For my 'Hotels Spotlight' blog series, I am showcasing some of my favourite small properties across India. I have always been a strong advocate for recommending small, characterful and personal places to stay in my India itineraries, and I often find that my guests come home with so many treasured memories from their hotel stays. Staying in a unique and intimate place, often that is owner operated, can truly enhance a trip experience, and can enable guests to really get under the skin of an area.
For my first post of the series, I am delighted to feature Mizpah in Delhi, which is a boutique bed and breakfast owned and operated by Shaun and Caroline from Australia. With a wonderful mix of Anglo Indian style and inspired by memories of growing up in her Grandmother's house in Calcutta, Caroline has created a beautifully chic oasis in the middle of the busy capital.
For a solo travellers, couples or a small family, I personally think Mizpah is the perfect place to stay and is the ideal peaceful retreat to return to after a long day of exploring Delhi. To learn a little more about this 4-bedroom hidden gem, Caroline has kindly chatted to me to give my guests and I further insight behind her delightful property.
One of the charming aspects about Mizpah is its personal homely feel, rather than a traditional busy city hotel. Can you explain a little more about the background of the property and why you decided to open Mizpah Delhi?
It’s always been a long time dream of mine to run a Boutique Bed & Breakfast in India so when the opportunity came up in 2019 I decided to go for it. Unfortunately timing was not on my side as the pandemic hit and like all small businesses it was a very difficult 2 years with lockdowns and border closures. But I decided to dig my heels in and keep it going through this difficult period and now I’m so glad I did not give up. With travel now back in full swing, it’s so lovely to see our guests old and new returning. I wanted Mizpah to be a sanctuary, a peaceful haven away from the hustle and bustle of Delhi. With only 4 rooms it’s a favourite of women travelling alone as well as couples wanting to have a home away from home in Delhi.
The moment you walk into Mizpah you notice the beautiful colour of the soft furnishings and decor. What has been your inspiration behind the aesthetic of the property?
Growing up in Kolkata, I always had a great love of block prints and natural fabrics. I’m never shy of colour so it was always going to be a feature at Mizpah. I’m a great believer in supporting women in small businesses so all my home linens are made by small producers. All our guests love the homewares we have at Mizpah, so it’s a natural progression that we will be launching our own range of homewares at Mizpah early next year.
During my last visit to your property, I very much enjoyed the chai and homemade pakoras from your wonderful kitchen. What would you say are your most popular dishes that guests like to enjoy during their stay?
All our meals are made in house, home style with handpicked seasonal produce that we pick up at the market every morning. We use organic ingredients in our kitchen to ensure our food is light, low spice, healthy and very nutritious. Our Thali lunches and Tiffin dinners are very popular especially our Saag Paneer & Dak Bungalow Chicken Curry. The breakfast favourite is definitely our Egg Bhurji Kulcha, perfect way to start the day along with a steaming hot Masala Chai.
Delhi is full of iconic monuments to visit, but often the most memorable experiences come from local encounters. What are your top recommendations for local experiences around Mizpah? Any insider tips?
We offer complimentary walking tours at Mizpah of our neighbourhood of Safdurjung and Humayunpur. It’s a delight to experience the bustling streets busy with street life, Himalayan grocery stores, cart pullers, momo & laphing stalls, street vendors, salons, thrift stores and Korean supermarkets. We also offer a brisk walk of the Deer Park circuit ‘the lungs of South Delhi’, with walking tracks, Mughal era historic structures, a lake, trees, and lawns. Deer Park is always a favourite with our regular guests.