September 2021 | 1058 words | 4-minute read
The Chambers — India’s first business club started by The Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL), with a presence across seven marquee IHCL hotels in six cities including Dubai — has been an exclusive club for its members to deliberate, unwind and entertain for over four decades now.
In New Delhi the Taj Mahal Hotel’s top floors house this exalted club, which has been refurbished to offer classic elegance in a contemporary setting with a stunning view of the capital’s skyline.
“The Chambers — now extended across two floors including the rooftop — has an ultra-chic atmosphere to provide its members the most gratifying experience,” remark Bhavna Mehta, director, PR & Marketing; and Megha Bhatia, manager, The Chambers, Taj Mahal, New Delhi, with whom I went on a virtual tour of The Chambers, amidst the lockdown.
The high life
The virtual tour began by taking the elevator to the rooftop and alighting at The Chambers’ plush entrance, where I was greeted, albeit virtually, in true Taj tradition. As I stepped in, my gaze caught the gilded-glass-cubicle elevator at the opposite end, which I was told is meant exclusively for the distinguished members and guests of The Chambers.
Turning right I entered the swanky Davidoff Cigar Lounge, a first of its kind at the hotel, offering limited edition cigars along with an assortment of sensorial chocolates and coffee to delight in. The warm lighting and stylish chairs, upholstered in leather, impart a cosy feel to the lounge. A humidor room attached to the lounge showcases an impressive collection of Davidoff cigars, while offering guests exclusive storage for their personal cigar collection.
Walking past the Cigar Lounge, I entered the Chambers Lounge that exemplifies a new code in luxury with its extraordinary grandeur. The spacious lounge offers three-alcove seating, two 4-seaters by the window and centre seating interspersed with semi-private ones to seat 4 to 5 members. It also hosts the Blue Label Bar by Diageo — a whiskey bar showcasing a unique collection of premium alcoholic drinks including the rarest and most treasured selection from Diageo. The Chambers Lounge offers a panoramic view of ‘the corridors of power’ and the stunning Lotus Temple, the Commonwealth complex and Humayun’s tomb.
As I’m taken past the Chambers corridor, leading to the floor below, I couldn’t help but admire the interesting caricatures from the private collection of renowned Indian cartoonist, illustrator and humourist RK Laxman along the corridor walls.
It is on this floor that business deals are signed and sealed in the privacy of the seven conference rooms that can accommodate between 4 and 16 guests. First, I’m shown the Stefano Ricci conference room, designed by and named after the internationally acclaimed Italian luxury lifestyle brand. The imposing burgundy leather chairs contrast well with the bold black hues of the walls, furniture, marble and customised stone light fittings. The luxury brand’s eagle logo on the wall is conspicuous as also the priceless silver vase on the console table. Sitting here, you can view the India Gate; entire Rajpath stretch; Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of India’s President; and the Parliament building.
The other six meeting rooms bear a uniform look and feel with walls decorated with A Salui’s soft watercolour paintings, depicting the iconic buildings and monuments of Delhi. Rare ambience, guest privacy and personalised service make The Chambers the most sought-after destination by the who’s who.
Dining in style
The next stop was the new 60-seater restaurant at The Chambers, which has been remodelled to become the capital’s preferred fine dining destination. With its interiors done up in black Italian marble, ornate chandeliers adorning the high ceiling and its walls adorned by uniformed men from the Indian regiments, the restaurant has a chic and sophisticated look. Known for its contemporary international and Indian gourmet cuisine, the restaurant’s culinary repertoire boasts of the highest quality ingredients to celebrate global and local flavours. The bar menu has a fine selection of wines, single malts and whiskeys, while beverage trolleys, gin-carts and dessert trolleys parked in designated nooks elevate the gourmet experience.
The gourmet offerings include snack and lounge items, comfort bowl foods, superfoods, high-power breakfasts, western grills, an Asian culinary repertoire and a delectable selection from North India. As I catch a glimpse of an exquisitely plated dessert being carried to a guest table, I’m told that cheese and meat boards, wine pairing with snack platters, curated table d’hôte in meeting rooms, dark chocolate and almond platters in the Cigar Lounge are among the other delights for bon vivants.
Together with the Rendezvous Series — a collection of intimate, immersive and indulgent events focussing on bespoke experiences — other culinary concepts introduced at The Chambers are The Grand Sunday Brunch and Flambé Nights to name a few.
Guests can indulge in a unique culinary experience by dining in The Chambers’ Kitchen which has been done up to seat guests, while the restaurant’s new menu, innovative flavours, visual appeal and service styles are winning praise from its discerning patrons.
Up next was the grand banquet hall called Longchamp, which is a 200-seater dedicated venue only for members of The Chambers. Its high wooden ceiling and French windows, through which one can see the grandeur of Lutyens Delhi, make the perfect venue for The Chambers’ high-profile members to celebrate and entertain in stately style and privacy.
As my virtual tour came to an end, I couldn’t help but ask about The Chambers’ safety and health arrangements particularly in these pandemic times. I was assured that a Swedish technology air purification system had been installed to treat harmful microbes and maintain the indoor air quality, apart from the stringent safety and hygiene protocols that are being adhered to.
The sheer luxury of space, promise of privacy and service that is personalised yet discreet, rendered by its courteous staff, is what makes The Chambers at the Taj Mahal, New Delhi, the capital’s most iconic business destination for all its patrons — be they captains of industry and business, celebrities or dignitaries.
— Farah Dada