The Radisson Blu MBD Noida hotel offers an array of luxurious amenities with a personal butler
Everyone deserves to feel like the royalty, at least once in a while. That’s the premise on which the rooms of MBD Privé Collection in The Radisson Blu MBD Noida Hotel, operate upon. If the royale life is about sleeping in an opulent room built around Venetian French traditions, sitting on furniture with gold carvings dating back to 1800s, an in-room Jacuzzi under the stars and having a Man Friday – your personal butler who will indulge your every whim and fancy, the Privé collection gets it right from the word go.
Pin your location
If you have booked into Radisson Blu MBD’s special edition rooms, the hospitality begins at the airport where you are received by the hotel staff inside and ushered into a luxury car at the airport exit. “We will assist you in the check-in too on the way back,” assured the hotel’s Airport Representative. Binod Pradhan, my driver for this weekend, told me how Sector 18, where the hotel is located, is ‘the’ place to shop in the NCR region. Flanked by DLF Mall of Noida, a 2,000,000 sq ft next door and The Great India Place mall, he quipped that my entire year’s shopping is taken care of.
The grand entry
As I walked through the newly refurbished 131-room hotel in the heart of NCR, General Manager Sumit Bhardwaj who greeted me at the grand lobby fitted with a resplendent chandelier informed me,
“The hotel has also got inducted into ‘Hall of Fame’ on the travel site TripAdvisor. We also won the “Best Business Hotel” award at Lonely Planet Travel & Lifestyle Awards 2017.” As I walked through the hotel lobby housing the Privé Collection of bespoke rooms where I was going to stay this weekend, the motion sensor fitted lights sensed my presence and got turned on automatically. I felt like a star and the red (actually pink) carpet only added to the starry vibe. As I checked into my room, I was introduced to Prince Bhati, my personal butler. “Will you be my Prince Charming?” I quipped and Prince blushed as I laughed out loud. As he ushered me into my room, I felt a new story was unfolding.
Checking it out
I spent the first 10 minutes checking out the room, which had an amazing array of wine glasses in the personal bar, the turndown service of fruits and doughnuts, the luxurious bed and the best bit, the in-room Jacuzzi. As I tried to understand how the water jets worked, Prince took charge of the remote control and explained how the lights work (so essential when you alone) and then with my permission, turned off all the lights and pointed towards a patch of ceiling painted in radium perhaps to make it look like a starlit sky. It felt surreal standing with a mysterious stranger underneath the stars. He gently turned on the light and my reverie ended abruptly. “I will wait for you at the door after ten minutes and take you to the TCB lounge for the evening tea,” he said and gently snapped the door behind him. 10 minutes later, I heard a gentle knock at the door. Prince told me to step out as he grabbed the key and said, ‘I will lock it ma’m,” and walked me out, even tried to hold my bag, but I resisted. I was afraid I could get used to such royal services. But that’s the charm of a personal butler. He is essentially your Man Friday from your check-in till your check-out to attend to every need of yourse. Your Personal Butler is at your beck and call, literally. You can ask him to fix up an itinerary for the evening heritage tour or fetch you a pill for a migraine or just find the right socket for your smartphone and your orders shall be carried out. From fetching my breakfast in bed and setting the TV to my favourite channel (Comedy Central in my case) to accompanying me to nearby Chandni Chowk to shop and even hold my shopping bags, Prince did it all. A true-blue Greater Noida boy, he hardly spoke, but ensured I never had to do anything except walk, eat and click photographs. Incidentally, he also took my best picture at the Queen’s Throne in the lobby. “Please, can I have him forever”, I caught myself saying aloud. The Dal Chawal-Arancini snack and the Masala chai at TCB lounge gave the evening a great start. I went around and decided to dine at RED (Rare Eastern Delicacies) that night.
Zen and beyond
Raymond Sim, Chinese Master Chef of RED, won me over the instant he greeted me and sat next to me to ask what I loved. I said I want to go vegetarian as I’ve had a heavy lunch, the jovial and charming chef fed me several delicacies. However, the flavours of Mushroom Chilli Fried Tofu and Spring Roll Ice Cream with Litchi Filling stayed with me. The chef from Singapore sat next to me to ensure I put the ice cream spring roll all at once without biting into it as the cold filling would otherwise ache my teeth. I realised he gave personalised service to every guest. No wonder online food app Zomato is full of praise for Chef Sim.
