The Leela Ambiance Gurugram | HOTEL
Hotel & Residences | By Jyoti Balani
In the month of October last year, I was hosted at The Leela Ambience Gurugram Hotel & Residences and came back with an incredible experience. One of the most popular hotels in Delhi, it is frequented by both locals and tourists as this hotel often plays host to some of the most phenomenal food and beverage events in the capital city. Previously led by the efficient General Manager Michel Koopman, who handed over the reins of the hotel to Jaideep Anand in December, The Leela Ambience Gurugram Hotel & Residences is a success story owing to a hard working, hospitable and efficient team of hoteliers as I discovered during my visit.
The hotel houses 254 Deluxe/Premier Rooms, 40 Royal Club Rooms that include access to Royal Club Lounge and amenities, 28 Suites that include access to Royal Club Lounge and amenities, 90 Residences which consist of one/two/three bedrooms along with banquet venues spread across a massive 27000 sq ft. Those who wish to rejuvenate can spend time at the Spa by Pevonia with personal therapy rooms and a salon as I did during my stay. It was a delight to find a welcome note by the General Manager in my plush suite on arrival with various amenities such as a bottle of wine, chocolates, fruits etc.
The hotel has an extensive choice of food and beverage outlets efficiently led by the team of Director Food and Beverage Ashish Nehra and Executive Chef Neeraj Rawoot. Diya located at lobby level serves Indian cuisine and is a food conoisseur’s delight. Here one can begin a culinary journey with the robust flavours of Punjab, move on to the mustard favoured fish of Bengal and then gradually try the flavours of the south heightened by spices and coconut. Diya is a visual delight with a burst of colours showcasing India at its colourful and cheerful best. A comfortable seating to accommodate 112 guests at one point, with soothing offwhite monotones juxtaposed with gold and funky colours like fushcia, turquoise and yellow in the ambeince, Diya scores when it comes to the ambience, the food and service to create a fabulous setting. An interesting feature of Diya is the Maharaja room, a private dining space inside the resturant that offers dining for 12 guests perfect for initmate gatherings. The restaurant has a show kitchen where chefs often whip up delicacies for guests. Diya is headed by Masterchef Ajay Sahoo who has a rich experience of 14 years dishing up Indian cuisine in some of the best hotels in India. Signature dishes such as Litti Chokha from Bihar, Amritsari Mutton Gulnar Kebab, Panchkuti ka Saag, Nihari Gosht, served with refreshing drinks such as sol kadhi, aam panna, jal jeera, aam ras, bel ka sharbat, make for a brilliant meal at Diya. I feasted on an elaborate nine course menu at lunch
in Diya. Chef Ajay Sahoo dished up Marwari Double and Quinoa Bhel to start with followed by Lehsuni Jhinga with garlic Naan, Kerala pan fried pomfret, chicken daak bungalow with basanti pulao, kosha mangsho with luchi, Goan pomfret curry with rice and salli murghi with maska pao thus creating a smorgasboard of delicacies from all over the country. This fabulous meal came to a sweet end with Chena Poda and malai kulfi from the dessert menu.
Prominently located at the lobby level of the hotel, Spectra is a new age restaurant serving global cuisine spanning several continents. Designed by renowned Japan based Design Studio Spin Inc., Spectra is a confluence of innovative dining concepts, global design influences and diverse cuisines. Spread over 16000 sq.ft, with a seating capacity of 225 covers, Spectra features an interesting setting of culinary islands with live kitchens, private and semi private seating enclaves and two large Private Dining Rooms. A vibrant mix of design influences that lend it an eclectic feel, liberal and coordinated use of glass, wood and marble make Spectra an interesting study of design. Among its distinctive design features is it’s glitzy entrance that showcases a flamboyant display of wines sourced from leading wine producing countries, an under lit glass runway with dramatic lighting, attention grabbing large elongated cluster of lighting fixtures and numerous crystal chandeliers. The seating arrangement of the restaurant has been designed to offer guests the flexibility of selecting their comfort zone. Chairs and sofas upholstered in bold colors come in different sizes and contemporary designs. The open kitchens find an exhaustive display of Chinese, European, Indian, Singaporean, Malaysian and Japanese cuisines. The friendly and efficient Executive Chef Neeraj Rawoot created an interesting platter of Asian specialties for me at Spectra. This fabulously presented meal consisted of salmon dynamite roll, stir fried prawns with holy basil, chicken in Thai yellow curry served with jasmine rice; stir fried curried snapper with celery and Thai pink pomelo salad. Whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner, Spectra is a great choice for both a meal from the elaborate buffet or ala carte section.
I decided to visit Zanotta, the hotel’s Italian restaurant for dinner on one of the days while I was at the hotel. The restaurant scores high for it’s location on the 6th floor, with a panoramic view to the city’s skyline, creating a perfect ambience for a marvellous dining experience. Zanotta offers a formal seating arrangement for 80 guests, including semi-private dining sections. The contemporary Italian restaurant has a showcase of neatly stacked Italian wines and the entire atmosphere of the restaurant is enhanced by soothing Italian musical compositions. Zanotta is a showcase of balanced mix of colours, textures and lighting along with an ample use of wood on walls and coffered ceiling which is complimented by brushed finished spiral lamps and Rosewood Venetian blinds. The restaurant has two private dining rooms with a seating of 8 people in each with a large selection of over 1500 wines from around the world including Italy, France, California, Chile, and Germany. Zanotta’s open kitchen layout is in keeping with the popularity of live interactive kitchens. A fresh display of vegetables, large jars of homemade pickle, pastas convey Italian Master Chef Leidy Liz Levitan Hernandez’s cooking philosophy of using fresh vegetables and original herbs and condiments. In order to maintain the authenticity of flavours, cooking ingredients are exclusively flown down from Italy. Dining at Zanotta was an exciting experience unlike any other Italian restaurant I have been to. As one gets seated, a choice of homemade breads are served warm with an array of flavourful olive oils to tease the palette. The talented Italian chef Leidy suggested that I start a fabulous meal with a portion of bruschetta followed by a tuna avocado tartare, followed by pasta and then I tried their homemade combination of champagne and lychee sorbet.
A stay at The Leela Ambience Gurugram Hotel & Residences is highly recommended owing to its superior quality service, high end food, exceptional ambeince along with the warmth and hospitality extended by the General Manager and his eficient team. Worth several visits when in Delhi!