One of my favorite accounts on Instagram belongs to a travel blogger with a day-job of traveling the world and writing about it. Sounds like a dream job, right? She’s always on the move, a different continent every alternate week. Everytime she uploads a picture I find myself sigh longingly with hopes of going ahead with my travel plans. But who am I kidding? With a job that leaves no time for a social life, I’m not eligible for country-hopping.
But the prospect of staying at a hotel always excites me. It feels like a mini-vacation, even if the hotel is just across the street. It’s always a good idea to spend a day or two away at a hotel once a month, for some unwinding from the traffic-work-sleep routine most of us are battling five days a week.
On one such weekend recently, I stayed at Holiday-Inn, Mayur Vihar; accompanied by my best friend. When I first decided to go to this particular hotel, I wasn’t sure about the location. As a resident of South Delhi, I looked upon Mayur Vihar with horror. Getting to west delhi would not prove to be easy. But boy, was I in for a surprise.
Holiday Inn stands at a convenient distance from South and Central Delhi. Those driving down will find the hotel is right off the DND flyover at a beautiful and breezy location. There is no sign of traffic anywhere around the hotel, making it an ideal place for a weekend getaway, if you’re looking for a peaceful yet well-connected hotel location.
The hotel entrance does not boast of lavish gardens or outdoor cafes, but the hotel far exceeded my expectations. Walking into the simple yet elegant reception, I fell in love with the beautiful piano in the lobby.
The reception is a warm sitting area with a number of options in newspapers and magazines to flip through. The staff at the reception seemed a little clueless, though we received excellent service to our room.
One of the biggest plus points of Holiday Inn are the rooms. I booked a regular room and was surprised to find that the room was not the pidgeon-hole most hotels provide. Instead, we walk into a spacious room with a sitting area, a work station and a large bed.
The big windows overlooked the highway outside but the view was anything but cluttered. Guests have the option of picking between a view of the pool and the highway. I did not feel like I was in a regular category room at all, owing to the large rooms and beautiful decor.
The bathroom was well-lit and well-stocked with bath products. Although the regular rooms do not provide bathtubs, the superior rooms are equipped with two bathing stations and two bathrooms.
The Superior Room includes a seperate sitting room and a bedroom, along with two bathrooms. The room was equipped with a tiny bottle of Jacob’s Creek and knick-knacks to go with it. Although we preferred the regular rooms to the superior rooms (hey, what’s a girl to do with two rooms anyway?), we quite liked their comfortable sitting area.
Holiday-Inn has a conference room, two meeting rooms and two banquet halls for events. They also have two restaurants: one an American Diner and pub named Roadhouse Grill and another a fine-dining cafe called Cafe on 3. A well-equipped gym, swimming pool and jacuzzi are also available. The swimming area is a beautiful open space with lush green grass and the outdoor seating area of the Cafe on 3, thus complimenting the ambience of the third floor.
I particularly enjoyed my time at the pool area, chatting away with the friendly gym staff and testing the waters and discovering that the low chlorine content in the pool agreed with me. This pool-side area is a great place to spend the evening lounging around even if you don’t want to get a dip.
Our food journey at Holiday-Inn began with Cafe on 3, an interesting fine-dining restaurant we instantly loved for its location by the pool. Not ones to waste time, we instantly ordered cocktails: starting with the Cosmopolitan and Daiquiri. The drinks arrived with a large portion of fresh bread and butter. Sadly, the drinks did not live upto our expectations and even after an attempt at fixing, did not taste anything close to the authentic drinks.
We suggest you stick to the beer, wine or single malts. We got ourselves two glasses of Sula white wine and thoroughly enjoyed it. The bread won our hearts, with its soft, fluffy texture and subtle taste. We loved it so much, it took all our will power to keep from asking for a repeat of the bread.
We tried the Fried Calamari, Roasted Chicken Wrap and Cheese Burger. The Calamari was too oily for my taste, but the Roasted Chicken Wrap and Cheese Burger were the best I’ve had in Delhi. The wrap was so delicious, it was only a few seconds before I gobbled it all up. The food at Cafe on 3 was delicious, and we’re going back for more soon. Our chat with the chef was pleasant, although we found the staff at this restaurant a little uncourteous.
Strolling into Roadhouse Grill, the American Diner at the hotel, we were instantly gushing over the guitar on the wall and the interesting bar setup. We weren’t sure whether the drinks would be any good, but were delighted to find that they had outdone themselves. We spent the evening at Roadhouse, conversing with the manager, bar man and other staff. Though the pub was jam-packed with a private booking as well as other walk-ins, the service was impeccable.
The staff is courteous, jolly and interested in their customers’ experience. The music was excellent, changing with the mood of the pub. We tried the Fish, Tenderloin burger and a French chicken burger. The snacks were delicious but the main course was average. It was the drinks that blew our minds. We tried a number of cocktails on their menu, and each of these was excellent. We strongly recommend the sparkling white wine and pinapple based cocktails.
Breakfast is an important aspect of a hotel stay, since that is one meal we almost never miss. As an avid traveller, I have stayed at numerous resorts across the country. The breakfast at Holiday Inn makes it to my Top-20 Hotel Breakfast Buffets. The choice is plenty, ranging from the signature South Indian, to american food with bacon and a good variety of breads, all the way to chinese with DIY soup.
Indian street food (pao bhaji, poori aloo, you name it) as well as numerous cereals are also available. The breakfast provides a number of options and delicious cut fruit and juices to go with it. Loaves of freshly baked tea cakes accompany the food. Holiday Inn also has a Sunday brunch with wine and the works.
Cleanliness and Hygiene:
While traveling, the quality of linen is always a concern at hotels. I was happy to find that the bedsheets, covers, towels and curtains were spotlessly clean. The hotel maintains cleanliness everywhere possible. The bedrooms as well as the reception area maintain good hygiene. We found the pool clean and hygienic as well.
Food safety is not a concern here either. The quality of food served to us was excellent. The breakfast buffet was fresh as well. We felt that both restaurants use a little too much oil in their dishes, but had no objections in terms of the quality of food.
Holiday Inn is a great place to spend the weekend with family. It provides just the right amount of peace and serenity one expects from a good hotel. It is well-contected to the city via car as well as the metro. The location is ideal as it is set away from the hustle bustle and yet easy to reach. We also recommend Holiday Inn for business trips.