Like many regular readers would know, I chose to spend the last weekend at the almost new JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa. The resort opened in October 2014, and was on my wish list for a while. I had a couple of category 4 room nights expiring from last year’s Marriott Rewards Free Nights promotion which I earned from my Courtyard by Marriott Kochi stay, so I thought without the time to pop out of the country, this would be one of the best places to go with these room night certificates.
I flew with Jet Airways to Delhi and then onwards to Dehradun Airport, and had a car I organised on my own to drive me to the hotel which was about a couple of hours drive uphill from there. One crosses the main town of Mussoorie to go a few kilometres ahead to find this charming resort in the middle of nowhere.
Once at the resort, we were greeted with a traditional welcome, and a welcome drink of apple/cinnamon tea, and one of the hotel front desk staff brought us to our room. The lobby was very impressive and full of English style furnishings.
We walked into the open terrace lounge called The Perch to enjoy our welcome drink of tea. The hotel serves cocktails here as well, however, we never got around to sipping on a cocktail here.
Like I noted in an earlier post, we were upgraded to a Studio Suite on the Second Floor. I should perhaps have the wedding group which occupied most of the hotel to thank for this. This hotel has only two Executive Suites with a double room setup, and eight of the Studio Suites with a very large room, and a walk in wardrobe and a balcony. It was impressive to say the least, and pretty good to spend a couple of nights.
The balcony opened into the Magnolia Court, while the room assigned to me was a Valley View room. I was later informed all rooms with even numbers were considered Valley View rooms. Anyhow, I did not get a real Valley View here but it was not too much of an issue due to the fact that we were anyways not staying in the room too much. However, with the Magnolia Court seeing people every now and then, I did not get the feeling of privacy.
The bathroom-cum-wardrobe was a massive stretch, lined with a toilet on one end and a soak tub with a view on the other end. There was a rain shower as well as a hand shower present in the bath.
There were his and her basins, and tonnes of towels stocked at both ends.
The amenities were from Aromatherapy Associates, a brand I haven’t run into before. But they had excellent body wash and I am a fan!
The minibar was stocked with soft drinks only.
We were very tired, so we caught a long nap before we decided to head out in the evening for drinks. The hotel had 5-6 restaurants to choose from, and we went to the trout house Grill & Bar for some cocktails. We were hoping to be seated in the open terrace, but they’d wrapped it up for the evening and we were perhaps very late.
The next morning, we headed for breakfast to the JW Cafe, which was their all day dining restaurant. The breakfast spread was not an expansive mile long buffet, but it had its own specialities. For instance, there were tonnes of different kinds of cereal, including mango and strawberry cornflakes, a first for me!
We chose to sit on a table in the open, with a lovely view of the hills. The restaurant staff, including the chefs, gave us an introduction of the local food items on offer, and we chose to sample some of the specialities.
The hotel was of course, cool enough, to have ice cream served during breakfast as well.
There was the usual selection of South Indian foods (Dosas/Uttapams/Idlis), North Indian breakfast (Paranthas, Upma, Poha), English breakfast such as egg stations, pancakes, waffles, bacon and so on. One more unique thing about this place, they had Maggi Instant Noodles for breakfast. WOW!
After that, we were trying to decide between heading to the indoor pool versus making a spa appointment with the L’Occitane Spa on the property, and right across from our room.
However, we realised there were local artists who were brought on property every day, and they did a one hour song performance in the gardens. The resort would lay out a spread of tea and snacks and the guests can soak in the sun around here.
After this, we went out for a bit, with the shuttle provided by the hotel to bring you to the city centre, the Mall Road. After all, what is a trip to Mussoorie if you don’t head up to the Mall Road. After a few hours spent here, we took the evening shuttle back to the hotel.
The original plan was to try out either their Pan Asian restaurant or their Grill again, however, we went for room service with a movie in the room eventually. The first round of service was quick, however, when we wanted to order some more food, it came with a lot of delay. For the first time, I could blame something on the wedding group which had taken over most of the hotel occupancy.
On the third day, it was time to go back. We spent another couple of hours at the buffet, and then packed up to drive back to Dehradun airport for our flight back to Mumbai. One if the places we missed planning some time at was the Den, but we managed to click some pictures.
The Den was the entertainment centre, complete with a two lane bowling alley, video games and rides for kids. I’d have love to be over for some bowling here, but maybe next time!
The hotel had two great things about them, both people related. First, they managed to build a great team with a majority of staff being local. Very pleasant people to deal with, and very helpful. Second, their focus on the local economy. Local cooks were hired on a part time basis to bring local flavors to the cuisine.
This is a hotel I’d love coming back to, more than once. And I hope they keep their standards as high as they have right now.