Road Trip plan and the emotions
After eight months of grilling lockdown due to COVID- 19 pandemic, the tourism was slowly restarting with the new norm; people were no more willing to stay indoors. It was overwhelming to be invited by JW Marriott to review the property. We were happy and a little cautious at the same time. Mussoorie is a second home for most of us living in North India and that’s why we felt the safest way to plan is travelling by a Car/Taxi keeping in mind the current situation. The distance from Delhi to the Resort is approximately 300 kms and takes about 6 to 7 hours by a car.
Reaching the property
You are greeted by a very hospitable, courteous staff, gorgeous, shining and sparkling clean beautiful lobby and the reception. The entire luggage is being sanitized again for the safety of all. The JW Marriott Mussoorie gets its name ‘the walnut Grove ’ as it is built around walnut trees and some of them are more than 100 years old and still standing strong and bearing the fruits. The Emblem of The resort at the entrance is the combination of a lion and eagle, which means vision and strength, the property stands true for it. Complete hygiene is maintained and one doesn’t need to worry one bit, they ensure it for their staff, entire property and for the guests too.
The Room and the view
All the rooms come with their unique views and the one which we had was facing the valley, garden and the tall walnut tree itself and one could feel the soothing cool fresh breeze the moment one opens the window. What more could have we asked for, a luxurious room, the ultra luxurious and shining sparkling washroom, a personal greeting note with the basket full of handmade chocolates and fruits, a bunch of flowers, the cool breeze soothing your skin and a wine bottle to greet you. I was touched with their hospitality. The rooms are completely sanitized and social distance is maintained, this being the utmost priority of this resort and in the rooms too, this is ensured.
Food curated experiences
Welcome coffee was also unique as the brown sugar was in style coated with honey and served in the lounge itself. Just entering the reception area makes one feel pampered already. In-room dining experience was very special with copper ‘dabbas’(Tiffins), ‘Indian style on demand’- a vegan soul food after a long journey as we preferred the comfort of our room. The meals prepared in the resort are sourced from the local farms and organic produce is tantalizing for your taste buds, the chapattis simply would melt in your mouth. The breakfast at JW Café is lavishly spread and there is something for everyone-gahat ke dal ka paratha( local produce), egg benedicts, swala stuffed pooris which is extremely light with jhalika seeds, fresh walnut cakes, milk shakes, fruits and ample variety to choose from both national and international cuisines. The resort also helps boosting job opportunities as the locals are the part of staff. Some of them have found a place in the kitchen to give a firsthand experience of the fresh food and the himalyan flavours of the region.
Wisteria Deck, our personal favorite spot which has the entire view of the valley, an open air place to sit and the very gorgeous Wisteria plants: The chef ‘Pradeep’ specially curated mostly vegan Italian fusion dishes from the fresh local produce from the farms itself. We relished on the crushed lemon with plant based natural sugar, the corn soup with the fusion of Italian herbs, ‘Zarai’- Mukteshwar cheese pizza made from a special flour (again sourced from the valley itself). The meals were also topped with the use of a plant called the Kandali plant ‘also known as a ‘bichho ghas’ or a ‘baal sudharak booti and the delicious looking Tiramisu, we were pampered by exotic food tasting to the core. It’s just not about having a great experience of the property; it is also about the care they give. It was a pleasing and memorable experience to give us an everlasting impression of hospitality.
