Outlook Traveller Reviews Crowne Plaza Greater Noida

Outlook Traveller Reviews Crowne Plaza Greater Noida

A comfortable overnight stay in Greater Noida

Crowne Plaza Greater Noida is a good option for the travellers to the Golden Triangle—Delhi-Agra-Jaipur—and also for the NCR dwellers—if it’s comfort that you are looking for!

 I sat staring at the sky beyond the concrete-stripe canopy, infant on lap, sun-dappled water lapping up to our jelly bellies and a crisp breeze raising goosebumps down our arms. “Bubble, bubble away the toil and trouble,” I crooned, while the curious child dabbled in the ripples, dabbed at his reflection and babbled his disappointment with the lack of ugly ducklings in the ‘pond’. But it was a very pretty pool, if you asked his mother. The more so for being heated and lined with these stone loungers with massage jets all along one edge (the far ‘shore’ was a wooden deck furnished with more conventional loungers for sun worshippers).

Next door, less sybaritic souls were sweating over the exercycles. And further down the corridor, more pampered bodies still were relaxing in the spa suite or spa pool.

A floor or a few below, the five-ring feast of the lunch buffet at the main Mosaic restaurant was folding up and filing away, as late luncheoners ambled over to the café for afternoon tea, while staff in the show kitchens of the Chao Bella restaurant were polishing their woks and simmering their stocks for another evening’s fine dining at lacquer-red tables. Simmering and pleasantly bubbly.

Just over a year old, that was what the dominant mood was at this quiet but expansive property this winter. No blazing a trail across the sky and then burning out after a few sparks. The Crowne Plaza Greater Noida has been building its reputation quietly and steadily, block by block. After all, when you tick just the right boxes on the plan, you don’t need to work too hard to sell the idea.

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Location, quite in the middle of nowhere except factory and cargo yards, is one of those checked marks. For the traveller to the Golden Triangle, this hotel may be far from the airport, but a great way to calm down and recover from jetlag before the short two-hour drive to Agra. For young families from the NCR itself, again it makes a great overnighter with lavish buffets with fresh, live-grilled starters, and comfortable rooms with rather a lot of storage space and shelving. For local office-goers, the lunch deal is worth the short drive through a couple of sectors. For convention organisers, Expo participants and wedding parties, the location means members of the party are manageably contained—no short trips to a market to lose yourself in—but also amply entertained.

About the event facilities, then. First of all, there are 11 event spaces, covering 47,000 sq feet. If you’re boring your party with unimaginative planning, you have only yourself to blame, really. Because between the separate convention block and the scattered breakout rooms in the main building, there really is no excuse to stay square. Ballrooms and banquets are flanked by retreating rooms on either side, whether you use it for backstage event management or to touch up the bride’s glittery and glow.

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Entertainment options do not include a bar yet, but a gorgeously done up Belgian beer café, straight out of a movie set with wooden floorboards, old-fashioned bar stools and memorabilia-stuffed walls, is just awaiting logistical issues to do with import regulations and alcohol licences. A more contemporary Connexions lounge bar is also in the offing.

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A particularly smart move is the Chao Bella menu and concept, and introducing it even ahead of the speciality Indian joint SpiceArt—because our favourite dining out choices in this country are, of course, accessible Chinese and Italian. Chao Bella’s twin kitchens concentrate on pasta and noodles, those twin starchy pillars of easy dining, also easy to fancify for fine dining with a side order of adventurous, thanks to the duck oven, bewildering array of dumplings (the vegetarian ones were absolute treasures)—particularly convincing when the venue is dinner-only with smart décor and lighting to support its game play, plus a pretty cosy bar with a menu of some plenitude.

As for the all-day dining at Mosaic, it is—as the name highlights—a smorgasbord of Asian (Thai, Vietnamese, a surprisingly solid selection of modern Japanese as well as a breakfast option from the Land of the Rising Sun, and Chinese, of course), European (Moroccan, Italian, French), Mexican and American, and simple contemporary grills and roasts, substantial salads (chicken, bean and fennel with orange dressing, or salmon with three peppers, or just a mezze platter), sandwiches and wraps, bistro-ish sliders and streetsmart kathis… If I had to nitpick, I could complain that the Indian hews firmly north (certainly with superior execution), except breakfast, and the desserts, while plentiful and varied with hot and cold and DIY options, could improve.

But it proves hard to be plaintive when the meals are so lavish, the staff warm and solicitous enough to want to refresh your barely cooled starters, and the rooms you retreat to for a siesta so thoughtfully planned for effective storage and places to park your paraphernalia (stinginess in which is a common failing in hotel rooms) and your person. Particular mention needs to be made of the one-bedroom apartment suite, with its small but fully equipped kitchen (full-size fridge, cooktop, microwave, dishwasher, sink and breakfast bar) and laundry closet with washer and dryer, which should suit longer sojourns and family parties to a T. On the other hand, the superior room packages should please brisk business travellers with the option of using one of the meeting rooms for a couple of hours in addition to the accommodation. Sightseeing tourists will get a little taste of the Triangle’s opulence in the Mughal-style carved granite panels in the otherwise contemporary four-fixture bathrooms.

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It can be hard to leave such a cushy room. So the extensive in-room menu is a good thing. It is also, incidentally, served at the poolside should you manage to get out into the winter sun. And the pool itself is the only heated one in these parts, which makes—again—for proof of excellent planning to capitalise on the high tourist season. And if other properties on the other corners of the triangle prove anticlimactic by contrast, then all the better to bring them flocking back to this warmth before they fly away home.

The information

Where: Crowne Plaza Greater Noida, Surajpur Chowk, Institutional Green, Greater Noida; 55km from airport
Accommodation: 270 deluxe rooms, 63 club rooms, 7 deluxe suites, 8 executive suites, 7 studio apartments, 41 one-bedroom apartments, 1 double-bedroom apartment and 1 presidential suite
Tariff: Rs 9,000 (deluxe rooms), Rs 11,500 (club rooms), Rs 16,000 (deluxe suites), Rs 18,000 (executive suites), Rs 14,000 (studio apartment), Rs 16,000 (one-bedroom apartment), Rs 30,000 (double-bedroom apartment), Rs 1,00,000 (presidential suite)
Contact: +91-120-6735000, www.ihg.com

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