The cavernous lobby is abuzz as we arrive. Spry young men in sports gear whizz in and out, adding that very special energy that emanates from sportspeople, and it’s kind of catching. Our charming hostess swiftly handles the check-in and escorts us up to our rooms, all of which open on to an expansive corridor. A wonderful contrast to those dimly lit narrow passages favoured by even some of the fanciest hotels.
Space, I discover to my endless delight, is something the spanking new Regenta LP Vilas Hotel, a short distance from the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, has capitalised on in every way. And to add to that charm is the propensity for making the most of natural light. Clearly, Abhishek Goyal (the totally hands-on, Swiss-trained hotelier and owner-MD) and I are on the same page about this. The 74-key Regenta, now under the management of Royal Orchid Hotels, has made judicious use of India’s materials and crafting heritage—sandstone from Sikanda, marble from Makrana, chandeliers from Firozabad, jewel-toned carpets from Agra, brassware from Moradabad, and woodcraft from nearby Saharanpur.
My room opens to a longish carpeted space ending at a picture window with views of a lovely Doon forest-scape. The guestroom serves up clean lines complete with mandatory cupboards, minibar, TV and desk space, but comfort is paramount, with cosy beds and a bathroom sporting fluffy towels and Biotique products. The open-air Jacuzzi, up on the terrace, is another allurement to explore.
Having driven up from Delhi, I welcome the invitation to shed all stress, along with one’s clothes, at Amara Spa, with treatments by Kama. Practised hands ease away the kinks and cribs of crazy deadlines and big-city mayhem. I meet a man in the lift, who seems sporty. We exchange pleasantries. I discover he’s a cricketer—from Afghanistan. I never knew the Afghans played cricket. It appears a team was put together and trained by India, and they are in town because they are good enough to have a regular practice ground, the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Dehradun. They played Bangladesh in the T20 series and beat the hell out of them.
The Regenta LP Vilas is fast becoming a venue of choice for big parties and events, simply for its massive banqueting space, the largest in all of Uttarakhand at one lakh sq ft. Regenta is looking at big stakes as a MICE and wedding destination, and its glamour quotient is on the rise with Bollywood after hosting Karan Johar’s Student of the Year team.
Location: Down the road from the IMA; 12km from Dehradun Railway Station and 39km from Jolly Grant Airport
Accommodation: 74 rooms, including suites and family suites
Tariff: From â¹4,500 doubles, taxes extra
Contact: +91-1357165000; Regenta LP Vilas Hotel