All roads in Gurgaon led to the new Gateway Resort at Damdama Lake on Sunday, November 16. As The Gateway Hotels and Resorts launched its first-ever resort with a carnival, over 1500 people made their way to the lawns of this 20-acre property. And a mela unfurled over the day, complete with candyfloss and magicians.
The idea of a mela was just right, given that the resort is located bang in the middle of a village in Haryana. Entertainment was on from the word go, with live music and giants on stilts welcoming visitors. Throughout the afternoon, there were sudden welcome disruptions in the form of a dance troupe flown in from Mumbai gyrating to peppy Bollywod numbers.
The carnival was clearly geared towards the young and the always young-at-heart. The kite flying, glass painting, temporary tattoos and nail art stalls attracted both types. Ditto for the sophisticated adventure area at the back: from wobbly Burma bridges to mini ziplining zones, this space was understandably a crowd-puller. I smiled enigmatically every time someone said, “Go on, give it a shot.” The only shots I was going to take here were with my phone camera. Then there was the tarot card booth and the foot massage under the trees – both with long queues - for those looking for more worldly (and otherworldly) pleasures.
As can be expected, the stars of the show were the food stalls scattered across the carnival area. From sushi and organic salads, to kadhi chawal and kababs, to Basa fish and Parma ham, The Gateway had pulled out all stops. Then there were the dessert counters (and here is where I lose all perspective) with piping hot jalebi, gajar and moong dal halwa, faluda kulfi, orange crème brulée…
The idea behind holding a carnival during the launch was to create happy associations with the place by taking people back to their childhood. If the sight of happy adults clutching at bright pink cotton candy is any measure, then The Gateway Resort at Damdama Lake succeeded very well.
Note: The resort is planning to organise more such carnivals in the future for corporate groups, depending on demand.