You wouldn’t expect the resort to pop-up when it does. Touted as an ‘urban resort’, it’s the first friendly resort in Faridabad. An oasis on its own, it’s fitting that the hotel’s major attraction is its lazy-river style pool, easily the biggest of its kind in all of Delhi NCR.
The architecture is modern, with clean lines and huge glass doors inside a smooth cream exterior. The building sprawls across eight acres, but not excessively built up, to give you corners of privacy where needed. The high ceilings and huge pillarless floors present a pleasant sight to those looking for refuge and rest.
This 158-key room property is the second Courtyard by Marriott property in Delhi NCR, and the 23rd one in all of India. With 21,000 sq ft of indoor meeting and event space and 11,000 sq ft of gardens and landscape, the hotel is ideal for lavish weddings and corporate offsites. Business and wedding travel aside, just under two hours from Courtyard by Marriott property of its kind to open in this part of the country, right in the middle of any part of Delhi, it makes it to the list of ideal spots to run away from the city on a weekend.
Rajneesh Kumar, the General Manager of the property, explained why he thinks the location is so special at the recent launch held last month, “Delhi doesn’t have a resort property of this scale so close to the city, which makes it special in its space. We have been getting a good response ever since we launched, partly due to that reason.”
The rooms are comfortable and cosy, perfect for a work trip or a vacation, with a fitted-out work desk, a balcony overlooking the pool or the Aravali ranges, a well-stocked minibar, a flatscreen TV and soothing décor.
The spa, which offers a variety of cool gel-based treatments and the fitness centre both overlook the pool, and it is easy to slip out of either a great massage or a good workout and head straight into it. The various waterfall features, and the alleys that pass-through canopies of trees, or are lined by lilies, makes it a leisurely place where time slips by. The sun deck at the top is there if you would like to gaze out into nothingness while listening to the soothing sounds of water lapping by.
The pool is also central to an evening ritual adopted by the hotel to add a local touch. Called chaupal, the hotel organises a tea party by the pool every evening, replete with popular chaat and other local snacks, and good milk tea, popular in the region. The snacks do Delhi’s chaat culture proud, and some are a nostalgic return to perennial favourites such as chana-jor-garam, bhelpuri, khari biscuit, gol gappas and aloo tikki.
Set out in little carts by the pool, one can sit on the colourful woven khaat (local bed, popular in Haryana) and eat the delicacies. The kids can join one of the staff members to play some fun games or Zumba by the pool.
One can head to dinner at the all-day dining space The Aravali Kitchen, where the brunch has lots to write home about. The salad bar in itself is generous, with plenty of variety to finish a meal right there. I picked up a chicken liver pate with edamame, an old school jelly salad with caviar, some cured salmon, and a chicken pistachio cold cut side. The mutton biryani melts in the mouth, and prawns malai tikka, a twist on the popular chicken malai tikka, was full of smoky goodness.
The trout served in lemon butter sauce, a rarity in Delhi had me return for seconds. The dessert bar was set up like a sweet shop, with rows upon rows of Indian sweets on one side and bakery and confectionary on the other. From a selection rose laddoo, kalakand, barfi, kaccha gola, tripti bhog, two kinds of rasmalai and some anjeer barfis, I picked out a couple, along with a berry meringue tart and a fresh mango mousse. Or head for some authentic Chinese fare at Huang, the specialty restaurant.
There are many nooks and crannies where one can spend the day, with a book on the large swings, or hanging by the khaat at the pool, or even in the lovely big balconies in every room. Whenever you have a sliver of time opening up, here’s another place you can head to, to centre yourself, before jumping into the madding crowd yet again.