Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon: Artful excellence

It’s proving particularly difficult for me to write about Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon. Frankly, the hotel has SO many redeeming qualities that I really don’t know where to begin. Should I start by describing its arty, renovated avatar with cutting edge interiors, a revolving art exhibition and a calming fountain outside the all-day restaurant that comes alive with mesmerising colours in the night? Or perhaps, I should introduce you to its legacy of winning awards every single year and the fact that it is the flagship hotel of the Intercontinental Hotels Group in South Asia, owing to its consistent excellence. But I guess I’ve already plunged into my review of Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon. It’s one of the best five star hotels I’ve stayed at, not just in India but the entire world. But rather than focusing on my experience, let’s assume that you’re the lucky one visiting Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon. Want to know how it all plays out? Read on, and don’t forget to share and comment!

View from my room at Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon
The view from your room, at night

You walk in.

You’ve probably driven down from the airport (which is only 30min away), or been chauffeured in a luxury Toyota Camri by the hotel. Either way, you don’t fail to smile when you encounter Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon. There’s a plush purple couch next to the reception (perfect for photos!), lots of grey and purple seating and smooth marble flooring. Tall wooden pillars balance the interiors with a touch of warmth. Beyond the transparent walls, you see water cascading over lovely green hexagonal structures, interspersed by miniature palm trees. It’s always nice to see flashes of green, even inside a hotel. Presently, the concierge tells you your room is ready. You quickly finish your iced welcome drink and proceed to the elevator.

Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon
The hotel, as seen from the outside

You take in your room.

If you’re smart, you’ve asked for a seventh floor room, which is right at the top of the hotel. You walk down a narrow carpeted corridor, open the door, and breathe in sharply at the loveliness of the room. A large double bed with fluffy pillows and beautiful maroon cushions, wooden boarded flooring, wide flat screen television, ecru couch, writing desk and French windows that extend across the entire wall are laid out before you. The curtains are remote-controlled, you note. You watch them swish back slowly at the press of a button. The view outside is breath-taking, Gurgaon’s crisscrossing flyovers and skyscrapers in the distance and closer home, a long blue pool, surrounded by umbrellas and deck chairs closer home.

Room at Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon
Your digs for the night!

Table lamps on either side of the bed swathe the room in a mellow golden glow, while a floral painting at the back helps settle your mind. On the table, you spot some fruit, cookies, chocolates and almonds with a welcome note. You almost missed that, didn’t you? You peek into the tea and coffee chest and there are several gourmet varieties such as hibiscus, chamomile, lemon Darjeeling and masala tea waiting to be tried. The bathroom has its own story to tell. A sweet bathtub promises to soothe you after a day of hectic sightseeing and a bundle of Biotique toiletries lie beside the washbasin. But it is the remote-controlled Toto toilet that captures your attention the most. There are buttons to umm, clean and dry your rear and many pressure options. This is luxury on a whole new level, you think. Now it’s time to drop your bags and lie down on that bed with some soft music. There’s even a speaker that you can connect your phone or music player to.

You look around at the hotel.

Swimming pool at Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon
You’re going to enjoy swimming here

Eventually, you do wake up. And you want to know what the rest of this place looks like. You take the elevator and go to the ground floor, where the doorman greets you with a ‘good morning ma’am’. You smile back and start walking aimlessly, stopping at whatever catches your fancy. A lot of things do. Connexions, the 24 hour bar looks really interesting from the outside, with its multiple level seating, wide bar top and Glenlivet display. Further ahead, you take a left and encounter a series of paintings propped on easels. You enquire about them later and realise that they can be bought too. You take the elevator to go to the first level and survey the pool, spa and gym. The pool is temperature controlled but most of the foreign guests are simply sunbathing on the deck chairs. Unlike those in most hotels, the gym appears to be extremely busy. You duck out quickly, so as not to disturb the members. The manager tells you that it’s open 24 hours a day and has around 80 members. Body Zone, the spa, has an enticing menu of therapies and you decide to give in to temptation later. There’s also a nice lounge with computers and charging ports for club members.

