Sunday, 15 July 2012

Life in Delhi - accommodation choices

Choosing where to stay in Delhi is a big issue for parents who are expecting a long stay.  We have experienced two of the options on offer and both have their advantages....

Svelte Suites
Two great things about Svelte. 1. As the name suggests you get a bedroom and a living room.  2.  It's attached to an air-conditioned mall.  Svelte is the perfect place to bring your new arrival.  In the heat of summer and the dust of winter, it's a haven from the elements.  Having a living room is ideal for middle of the night feeds, allowing one of you to get some rest.  Being attached to the mall also means you won't go stir-crazy in your room.  We even bought a stroller so we could take walks around the mall and visit the many great restaurants and food courts.  If you don't have a little one, visit the cinema - bigger and better than any multiplex we've visited at home.

But the best thing about Svelte is the community of parents and couples hoping to start a family.  Breakfast time turned out to be one of the nicest times of the day - a chance to commune with others from all over the world, doin' what you're doin'.  Here I learned that it isn't the affluent few that get involved with surrogacy; just everyday folk with a shared, incredibly strong urge to become parents.  We mortgage our homes, we save like we've never saved before and we will stop at nothing to reach our goal.  (It's about time governments that make it difficult for us get that  - I'm certain every one of the people we've met will make exceptional parents and raise kids that will be a credit to them.)

(Final bill came to around £GBP80/INR6800/$US125 per night)

Tulip Apartments
Tulip got a bad rap on blogs recently.  And it does sound as though one of the apartments, B40, is to be avoided.  We moved into E-177 and it's great.  OK, so the decor isn't what you'd choose, but it's clean, air conditioned and big!  We chose a 3 bedroom apartment on a recommendation because we have family coming to stay but we have space to turn the third bedroom into a laundry!  For families with new arrivals, having a washing machine is brilliant (and a big advantage over Svelte).  It's also close to two shopping areas - M-Block Market and Kailash Colony Market. 

This is certainly closer to 'real life' in up-market Delhi but for long stayers, you can get into something more like a normal routine.  Other advantages are wifi, satellite tv and a proper kitchen.

Because Noah arrived early, we experienced both of these accommodation options.  Our first week was spent at Svelte and now we've settled into a month at Tulip.  On reflection this was the best of both worlds.  First a haven of tranquillity and an introduction to some wonderful people, then something that more closely approximates to home.

(Final bill came to £GBP47/INR4000/$US75 per night)


  1. thanks for the recommendations. Besides picking up baby (hopefully) this part of the journey has me worried. Where to stay - especially since we have never even been abroad before. This is what I love about the blogs - valuable information. Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy - he is adorable - and I love the name Noah

  2. I think that the Tulip Apartments are very similar to the house we lived in during the first three years we were in Delhi. There are some things that are just different from what westerners are used to. Finding affordable accommodations in Delhi is truly tricky, even for the expat community that resides in Delhi on a more permanent basis.

  3. Wow this information it what I need what if you have a lower budget of like maybe $50us a night is there some nice place to stay. Please comment and what is the best way to communicate back to your family and friend in the usa ,I have Sprint for my cell carry will it work in India or should I switch to something else ? dont want to spend a lot of money on stuff when I have no idea yet what will be my final bill and fee's, what are the must have in a hotel while your in India for baby pick up ?

    1. Our apartment has 3 bedrooms so was more expensive. A one bedroom works out at around $55 per night. I'm certain an apartment would be cheaper than a hotel in the long run - you can cook meals and do your own laundry.
      Keeping in touch with home is free via Skype. Internet speeds are good here so you're sure to get a good connection and folks back home can see your new baby.
      I appreciate the need to budget for surrogacy. We learned to expect extra charges and ended up paying +50% of the base costs.
      I hope that helps.

  4. This is really useful, can you please post it on the forum. We were in B 40 Tulip House and moved. It was only the cockroaches and using sprays around a newborn that got to me. Margarida (Chai Baby Blog) stayed there for baby pick-up and it was fine. We just lucked out on the cockroaches. The internet connection there is woefully slow, so keep that in mind of you have to work. We're now at Apartment 18 - it's nice, clean, internet is good, but at night you lose connection which is a major hassle for me. I wouldn't stay here again for that reason alone, and also, there's not much you can walk to from here, so for the price - can;t recall what it is but it is not cheap, I would go elsewhere. We found Svelte parts/suites way too small, but we have a toddler, so with just a newborn or 2, they would be fine. Meg

  5. Great info guys, sounds like your settling in well, baby Noah looks a reall cutie x

  6. Congrats guys! Seem to have lost your blog and missed Noahs birth! He is gorgeous! Glad you getting well settled in Delhi
    Will keep following your blog watching the immigration process to get back home as thats the bit I'm dreading now but I guess now Noah is here it will make any wait seem totally worthwhile!

  7. fantastic post and Thanks for sharing this info. It's very helpful.
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  8. This is awesome guys, I am a single daddy coming over in January and I am still looking for a place that is bug free and clean. ILH i stayed at and had bugs so am looking for something better.

  9. Ah, breakfasts at Svelte... I can still taste the mango pickle... sigh.