Another month, another trip. The #Take12Trips Challenge is going well so far, I would say. 🙂
To meet the challenge for the month of February, I headed to Mussoorie, the nearest hill station to Delhi; and what we Indians like to call the Queen of the Hills.
Just 290 km north from New Delhi, Mussoorie in the state of Uttarakhand is quite a popular weekend getaway due to its proximity to the city. Direct flights from Delhi land at Jolly Grant Airport in the state capital of Dehradun, and a further 2-hour journey by taxi will take you up to the picturesque hill station. Daily trains make their way from New Delhi to the Dehradun Railway station as well, but you can also make a road trip out of it which can take anywhere from 7 hours to upwards of 10 hours depending on traffic conditions on our wonderful (or not) highways.
As I visited Mussoorie for a “destination” wedding in my family, I unfortunately did not get much of a chance to explore the area, but that can easily be the agenda for my next trip. 🙂 This post is all about the hotel we stayed at, also the venue for the wedding functions. Our schedule was quite packed what with all the events and celebrations planned out for the wedding party, but we managed to explore and make the most out of the property anyway.
So here’s all you need to know about the Jaypee Residency Manor in Mussoorie; The Good AND the BAD.
The Good: The Jaypee Manor is located in the township of Barlowganj, which is actually 5 km from Mussoorie, and at a height of approximately 7000 feet. It is just a short 40 minute drive up from Dehradun, but it offers some really spectacular views. As it is located on a hilltop, and in the midst of lush greenery, you’ll get to enjoy some truly breathtaking vistas of the surrounding hills and valley.
The Bad: Blame it on the weather, but we did not get to enjoy much else. February is a cold month in Northern India, and even more so up in the hills. In fact, a bit of rain and even snow is expected. I suppose it just wasn’t expected to wash out the entire weekend. We spent almost all our time indoors, without getting a chance to enjoy the 9-acres of green space that the property is said to be built on, with no choice but to enjoy just the view, and that too from behind closed doors and windows.
The Good: The rooms at the Jaypee Residency Manor (at least the ones that all of us wedding invitees stayed in) were spacious, bright and airy. The large, comfortable bed, with its fluffy pillows and cozy bedding was inviting; the wall-to-wall windows letting in ample light to brighten up the otherwise gloomy days. The rooms also seemed to be equipped with every amenity you might need for a comfortable stay. Ample closet space, a safe to store your valuables, a mini-bar (though this was empty), an Electric Kettle with a constantly replenished supply of coffee and regular / green / lemon tea, a flat-screen TV and a desk in the corner. The bathrooms were large in their own right, full of the usual suspects of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, hair dryer, and ample towels.
The Bad: The heating, or lack thereof. The rooms were freezing and the heating ineffectual. We only managed to get our room somewhere close to bearable after requesting housekeeping for not one, but two portable room heaters that were constantly left on. Same story with the water in the showers. The preheated water was lukewarm at best, with no option to regulate the water temperature yourself. And such was the story in every room and every bathroom, not just mine. Also, the wifi was chargeable on a 24-hour basis, not that it was well connected to begin with.
The Good: An Indoor Heated Swimming Pool. Enough Said.
The Bad: On our first day at Jaypee, one of my relatives, as delighted at the idea of enjoying a refreshing swim in the dull weather, proceed to jump right in. As you might have guessed, the water was NOT adequately heated. I chickened out from attempting it myself, but I did see some families, kids et al frolicking about in the pool the next day, so I suppose they cranked up the heating.
The Good: The Spa and Wellness Centre at the Jaypee certainly promises guests a relaxing way to spend a few hours. A small room decorated in earthy hues, the scent of incense wafting in, music playing softly in the background, it definitely checks all the boxes one might need for a luxurious spa experience. There’s a Steam+Sauna Room, and a Jacuzzi available as well, albeit at additional cost.
The Bad: I never got the chance to try it for myself, I just didn’t find the time. But two of my relatives, the sisters of the groom in fact, who were staying on for an additional day after the wedding, thought it would be a great way for them to unwind after the three-day madness. They reached the Health Club, only to be sent back; the Spa had run out of massage oils!!!
The Good: There is to be honest, a lot to do within the confines of the hotel. There’s a two-lane Bowling Alley, with a little chalkboard menu as well sweetly displaying the name of the highest scorer of the day. You could also choose from a Pool Table, Pinball or Air Hockey Tables, as well as Table Tennis, for a bit of healthy competition.
The Bad: The weather played spoil-sport once again, options such as Croquet, the Putting Range and the Jogging Track were left unexplored.
The Other Stuff
The Good: Polite and courteous staff, with some that particularly made an impression. The servers at the breakfast area were attentive and very helpful; willing to accommodate the demands from a group of fussy wedding guests, they brought us everything from chocolate doughnuts (not on the menu), to constantly re-heated croissants, to multiple cups of green tea maintained at a certain temperature. They even produced a strainer when one guest asked for it.There was also one elderly gentleman at the Health Club, a good-natured old fellow who had worked at the Hotel for many, many years. He happily showed us around, proudly showing us the Pool, the Spa, the Jacuzzi along with the Steam and Sauna rooms.
The Bad: Even though the staff were pleasant and seemingly eager to help, when push came to shove, they turned out to be ineffective. When we had difficulty connecting to their (chargeable) wifi, the concierge sent over a Tech guy who despite spending over one hour in our room staring at the laptop and delaying us for a wedding event in the process, proclaimed that the fault was with some (apparent) virus on our system. Never mind that neither he nor the mister were able to find any trace of said virus and the same laptop has successfully connected to numerous networks in the past. Needless to say, he left without resolving anything. I also had a bit of an issue with the Staff at the Salon. It was a wedding after all, so I’d booked an appointment for hairstyling on the day of the wedding. I reached the Salon at the time of my appointment, only to be informed that the sole hairstylist on the premises had left for some personal work. After confirming my appointment. Brilliant. And the others (the Spa attendant and Gym trainer) simply stood around silently yet sheepishly while I ranted at the inconvenience. My hair were left unstyled.
So there you go, a quick low-down on the Jaypee Residency Manor in Mussoorie. Have you been to Mussoorie, or better yet, have you stayed at / visited the Jaypee property? Did you face similar challenges as well? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
So, where are you traveling to today?