One of the world’s finest hotels Delhi’s British Raj inspired Imperial New Delhi has been awarded a top environmental award by the Indian Government’s National Productivity Council (NPC).
The ‘Certificate of Appreciation in 3R’s (Reduce, Recycle and Reuse)’ award was presented to Anil Kumar the Imperial’s director of engineering at an NPC seminar.
The award recognises the Imperial’s campaign to become one of India’s most eco friendly hotels. The hotel has a long running programme to save large amounts of electricity, water and PNG as well as a commitment to 3R practices for waste management.
The Imperial’s Sr. Executive Vice President and General Manager, Vijay Wanchoo said:
“We are very proud to pick up this award. Our team has worked extremely hard to make the Imperial as green friendly as possible in keeping with our owner’s ethos of sustainability and care for the environment. We will continue to work with our partners to find new and progressive ways to conserve and recycle energy and water. Being innovative and green is the future of the hospitality industry and what guests demand and expect.”
Mr Wanchoo pointed to rainwater which is now harvested from the hotel roof, as well as water from hotel operations which is carefully recycled.
“All water from the laundry, bathrooms and kitchens is not discarded, it is cleaned, and pumped to the terrace where we have two tanks with 10,000 litres of water stored. From here it is fed through to the hotel WCs saving massive amounts of water every year.
“We also have solar panels on the roof which provide hot water for the entire hotel and we have replaced coal fired clay ovens in the staff canteen with a new machine which makes breads powered by natural gas and a small amount of electricity. This is saving 40 kilos of coal a day and makes a 1000 pieces of bread an hour.”
The Imperial further ramped up its environmental campaign in March partnering with WWF-India, to celebrate Earth Hour and Earth Hour Week. This saw the hotel switch off lights around its façade, swimming pool and business centre while guests were also invited to a ‘Dine in Dark’ event at its Nostalgia 1911 Brasserie where tables were illuminated by candles or battery operated lights.
The Imperial New Delhi is steeped in Indian history and captures the old world elegance of the British Raj. Today it is managed by the firm M/s Akoi Saab and owned by Sardar Hardev Singh Akoi and Sardar Jasdev Singh Akoi , grandsons of the Late Sardar Bahadur Ranjit Singh who built the hotel. Designed in 1934 by Blomfield it was inaugurated by Lord Willingdon in 1936. The hotel was designed to be one of the finest monuments of Lutyens’ grand vision for New Delhi presenting a unique blend of Victorian, old colonial and Art Deco styles. The hotel was named and given its distinctive lion insignia by Lady Willingdon.
The Imperial was the one of the original and legendary “Four Maidens of the East”, which included The Strand Hotel in Rangoon, Raffles Hotel in Singapore and The Great Eastern & The Oriental in Calcutta.
The Imperial is positioned on the prestigious Queensway, now Janpath near the Iconic Connaught Place. It was chosen as India’s best ‘Luxury Historical Hotel’ by World Luxury Hotel Awards 2015.
The Imperial proudly displays the finest public collection of ‘British Art on India’ in the world.
The hotel has three main art galleries and a collection of life size oil paintings of the Princely Rulers of India. This collection includes the works of great artists operating in India in the late 17th and early 18th century and includes etchings, wood engravings, lithographs, aquatints and mezzotints based on sketches of landscapes, architecture, topography and life and times of India. Prominent artists featured include are Thomas and William Daniells, William Simpson, William Hodges, John Zollony, James Ferguson, J.B. Fraser, Emily Eden, Charles D’Oyly, among others.
The Imperial also has the largest public collection of military awards in India covering India, Afghanistan, Burma, Bhutan and China. These include medals, orders and decorations bestowed by the King, the Emperor of India as an honor to the local Maharajas and ruling Princes of different states of India.
“The Imperial depends for impact on its art collection – one of the most arresting public displays of colonial images and memorabilia in all of Asia,” says Anthony Paul of Fortune magazine.
During the independence and partition talks The Imperial provided a meeting point for Pandit Nehru, Mahatama Gandhi, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Lord Mountbatten and the Nehru family had a permanent suite at the hotel.
If only walls could speak, here indeed was a repository of fascinating anecdotal material for authors of romantic and detective fiction. It was here at The Imperial, where you could clink your glasses on the same table as the King to the war efforts or Gandhi to the quit India movement, to the strains of Blue Dambe or the belly act of a belle from Beirut with an orchestra from London to serenade you at lunch and invite you to take the floor with candle – lit dinner in the evening.
Silver tea service, tableware from London, Italian marble floors, Burma teak furniture, original Daniells and Frasers on the walls, a vision of undulating green lawns, turbaned
waiters in red, all create the aura of an early 19th century English Manor in the heart of Imperial Delhi.