Undoubtedly Delhi's finest hotel, a true landmark/museum hotel, and I'm fortunate enough being able to compare to other major players there.
Most spacious rooms in town, impeccable service by truly friendly and professional staff, centrally located on Janpath road, excellent dining, ...you name it.
One setback: While their room rates are certainly acceptable, take into accountthat The Imperial is not interested at all in catering to the more needy. Their F&B prices (and especially the 'B' part) remind me of some Scandinavian outlets I visited in the past, i.e. theyarethe highest I ever experienced in India. Be warned, this is not an understatement. A simple beer is yours for the take atsomething like 550 rupees or about 13 USD. And yes, theyhave a mighty fine wine list...
I agree, the Imperial is a very fine hotel. I stayed there and at the Shangri-La in Delhi on a recent trip and found the Imperial to be classy, warm and service-oriented. I'd done a lot of research regarding the "best hotels in Delhi" and I'm sure that the Imperial deserves that honor.
Regarding the price of food, drinks, etc. at The Imperial although India itself is incredibly affordable when it comes to food and drink I found in most of the five star hotels we stayed at (Oberoi and Taj hotels throughout a 3-week tour) there was always quite a premium paid for brand-name drinks at the hotels. Food was certainly more than at outside restaurants but when compared to hotel prices in other countries it was quite a bargain. I didn't personally find The Imperial to be any more expensive for drinks than other similar hotels.