Delhi hotels range from wallet-friendly dives to lavish five-stars. India was a latecomer in the hostel game, but there are now finally a decent number of hostels, offering backpacker-friendly services and good-quality dormitory accommodation in Delhi and beyond. It's wise to book ahead if you're staying in midrange or top-end accommodation, but budgeteers will have no problem getting rooms on the fly, and you'll get cheaper rates as a walk-in guest.
GST (Goods and Services Tax) is usually calculated on top of the advertised room rate for accommodation in India, and its level varies according to the price of the room. The levels are as follows:
Below ₹1000: zero
Above ₹7500: 28%
What to Expect
Budget accommodation in Delhi really does mean budget. The cheapest private rooms go for around ₹500, but you get what you pay for; basic decor, grubby walls, dodgy plumbing and sometimes bedsheets that look like they haven't been washed in a while. It pays to bring along your own sleeping sheet. They will all still have free wi-fi, though (it's all about priorities!), and sometimes a roof terrace where you can hang out. Delhi's new breed of hostels have upped the budget game, though, and now, for a similar price to those grubby guesthouse rooms, you can get good quality, clean, dormitory accommodation and traveller-friendly services (cafe, wi-fi, city tours, train booking etc).
Jump up a level in price and you can get yourself some really nice digs in Delhi. Around ₹2000–3000 will get you a clean, spacious, nicely decorated room in a small hotel or guesthouse, often with breakfast included.
Boutique guesthouses are pricier still (₹4000 or more), but offer far more style and are usually located in quieter, more upmarket residential areas. For top-notch comfort, expect to pay upwards of ₹10,000 in a luxury hotel.
Accommodation is so cheap in India, even in Delhi, that few travellers bother with renting apartments, but if you're staying here for a while, or you're coming as a family, it can prove cost effective, and it's nice to settle down into your own temporary home, with the ability to cook for yourself. In fact, this may be the most appealing part of renting an apartment in Delhi; experiencing life as locals do, with visits to neighbourhood food markets becoming part of your daily routine.
Pleasant areas to rent include South Delhi, which has a high concentration of affluent residential areas (Defence Colony, Greater Kailash, Vasant Vihar, Hauz Khas) and therefore a better quality of apartments for rent.
Go-to sites include Airbnb (www.airbnb.com), Booking.com (www.booking.com) or the India-based Holiday Rentals (www.holidayrentals.co.in).