Thursday, March 28, 2019

Hotel Review - Golden Tulip Panchkula

In my previous post, I told you all about my snow filled Shimla holiday which happened earlier this month. Before I visited Shimla, I spent a couple of days in one of my favorite cities in India -Chandigarh, where I stayed at the Golden Tulip Panchkula, a lovely 4-star luxury resort located amidst the picturesque Morni Hills. I landed in Chandigarh on a sunny winter morning, and as the 40 minutes drive from airport brought me to closer to the property, I noticed the visible change in landscape with all the greenery around me. This 44 room hotel is tucked away in a quiet corner of the city and with the amazing view you don't even realize that you're in Chandigarh anymore. 

The entrance of the hotel

The lobby of the hotel
As I entered the hotel, I was greeted by the staff and management with big smiles and a grand welcome which I absolutely loved! I chit chatted with the GM Mr Arbind who told me all about the property and took me on a tour to show me all their facilities which make it the perfect destination for both families, leisure and business travelers. 

Just checked in at The Golden Tulip Panchkula 
Where there's June, there's a mirror selfie!
Following this, I headed to their their all day dining restaurant Patio Terrasse which has one of the best views in Chandigarh coupled with delicious food and warm hospitality.  At the restaurant, I was greeted by Chef Chuni who whipped up some really innovative and delicious dishes for me. 

Patio Terrasse - the all day dining restaurant
Patio Terrasse serves a wide menu of Indian, Chinese and Continental fare
I started my breakfast with a fusion dish called a sandwich dosa which consisted of dosa slices with a coleslaw filling which was unique and tasted delicious. The presentation was amazing too as you can see from the pictures below -

Set Dosa for Breakfast
Sausages with Eggs Benedict
During my stay at the hotel, I had all my meals at Patio Terrasse as their food is brilliant and the beautiful hills surrounding it make it the perfect place to dine whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner. What stood out is that the staff here is extremely warm and attentive and everyone greets you with a smile and takes your feedback about the food which shows their dedication to great service. The restaurant is great for hosting private events too as witnessed a kitty party taking place in the large outdoor seating area during my stay at the hotel.

The view from Patio Terrasse
The poolside at Golden Tulip Panchkula
 The restaurant overlooks their large lawn and banquet hall which is a very popular wedding venue and coincidentally, there was a wedding there the previous night before I arrived. They also have a pool overlooking the hills but the weather was too cold to take a dip. 

As I had a long layover during my journey from Pune to Chandigarh, I was in need of a massage and headed to their spa to re-energize myself for my holiday. They have a beautifully done up spa which offers a wide range of treatments in a beautiful surrounding. I got a very relaxing Swedish massage which fixed my tiredness and charged me up for the week of traveling ahead! Their therapists are trained in a fusion of traditional healing practices as well as modern rejuvenation and well-being techniques.

Myra's Spa at Golden Tulip Panchkula

The spa at Golden Tulip Panchkula
The view from the spa 
Moving on to the most important part- THE SUITE! I was staying in this ah-mazing suite which is elegant, spacious, and has a lot of natural light along with spectacular views of lush green fields and hills all around. It consisted of a large hall and a bedroom flanked by a lovely balcony and I just didn't feel like leaving my room.

My suite!
The bedroom of the suite
The view from the bedroom
Gotta love em bathtubs!
Overall, this was definitely one of the best stays I've ever had and highly recommend you to stay here if you are planning a trip to Chandigarh. A big thanks to the Gm Mr Arbind and his staff who made my stay here so memorable. I will definitely drop by when I'm visiting Chandigarh next. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Hotel Review - Royal Tulip Kufri

Shimla is a very popular hill station in India and earlier this month, I was lucky enough to visit it amidst snowfall. Even though it offers beautiful views of snow-capped Himalayan peaks, it is overrun with tourists and I'm glad I discovered the real gem - an amazing property known as Royal Tulip Kufri which is just 16 kms away from the hustle bustle of Shimla. 

We reached Shimla and Kufri on a heavily snow laden day 
We took the toy train from Kalka station to Shimla from where the hotel sent taxis for us to be picked up. In spite of roads blocked due to heavy snowfall, the hotel went out of its way to ensure that me and my family reached the property safely. We were greeted by the management with a warm welcome and a much needed warm drink. 

Sitting pretty in the hotel lobby

Snow everywhere outside!
The hotel's wooden interiors are beautifully done up with stunning views of the snow clad Himalayas spread over vast expanses of Cedar forests. Whether it's their restaurant, bar, coffee shop or spa, every area offers a spectacular sight of the mountains and valley outside.

Enjoying a cup of coffee from the in-house coffee shop
I was staying in the presidential suite which is a plush suite consisting of two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a humongous hall and dining area along with a massive balcony which connects the hall and master bedroom. 


The living room area of the suite

Couldn't get enough of the view from my balcony
Cheers!
What a beautiful place!
The master bedroom
The second bedroom
As it was snowing quite a bit, my family and I spent our first day in the hotel and were delighted to discover that there's much to do indoors even if the weather doesn't permit you to go out.

 To start with food, their all day dining restaurant, Cafe Promenade, offers an array of delectable Indian, Continental and Oriental delicacies with the highlights being Himanchali food which I had never eaten before and absolute loved! 

Winter wonderland while we dined!
The chef and his team whipped up mouthwatering Himanchali dishes for us
The desserts looked as good as they tasted
Dinner with my mom and aunts at Promenade
I spent my evening their their luxurious spa on the top floor which offers a breathtaking view of snow clad mountains while I got a very relaxing massage by their well trained masseuse. 


A spa in the Himalayas
They also have a well stocked reading room with the same view where my dad enjoyed his afternoon over their thoughtful selection of books that would appeal to every reader.

The library boasts of a great selection of books
What a lovely place to sit and read!
Later in the evening, my mom and aunts spent their time unwinding at their bar - Cedar, which is perfect for a get together with friends over drinks. 



For those of you with young children, they have a games center for kids that make it a perfect family holiday destination as there's something for everyone. The property also has a spacious banquet venue which is ideal for destination weddings and corporate events. As it had snowed quite a bit, their rooftop restaurant and heated indoor swimming pool were closed for maintenance but they looked amazing.

Mom and me outside their rooftop restaurant called Peaks
 Thankfully for us, our second day in Kufri was a sunny one, and the hotel arranged horses for us to visit all tourist spots behind the hotel and we spent our second day out in the snow enjoying the beauty of the cedar forests and nature.


Horse taxi!
The view from the top floor of the hotel
Cutest yak ever!
Eeek I want this fluffy bunny!
My mom is super fond of snow and became a total child once we went outdoors!


A special thanks to the GM Mr Arvind and his attentive and caring team Anoop, Trilochan, Abhishek, Ishan and Pooja who ensured that we had a fantastic stay there. Overall, I absolutely loved my stay at Royal Tulip Kufri and feel it's the perfect destination hotel for leisure travelers and family holidays. If you're planning a hilly getaway in India, I totally recommend this beautiful place over the hustle bustle of Shimla which is overcrowded with tourists.

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