24 Hours at the Hilton
Hilton, Mayur Vihar, New Delhi
12.30pm: I walk into the foyer and towards the reception desk. A gorgeous rectangular silver chandelier hangs over my head. Quick and pain-free check-in process. 5 minutes later, I’m in my room on the 7th floor.
12.40pm: I see a king-sized bed with 5 huge white pillows calling out to me. I leap into it, and sink, most comfortably into the fluffiness. A 42 inch LCD screen is in front of me, with a closet and bathroom on the right, and a seating area and glass windows on the left. I rise, draw the curtains, and can see the beautifully blue Infinity pool below and a view of the city ahead.
12.50pm: I unpack. The closet space is generous with enough hangers. A separate space with a pull-out ironing table and iron is useful. I pop my wallet into the safe. The mini bar is well-stocked, and there is enough water/tea/coffee/fruit in the room, which I like.
1.00pm: The bathroom has four fixtures and is done in a muted brown/cream palette, all marble. All basic toiletries, with lots of towels in different sizes and crisp, white robes are in place. A digital weighing scale under the sink is a nice touch.
1.15pm: I go downstairs and make a quick stop at the Lobby Lounge. A perfect place for informal meetings over a cup of coffee or a quick drink, the comfy chairs and soft sunlight trickling in through the large glass windows make it very welcoming. I love that there are white lilies on each table.
1.30pm: I head to Café on 3 (in DoubleTree by Hilton next door) for the lunch buffet. You will most definitely find something you love here – several types of salads, a cheese counter, a bread counter, Indian, Continental, Chinese, and a large selection of desserts – there is something for everyone. With the pool right beside the café, this is the perfect place for a lazy Sunday brunch.
2.30pm: On my way out of DoubleTree, I stop by the reception for the famous DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie. I’ve heard rave reviews, including “this is the best cookie I’ve ever eaten” from a friend who doesn’t pass out food compliments easily. I’m handed a warm cookie in a brown envelope. I open it and take a bite cautiously. It’s a warm explosion of gooey chocolate and crunchy walnut in my mouth. I shamelessly ask for another one before I leave.
2.45pm: Back in my room, lying in bed and digesting my lunch, I decide to watch some TV. The bedside table has a folder with the remote control and a list of channels with their numbers on it. There is also a slick I-pod docking station. As I sink into the soft pillows, I find that Psycho is showing which I happily decide to watch while devouring my second cookie.
4.30pm: I hear something that sounds like a delicate bell ringing and I realize someone is at the door. I open my door and there is a member of the staff standing outside. I’m asked if I need anything, and then given 2 chocolates and wished a good evening. I shut the door with a smile on my face.
5.00pm: Spa time! I go down to the 3rd floor and the elevator doors open in front of the golden Eros spa. I had made an appointment previously and so I don’t have to wait long. After a quick chat with the spa manager regarding the kind of treatment I’d prefer and filling up a compulsory health form, I’m led into a private room. The full body massage treatment I’ve chosen is relaxing and comfortable. Soothing plinky-plunky music plays in the background and I almost drift into sleep. Two hours pass by inexplicably.
7.15pm: Back in my room, to change quickly and then meet a friend for dinner at Roadhouse Bar and Grill in DoubleTree. The music is always great here and I firmly believe this place has the best steaks in town. I also love that they always serve you popcorn to nibble on while you’re waiting for your order. Somewhere between bites of salad, pasta, burgers, and dessert, I realize I’ve probably eaten too much.
10.00pm: As I walk out of DoubleTree I notice several glitter-laden ladies and suited up men entering the hotel. They are all making their way to the very large (4,900 square feet) banquet hall in DoubleTree for a wedding I assume. Suitably under-dressed as I was, I thought it best to head for my room quietly.
10.15pm: Time for a bubble bath I decide. I turn on the faucet and the tub fills up with wonderfully warm water. The best part is I can soak in the tub, while watching Modern family on TV because the bathroom has a glass wall on one side through which I can stare lazily at the TV. I must mention that there are blinds of course, which you can pull down, just incase you’re not alone or not on your honeymoon! *wink*
11.45pm: I change into my pajamas and fill out a little breakfast form hanging from the knob of my door. It allows you to choose what you want for an in-room breakfast service and also decide exactly what time you’d like it to arrive. I tick off the boxes against croissant, omelette, sausages, and tea. For the time I choose “7 to 7.15 am”. I hang it back on the door knob (it says on the form to hang it back up by midnight) and head downstairs to the 24 hour coffee shop – Infinity.
