Let us assume a real-life situation where you are to visit another city for a quick business trip or a short vacation that requires you to be constantly on the move, what is the kind of stay option would you opt for? If you are in that dilemma, then this is the perfect post for you. It talks about Holiday Inn Express, a chain of mid-scale hotels from InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) which also happens to be one of the fastest-growing midscale hotel brands in the country. This brand is the preferred choice for an increasing number of travellers who need a simple, engaging place to rest and recharge. Read on to know more about my visit to Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra.
Background to this visit begins from the fact that I work in an IT firm as a full-time employee and the blogger in me was born out of interest or call it passion towards writing. Lately, I’ve have had this increasing urge to travel and explore places in and around India – to experience the cultural shift, understand the culinary scenes there and a lot of other things. This time I was intending to explore Pune. Holiday inn Express, Pune Hinjewadi was the best fit in a lot of ways – centrally located in the Business and IT Hub, it has a 24 hours Express café that provides quick meals and contemporary rooms that are comfortable and more efficient when it comes to space management.
My flight landed on time, it was around 5 PM. The hotel is located 23 km from the airport and it takes roughly an hour to commute in a private cab. The check-in process was pretty straightforward and the designated room was ready upon my arrival, everything on point!
My room had a very pretty towel art, I noticed there were no closed-door wardrobes which made the room feel airier. The bed was super comfortable with a good amount of cushioning, cosy feels there!
Working in a corporate setup alongside blogging means I have to carry my office laptop whenever I am off for a vacation also. Hence, the need for strong internet connectivity along with basic conveniences of a work-space is a must-have.
The washroom, toilet and bathroom are not clubbed together which makes it more convenient if there are two people. It is interesting to observe how the separation of these three units is made possible with such limitations in space.
There are smart storage solutions housed in every nook and corner that ensures you get a clutter-free space to walk around. An example is this couch that doubles up as a storage area for your luggage.
A lot of planning has gone into making the interiors feel spacious, they’ve made maximum use of the space without compromising on the aesthetics. It is interesting to note how the overall design tweaks have managed to make this compact space look much airier and very inviting. This alone is one of the major highlights of the entire concept behind Holiday Inn Express properties across the country, the rooms are compact and still manages to offer the kind of comfort you would expect out of any business hotel.
Holiday Inn Express also has a well-equipped gym that ensured I didn’t miss out on my daily workout schedule.
Let’s talk about the Express Café, a place that also features the ‘Great Room’ for guests to socialize and unwind at the end of a long day. I had an elaborate talk with the kitchen in charge who explained the concept of having a menu that brings in diversity in terms of the choices of dishes but at the same time ensures that your meals are served quickly, the expressway!
They’ve covered the spectrum pretty well with options like Bhel Puri (from Street Lites section) to elaborate dishes like Thai Style basil Minced Chicken Rice.
The signature dishes of the Express Café at the Holiday Inn Express, Pune Hinjewadi reside in the Dabbawalla section which is a replica of the famous concept seen in Bombay. I tried the Murg Darbari here, the gravy was heavy and paired with Paratha. Papad and pickles are accompaniments that come along with it.
The breakfast buffet is quite decent with a lot of options, you can either opt for corn flakes or muesli with slim milk or go for heavier options like paratha with chole. I stuck to my usual – idli sambar, chicken sausages, boiled egg and black coffee!
Sunday was spent well in Pune were a close friend accompanied me to check out the beers in Toit, the amazing hot chocolate at Le Flemington and the party vibes at one of the clubs in Baner.
It was then time to check out the next day, a weekend getaway came to an end sooner than I had expected! Holiday Inn Express, Pune Hinjewadi turned out to be the best travel partner for this trip. The strategic and accessible location made it easier for me to commute, the compact design-led contemporary rooms are nicely done, and best in class in-room amenities coupled with great service culture ensures that you have a hassle-free stay. To summarise this in their words, ‘Holiday Inn Express is not about the size but efficiency and comfort’
For more details, you can reach out to the hotel on the following coordinates:
Hotel Address: Survey No. 9/2 Hinjewadi Main Road, Maharashtra, Pune – 411057
Phone Number: 020 42209111