Sometimes you feel like running away from the scorching heat, traffic of Delhi. That is what happened with me and my husband last weekend and we planned to rush out. But now the question was where to go? The limited options for weekend getaway from Delhi are Mussorie, Nainital, Jaipur, Shimla etc. Somehow we decided over Nainital.
We started from Delhi at 2:00 p.m. and reached around 9:00 p.m. Thanks to NHAI (National highway authority of India) for making it a pleasant journey. We checked into our hotel “The Grand Hotel” on the mall road. It’s a colonial style hotel with magnificent panoramic views of the Naini lake.
The Grand Hotel was first built hotel by Britishers in 1872. They have maintained their architecture in traditional style – long open verandahs, stone walls, wooden floors, high ceilings, preserved firewalls and veteran style furniture. We could even found the ball room dance lounge and grand banquets in the dining hall.
In the room there was everything; from water to glasses to neat and clean bedding, attached washrooms with traditional cloth drying racks, old wooden cupboard, tall mirrors, ethnic style lighting and carpeting throughout the room to make it comfortable during winters.
In the hotel, for meals we had to place an order and they are served only in the dining area, to give the perfect feel of grand banquets, whereas snacks are served to rooms, throughout the day.
Nearby, there are good eating joints which are open till 12 midnight.
March end and April starting is the perfect timings to explore this place. There was a blend of cool breeze with sun warmth during the day and evenings are chirpy, cool. At one point of time I felt the need of shawl or jacket, but without it was more joyful.
Sitting in the verandah of hotel, we could get the panoramic view of Naini Lake with tall trees around it and people chirping on the streets of mall road.At night around 11, strolling mall road hand in hand was an amazing experience. You can see wonderful reflections of light and moon in the water.
Staff was courteous, mannered and well dressed. The welcoming smiles on their face made you actually speak to them.
In short, I will say it is a perfect blend of traditional and modern culture and a must visit once.