Just read the news that The Imperial Hotel in Delhi has launched its Eliza programme with rooms designed especially for the “single lady traveller”.
Apparently there are 12 rooms all located off one corridor of the hotel that are equipped with CCTV and room door cameras.
In-room facilities have been tailored as well to include a manicure set, women’s magazines, floral arrangements and some “special linen” (is this a euphemism for sanitary towels?). But, best of all, it promises female staff assistance and a screening process for all telephone calls. While I'm not so struck by the manicure set, mags and flowers, the last two mean I don't have to worry about calling for a late night snack when I finally reach my destination.
The Imperial dates back to 1931 and really is a lovely hotel given its wealth of art and artefacts and its cool, colonial-style interior. More importantly, it's right next to the fab Cottage Industries Emporium, where you can shop to your heart's content for everything Indian. Government-controlled, you don't get ripped off as you pay for what you get through the fair pricing structure and the jewelry is genuine.
My favourites are the juttis (the Indian bejewelled shoes) which are great for wearing on planes as your feet swell up, and beautiful mango boxes (which if filled with mini eggs and tied together with ribbon make v. sophisticated Easter gifts).
Unfortunately I'll never get to try the Eliza rooms as the hotel's not on our corporate list and if I therefore do stay, it'll be with my hubby! Perhaps though this will set the trend and other hotels will realise that there is a real demand for this option and follow suit.
Travel Tip: If the hotel check-in clerk says your room number out loud when handing over your key and you're a "single female traveller", ask for another room and tartly tell the staff not to announce to everyone in the lobby where you'll be on your own overnight.