I have been super busy lately. There have been too many new assignments and projects to deal with. I have also ventured into something completely new on the academic front, and well, it’s stressful but EXCITING. I am not someone who complains of extra work (because I love what I do) but it was high time I took a break to evaluate where I stand. And when I did, I realised the last time I had done something for myself was two months ago. Sad state of affairs to be honest, and there was no way I was going to let this happen anymore. I took the weekend off to relax a bit, but realised I ended up working at home.
The only way I could take a break was if I went out of town. Since I am taking the next week off to travel to Punjab, a weekend holiday would be a bad idea in terms of leaves and budgeting. So what did I do instead? I checked into a room right in the city :) I’ve done this a couple of times before, and I thought I should blog about this if I wish to make this a habit. So here I am, telling you all about super fabulous weekend with DoubleTree by Hilton, Chinchwad.
The entire “mini-vacay” started with a surprise when the pick-up reached my house at exactly 1600 hrs as promised. That’s the first time in YEARS that I have seen anyone be that precise. Anyone who knows how to respect time gets brownie points from me.
DoubleTree by Hilton is primarily a business hotel, so I wasn’t surprised to see men in suits lounging around in the hotel lobby, or discussing meetings in the lifts. What surprised me was the fact that the place was SWARMING with people on a Friday. In fact when I pointed this out to the front desk, they told me that the entire hotel was booked for business events, office parties and of course, customers. To be honest, I was pretty impressed.
I won’t deny it, I have always thought of Chinchwad as this small place far away from civilisation. But the wide roads and greenery here would make you want to take out your car and go on long drives, you know what I mean? It’s super pretty! Plus it’s not really that far from Khadki, Aundh and Baner. On my way back to Pune city, it took me 30 min to reach KalyaniNagar :)
Before I proceed, I must take out time to mention the most awesome welcome I have ever received. When they say warm welcome, they mean it. This is what the Front Desk gave me along with the key to my room – a humongous chocolate chip-nutty-cinnamony warm cookie (which by the way was devoured under 5 minutes) In my defense, it felt like heaven after a terrible 2 weeks.
Also, they have Kygo playing in the hotel lobby, so they get EXTRA brownie points for great music taste.
Patricia, the Marketing Communication Manager at Double Tree by Hilton was of great help as she explained the concept of the rooms, suites, restaurants and amenities that the hotel has to offer. I connected with her immediately (her smile makes you want to open up to her really easily), and asked her if she wanted to have dinner with me maybe. She was kind enough to agree :)
My room was, well, God’s gift to me for being such a sport (or so I’d like to believe) I went weak in my knees when I saw my bed-
Level 12 is the rooftop restaurant at Double Tree by Hilton, and had there not been a Panschil party there that night, I know I would have loved to dine there. Rooftop, a strong breeze, city lights, great music and a swimming pool! What is there to hate about a place like this? Total date worthy by the way :)
I wanted to have an early dinner because I had been up since 4:30am. In related news, my days have been starting at 4:30am for the last 1 month and I totally deserved this break! Anyhoo, I checked out the Executive Lounge (oh yeah, the executive rooms give you special access to the lounge where you can have booze/tea/coffee along with your food FOR FREE.) Yeah. Plus the view is super pretty with glass windows and city lights.
I was starving, so the buffet spread at 3 Spices seemed like a better option. Had I been working, I know I would have walked down to the Executive Lounge with my laptop, got myself some coffee, taken a comfortable couch next to the window and worked happily :)
I will be covering 3 Spices in a separate blog post soon, because the food totally deserves it. Stay tuned :)
My day started early the next morning (I am a morning person, waking up after 6 gets me lazy)
And I was SUPER EXCITED because I couldn’t wait to get on the treadmill- a gym with glass walls on the 11th floor at 6:30am while the city sleeps covered in a thin layer of smog, what is there to NOT like about this? I love early mornings. Especially since I get to finish off my work before the chaos kicks in.
So I am assuming you’re aware that I might be a little addicted to fitness. And that gyms get me more excited than shopping. My gym wear costs more than all my clothes put together maybe :/ Anyway, point is that I love my fitness. Which is why I literally jumped out of my bed with a smile on my face as I had my coffee, excited about what awaited me at the gym.
I easily burned around 1200 calories that morning, but that’s not the point :) I had the good fortune of meeting an excellent trainer, Varun Shetty. There was something about the way he trained that had me intrigued. He took out time to help me with my back and neck exercises (Due to long working hours I have developed a terrible neck pain since April, and if the stress is too much it comes down to the shoulders and even the right arm. Which by the way is the case right now and God alone knows how I’m managing to work with the pain)
Moving on- Varun Shetty is a Pune boy who started his fitness journey at 15 with wrestling. He also took up karate, but gave up once his coach left the country. “My coach was the best one I could have ever got, he was passionate, he didn’t do it for the money. I learnt passion from him” He then trained with a national level boxer, and then opted for training and consulting in gyms under his guidance. He runs his own company, and is a trainer purely out of passion. I totally get this, it’s what I do too. Dumbbells and Drama is purely out of the passion to write and express myself, what I do professionally is a little different (though it does involve writing, thankfully) I ended up speaking with Varun for 30 min, there were too many interesting stories to share :)
This was followed by a spa therapy at Aristo.
Yeah, I know, pamper level infinity and all that was achieved. I opted for a yogurt and turmeric wrap instead of my usual deep tissue massage this time. I am too lazy to take care of my skin and after seeing the results I definitely knew I needed this more often. The service is great, the staff is friendly, though they seemed a little intimidated :/
The rooms are HUGE compared to the ones at other spas that I have been to, and there’s definitely more place to move around. Even the pedicure section has a separate room, which made me very very happy. Oh, they also have a salon. I was told it’s extremely popular with the women who come over for long stays.
The spa is open to all, so even if you aren’t staying there, you could always walk in :)
The stay ended with some FABULOUS Japanese cuisine at Miyuki, which I shall write about in a separate post. I think it’s totally worth traveling this far for the great food at Miyuki by the way :) Great date idea much? You are welcome. Once again, I had a great time connecting with the Chef Amarjeet who was kind enough to share a lot of interesting information about the Japanese culture with me. More on that later.
Chef Japvir Vohra , the Executive Chef, turned out to be an Army kid too, and we connected immediately over tales of RSI, sprawling Army bungalows, APS Pune and a lot more. Him I am definitely taking to RSI with me soon :D
I made some great friends at the hotel, and now if not for anything I’d totally want to go drop in and say hey and share an oreo red velvet cake or coffee with them. A big thank you to DoubleTree by Hilton once again for making this weekend so special.
I’m off to Punjab in a couple of days. Shall get back and tell you all about 3 Spices and Miyuki. Do follow me on Instagram and Snapchat and Twitter for dramatic shenanigans :)