New Delhi, India
November 21, 2013
Our room’s large, well lit, clean, and pleasingly done in cream and rust. There’s a double bed, dressing table, wardrobe, luggage rack, two bedside tables, a coffee table with two upholstered chairs. There’s also a TV, a small refrigerator (empty), and two plastic chairs for our private balcony. The bathroom’s compact, and profusely decorated with plastic foliage and flowers: there is, inexplicably, a swag of fake ivy across the top of the mirror.
Our three-night package costs Rs 12,375, which includes a welcome drink, morning tea or coffee, breakfast and dinner. We’re allowed discounts at the hotel’s sauna and Jacuzzi, and (according to their confirmation letter), "Children below the age of 5 years are included in the package without extra bed." They seem to have forgotten to provide the kids, though: thank heavens!
The Grand View has a swimming pool, its own restaurant (the Jetak: Indian, `Indian’ Chinese and Western—burgers, sandwiches, sizzlers and the like), and room service, which serves the same food as the restaurant. There’s also a recreation area, with badminton, table tennis, pool, swimming pool and a discotheque. There is tombola (an Indian version of Bingo) followed by a noisy new Bollywood movie, both on the lawns, in the evenings. Hardly conducive to a quiet weekend.
Settled in, we soon start noticing things. The atrium roof leaks when it rains, so through most of our stay a row of buckets snakes its way across the atrium. The restaurant is badly run: many items on the menu aren’t available, and the food’s very greasy. Back in our room, we find the TV playing up. Most channels are just snow, and the others have awful sound quality. We also discover there are no blankets or sheets to cover with on our bed, and we end up having to call for them. Even then, the blankets we get are smelly and have to be replaced.
The one thing that really riles me is that you need to run the taps for at least five minutes to get hot water: an unforgiveable waste. Ironically enough, there’s a little sign in the loo that reads: "Water in scarcity. Please use cautiously." Yes, well.
Would I stay here again? The view’s admittedly awesome; the staff’s helpful and generally quick to respond. But a leaky atrium, smelly blankets, oily food, pesky mongrels on the lawns? Loud music and even louder movies?No.