Sometimes minimal can be plain boring, and sometimes luxury shouldn’t be subtle. That’s why I like the reinvented—or, perhaps, reborn is the right word—Radisson Blu MBD Noida. Last year, they launched their Privé rooms, with a classical European look that could be best described as eclectic baroque, designed to impress. And it does. For design talent they had to look no further than Sonica Malhotra, Joint Managing Director, MBD Group. Under her expert care, traditional meets the innovative, classical meets the contemporary.

If you like old-world luxury, this is for you. And it goes beyond the looks. When I finally checked into my Privé room only recently, my personal butler fussed over me, made my meal reservations and escorted me to them, unpacked my bags, sorted out my laundry, made coffee, and so on. The refurbishment had continued and when I checked it was in a spanking new lobby under an impressive chandelier. TCB (The Chocolate Box), their award-winning cake shop, had re-launched in the lobby area. Their popular all-day diner, S18, named after the iconic Noida sector in which they are located, too had returned in a new avatar. It was now an all-day brasserie and was called SXVIII. The shift to Roman numerals wasn’t a mere cosmetic touch: the food offerings now include some top-notch Italian dishes, the likes of which have probably not been plated in this part of town.

The all-day brasserie SXVIII
The all-day brasserie SXVIII

New offerings at SXVIII include fennel- and saffron-infused seafood soup, cream of parmesan, tuna nicoise, spinaci e ricotta tortellini, oven-roasted sea bass, Osso Buco (braised lamb served on a bed of saffron risotto), and Australian Rack of Lamb. There’s also a new pizzeria section with a choice of dark rye, buckwheat and millet bases. The new coconut crème brûlée is to die for.

But some things should not change. I’m thankful, therefore, that RED (Rare Eastern Dining) is holding own to its identity. Step into this dark cave for the sort of Oriental food Indians love, only done much, much better. Chef Lim from Singapore has helmed it for nearly 15 years. It’s like dining with a dear uncle…who also happens to be a gifted chef. Lim personally chats up every table about food preferences and then rustles up a tailor-made meal. His Singapore chilli crab is legendary as are the Japanese bento boxes and the wasabi ice cream.

That’s the great thing about this hotel: just the right amount of change, without tinkering with what ain’t broke.

The Information

The impressive new lobby
The impressive new lobby

Location: L-2, Sector 18, Noida 201 301, Uttar Pradesh; approx. 24 km from Indira Gandhi International Airport

Accommodation: 131 rooms including 20 deluxe, 34 business class, 5 crescent, 50 prive premium, 5 prive crescent, 11 prive classic, 3 executive suites and 3 prive suites

Tariff: 9000 (deluxe), 10,500 (business class), 13,000 (crescent), 14,250 (prive premium), 15,500 (prive crescent), 16,500 (prive classic), 27,000 (executive suite) and 29,000 (prive suite); taxes extra

Contact: 0120-4300000; Radisson Blu