Evenings there give you a joyful experience of chai, coffee gupshup and some live music in a concept called ‘Kachdi By the Hiamlayas’ It a moment where all communities get together to share their stories over a traditional cup of Gharwali tea. We had a lovely time chitchatting with Pratyush, who inspite of his very busy schedule took personal care of us and ensured that we enjoyed each and every moment during our entire stay. The Traditional thalis: The chef presented us the kumaon thali where all the pulses and vegetables are sourced organically and the ‘Devabhoomi thali’ in which the entire food is without onions and garlic and the thali felt like a spiritual meal which tasted divine. Teppan: Signature pan Asian restaurant with Japanese, Thai and Chinese fusion dinner and the chef’s with knife- wielding skills, showing us the
These have been curated by our culinary maestros in collaboration with the local farmers in the nearby mountain villages, supporting them in the aim to be responsible in promoting the culture of the mighty Garhwal mountains
teppanyaki-style cooking methods, with Veg sushis, teriyaki sauce, udon noodles, deconstructed minestrone soup with the locally grown corns freshly sourced from Senji Village and a relaxed ‘wine and music night’ with the romantic feel to it. One is spoilt for choices here. About the Property;The architecture and interiors has a lineage connection to the British era, the first electrical pictures, the Raj Room, the snooker room with choices of scotch, the artifacts’ the books to read in every nook and corner, the sports hub, fully equipped gym will give you a hint of the history combined with the Royalty of the British Era gone by. More than 100 tones of reusable brass is used in the property, most of it will be seen in door handles, knobs and the iconic bell in the shape of a lady. My tete regarding sustainable tourism with Mr. Sachin Mylavarapu, General Manager of the JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa, a seasoned hotelier, Mr. Sachin has almost two decades of proficiency in the hospitality industry. He has been associated with leading hospitality chains, holding key positions, which have served to further strengthen his expertise. His journey as a leader in the hospitality industry started in 2002 as the Restaurant Manager at the Callaway-Gardens, Preserve, Resort and Community at Pine Mountain, Georgia, US A, followed by the position of Assistant Restaurant Manager at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center& Marriott Executive Apartments at Mumbai. He takes over his latest mandate as a progression from the post of Hotel Manager at The St. Regis mumbai.
We have also been advocating the cause of giving back to the community and implementing gender equality amongst our hotel, our belief is that “she” is the first ever chef in everyone’s life, who inspires and motivates us to become successful, kind and strong”.
He says, “At the JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa, we focus on being sustainable. We source all our Himalayan ingredients from the villages within a 100 km radius of the resort. Inspired by the local culture of Uttarakhand, we strive to share our culture with our endeavors to Go Local. He explains about the the Botanical Café – Green House Nursery, a herbal paradise in the Secret Spot by JW with exclusive Botanical Cafe surrounded by natural delights for a healthy indulgence. We have been on the forefront of sustainable innovations and have recently launched the most unique plant protein based offering in the country for our guests to savor’. These have been curated by our culinary maestros in collaboration with the local farmers in the nearby mountain villages, supporting them in the aim to be responsible in promoting the culture of the mighty Garhwal mountains. With our fresh ingredients, we present an indigenous offering using them to present the healthy indulgence straight from our farms to your table. About giving back to the community , he says ,We have also been advocating the cause of giving back to the community and implementing gender equality amongst our hotel, our belief is that “she” is the first ever chef in everyone’s life, who inspires and motivates us to become successful, kind and strong”. The team, he says at JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort and Spa involves enthusiastic ladies from the nearby villages to come and be a part of the culinary operations of the hotel. With a passion in their hearts to learn and our efforts to hone their skills, this community skill development program is what keeps us achieving more “together”. Our chit chat with Pratyush Mohapatra, Marketing & Communications Manager. He is a dynamic and charismatic individual with new- age thinking and passion. He is recognized in the industry as an astute marketing personality, conscientious in his execution and prudent with his resources. He also possesses great fortitude and vision which made him the perfect choice for the present role. He says, ‘2020 for us has been a year of immense learning and exploring new segments like wellness travel, unique experiences, realigning and redefining our luxury offerings and innovating guest’s experiences with new offerings in our award winning Restaurants using local produce and pulses. This has helped us to sustain and grow in an organic environment. We are also reinventing ourselves as the most preferred wedding destination in the region by exclusive wedding experiences such as Adventure Weddings and Himalayan Weddings. It is a clear thought of getting our guests to experience family oriented offerings to make it more personal and exclusive.