Just imagine a situation – a grand wedding is in process, with heavy interiors, a magnificent stage that might have taken months to put it in place and complementing it are the large crystal chandeliers that grace the heavily lit hall. There is extravagance everywhere and on everything that you set your eyes on, making it seem like you are dreaming. You happen to pinch yourself to see if this is real and ouuuch! this indeed is real and then you realize that you are at The Umrao, one of the best destinations to get married in a royal and extravagant style.
Now consider another situation – you relaxing by the poolside, with no one to disturb you, sipping a fresh lime soda beneath a clear sky. The cool breeze blowing and the sound of the chirping birds is slowly drifting you off to sleep, making you forget all those mundane tensions that form a part of your daily life. Well, if you are peace-loving and are looking for complete solitude this weekend, The Umrao is again the place for you.
The Umrao – Majestically Urbane…
The Umrao may be just a 4-years old property, but this Hotel cum Resort that is situated at the Gurgaon-Jaipur Highway and built on 15 acres of land will never cease to amaze you with its magnificence and splendour. Whether it is the large iron gates at the entrance or the majestically built facade or the glass dome at the top of the structure, every intricate detail gets visible to the eyes as one enters the hotel premises. The Hotel started operations on 3rd August 2012 and has 3 Directors on its Board – Mr. Virendra Teotia, Mr. Jagdish Yadav and Mr. Virendra Yadav.
‘Namaste’ – greeted the young lady who stood at the entrance to welcome us, a gesture that made both bow our heads in reverence. We sat at the Lounge area, Waffle, as it is named. The lounge is a cosy Pastry cum coffee lounge that has an inviting atmosphere to spend some quality time over a cup of hot beverage with friends or meet business clients with nothing to distract you around. We had a chilling Welcome drink – Kiwi Delight sitting at the lounge, before being ushered into Thyme, the 24×7 restaurant.
Once inside the restaurant, we saw a lavish buffet comprising of both Indian and Chinese cuisine beautifully laid out. Thyme is a multi-cuisine restaurant and bar with pleasing interiors that makes for a wonderful dining experience. A There is also the option of a la carte that allows one to choose from an assortment of food of one’s personal choice. We had a sumptuous meal at the restaurant, enjoying Kalonji Chicken, mixed vegetables, Dal Makhani, kadhai paneer, stir fried vegetables, pasta and noodles. Over lunch we also got the chance to speak to Chef Naresh Kharbanda, Director of F&B at the Umrao who told us about his experiences in the food industry and the inspirational moments that kept him going.
Just beside the Thyme, there is a souvenir shop – 8 To 8 that houses a small but a fantastic collection of decorative items, crafts and artefacts. Since the shop was closed during our visit, we could only have a look into its interiors through the glass.
The hotel has a total of 57 rooms, built in different sizes and is well-equipped with all the modern-day amenities, made to suit the different comfort levels of the guests. The smallest are the Deluxe rooms that are 270 sq ft in size. Next are the Superior Rooms that measure between 285 sq ft to 320 sq ft. The Executive Rooms are aesthetically built in the room sizes of 320 sq ft to 420 sq ft and have an outdoor private Jacuzzi and a sitting area attached to appeal and relax the senses of the guest.
There are also 2 suites – Ardelle and Celista that vary in sizes between 640 sq ft to 840 sq ft.
For the purpose of organizing any conferences or corporate events or for that matter even social get-togethers (birthdays, anniversaries), the Hotel has an elaborate events area. There are 2 ballrooms – one at the lobby level, Belva and the other on the 1st Floor, The Flip. Belva has a capacity of serving 100 guests and offers a spectacular view of the lush greenery outside. The Flip on the other hand can accommodate a capacity of 80 guests and is adequately built to suit the needs of the customer, holding either a corporate event or a social function. It also has the adjoining terrace area that can be used if in case more space is required.
Apart from this, there is a boardroom, Resolute for catering to a small corporate gathering of around 20 guests and equipped with all the meeting room facilities that are required to convene a board meeting.
The Marriage Banquets – Lavishness Unlimited…
While these are all a part of The Umrao, what this Hotel is best known for are its magnificently built marriage banquet halls that are famed to have had hosted some of the most extravagant weddings of Delhi. A look at the extravagance of each of these halls – Elroy, Milap, Alameda and Courtis would make anyone marvel at the precision that is given to every detail and can give any interior decorator a run for his money. You will find a blend of Indian simplicity mixed with trends of international design standards. Adding to it is the sprawling lawn, the beautiful water bodies and the sparkling water of the swimming pool that further complement the magnificent look of these banquets.
There is however a high scope for customization in each of these halls, right from the entrance gate to the flooring and the ceiling. To make every wedding look unique, the event management team ensures that the theme and aesthetics of these halls is changed every 6 months – 1 year.
Each of the Banquets is built with different capacities and caters to different moods and themes. While the Elroy is built in an area of 81,900 sq ft and can accommodate around 2500 guests, Milap has an area of 83,425 sq ft and close to 2500 guests can settle in it at a given time. Alameda has a dedicated area of 51,300 sq ft with a maximum gathering of 1500 guests while Courtis has remarkably an area of 51,600 sq ft, again accommodating guests close to 1500. Since these are all outdoor banquets, special care is taken to convert these areas into fully air conditioned zone in the summers. There is a dedicated procession route for the groom’s convoy to enter the banquets, without disrupting the privacy of the other guests visiting the hotel.
There is an adequate parking facility with each of the halls having a dedicated parking area, while ensuring that the flow of traffic to the venue remains seamless and commotion free. The parking space available is for 4000 cars. There is also the facility of valet parking.
A beautifully designed Spa…
A visit to the spa was utmost necessary by the time we finished going around the huge property. Indeed, we did the right thing by visiting U Spa as it is a ‘not-to-be-missed’ feature while being at The Umrao.
An expansively built spa that it is, U Spa has got an exclusive range of therapies and treatments that are designed to cast an everlasting spell of an unforgettable experience over the guest. The thought of being pampered and treated for an hour at the trained hands of the therapists itself will give you the pleasure and could be compelling to try any massage or therapy.
There are two separate spa’s for both male and female. There are different therapies ranging from Foot Reflexology, Head massage & Aromatherapy, Neck & Back massage, Classical Swedish, Deep Tissue massage, to name a few. It also features a sauna room, steam, a Jacuzzi and a fitness centre. After briefed about the different therapies, I decided to go for a head massage and Anjali took a foot and a back massage. And let me tell you, the experience was really very enriching and a reinvigorating one too. We also took a quick warm shower, as that is supposed to relax the senses and is advisable to take after undergoing any such therapy at the spa.
Well, it was a tiring day for us! But the experience of visiting this place and getting to know the people and more about the place is something that will remain etched in mind for some time now. How I wished getting an invitation to attend any of the lavish weddings taking place here, I thought as the heavy iron gate closed after us and we drove away in our car. I indeed had lots of things to tell and share with everyone at home that night over dinner.
– Samrita Baruah / Anjali Sethi Joshi