The moment I enter the expansive lobby of DoubleTree by Hilton at Baani Square, I’m handed a warm chocolate chip cookie. As far as welcome treats go, this one tops the list—it’s crispy, it’s chewy, and it’s generously studded with nuts and melted puddles of chocolate. The cookie, as it turned out, was also the perfect reflection of the hotel’s warm hospitality, which I experienced throughout my short stay and left me wanting to come back before I’d even left.
Situated right next to the bustling Baani Square shopping complex, and a stone’s throw away from the Good Earth shopping centre, the hotel makes for a convenient location if you’re travelling to Gurugram for a quick work trip. It’s hardly an hour’s drive from the airport, and there are plenty of tech parks and offices in the vicinity. But DoubleTree by Hilton is not any other matter-of-fact business hotel—its welcoming soul will embrace you as soon as you step inside.
While it seems more suited for a work-related trip, who’s to say you can’t enjoy some me-time with a staycation?
And if you’re still on the fence about treating yourself to a hotel stay, one look at the extravagant suites and rooms at DoubleTree by Hilton will change your mind. My second-floor suite was beyond what I imagined, with a kitchenette for late-night cravings (though the staff is more than happy to assist you with that!), an expansive living room, a master bedroom complete with an en-suite bathroom, and the cherry on top—a sit-out area from where you can take in the city views. I’d not yet taken in the entirety of my suite, or the assortment of small desserts that awaited me, when one of the staff members came knocking at my room’s door, welcome drink in hand. A fresh concoction of pineapple, kiwi, and apple topped with fruit slices, it was just the thing I needed to perk me up after a tiring morning flight.
Lunch followed suit, at the tastefully done-up Glasshouse, the hotel’s in-house all-day dining spot. As I slid into my garden-facing seat, I thought of how the name of the restaurant seemed apt—the glass gives stunning views of the lush garden outside, which in my case was made even better with the rain. It was a perfect spot to sip on some coffee, enjoy a book or simply just listen to some music. The Glasshouse also has breezy, alfresco seating which would have been so apt given my mood, had it not been raining.
The dishes arrived one by one, explained passionately by the chef. First, there was a strawberry refresher topped with delicate slices of beetroot and lime and a sprinkle of chaat masala for the ultimate sweet-spicy combo. Then a wholesome asparagus soup made without cream and topped with chilli oil. Going with the healthy theme, there was a quinoa, mint, and pomegranate salad too. The dahi kebabs that came next were probably the standout of the whole meal. Considered a chef’s speciality and one of the most popular dishes on the menu, the tikki was made with hung yoghurt, and paneer, and peppered with nuts and dry fruits. The slightly sweet tikki was served with a garlic yoghurt dip and was unlike anything I’d tasted before. The mains were just as note-worthy, with a parade that had masala mutton with missi roti, grilled chicken in mushroom sauce, a unique cauliflower-fenugreek ke tuk that was a riff on the traditional gobi-methi, and Thai-spiced tofu with fried rice—if you don’t like tofu, this dish will convert you!
I didn’t think it would be possible to be blown away by the desserts, but a bite of the mirch ka halwa (a dessert made with bell peppers) surprised me in the best possible way. The jaggery and coconut ice cream along with the lemon and sago pudding completed the trio and were just as delicious.
After the elaborate lunch, it seemed only fair to return to my room for a small siesta. And I was woken up from my nap in the best way possible—by more food! The team sent a steaming cappuccino and granola bars as an evening snack, which served as just the right company as I did a bit of work.
Later in the night, I dressed up a bit for my dinner, which was initially supposed to happen at the panoramic Vibe: The Sky Bar on the terrace, but of course, the rain had other plans. I settled for my meal at the Glasshouse which didn’t make me miss the view or the outdoors. The easy vibe of the place and the great food made sure of it. North-Indian fare is clearly the hotel’s forte, as was evident in the flawless tikkas and biryani. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but given how the desserts so far had been nothing but exceptional, I couldn’t miss the milk chocolate mousse and the cheesecake with Oreo and chocolate—both were impressive and the ideal way to end the night. But if you are a serious lover of sweets, the patisserie Café O Lait in the lobby must not be missed. They have an exciting line-up of sweet treats, from classic New York-style baked cheesecake to tiramisu. And for those who like ending the day with a nightcap, head to the Pose-Fashion Bar on the lobby level, which shares the views of the alfresco greens. Unwind yourself at this stylish Bar. From contemporary cocktails, and fine wines to interesting mocktails, there’s much to choose from!
The next morning, I quickly explored the rooftop swimming pool, with the weather having cleared, and was rewarded with clear views of the city. The hotel has a gym too, for fitness enthusiasts, though I planned to spend my Sunday morning walking through the breakfast buffet as my workout rather than sweating it out on the treadmill. There was something for everyone when it came to the breakfast spread, both Indian classics and European fare. For those looking for a light, healthy breakfast, there was a separate section with a DIY salad station, an assortment of fresh fruits and juices, and flavoured yoghurts. For someone who’s as indecisive as I am, it was difficult to pick, but I settled for a mushroom omelette, a salad with lettuce, sprouts, and broccoli; crackers, cheese, and smoked chicken, and a crispy hot ragi dosa. To wash it all down, I chose a tall glass of watermelon juice.
I was reminded of DoubleTree by Hilton’s genuine hospitality again during my checkout, where I was handed a bag with more warm cookies, a signature speciality of the DoubleTree brand and a toasted vegetable sandwich. These are the things that made my stay here so memorable, and make the hotel so special—the attention to detail, and the sheer warmth you experience! It’s these little things that really take you by surprise, adding a layer of soul to an already cosy setting. For, it’s the genial and welcoming hotel staff who put your comfort first, who will make you want to come back again, even before you’ve said goodbye. Like I mentioned before, don’t mistake this hotel to be a mere business hotel. It is so much more than just that.
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Address: DoubleTree by Hilton Gurugram Baani Square
Baani Square, Sector 50, Gurugram-122002