The largest resort hotel in the NCR beckons
Gratification may be at the bottom of famed psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but in an era of high-speed communications, hyper social digital culture and instant reactions, an Instagram fix best codifies the armament of luxury. India Hotel’s new offering, Vivanta by Taj in Surajkund, exemplifies precisely that sentiment. The cozy property, hemmed by probably the only green stretch of the Aravallis, is a 120-character Twitter-tastic statement. Spacious but not sprawling and cozy, though not confined, this hotel packs a punch with its manageable size yet fair bit of great options for entertainment.
Earlier managed by the Claridges, the Taj only recently took over its reins. Although changes to the façade and gen- eral physicality have been subtle, the famed Taj brand of hospitality is the notable distinguisher. The best thing about the hotel is its location. Surajkund, historically considered the lungs of polluted Delhi, offers uninterrupted patches of tranquil green. And the hotel does not disappoint, with every room in the semi circular property offering glorious views, with each terraced suite crowned by an overarching tangle of flaming magenta bougainvillaea—an easy marker for those trying to scout out the hotel.
The hotel however, is proud to bare its resort roots not just for harried city dwellers but for those looking to find an accessible urban address for marriage vow renewals and destination weddings.
With 22,000 sq feet of banqueting space and ample cam-
era phone venues for that perfect vedi setup, it is idyllic. Of course, the natural rocks that abound provide the perfect craggy backdrop for the build up to be romanticised on cue. The two hotel restaurants don’t exactly kill you with choice but less is more in this case. Especially if you decide to indulge at Paranda, their Indian restaurant that takes inspiration from the five river cuisine of the Punjab. The calories may compel you to go on a life-long diet but it’s well worth the consequences. Ingenious menu with suggestive names of dishes such as Sood de Dhabhe di Dal (actually inspired from the namesake dhaba in Ludhiana, according to Chef Joshi) and
Sector 7 ke Tari wala Mutton were as delectable as their names were novel. A special mention has to be made of the chatpata
ananas (pineapple); one of the most unique Barbie-grilled fruit ever. The coffee-shop, Oasis, serves predictable regulars but the view sieved through the slanted sunlight streaming through glass walls is a winter special. Of course, a chilled glass of Chardonnay, by the fountains teasing the tall mashals at twilight paints the courtyard in a painterly moodiness that provokes existential questions at the very least.
From sole satisfaction, we board the soul train at the Jiva Grande Spa. The 18,500 sq feet space is an affectionate nod to surreal indulgence. I am offered the Shringar treatment, an initiation ritual for the bride. The two hour treatment begins with an anointment of a paste with royal ingredients such as saffron, sandalwood, turmeric, honey and all that’s wonderful, followed by glorious ablutions in warm milk and rose petals to restore ‘sparkle and softness’. Close on the heels of this Cleopatra-esque ritual, is a one-hour aroma therapy massage where the therapist kneads my troubles into oblivion with skilled strokes that purr confidence.
Perfection is best left untouched so I call it a day or was it night, I can’t quite recall, and proceed to my cavernous suite that has more room than most hotel lobbies and three balconies; each tempting with a better view. I will enjoy an al fresco breakfast tomorrow I promise myself. But for tonight, I want to crawl into bed and sublimate on nothingness. Tomorrow is another day.
THE SEMI-CIRCULAR FACADE OF THE HOTEL IS LIT UP TO COMBAT THE FADING LIGHT AT SUNSET
Photo courtesy VIVANTA by TAJ
THE BRIDAL SUITE IN MUTED SHADES OF GOLD ( TOP); RUSTIC INTERIORS OF PARANDA ( ABOVE)
RAJWANT RAWAT / www.indiatodayimages.com