The Westin Pune Koregaon Park offers a host of hi-tech services that keep the business travellers constantly plugged in, and many gastronomic and sense pleasures to help them instantly swipe out, we find
By: Kiran Mehta
Posted on: August 21, 2012
If like me, you haven’t visited Pune in a while, this city will surprise you with its many contrasting shades. On first glance, I painted Pune as a university town with noisy bars and clubs. But as day dawned, I found that these hedonistic pubs stand alongside somber IT hubs. Add to this the esoteric and spiritual side with the Osho Meditation Resort and the Iyengar Yoga centre and it’s easy to see that Pune lures travellers with its eclectic palette.
Much like the city that houses it, I found that the Westin too has many diverse moods and much to offer. This understated five-star is a favourite with the hi-flying business traveller, yet almost contrarily, the hotel is built on the principle of getting the overworked to unwind. From clutter-free interiors that calm the senses, to restaurants that serve up healthy super foods, to a bit of indulgence at the spa, the focus at The Westin Pune is on one’s well-being. Patrons often check-in with the intention of signing lucrative business deals in the city, but they check-out having invested in themselves. Still not convinced? Here’s an in-depth look at how The Westin Pune fares on many different scales.
An enviable pin-code
The Westin Pune, lies smack in the heart of the city, within the upmarket Koregaon Park. The towering glass structure overlooks the serene Mula Mutha River and fields of green that come alive in the monsoons. The business-lifestyle hotel is just five kilometres from the airport and within easy driving distance of the cyber-city Magarpatta. It is also within 25 kilometres of the industrial park areas, and just a short walk away from the uber-chic shopping centre, Koregaon Park Plaza.
It’s got designs on you
As I step into the hotel, the first thing that strikes me is the open, airy and welcoming feel of the hotel, thanks to the transparent glass facade. The decor is elegantly minimalistic, yet has a distinctive character, owing to some quirky art-work interspersed randomly within the lobby and other public areas. The lobby, bathed in solid brown with dashes of refreshing, playful yellow, comes alive with ample natural lighting. Overall, the first impression that the hotel has is to make me feel instantly calm, yet rejuvenated, after a three-hour road trip.
This large property comes with 277 guest rooms and suites. And as I enter my room, I can see the consistent flow in the design with the decor of the rooms too being subtle yet chic. The colour scheme of the guest rooms consists of muted, solid tones. And the rooms come with large windows which lend them an open feel. In fact, just a sheath of glass separates the bath-tub from the room, with blinds that can be pulled down by the bashful! Tranquil and comfortable, I sank into the multi-layered, ergonomically designed ‘Heavenly’ bed, which lulled me into a deep, restful sleep.
Stay fit in body, mind and spirit
The Westin Workout fitness centre is open 24/7, so busy executives have no excuses to skip that work-out. The gymnasium comes with many machines to fight the fat such as treadmills, cross trainers, stationary bikes, free weights and weight stations. But if you want to lose the flab, without working up a sweat, jump into the enticing outdoor pool, and dry off by the sundeck.
While I decide to give the Fitness Centre a miss, the many blissful, therapeutic treatments on offer at the Heavenly Spa lure me in. From de-stressing foot massages, to romantic couples’ massages, to Jetlag Reliever massage, one is spoiled for choice. I opt for the Heavenly Massage, a one-hour aromatherapy treatment, which promises to melt the stress away while giving the skin a boost.
My treatment starts with a cup of piping-hot herbal tea to calm the nerves. The treatment room is large, yet elegantly Spartan, and is warmed by subtle lighting and soft music. I catch a whiff of the exotic green-tea grapefruit oil which I am told comes packed with anti-oxidant properties. The delicate perfume from the oil combines with the melodious tunes and escapism seems the only way out! As expected, just a few minutes after the trained masseuse begins her magic, I fall asleep on the cushioned massage table. At the end of the hour, I am woken up and eased back into reality with 15-minutes in the steam-room. Truly indulgent, the treatment lives up to its promise of leaving me with a real sense of well-being.
For the belly-conscious
The hotel comes with six different restaurants and bars. For breakfast I head over to Seasonal Tastes. An all-day dining area that has a youthful, vibrant vibe thanks to its interactive food-stations, it offers both a la carte and buffets. The breakfast buffet has so much of Indian and exotic international fare on offer that I hardly knew where to begin. And for the health conscious, there are the super-foods, which essentially consist of dishes wherein whole-foods have been paired together in combinations that boost their benefits and flavours. These foods are rich in anti-oxidants and low in calories. A power-packed meal that helps you gear up for a long day ahead.
For lunch I head to Prego, a modern Italian restaurant, with quirky interiors and a lively ambience. Here one can choose from a host of tasty pizzas, cheesy pastas and other authentic Italian treats. Having had Italian for lunch I decide to go desi for dinner and pop into Kangan for some deliciously spicy flavours of the north-east and Hyderabad. And to put out that fire in my belly, there’s Daily Treats, where I pick between delicious home-made breads, cakes and pastries, which can be washed down with Lavassa coffees or Jing teas.
Not yet ready to call it a night, I stop by Mix @ 36, the hotel’s classy lounge overlooking the river. The menu here is expansive and covers a variety of international wines, vodkas and whiskies. But if you’re really looking to party, head to the Kue Bar. Recently this uber-mod bar completed one year and the festivities consisted of a fashion show and grooving to the techno beats of DJ Akthar. Be sure to try out some of the crazy concoctions on offer here and nurse any hangover you may suffer from by simply plummeting into the Heavenly bed!
Keep the money coming in
If like me, you worry about getting disconnected the minute you leave your city, then the Westin truly has that under control. The hotel offers both hi-speed wireless and hard-wired internet connections, and two fully-equipped business centres where every communication need can be met, right from fax services to courier services, photocopying, printing and more.
Since the Westin is primarily a business-lifestyle hotel, it also has several meeting rooms. If you are looking for something larger, they also have one big ballroom, called ‘Inspiration’. Then there are also four smaller break-away banquet areas which can hold up to 40 people.
Going the extra mile
At The Westin Pune, the management and staff give you more than you expect. Little extras include their Kids Club where your child is in safe hands at all times, and thoroughly entertained. And unlike most hotels in India, The Westin Pune has a specially-abled room, with their several public areas being wheel-chair friendly.
Like a lavish meal, The Westin Pune has managed to enchant at all levels, starting from the appetizers to the desserts. The variety they offer coupled with excellent service makes it a complete destination. A gem in the vast Starwood Hotels & Resorts portfolio for sure…