Novotel Hyderabad Airport Hotel has converted its green outdoors into a trendy glamping spot
There are no shortcuts for success, but there is definitely one for a mini vacation. Sometimes when you get lucky, you can head out for a weekend break, drive just as much as you would drive to work and you would end up in a vast moonlit expanse surrounded by greenery, aromas from the kebabs being grilled in an alfresco kitchen... you get the drift? On these lines is a weekend at Area 44, the little green patch which magically turns into a party space, a bonfire zone or a glamping spot, depending on what you are in the mood for.
Area 44 at Novotel Hyderabad Airport Hotel, near Shamshabad in Hyderabad, is fast becoming one of the most hashtagged places of the twin cities and not without a reason. By the way, the National Highway 44 does run parallel to the airport (a stone’s throw from the Rajeev Gandhi International Airport) and hence the moniker. The glamping experience is a short and sweet one put together for the busy folk who like to take a break, but not have to go too far. The 24-hour camping starts with High Tea at The Bar. After some unwinding (over wine or masala chai whatever you choose), you take a three-minute walk to ‘The Patch’ in the hotel’s backyard. The greenery instantly works its magic on you and you slow down to smell the lemon there, a hibiscus here and admire bottle gourd, the lauki (which looks so unappealing at other times) in its full glory hanging from the creeper. As you enjoy the feel of the grass under your feet and choose your spot on the baby mushroom chairs made of untreated wood around the bonfire, the hotel staff present you sizzling hot soup and starters.
Rubin Cherian, General Manager, Novotel Hyderabad Airport Hotel explains how the Accor property had revamped its herb garden in November 2019, renamed it The Patch and started growing a beautiful horticultural space with a mix of herbs, ornamentals, fruit, flower and vegetable plants. “Before we knew it, it became a green outdoor space that the hotel guests started frequenting. Our housekeeping team was asked to show the guests the way around to the patch for a morning walk or an evening stroll. That’s when we decided this space has got to be more than just a pretty place. How about converting it into a camping spot, said somebody in the team. Thus, Area 44 was born.”
The hotel provides a five-course meal along with luxury self-pitching tents. All that we had to do was to keep pressing a hydraulic bag with our feet and the bright green neon tent with a little window went up. Inside the tent and on the mattress, it was cosy and comfortable. However, the night was young and the stars were twinkling. It was the kind of night you should be singing romantic songs or listen to love stories while you polish off your dessert. “We know food is at the heart of every holiday and therefore we have lined up an array of delicacies for our guests,” Rubin adds. Tandoor Murgh and Karivepaku Chapa, the first a chicken kebab and the second a fish starter with a touch of coriander, was delicious. In the main course, the Malabar Parathas made on a pan heated on pink coals in the outdoors tasted divine. We were a gang of six and we had reserved the night under the stars to narrate each other’s love stories. Somewhere down the line, a love story even turned into a horror story with a gory ending. That’s when we called it a night and retreated into our tents. The fresh morning air, chirping birds, bright sunshine and fresh coffee and cookies from the hotel made the morning totally worthy. After a dip in the pool and the Sunday brunch, it was back to business.
Interestingly, the green concept extends to the handmade, recycled decor and utilities in Area 44. Used plastic pet bottles which were cut into strips and handpainted a bright green and used as the decor for the wire mesh wall was innovative. So were car tyres used as seats and abandoned water containers turned into table bases. “We also have bio-toilets and upcycled decor. The Patch is green in every possible way,” informs Harshwardhan Dengwekar, Director – MarkCom. The experience is ideal for a group of ten to 25. Peak summer and monsoons are best avoided. That means you can holiday under the stars for almost nine months a year. Sounds like something your tribe would vibe with.
Starts at Rs 6,000 per
person per night