Little Miss Me went and sat outdoors on a tuffet next to a vertical garden and a blue water fountain. And along came a test tube rack of ten teas to taste. They turned out not to be a booby trap, but were rather a refreshing stand-in for an after-brunch beverage menu.
So we placed an order for an iced Irish and a rose-hibiscus tisane, then wandered into the Kühlschrank inside the Glasshouse for dessert — the cool room at the back, with shelves arranged like a deli, houses salads as well as breakfast cold cuts, cheeses and compotes, so basically anything that benefits from a dialled down temperature gauge, in contrast to the heated buffet counters in the main dining area.
Back outdoors in My Korner, after khajur rabri and tiramisu and tea, we took a turn around the garden, past the Glasshouse restaurant and round the corner where the double-height glass walls of the Pose bar were taking unusual advantage of daylight, in contrast to your usual dark and dangerous watering hole of Delhi. Which brought us neatly back to the main entrance and into the lobby spilling into a green porch in the crook of the L, then turning between Glass House and Pose on the inside, past the Café O’Lait to the elevators and stairwell.
Up we went, past the glass-wrapped corner boardroom on the first floor (also unusually daylit) to the rooftop, where the infinity pool looked out over the improbably gabled roofs of Malibu Towne. The evening barbecue was not yet set up at the Hive, which was just as well, since we had yet to digest a buffet of tandoori kebabs and seafood pizza marinara and papri chaat, Mexican rice and sushi and Thai curry and couscous and Chinese lamb and roast chicken and éclairs and crumble and halwa…yes, we definitely enjoyed a square meal of a Sundays. It was just too convenient to decline.
Comfort and convenience definitely are king at the Hilton Garden Inn Gurgaon Baani Square, to give it its full mouthful of a name. The Herman Miller Sayl chair in every room went on my partner’s shopping list immediately, and I came back from a (scald-proofed) shower to find him taking the measure of the Serta bed and its hypo-allergenic pillows for future reference. Many properties claim to offer a home away from home, but it’s a rare hotel room that inspires changes to your own actual home. Indeed, the family-friendly suites, in different layouts with either a breakfast counter/bar or a formal dining area, half baths near the door to prevent fights in the four-fixture main bath, separate study space and the sheer cleverness of the greenery used in this bijoux garden property were starting to make my main home go a peculiar shade verdigris with jealousy.
More really contemporary mod cons: For the business traveller, DLF Cyber City is at 10 minutes’ distance; with Infocity and Unitech Cyber Park close by too. The fitness centre by Precor is open 24 hours, the rooftop pool is uncovered bright and early at 7am, there is a 24-hour Pavilion Pantry next door to the lobby lounge (which itself conveniently also serves you teas and cocktails), and its shelves hold everything from packaged snacks and drinks for the famished midnight check-in as well as amenities you forgot you needed (toothbrushes, basic toiletries, sanitary products and the like). The 24-hour business centre is free to use, and a command from your (generously-sized, multi-plugpointed) desk in the room carries directly to the printer here, for which you can even request a pick-up. Wi-fi is, thankfully, complimentary. The four meeting rooms can hold anything from 20 to 150 colleagues and clients. And the courtyard is equally handy for product displays and fashion shows and weddings and social evenings, complete with crooners (as at the buffet), for 400 guests.
For the medical tourist, the property sits in the middle of a triangle described by the Medanta, Fortis and Max hospitals. For the shopper and eater-outer, M.G. Road’s malls and boutiques are close at hand. For the family tripper, Kingdom of Dreams will take you far in the parivaar popularity stakes without travelling too far.
In the room, service animals are allowed though not other pets. The laundry and dry-cleaning service is 24x7 as well as in-room dining — though it really is worth popping down to the Glasshouse to refresh your eyes with the streaming daylight and lush greenery as well as for that world cuisine Sunday brunch, with street foods from Beijing to Barcelona featured. Speaking of which, their buffets are a convenient price for entertaining too (Rs 1,195 for lunch, Rs 1,395 for dinner and Sunday brunch). And the a la carte options are perfectly pitched and priced for popularity, a little innovative but nothing intimidating: nalli ka korma and akhrot ka salan, creditable ghar ki dal as well as robust dal dhaba, saffron risotto with roast chicken, fish tikka with chargrilled pineapple and tomato salsa, a tenderloin burger with jalapeños, a seafood-y marinara pizza, excellent stir-fried exotic greens, a paneer tikka stuffed with apricots and nuts, more-ish cheese and masala stuffed mushrooms, and a very luscious tiramisu. Which brings the local residents in too, so there is always that pleasant buzz of a space lush with conversation and connection. Beyond which is that other pleasant buzz created by Pose’s jalapeño margarita.
Which is all to say, this young hotel is flowering into a pretty nice space indeed.
Where: Baani Square, Sector 50, Gurgaon; 25km from the Indira Gandhi International Airport, 5km from the HUDA City Centre metro station
Accommodation: 154 deluxe rooms, 41 premium rooms (similar to deluxe but with complimentary laundry of 2 items, 15% F&B discount and late check-out options) and 6 executive suites (ask for the corner rooms for the best views)
Tariff: Rs 11,500 (deluxe rooms), Rs 12,500 (premium rooms) and Rs 17,500 (suites)
Contact: 0124-4420000, gurgaonbaanisquare.hgi.com