11.55pm: There is still some activity at Infinity. A few people are having a drink, while the staff is clearing up the remnants of the dinner service. Amidst the cheerful noise of cutlery being put away and soft music, I settle down and order a green tea. The staff is cheerful, energetic, and happy to serve me, even at this rather odd hour. Despite my pink pajamas with hearts on them, no one even looks at me weirdly. This is the kind of comfort I could (very) easily get used to.
12.15am: Back in my room. I peep through the curtains and I’m met with a glittering city. What a gorgeous view! I decide I’m going to sleep with the curtains open.
12.30am: Unable to sleep, I look through the room service menu and decide to order something. I call and ask for some pasta, and then settle down with my book.
12.55am: The gentle bell rings again and a server wheels in my pasta on a trolley, beautifully presented, with a lovely red flower. This is my 5-star moment. When simple things are done with such thought and beauty, it really does feel special. The pasta is excellent, though I can’t manage more than a few bites. I set up a wake up call for 7am and quite suddenly, I fall asleep.
7.00am: My phone rings and a cheerful voice tells me it’s my wake up call.
7.10am: My room-service breakfast arrives. I want to eat my croissant immediately because I can tell it’s warm and fresh from the oven, but I discover there is no butter. I call for it and it arrives in a few minutes. I eat my flaky, hot croissant slathered with salty butter, while the morning sun streams into my room. Sadly the omlette isn’t very good – too dry for my liking, and the sausages are grainy and tasteless.
7.30am: I shower and change, but discover in the process than a little water has leaked out of the shower cubicle. I also see that there is no face-wash. Isn’t that a necessity these days? I call to ask for some, but I’m told face-wash isn’t stocked.
8.00am: I stop by the Eros spa once more. This time, for a signature pedicure.
9.30am: My pedicure is done well, and I choose a pretty pink nail paint to finish.
9.45am: I go to the health club (on the same floor as the spa) to take a look around. Well-arranged, it appears it has every fitness device under the sun. Cross-trainers, treadmills, weights, yoga mats, Madison balls, and at least ten other devices aimed at working out specific areas of the body like the Seated leg curl, Biceps curl, Chest press, Seated leg press and Triceps press. All these were well-labelled with illustrations on each device showing how to operate it, which makes it comfortable for those who aren’t familiar, to have a go. There is always a trainer around to help and yoga classes are held on alternate Sundays every month. If you’re on the treadmill, the beautiful Infinity pool is what you’ll be looking at.
10.00am: I walk out into the pool area and decide to wiggle my toes in the gorgeous blue water. It’s a quiet, serene space with deck chairs and covered couple seats where you can snuggle up with a good book. Birds hop around playfully and you have a clear view of the sky in front of you. I could spend several hours here very happily.
10.30am: Time for some good breakfast (the memories of my dry omlette in bed needed to be erased). I head down to Infinity and see that it’s full and bustling. I grab a plate and get some smoked salmon, cheese, and toast. I’m brought a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a newspaper without my asking. The staff is alert and attentive, and I love that they’re always smiling. The omlette that’s made to order here is so much better than what I was served in my room. Apart from the usual continental offerings (sausages (not grainy this time!), baked beans, eggs, cheese) the breakfast buffet also includes South Indian stuff like idlis, dosas, and uttapams, as well as cereal, fruit, and even some dumplings!
11.30am: Stuffed beyond belief I head back to my room to pack. With a heavy heart, I stare lustfully at the insanely cozy bed, and the cloud pillows call out to me. I want to stay, but it’s time to go. Check out is a breeze and I say goodbye, with the taste of the divine chocolate chip cookie still lingering in my mouth, hoping to come back to this wonderful hotel again.
The Hilton, Mayur Vihar, New Delhi at a glance
- Address: 13 B Mayur Vihar, District Centre, New Delhi 110091
- Rooms: 163
- Dining: Infinity and Lobby Lounge (Roadhouse Bar and Grill and Café on 3 in Double Tree)
- Other facilities: Eros Spa, Health club, Business meeting rooms, Infinity pool, Banquet hall (in Double Tree), 24 hour In-room dining, Airport and ticketing assistance, designated smoking rooms.
- Attractions nearby: Malls, F1 racing track, Akshardham temple