Mumbai and I usually meet when I have to attend an event in the city. This trip was no different. I was attending OTM and I was staying at Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach. I was hosted as a blogger.
This time I was supposed to stay for two nights but it was not to be. My trip was cut short as I proceeded to Chennai and then Colombo on another blogging trip. I was staying in an sea facing suite right next to the Juhu Beach. I wish I could have stayed both the nights but my one night stand with Mumbai continues!
Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach as the name suggests is right by the beach! From the swimming pool of the hotel you get a view of the ocean. The best bit about the trip was that my school friend Swati visited me at the hotel!
The check-in at the hotel was smooth for me as I arrived late in the evening after my event with Facebook Mumbai.
I loved my suite, the living room corner chair is the one to look out for. It gives you a fabulous view of the beach below and you can entertain yourself by people watching!
The bed was comfortable and the bathroom had a bath tub! I was told that the hotel has plans of refurbishing soon and it would be lovely to have a new look.
The breakfast at the Square had a large spread. Their fruit spread is particularly impressive. There are plenty of options both Indian and Continental options!
Dinner at Sampan
Sampan is the famous Chinese restaurant in the hotel. Being in Juhu I was told it is frequented by Bollywood stars. My dear friend Swati who lives in Mumbai joined me for dinner along with her son and husband.
We all agreed that we had an excellent dinner. The Head Chef Penpa Tsering was a bit disappointed when he realized 3 of us vegetarians but even then he served up a delicious meal for us.
My stay at the hotel was over way too soon. I didn’t even find time to walk by the beach which is such a pity.
But while I was waiting for the cab to arrive for my journey to Colombo, I got about 40 minutes in my room to laze around. It is then that I realized that the living room gets direct sunlight and if I would have stayed I could have seen the sunset right from the room.
I hope I will go back to the hotel after it is refurbished and I will get it to spend more time both at the hotel and in the city!
PS. I was hosted at Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach as a travel blogger!
While I was looking for a hotel in Budapest I started with Accor Hotels. I have stayed with them in the past, both as a guest and as a hosted blogger. I quite like them, I know what to expect and they have never disappointed me. Also, they have a great range, right from Ibis Budget to Raffles and Fairmont. My quest ended up with booking Novotel Budapest Danube.
Accor has many properties in Budapest. Sofitel was out of my budget so it was quickly ruled out. I had to choose between two Novotels, Ibis Styles and Mercure. In the end I went with Novotel Budapest Danube because I loved the pictures I saw on the website. I said to myself, “I may not get the view of the parliament from the room but I will surely get it from somewhere.” My only doubt was what if the view was not representative? But I got what I saw in the pictures and more. My sister and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Novotel Budapest Danube.
To get my relationship with the hotel clear, I paid for my stay and other major expanses. I did get in touch with the good folks at the hotel before I went. I was given a nice room with a view. Other than a late check out and the nice view, I paid for everything else. In return I did an Instagram takeover for stories on their handle during my stay.
I signed up with Le Club Accor. I got a few emails about my stay before I arrived. One of it was about online check-in. It is a great thing, do make use of it. I entered all the relevant information online. So, when I arrived at the hotel, they just needed a signature or two and my credit card to hold some amount on it! My check-in was a breeze and we needed it. We were really tired after our long journey from Delhi to Budapest with a halt in Rome.
We asked for twin beds and we got it without any mistake. We had a great view of the parliament building from our room. We stayed in 338, it has a great view. On the first day, my sister and I could not take our eyes off it! When we would do Whatsapp calls home, she would show the view to everyone, I did the same. The room with the view made our stay truly memorable!
We had good sleep throughout our stay. The room was made up without fail! The bathroom was clean and the accessories fair trade.
There was tea in the room. But my sister and I are big on tea. So, we carried a bit of milk powder and Indian style ginger tea sachets. It was a great idea. On our next trip together, we will carry more, as we ran out of ginger tea!
I did not book the breakfast with the room. On the first day my sister and I in our great enthusiasm went out for breakfast. From the second day, till our last, we took every breakfast in the hotel. They have a large spread and plenty for vegetarians.
My sister used to like their peaches a lot. I enjoyed the yogurt, eggs, nuts and an occasional waffle! We also liked the baked beans, mushrooms and the choice of breads!
All Accor Hotels to the best of knowledge subscribe to the sustainability program Planet 21. Using Fair Trade products is one part of it. Fare Trade as an organization works with farmers and workers to get them a fair deal!
The usual appeal to the guests to reuse towels is there. I have participated, in a small way, with their Soap for Hope project but in Singapore. I like it a lot that they care for the environment and make a big deal of it!
Proximity to Public Transport
Novotel Budapest Danube is at an easy walking distance from Bethany Tere, a public transport hub. You can catch M2 metro line from here. There are many buses and trams available as well. I used the metro and trams frequently to get around the city.
The Blue Line of Red Bus Hop On Hop Off also stops at Bethany Tere. We bought a travel card which was valid for all public transport with a few exceptions.
