The first trips of an year are always special! This year I landed at Colombo at the beginning of January! I have always been a fan of Accor Hotels, though this was my first stay at Movenpick. I was invited on this trip as a travel blogger.
The sun was setting when I reached my beautiful junior suite with large glass windows on two sides! I loved both the bathtub in the room and the sea view outside.
However, I quickly changed and went to the Vistas Bar at the Rooftop. It has panoramic views of the city. We had a lovely meetup with the top designers of the city!
After a good night’s sleep, I was greeted by a sumptuous traditional Sri Lankan breakfast at the special chef’s table. My hot favorites are egg and string hoppers in that order with spicy sambal! I ate egg hoppers every day of my stay at Movenpick!
I tried to digest some of that breakfast by doing 10 laps in this gorgeous rooftop pool but we goofed up a lot more than doing any serious workout!
A lot of my blogging trips go at breakneck speed but not this one. I had time to enjoy the views, the bath tub and my gorgeous room! If you have been to Sri Lanka chances are you have heard of Spa Ceylon. The toiletries in the bathroom of the Hotel are Spa Ceylon.
I had the pleasure of having one of my lunches at Robata, the teppanyaki restaurant at the hotel. I was the only vegetarian in the group but they took good care of me. I loved my vegetarian sushi.
The hotel has a posh lounge and bar for the executive rooms. We went on a tour and I was impressed with the Dutch style interiors.
We had a high tea hosted by the premium brand Basilur at the hotel. I am much more of a chai person but it was educational to go through the session and get a glimpse of the high teas of the world!
The tea was accompanied by a wide of variety of snacks which were more of my thing! I attacked all the things sweet with a vengeance!
After staying in so many hotels, I known what excites me. I like rooms on high floors and with a view, be it city, ocean or nature in any form! My room at the Movenpick Colombo gave me sea on one side and the city on the other with a bathtub right in the room! For a few days, I would happily take all this luxury with gratitude!
PS. I was invited on this trip as a travel blogger!
I have stayed at many Accor properties both in India and abroad. I have been there both as a blogger and as a paying customer. Recently I was invited to Novotel Vijayawda Varun as a blogger and what a pleasure it was!
I was particularly taken in my the beautiful interiors of the hotel as I walked to my room on the 4th floor. My room was huge, with a view of the city. Since last two years, I spend a lot of time on my daughter’s tennis. So, having a well appointed room to myself was a luxury!
If having a room to myself without a care in the world was luxury, the rooftop running track and the swimming pool were sheer delight. I was given an option of going to the Dew, their spa for a second time but I told them I would rather go for a swim!
I absolutely loved the swimming pool. I could look at all the cool people sweating it out in the gym while I would do a few laps in their huge pool! Then gasping for breath I would stand at the edge and enjoy the view of the city. I did not use the running track but I saw members going for a job with a 360 degree view of the city!
In the spa I went for the signature aromatherapy massage. I was totally pampered for an hour while I just closed my eyes and did nothing! I used the spa on the day of my arrival and it was a great idea. All my tiredness was washed away.
I tried three restaurants at Novotel Vijayawada Varun, the Food Exchange, Gourmet Bar and the Wugan. After years and years of hostel food, I thought I have no taste buds left. But with travel blogging, I think I am getting back to enjoying food. I would look forward to every meal and particularly all the Andhra food at the buffet! At Wugan I enjoyed a mix of Thai and Japanese vegetarian dishes.
At the Gourmet Bar they do the cocktails with a twist. For example their Bloody Mary has chili and salt on the rim with ice stick! At first go I found the chili too much but after a few sips I thoroughly liked the idea! They said the small customization is to cater to the local taste.
We did off beat sightseeing by visiting Unadvalli Caves, Guntur Chilli Market and Kondapalli Fort and toy making. I also visited a Mangalgiri sari making unit. These visits reminded me how much I enjoy going to less visited places!
Overall, if you are looking for a hotel in Vijayawada, I highly recommend Novotel Vijayawada Varun where I was invited as a blogger!
Chhavi and I had the pleasure to go for a staycation (on invitation) to Pullman Aerocity New Delhi for one night. After a while she told me, “this is the most stylish hotel I have come across!” I am always happy to spend time with the kid on holidays and staycations as she is a lot of fun. Pullman is located in Aerocity and is a good place for your rest and rejuvenation.
The Check In
The check in was a breeze for us, we went to the reception and after the usual formalities, we were on our way to the suite we were staying in. But before we went, Chhavi was quite taken in with the lights at the lobby. They reminded me of Changi a little.
We had a beautiful suite with a huge living area and a comfortable bedroom. But the highlight for Chhavi was the large bath tub. If she could have it her way, she would live for half a day just inside the tub!
She also loved the fact that there was a tennis featured chocolate waiting specially for her in the room! She has started playing tennis regularly and it delighted her immensely that the people at the hotel knew about it. A lot of credit to the hotel staff who went through my Instagram highlights and figured that out! It was special for me too.
We had a comfortable sleep in the room. From the bedroom I could see part of the airport but the soundproofing is good, I could barely ever hear the planes!
The Swimming Pool
There is a swimming pool within the hotel but we could not use it as it was too cold in February! But we would surely like to go back and enjoy the pool.
The Dining Options
There are many dining options at the Pullman. Our favorite was Honk Asian Restaurant where I ordered Phad Thai. We had Sushi and Dim sums before it. Chhavi thoroughly enjoyed her drink at the restaurant.
We also enjoyed a coffee roasting session at Café Pluck and later enjoyed a cup of coffee too! The breakfast was served at Pluck the restaurant and we had one lunch there too!
However, my most distinctive experience came at Pling with Kriti the master sommelier. Wine is something that doesn’t make much sense to me with each name vying to be more unpronounceable than the other! To me almost all wines taste good! So, I was not too sure what to expect in the wine tasting session with her. But she put me at ease from the word go and I actually enjoyed my session.
We went into great length about why we swirl the glass of wine, to why we sniff it and where does the aroma in the wine comes from! I had a great time.
It was Bonus Meeting My Student
It was great meeting my student Paramjeet at Pullman. He works nearby and dropped in to chat with Chhavi and me. It is always great catching up with my students! The seem to be more impressed with my travels rather than my teaching!
Overall Chhavi and I had a great time at Pullman New Delhi Aerocity Hotel! For Chhavi it is the most stylish hotel she has visited! I also realized that she has crossed that age when I used to be petrified she will break something when we went out! Kids grow up fast and they grow up only once! I should remember this more often and travel more with her!
PS. Chhavi and I were invited by the hotel to stay with them!