One of the best things about travel, besides seeing new places, meeting new people and seeing life through a whole new perspective, is the joy of a perfect luxury hotel stay. An experience that makes you want to live it, all over again!
My stay at Accor Hotels’ Novotel, Ahmedabad ranks among my favorite luxury hotel stay experiences. This smart, eco-conscious, contemporary hotel is on the Sarkhej Gandhinagar highway, offering easy access to wherever you want to go, in the city. 184 tastefully decorated rooms, indoor and outdoor banquet areas, well equipped meeting rooms for events, a fitness gym and pool: all of these go towards making one’s stay near-perfect.
Interestingly, the hotel is in a busy locality, next to shopping malls and multiplexes. Yet once one enters, and their hospitality takes over, it is a cozy haven in very pleasant surroundings.
It was work that brought the pleasure of staying at Novotel, Ahmedabad.
Of course, the first happy thought that bloomed in my head was: Oh, it is close to a close friend’s house, so no guilt over a long commute to meet. Also, a quick look at hundreds of positive user reviews on popular sites built up the anticipation.
The 30 minute ride from the airport passed in a blink, what with me trying to look out of both windows of my car, while listening to the friendly driver giving me a running commentary on everything we passed.
When I arrived at the entrance, one of the staff members came out to welcome me and ushered me in to the reception desk to complete the formalities of signing myself in. While one of them took photo copies of my credentials, another member of the staff kept me engaged in conversation, as I asked them about places to visit nearby. Of course I was there on work, but imagine visiting Ahmedabad and not visiting the Sabarmati Ashram or the Law garden market, or… too many to list there, really—so I asked the staff member what could be covered that afternoon, just as soon as I freshened up and had something to eat.
As I took the elevator to my room on the eighth floor, I admired the hotel décor.
Soon, I was shown to my room.
One thing I immediately noticed was the pleasant fragrance in the room. Not too strong, just right. Clean rooms! The twin beds looked comfortable.
The French windows on one wall of the room gave me a rather nice view of the busy locality.
There’s something really nice about watching traffic and people from several floors up, without the noise. Soothing.
I really liked the sofa bed by the window, where one could lounge while watching the world go by, or take in a TV program on the large LCD TV on the wall opposite the bed, above a writing desk.
First thing I looked for was coffee, and was happy to see the alcove in the wall above a minibar, with everything I needed. The room had a closet with a safe, laundry bag, hangers, and all the usual trappings of a hotel that cared. The biggest surprise was the glass-walled bathroom and rest room.
Of course one could draw the curtains for privacy, but it had me thinking—how romantic for honeymooners! The bathroom counter had a little tray of cosmetics and nice fluffy towels.
I was happy to know that the hotel was eco-friendly and even believed in using eco-friendly cleaning products and materials used for room design. Somehow, It always makes my stay nicer to know these things. Other sustainability initiatives by the hotel are, as the manager later told me:
- Towels replaced on request, rather than every day by default
- Faucets have water flow regulators
- Rainwater harvesting for smart water use
- Battery, paper, cardboard and glass recycling in-house
- All electrical fittings were energy-saving and all rooms had a central switch
- Local produce and products used
So, after freshening up, I went down to the ground floor, to The Square, the hotel’s rather lovely in-house lobby level “restaurant”.
I would have asked where it was, but then the aroma of food and my nose automatically took me there once I got out of the elevator.
The cuisine here, I was told, is international. Buffet-style, beautifully displayed, with live cooking and a scrumptious menu. I was told that Sunday brunch was the meal not to miss, with live music. And here I was, ready to brunch!
The variety of food was quite mind-boggling. They also have a special menu for children, as well as a salt free menu. Here, take a look at some of the pictures I took:
There were others on my team and together, we decided to make a quick trip around the city, so as to be back by 5 pm, in time to get ready for our event in the evening. Around 11 am, armed with our itinerary, thanks to the hotel staff’s help, we declined the travel desk’s offer of a car and booked a cab, and headed out to the Adalaj stepwell, followed by the Sabarmati Ashram, and the markets before returning to the hotel.
It was lovely meeting my friend, who was waiting for me at the hotel. A couple of hours later, it was time for our evening event, which was in the hotel, and I must say, a fantastic time was had by all. The dinner was great, of course, and the hotel’s attentive staff hovered around, ensuring there were smiling faces all around.
After I got back to my room, and was considering calling it a day, there was a knock on the door and one of the hotel staff members stood there with this:
Mr. Harshvardhan, the hotel’s marketing manager, had kindly sent a note inviting the team for a meeting the next day before we left. So nice. And delicious.
I went to sleep on the cozy bed, my head nestled against the cushions that were just right, with a smile on my face.
The next morning we had an early breakfast and left for a visit to Sanand. After we returned in the afternoon, we had a pleasant meeting with Mr.Harshvardhan, enjoying tea and snacks, when he gave us a wonderful overview of what Accor Hotels was all about, their mission and vision. and also showed us around the hotel.
I had the most pleasant stay at this hotel.
We generally judge a hotel by comfort, service, food, amenities, and proximity to important locations, and Novotel Ahmedabad scores a perfect 10 on all counts. What I enjoyed most was the human-ness of their service and the great ambiance. When we finally checked out of the hotel, I left with happy memories.
The only regret was that we couldn’t stay longer! And that I didn’t take a lot of pictures of myself in the hotel!
When I think of this trip, it is like a mini vacation.
When was the last time you stayed in a fabulous hotel?