Fountain at Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon
The fountain at night

You sample the buffet at Café G.

All the walking around has made you really hungry and it’s time for a spot of luncheon, as the British would say. Café G is really one of the warmest restaurants you’ve seen, full of cheery, knowledgeable staff, a variety of counters ranging from ‘make your own salad’ to Indian, Japanese, Thai and of course, desserts in an attractive glass cabinet. The seating space is divided into two areas, the first being closer to the band currently performing while the upper level is cosier and offers more intimacy. Guests also have the option of sitting outdoors for the cool and breezy weather (or smoking alongside your meal). There are cushiony sofas as well as chairs and you obviously choose a chair – well because you don’t like to recline when you eat! The chef says their teppanyaki noodles are really special so you place an order for the vegetarian version. In the meanwhile, you pick up some sushi and pile on steamed rice and yellow Thai curry onto your plate.

Cafe G at Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon
Cafe G

You sit outside, watching the fountain while you eat. The server comes around every now and then, plying you with healthful juices, cappuccino and whatnot. Eventually, the noodles arrive and they’re as delicious as promised. The Thai curry is authentic, spicier than the Indianised versions restaurants here normally dish up. And you’d have had a second helping of sushi if you didn’t need to reserve space for dessert. You try the chocolate mousse in a jar (rich, smooth and truly divine) and a slice of red velvet cake (fluffy and light). They put you in the mood for a good, long siesta!

Teppanyaki noodles at Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon
Teppanyaki noodles

You indulge in a spa.

You make an appointment for a 60 minute brightening and whitening facial (around Rs 5500 with taxes) after perusing the list of facials, massages and salon treatments that are available at the spa. The petite therapist asks you to lie down on a bed in a dimly lit room. There’s light music and as you vaguely feel her cleansing, scrubbing, steaming, massaging, exfoliating and coating your face in a pack, you tune out and enter a kind of relaxed stupor. The best parts are when she cleans your face with a warm towel. You decide to try that out when you’re home. You have no idea how an entire hour passes under her able hands. At the end, she asks you to wash your face thoroughly and towel. A sparkly new face gazes back at you in the mirror. You walk away with a spring in your step.

You want a drink.

Drinks at Connexions, the bar at Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon
Drinks and something to munch on

Finally, it’s that time of the day when you can rightfully walk into a bar and ask for a stiff one, on the rocks. Connexions has a live performance on every other night and you just got lucky. You could sit at the lower level for a good view of the cricket match on TV, perch on a bar stool or proceed to the upper level for swankier seating. You can get anything you want here but whiskies are their speciality – they have 108 varieties! So you get yourself a good glass of scotch and watch the evening melt into the night.

You’re ready for dinner.

Wildfire restaurant at Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon
The view from your table

Are you now? Then it’s time to experience the inimitable churrasco (Brazilian barbeque) experience at Wildfire, part of the international chain of gourmet Brazilian and Italian restaurants. The rich brown and gold interiors lend a dramatic flair to this restaurant, in keeping with the flamboyant style of serving the barbeques. Soup and salad is available at a buffet counter and you enjoy a bowl of excellent potato and leek soup while you await the barbeque. The server comes to your table with your choice of meat, fruit or vegetable on a sizzling skewer from which you pick your portion with a pair of tongs. The food is fresh, succulent and flavourful. For vegetarians, the choice is between cheesy broccoli, fresh mushrooms and honeyed pineapple, which also makes for a great dessert. Wildfire has an enviable wine list as wine goes best with the Brazilian treats they serve. You decide to try the Ti Amo Prosecco and polish off an entire bottle with the meal.

On your way to your room, you catch a glimpse of the banquet hall decked up for someone’s wedding. It’s nothing short of a dream come true.

Banquet hall at Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon
Banquet hall

Ready to book?

Have I enticed you enough with the artful excellence of Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon? If you’re heading to that part of India, you simply must experience their hospitality. And if not, schedule a trip in spring (March) and soak in the splendour of the National Capital Region (NCR) with Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon’s full day city tours. Click here to book your stay.

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