Cities are spectacular; cities are great! When it comes to having a 9-5 job, driving to work, going to the gym, tossing in a few good dinners here and there, seeing the same faces again and again. Sounds mortifying, doesn’t it? It does to me, which is why I was way more than my usual amount of excited at the prospect of getting away. Not too far away though, just far enough to get back in time for all those fabulous city-life frills. This doesn’t leave you with too many options but The Westin Sohna Resort & Spa could easily be called one of the best. Sort of like an Ananda in the Himalayas, only closer to home, the retreat is about an hour or two away from the capital in Sohna-Gurgaon.
We knew the resort would be a bit of a drive but warning to the novice (us too, as it turned out), traffic can get nasty in these parts, especially and exasperatingly those, which are right, like RIGHT before the resort. But there’s a reason why the destination is tagged wellness haven. Managed by the Vatika Group, The Westin Sohna Resort & Spa is a 37-acres vast, magnificently lush abode. With a snaking entrance that leads you to giant, guarded doors, saying “yes” to “reservation?” can guarantee you plenty of greenery to make up for all the city’s pollution, surreal water bodies, “Service Express” or express service and golf cart tours.
I knew better than to expect your average hotel room but after a swift check-in, in a two-side open “lobby” we were carted away, quite literally to a mini-mansion of sorts. With its exposed brick exterior, our 590 sq. ft. Premier Villa beamed at us from between all those trees and shrubbery. You know, it’s almost criminal how huge and green the place is because we still had to get back to our tiny apartment in the city. But this was no time to fret of course; it was time to pop open the lid of a French press and brew some seriously strong welcome (after the loooong drive) coffee. Yep, rooms there have French press pots too and ours came next to an electric kettle that was about to get pretty lonely.
As was the narrow (and rightly so) work desk as well as the living room sofa and flat screen. After all, we had amidst us, the triumvirate of resort luxury, read: patio with hammock, four-poster bed and skylight lit bathtub. Now about that bed, rather the Westin Heavenly Bed! Perfectly poised next to a large window that overlooks the gardens, its layers and layers of cushioned comfort make it one of the brightest shining stars of The Westin. I undid the strings on its linen curtains for good comfy measure. Comfort, that extends to 97 rooms and villas. All are strategically placed for ultimate privacy, yet neither require extensive exploration each time you want to hit the pool or get to the spa or grab a meal.
All one must do is dial-a-cart. Like we did. Countless times and it was highly rewarding! The property’s delightful little electric carts gave us a tour of the place when we reached and also returned to pick us up for dinner when the time came. Our plan was to sample Chinese cuisine at Xiao Chi. But before we did that, we didn’t shy from plonking open the in-room dining menu and ordering one of their Indian specialties because the wide array of choices made it just. So. Tempting! And for food that travels, however little, before getting to your room, our Chicken Tikka (chicken chunks, marinated in Indian spices and yoghurt, then grilled) was exceptionally good.
On that note, the Asian delights almost came close. Almost. But I noticed something else during my meal. The Living Room is where the buzz’s at! Teeming with post-pool time loungers, doting couples to complete families, the all day dining establishment, right across seemed quite the smorgasbord of dinnertime weekend revelry. See, that’s the good thing about Westin Sohna. You can practically pick which ever spot and whatever view you fancy. You can have drinks by the pool at Splash if you like, although there is also Mix-Lounge and Bar inside, and even opt for custom made intimate dining. Underneath the stars, surrounded by fine wines and cuisine and a personal butler, of course, you can indulge in your own idea of a divine evening.
And speaking of divine, their spa is absolutely heavenly. No seriously. Called the Heavenly Spa by Westin, the 18,000 sq. ft. escape is enchanting to say the least. And I really mean, the least, because it’s the spa’s meditation pyramid, yoga sanctuary and spa cuisine that elevate the property from ‘resort’ to retreat. Right across from the spa is the 24×7 Westin Workout Fitness Studio with views of the lap pool besides state-of-the-art equipment and even tailor-made workout sessions for you. I did say lap pool but there are also two other out door pools with the adjoining Splash as their next-door cocktail concocting neighbor. Also, there is a kids’ club, cricket pitch, lawn tennis area and, AND horse riding! With two gorgeous horses to take you around, (a pony for kids) who needs cycles! Yes, there are those too.
With my graduation from city hotel reviewer to one of resorts, I should probably do away this section already. Except, I don’t have to. For while many would relate to The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa as, well, resort and spa, they have everything for those looking to work too. But more importantly, they also have a lot more for those looking to get hitched. In fact, what better place to get married than one miles away from the city, with all the trappings of a spa retreat and boasting a magnanimous Westin Vatika Ballroom. There is even a Wedding Specialist on board to ensure the resort’s state-of-the-art flexible indoor and outdoor spaces that can accommodate up to six hundred guests, are devoted to you. Not to mention distinctive décor, which adds to the natural surroundings making it a truly stunning venue.
Did you know?
And before I say what, I must confess, this is my most favorite part about Westin Sohna, Gurgaon. So here goes! When they say five-star luxury, they mean five-star luxury that has all the makings of a modern-day retreat. But I guess I already said that before. What I didn’t say was, they have organic farms of their own. Clearly, all that space isn’t just for guests’ privacy but their wellness too. With 6 pillars of Wellness, which include sleeping well (Heavenly bed, hello?), playing well, even moving well but especially eating well with a special SuperFoods menu, they provide an organic food boosted cuisine to enhance your well-being so that you go back renewed. Having their own fresh produce as well as fish farming in the offing, The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa with all its weekend programs and environmental practices is clearly set to become the ultimate go-to name in rejuv.
A room with a (garden) view
Read, pause, snooze on the patio hammock
Relax in the deep soaking bathtub with natural skylight
End the day with a tasting of The Westin’s Wines of the World
Westin Sohna Resort and Spa,
Vatika Complex, P.O. Box Dhaula,
Karanki Road, Sohna-Gurgaon,
Haryana 122103, India