Proximity to Restaurant and Shops
Right behind Bethany Tere there are many restaurants and shops. There is a Spar, a general store, from where I used to buy beers. We also did some shopping from there. We tried Edeni Vegan, Coyote Coffee and one Italian Restaurant in the square. You have more options if you hop two stops on M1 and go to Derek Ferm Tere. That takes you straight to the city center right next to the Budapest Eye.
We stayed at Novotel Budapest Danube for seven nights. My sister and I would walk all around the city. It was cold in November. When we would walk through the doors of the hotel into the warmth of the lobby, we knew we were going to be comfortable and well rested! I would happily stay with them again!
Our excitement knew no bounds as Chhavi and I were invited to stay at Novotel Goa Resorts and Spa for 2 nights. Luckily it was a long weekend so she was not missing school. But on weekends she plays tennis both in the mornings and the evenings but I could do nothing about that. Both of us have been to Goa before and yet her excitement knew no bounds.
— Mridula Dwivedi (@mridulablog) August 5, 2017
Chhavi was bouncing in the plane itself. Our Air Asia flight was mostly uneventful otherwise. We were promptly picked up at the airport. The kid fell asleep in the moving vehicle and I had to wake her up when we arrived.
She loved the room, it was after all the Prestige Suite. There was something on the table all gift wrapped. She asked me if she could open it? It was a Minion! She jumped around the room for half an hour with it.
However, her favorite part of the room is the bathroom where she likes to be in the shower for a long time! This time was no different.
The Swimming Pool
After playing with her Minion for a while she started chanting, “lets go to the pool.” So pool it was. Even though Chhavi knows how to swim, she likes to fool around much more than anything else! There was ice-cream for kids by the pool! It is a daily event and happens at 5.30 pm.
Then she discovered the sunken bar by the pool! Of course she was thirsty and only a lemonade by the pool would do! I also took it as an opportunity to order a beer! It was the same story the next day too. At the end of the vacation I asked her what was her favorite bit about the trip, she replied without any hesitation “the drinks by the pool!”
I too love swimming pools but my favorite bit was the kids room and I will tell you in a minute why!
The Kids Room
There is a dedicated kids room at Novotel Goa Resorts and Spa and at the Novotel Goa Shrem too! Initially both of us would go there, then she got comfortable. That meant I could go to the room and pack in peace on the last day. I could also make a cup of tea and sip it without being distracted a thousand times with “mamma …” If you are a mom you know what a luxury it is!
Activities for Kids at the Novotel Goa Resorts and Spa
There were many other activities for kids at the resort. There was a Table Tennis table, a basketball hoop, Fustball, Carom and much more. We tried out everything.
There were computer related extravaganza too! There was an interactive game table where kids could touch the screen and choose age appropriate games! My girl would play Angry Birds all the time!
There was a TV too where games were loaded. You could play by moving around, the screen would respond to the movement. Chhavi tried bowling on it!
During our stay carnival games were organized too. Chhavi was busy for good two hours, which meant mama was free to enjoy her day too!
She was anyway pampered to the core throughout her stay. I often wonder if she will start expecting it on every trip but so far she has been happy either way, as long as she is traveling!
We had our meals at the Food Exchange. It is a buffet type all day dining with a wide variety of food. They had ice-cream for breakfast! And it is full of kids running around. A father was feeding his toddler who was making him run all around the big dining room! The girl was so cute, she came by our table and we chatted for a while. In the meanwhile the poor father was able to feed her two more spoons!
— Mridula Dwivedi (@mridulablog) August 6, 2017
Chhavi too gives me a lot of trouble for eating food! Recently we watched ‘Dangal‘ together and I told her “मुझमें भी महावीर सिंह फोगाट की आत्मा आ गई है!” (I am also inspired by Mahavir Sing Phogat, so you better eat your food!) She sulks, she avoids and then she starts singing under her breath “ये तो torture है बड़ा, ये तो torture है बड़ा” (It is such a big torture)! If I can get inspired, so can she! But these days I hold firm when it comes to food!
I quite enjoyed my meals. But I enjoyed the coconut ice-cream a bit more than anything else.
We also enjoyed dressing up for the dinner on both the nights, though you can dress as you please at the resort!
Novotel Goa Resorts and Spa organizes free shuttles (every half hour, between 10.00 am to 7.00 pm) to Candolim Beach. We went there on the second evening. The girl loves water! The sea was rough and I had to restrain her!
It was her first, watching a rough sea. But even in the limited way, she had a gala time playing with the sea, I am sure she was talking to it too!
When she plays it is easy to click her pictures! Otherwise she behaves like a diva! I think we fight the most about clicking pictures, after food. So all the credit for the pictures goes to me!
Overall, we had a memorable trip to Goa with Novotel Goa Resorts and Spa! We will remember it for a long time!
After coming back she was telling her brother (my nephew, the one who is known as Brat 2) it is a fancy hotel, a really fancy hotel!
PS. We were invited by Novotel Goa Resorts and Spa on this trip and we had immense fun!