Room service, ma’am
Although Prince told me about the amazing malls in the neighbourhood, I think it is criminal if one does not spend enough time in the room to enjoy every amenity in it. I actually sat down on the high back wing leather chair in my room and turned on the lamp to write down what I should do the next morning. Then it was soak-in time. The floating rose petals in the bathtub smelt fresh and sweet. The aromatic shampoos and soaps beckoned me. The water speed can be adjusted to whatever speed I wanted and maneuvering the knobs were super easy. I looked outside the window and realised the view was not so great. But then, as I soaked in the hot water, the only thing I could hear was the water from the jets and the only thing I could see were the stars and the crescent moon above me. This is pure magic, I tell myself softly.
After an elaborate in-room breakfast comprising Dilli’s famous Aloo Parate with achar and fluffy puris with viscous potato curry, I decided to check out the spa and salon. I opted for a simple Swedish body massage and was stumped to see a chilled shower in the cold Delhi winter. Apparently, the best way to wake up your body and feel a better impact of the massage was to go for a cold shower, if one wished. I skipped that one and settled for a hot bath. The lunch at the newly-renovated SXVIII all-day brasserie was epic. “It used to be Sector 18 (as that’s where the hotel is located), but to go with the Victorian vibe, we renamed it with numerals,” explains Dipak Kumar Sharma, Restaurant Manager. A new ambience, a new menu and many more fusion food delicacies are all part of the refurbishment, he adds. A large buffet island with global cuisine and the poolside dining are its highlights. My favourite was the dessert counter with an array of souffles and mousses and Indian desserts. I reminded myself that I had a big dinner awaiting me at Made in India restaurant and I had heard so much about the chef, I decided to go easy on the desserts.
Prince reminded me that if I need to check out Chandni Chowk and Red Fort that evening (a 25-minute drive from the hotel), I better enjoy my siesta. At 4 pm, we set out for Dilli Darshan. I felt guilty when Prince even held up the mirror for me as I tried out some junk jewellery at the bylanes of Old Delhi. Sensing my discomfort, he quickly tells me that he is happy to be of service and the personal butler is meant for that. His services are especially useful when someone is new to the city or the country. He was reliable and instinctive, both hallmarks of a good caretaker. The weekend crowds thronged the shopping malls and I headed back to my hotel for the Indian dinner.
Make in India
Every personnel in Made In India restaurant, from the steward to Master Chef Khursheed, took turns to tell me tidbits about the place. The Chef told me that the cuisine runs from the State of Hyderabad with its linkage to the Middle East, to the Vijaynagar Empire and its roots in the Telangana. The mighty Moguls and the aristocratic Nawabs of Avadh and of course the legends of Punjab. Made In India is also about futuristic cuisine (Paprika infused chicken tikka and Char Grilled Prawns with Lemongrass and Kafir Lime Leaf, anyone?). The Prakash Yantra, a modern version of Jantar Mantar near the Maharaja Table (a private dining room), a board of chess and miniature paintings brought in the Mughal vibe. “The restaurant gives the best of Indian and Old Delhi cuisine in a star ambience,” adds the chef. When Chef’s Special, the Sultani Seekh, a house specialty made of minced mutton in seekh infused with spices and cooked on sigree arrived looking like a sword, I realised why the restaurant had so many footfalls of food connoisseurs. The varieties of bread (Khabalian – sesame seeds seasoning; Khurmi – with diced tomatoes; Khameeri – made of sour dough) left me satiated with the rich, Indian flavourful gravies. The Chef sees off his favourite regular guests with a small pot of pickle.
I got a yummy sweet pickle.
Check out time
The next morning post breakfast was my checkout time and I was already missing Prince. We took a parting selfie, but he surprised me with a lovely litchi cake to savour on the way to the airport. “I saw you taking multiple servings of litchi at the dessert counter yesterday and I asked the pastry chef to bake a litchi cake for you,” he said. My heart melted. As I drove past Sector 18 to reach the airport, I decided to come back with my girlfriends who would love to have a personal butler all for themselves. That trip, I’m sure, will be another exciting story.
Tarriff per night: Rs.15,000 ++ (privé collection room)
(The writer was at the hotel by invitation)