi. The setting of the hotel is mystical and unique, placing the guest right in the midst of the action and with this new hospitality destination, the hallmark of IHCL SeleQtions’ immersive experience has once again been extended to the travel connoisseur.


Excerpts from an interview:

That 'time flies' is what we are witnessing with The Connaught already completing a year since its opening. If you were to sum up the last one year, taking into account the second lockdown, how would you? 

With its avant garde offerings, The Connaught has been imagined as an address that travellers can feel at home with a refreshing play of heart and art and its suave and chic spaces. Celebrating a confluence of local and global aesthetics, this boutique urban sanctuary is charming, eclectic, quaint and intriguing.


It was indeed courageous for us to open the hotel in the midst of the pandemic and I would attribute the success to IHCL’s strategic planning and the support and patronage of our guests and well-wishers. The second wave brought its set of challenges with it, which did impact everyone both in the domestic and global realm. We supported the local government by housing doctors who were serving Covid-19 patients for almost three months during the second pandemic. Once the scenario stabilised, we welcomed back the domestic guests (Delhi-NCR and neighbouring states), including their furry friends with special offers and our augmented safety and hygiene protocols.


The last one year has been a learning in so many ways; it has brought about innovations, enhanced agility, resilience and we have lived the “never-say-die” spirit!

Would it be out of place to say that The Connaught, being in the commercial district and sharing a wall with India’s iconic hockey stadium, is where MICE and business travellers contribute higher ratios? 

The hotel was envisioned to be a centre for business as well as leisure travellers. Given the pandemic, corporate travel did slow down across India. But as things did start opening up, we have seen a considerable increase in corporate travel. At the hotel, we have meeting spaces that cater to smaller groups, and since June, we have found those spaces have become popular. The trend now is a preference for meeting with fewer people and connect with extended teams digitally.

Pre-function Area

An urban oasis, given its central yet quiet location, we are indeed excited to establish The Connaught being the popular new address that appeals to various segments of our business, the residents of Delhi and holds relevance across generations too. With unmatched views of the Shivaji Stadium, we eagerly look forward to the games being back on track. A Deluxe Room at The Connaught would be the ideal way to enjoy a great game with fabulous views of all the on-ground action! Besides the stadium views, the hotel offers a charming and intriguing view of central Delhi’s skyline. One can spot 10 or more different domes of significance and other architectural marvels while the surrounding lush greenery is a delightful sight too.

Meeting Room

Some of our key offers for the segments we cater to are:

Discover SeleQtions Rate includes breakfast, SeleQtions experience, 24-hour check in, complimentary basic wi-fi up to four devices.  

Discover pawfect vacations! All your family members, and we mean pets too, are in for a treat at SeleQtions. Believe us when we say leave no one behind on a family vacation with in-room amenities for you and your furry baby.

Connaught Get Enough! The offer includes everything you need to maximise your stay experience. Get all meals, snacks once a day, mocktail hours, unlimited soft beverages, wi-fi up to four devices, 20 per cent discount on spa, salon, concierge and laundry services.

Meeting Room

The Connaught has it all for any guest and with its palpable and unique design, colours and setting. It is not just pleasing to the eye, as it attracts anyone who visits once… will keep coming back and is also very attractive for the international traveller. Your views. 

I couldn’t agree more with you! The Connaught, New Delhi is a breath of fresh air to the city of New Delhi and the hotel industry in India. The vivacious and bold personality of the hotel along with it being warm and euphoric is a character best experienced and not described. We await international and inbound travel to begin. Given the design of the hotel as well as its look and feel, we are positive they will fall in love with the hotel.

Premium Bedroom

The hotel’s design is influenced by the architecture of Connaught Place, with an overlay of contemporary styling, furnishings and accents. Hallways inspired by the corridors of power in the city, and cosy corners that beckon one to settle down with a novella, The Connaught has been imagined as an address that travellers can feel home at.

IHCL has been at the forefront of various philanthropic efforts, be it supporting the less fortunate or lending a hand to India’s frontline workforce including the medics. It would be nice to know the efforts of The Connaught under your charge. 

IHCL has always demonstrated agility and innovation in responding to a situation in a responsible manner.

At The Connaught, New Delhi, we strongly believe in living the values of our company by giving back to the community. We had forums to provide assistance to families of colleagues and contacts who were affected by Covid-19. We kept moving ahead, to keep our people engaged and to keep their morale high. Besides this, we also take care of our furry friends. We have adopted several strays and we feed them and give them shelter. They have now become part of The Connaught family. 

The Hub

Qmin is a unique and standout offering by The Taj. It is good to learn about its rollout recently at The Connaught. How is it going and how do you see it add value to your business? There is a case for building loyal clientele for classy Taj F&B offerings of the shelf grab ‘n’ go. Right?

The Qmin store is definitely a unique venture. We are proud to open the first store in the Capital. With its eclectic and vibrant design, the Qmin Shop evokes imagination and dynamism that comes alive in its décor, music, statement lighting and trendy seating, both outdoor and indoor. It features an array of breads, savouries and confectioneries, handcrafted cheeses, meats, patisserie items and culinary delights. For those looking to catch up with friends and family over coffee and conversations, the in-store high energy café is the perfect place to unwind. The outdoor seating is perfect for Delhi’s winter months. Over the past two weeks, we have seen encouraging footfalls from guests in the neighbouring areas, diplomatic circle as well as in-residence guests. We look forward to welcoming guests to relish the culinary flavours which include delicious light bites, grabbing a quick takeaway or ordering in for personally curated hampers.

Buffet Area

With rich experience behind you and your successful stint at the Taj Palace, the expertise will come in handy in running The Connaught successfully. If you can share with us the progress that you have made, despite all the odds, since the opening and how does the future look, given the unique setting, design and offerings of the asset. 

Opening of a hotel amidst a pandemic is a challenging task which is unusual to running a hotel and is a different ball game altogether. With almost two decades of my career in the industry across brands, The Connaught, IHCL SeleQtions brought in its unique set of learnings and experiences. Awareness and visibility for the hotel had to be created with sensitivity towards the prevailing pandemic while keeping in mind augmented safety protocols for both internal and external customers.

Bar Seating

We successfully amplified our launch with marquee events including a book celebration by Anupam Kher and some intimate gatherings which helped the hotel establish itself. This built awareness about the hotel’s existence and escalated growth of business and ADRs significantly. The hotel’s location, special offers, eclectic F&B (including the Alfresco) and meeting rooms (with The Terrace) are all drivers for growth of our business. 

The hotel has a strong design aesthetic that delves within and beyond the spaces of the hotel, telling stories of design and artefacts that make a stay at The Connaught, IHCL SeleQtions so vivid. The curated dining options and handcrafted cocktails are already a big hit. Thus, I feel the hotel’s character has already carved a niche for itself and will only grow from strength to strength. Everyone who has come to the hotel has fallen in love with it, just as we expected. I look forward to times ahead as I am positive that the hotel will perform exceptionally well with international flights commencing.


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