Of all the hotels near Delhi Airport, the Pullman New Delhi Aerocity is sure to delight.
This is a monsoonal downpour of a special kind. I look up and marvel at the big, fat drops… without getting wet.
Crazy? No, I’m meandering through the brand new Pullman New Delhi Aerocity’s Lobby following a sinuous curve of giant crystal drops hanging from the ceiling, each illuminated from the inside.
This artistic creation from hospitality designer and consultant Meriem Hall is part of a theme running throughout this superb five star hotel in New Delhi.
Peacocks and monsoonal rains are intimately associated with India and found all around from carpets to soft furnishings.
Meriem Hall says: ‘I am a storyteller. By letting the spirit of the brand and cultural influences ignite ideas and guide the initial concepts, the design of a space becomes a promising journey of compelling and inspiring stories to create an authentic experience. Design can take on many forms. It can be interpreted in many ways. But for it to be memorable, it must be created with passion. It must tell a story’.
FOR THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE MORE THAN JUST A BED
And a story it is. I booked my stay here simply because I couldn’t make it in time to catch my international connection to Sydney with Air India. But instead of ‘just a bed for the night’ I found a complete Indian story with French touches, an inviting space calling to be explored. So I started by thinking of dinner…
DEGUSTATION MENU ANYONE?
Dinner at Pluck’s proves to be an unexpected feast prepared by Chef Ajay Anand, Chief Culinary Designer who is infectiously passionate about his metier.
He shows me around his ‘farm’, a few steps from the restaurant, on the central courtyard. There he has started a selection of herbs and plans to add more.
The main vegetables for his cooking are sourced from a nearby farm. The whole area around the airport used to be farmland, slowly giving way to the burgeoning new hub of Gurgaon, the new business district of New Delhi.
Chef Anand’s degustation creations are not only delicious but also imaginative with a touch of playfulness a-la-Heston Bloomenthal.
So it is that I have a ‘Salmon Tree’ (slices of in-house cured salmon hanging from a mini tree, complete with edible soil), a succulent Australian lamb with a secret jus involving cranberries and a mini-garden of micro-herbs you can ‘pluck’ from their tofu beds.
A cleansing fruit interlude with a champagne concoction poured from a teapot and some killer chocolate cheesecakes are all part of the experience.
Plucked from the high seas by Accor, Chef Anand had been collecting inspiration and ideas while designing menus onboard top cruise liners, a background that suits the Pullman to a Tee.
He has also drawn to his new abode, top chefs he has worked with before such as Chef Ashish from Kashmir and Chef Nihiz from Delhi forming a team to be reckoned with.
The Pullman’s 209 Deluxe rooms, 42 Executive rooms, 17 suites, 1 Presidential Suite and the 1 Differently-Abled room are all spacious, inviting and designed around the story theme and colours.
Pling, Pluck, Honk and Woo
The public areas are playful and inviting with names to suit:
Pling is a sleek vinoteca and bar.
Pluck is a modern eatery with ingredients just ‘plucked’ from the farm.
Honk (referring to the ever present honking noises of South East Asia) is bistro-inspired showcasing the flavours of Asia.
Woo is the ultra-sleek Spa designed to –yes, you guessed it- ‘woo’ the guests into its ultra-sleek soothing space.
TWO HOTEL FACILITIES TO ENJOY
This Accor property offers a seamless transition to the premises of its partner property, the Novotel New Delhi Aerocity sharing some public spaces such as the pool and restaurants. Both properties are ideal not only for individual travellers but also for MICE and convention gatherings as they have state of the art dedicated spaces for meetings, banquets and chill out spaces where attendees can relax in comfort zones.
The Novotel New Delhi Aerocity has 326 Standard rooms, 57 Superior rooms and 16 suites with free accommodation for two children under 16 years of age when staying with their parents or grandparents.
Who said airport hotels are by definition utilitarian? Why not stay in luxury and enjoy being close not only to your next flight but also to the New Delhi and Gurgaon sights?