Staycationing at Aloft Cessna Business Park

Tuesday, July 09, 2019ruthdsouzap

Yes, am a sucker for staycations. I often travel on work and these tend to come pretty much back to back. I have stayed in some great hotels, but often thanks to crazy schedules I never see more than the breakfast buffet, the bed and the shower. I never really have time to soak it all in. And so, in my own city, when the opportunity for a staycation comes up (we have now made it the family birthday celebration ritual as well), I never say no. This time round, it was my birthday and the stars aligned for the Aloft Cessna Business Park staycation invite that was pending for quite a while. After a lovely party with my closest friends on a Friday (how lucky am I to have my birthday land on a weekend), we headed to Aloft on a Saturday afternoon. 

That is the larger than life signage as soon as you get past the gates

The Lobby is a colourful space, inviting you to come in, settle down and unwind. It has Re:Fuel - a coffee shop, a pool table, a reading and WiFi corner, with the day's papers and ample seating on pouffes, rocking chairs, lounge sofas and more should you simply want to catch up with a friend or a guest at the hotel.

A bird's eye view of the lobby

The Cessna you see up here is the reason behind the techpark that this hotel is lodged in, being named Cessna Business Park. We were told this was once a working Cessna.

We were welcomed into the suite on the 9th floor, with these macarons and chocolates

Housekeeping had kept for us this lovely towel art and a handwritten note of welcome - so nice to see handwritten notes these days!

Take a look at our suite with this video

Now let's take a look at the facilities shall we
Re:Fuel at the Lobby offers a curated tea collection, packaged drinks and juices and a range of snacks that you can help yourself to, bill right there and sit down and enjoy. I loved that the space was so brightly lit thanks to natural lighting coming in. In the evenings too, it is such a pleasant space to spend some time.

Besides the pool table in the lobby, there are foosball tables and an air hockey table on the first floor. It also has a reading nook with some magazines (picked up a Femina after ages and Oh My God the typos! What happened there I wonder). If you are into some serious exercising, then the gym is definitely the place for you to head to on the second floor.

The 2nd floor is also the space where the pool is located. And a nice one it is. Missy got into the pool but the overcast weather kept the water a tad too cold and she was out in a jiffy. The changing rooms are clean.

The Food
The hotel has Nook, the all-day dining restaurant and W XYZ, their bar that adjoins the main dining space. Nook is also the venue of the buffet breakfast in the mornings. At the time of our visit, a Kebabs and Biryani festival was on and from the sumptuous meal we had, the effort and of course the research that Chef and his team put in was just fabulous. Take a look at these pictures and tell me you are not drooling. Above is the Sabzi aur Narel ki Sheekh

Going top to down, from top left - Machhi sarsonwali tikka, Tangdi kebab, Boti kebab, Zafrani tandoori jhinga, Burwa anjeer paneer tikka, Kakori sheekh and the Malai brocolli

Going left to right for the biryanis - The Kolkata Biryani, Thalassery Veg Biryani, Hyderabadi Veg Biryani, Chicken Donne Biryani, Mutton Biryani, Prawn Biryani. The Mirchi and the Baingan salans were really really good, as were all the biryanis - though the veg Thalassery and Hyderabad were definitely a first for me.

A view of W XYZ, the bar. We were lucky that an India match was on at the time and we watched while we enjoyed what came from the bar. 

Raju, the bartender here has come up with his new Pouva cocktails and here is a collection of them. From the front to the back - The Lemon and white rum, the Imli and chaat masala with black salt and Old Monk, the Coconut water with vodka, The Roohafza Cosmo, the Aampanna with Rum and the The Kashmiri Kahwa with Old Monk

Since we had really packed it in at lunch, we went easy on dinner. The Pani Puri was really good, and it was good to see Bangalore style bajjis on the table. The Pesto pasta packed in a lot of flavour and was heavy, so it became a meal for two.

A fitful sleep later, we decided to order in breakfast, since we had the suite to ourselves and wanted to feel pampered with room service. We ordered in a mix of Indian and continental. The pancakes were great, the croissants flaky and with the right amount of sweet. The chutneys that came with the uttappam were brilliant, though the uttappam suffered a bit from fermentation not being complete. The puri bhaji was nice. And me being a sucker for bhaji with a generous squeeze of lime, appreciated the large bowlful of it.

Post that brekkie we headed out and about the hotel. Took in the lovely breeze in the compound. Played a few vigorous rounds of air hockey and foosball. Once again, in vain, I tried my hand at pool. Clearly there are some things I am not going to master in this life time. Let's just leave it at that.

And then yes, we did some more eating... we were on a staycation... what more is there to do? Brunch was a nice spread - I particularly liked the salads - the barley salad and the artichoke and chicken. Happy to see that I could put together my own salad and the number of olive oils available just made me grin with joy.

One of the first things I check at every Sunday brunch is whether there are any breakfast dishes on the menu - after all, it is a brunch. But 9 out of 10 places seem to forget that. Nook did not. There were eggs to order and waffles and pancakes that we could partake off.

I stuck primarily to the Indian section... it was my hankering for the day. There was Asian in the form of Thai curries and Italian by way of pastas.

The desserts were ample... I particularly liked the bread and butter pudding (didn't see a name but it did taste distinctly like it. The Fruit phirni and Fruit tarts were great too. Lots for everyone to choose from.

Now that we are back home, what I truly loved about the experience was the personalization of it all. The handwritten welcome note with a gift of headphones. The towel art with a handwritten and designed card. And the sweetest gesture of 2 of the housekeeping staff coming to us, just before we checked, giving us a photo of the team and taking a selfie. They asked us if we were comfortable and if there was any way they could do more. Such hospitality, straight from the heart is touching. Also the fact that the itinerary gave us ample time to actual enjoy the staycation, take in the hotel, with an hourly schedule of things to do and experience being set up for us. If we needed something, we just had to ask.

And that folks was our staycation at Aloft Cessna Business Park

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