The Picture Palace end of Mussoorie’s Mall Road is where most visitors to this once salutary hill station land up. A new hotel seems to be almost single-handedly leading the beautification of the area, and that too without exceeding its turf even by an inch.
As you approach Mosaic Mussoorie, a vertical garden looms into view, adorning the entire length of its façade. The green wall is bursting with hundreds of flowering plants, a sight for sore eyes. A lift whisks me up to the reception area, where the eclectic floor tiles immediately draw my attention. The terrace outside the reception offers sweeping views of the Doon valley. Someone at Mosaic takes their gardening very seriously, because there are flowering plants everywhere.
When a lot of elements are wedded together, it’s easy to make a mess of things. In the end, what truly enamours me to Mosaic is that, despite the trepidation I experience at every step, I only end up with pleasant surprises. As a general rule, I lean to minimal, being wary of colour, particularly to the heavy-handed use of several shades together.
But Mosaic pulls off a beautiful coup with its bold but smart use of hues. True to brief, my room is a mosaic of colours. If it had been a bird, it would have chirped happily. The palette is mostly yellow and blue.
There are cushions with butterflies imprinted on them. The wall behind the headboard sports a lovely pattern of wallpaper. Given Mussoorie’s colonial character, the chintz upholstery on the chair is quite apt.
The hotel’s restaurant, quirkily named Random, is anything but. The food is excellent, whether one chooses Indian, Continental or the all-time favourite of Chinese. The other F&B option is the dinner-only Charcoal. It offers succulent grilled meats in an open-to-sky setting.
One of the greatest USPs of Mosaic has to be its indoor heated pool, where even the light filtering through the pretty stained glass throws colourful patterns on the water.
Although Mussoorie is my favourite hill station, I’m well aware that, with all the diesel fumes, inhaling the air here is nothing short of a health hazard. Thankfully, there are lots of lovely little escapes close by. Mosaic’s activity manager is only too happy to set up a couple for me. One morning, I find myself heading past Woodstock School to Jabbarkhet, a sprawling, private wildlife reserve that offers lush walking trails and occasional sightings of wildlife. After an invigorating walk lasting a couple of hours, I’m treated to sandwiches, muffins and tea. Jabbarkhet offers a mosaic of experiences, something different in every season, so I’ll definitely be going back for more. Another day, I take the Kempty Falls Road to the Benog Wildlife Sanctuary, where I park myself in a tranquil spot next to a gurgling stream and enjoy an impromptu picnic.
Apart from these wonderful nature immersions, Mosaic also offers heritage walks. But the one I’m most intrigued by is the Landour food trail. The very thought gives me a rumbly in my tumbly. I’ll be back.