The only thing you see in Trident Gurugram is space. And more space. In the heart of Delhi NCR, so much space for a hotel is unthinkable. Is it space or is it the architecture or is it both? Surprise, surprise – the place takes you at least as far as Rajasthan (if not Morocco) but it has been designed by an internationally acclaimed Thai architect Lek Bunag. Given a canvas of seven acres, Bunag drew arches, roofs, domes, gardens, water bodies and accentuated all of them with elements of light and air. Yes, there is light all over, and where there is no light there is a fire amidst a water body. Bunag recreated the magic of Indian courtyard and laid back gardens and it all works wonderfully.
There is an unhurried calmness of this place which transports you to another world. Everything is larger than your imagination and every nook is so quiet. Even a bowl looks as if a few more inches of depth and dia were added to add to the grandiose of the place. Corridors are long but narrow, most are good for a 100 maybe even 200-metre dash. Though it may not be a good idea to try, as a room service trolley can tumble all over you with food or its leftovers.
The pool is nice and big, yes big from most hotel standards, though not covered. So all-weather is indeed a challenge. It has a nice four-side walkway with a spa on one side and a tiny but cozy poolside bar on the other. Walk to the pool itself is clever. There are steps leading you to it, giving a feeling of walking down a traditional Indian stepwell, and discovering an oasis where the steps turn flat. Surreal, magical and soothing.
Gardens have nice benches, under shades. Green running lawns and wooden minimalist benches under the not-so-tall trees actually beckon you to sit cozily with your loved one for hours together. I am not complaining but would have loved more variety of plants and trees, as the current choice looks too curated.
Rooms and suites are spacious and each room has a real view (and not a wall for a view). 10×10 French windows almost make you feel you are living in a verandah and not in a room. The couch is good but not big enough for you to stretch. Study table though is very comfortable but the coffee table could have been better designed. A live plant in every room is a good idea, but two almost 6×3 photo frames do look insane and out of sync with the character of the room. The bed itself is comfortable and so are bedside reading lamps; two choices for reading light is indeed a rarity, definitely from an era before kindle and smartphones.
TV Channels are limited but, unless you want to watch a channel which only features Rajinikanth, you should be good. Bluetooth connectivity for your own speakers is most likely not there and place to keep your device and connect to HDMI port of TV is a difficult option.
Business Centre is tiny but functional, it looks more like a tick mark on a feature list than a full fledged business centre geared up to allow you a day of work.
Eating options are the real grey area. They are few and not so fabulous. Cilantro – their all day dining restaurant, looks cramped now. The dinner buffet spread was very predictable and if I may say unimaginative. Breakfast buffet spread was fresh and caring. It was healthy and had a variety for every strata of society who are likely to be their guests. Their next door Indian restaurant Saffron has an identity problem; they desire to be all things North Indian, but that doesn’t work. It is tough to do justice to a menu which is so wide. I hate sugar in Indian vegetables and despite a red flag, they did add dollops of sugar in Paneer Butter Masala. However, their Yellow Dal was good, very good. Tadka was perfect and it had the right amount of Desi Ghee for that guilt free flavor.
I will rate it 3/5 for the space, deal and ambience it offers. At a price point of Rs 12,000/- 15,000/- including all taxes with three meals for two people, it is a functional deal.