Staycation may very well be the new buzzword in the travel and hospitality industry. Frazzled by the demands of a hectic urban life, people are feeling the need to get away and relax, if only for a day or two. Spending weeks away at some hill station retreat is a thing of the past. What better place than your own city to look for that piece of heaven, far enough from home to give you a change of scene, yet close enough to get there in a jiffy?
A Pune staycation had been on my mind for a while. Then I won a social media prize that offered a night’s stay at the Four Points by Sheraton Pune. This is a 4 star business hotel on the outskirts of the city on the Pune- Ahmednagar highway. With the crazy work schedule, it was months before I could schedule even a weekend away. But finally the day dawned and I set off early in the morning for a relaxing weekend staycation. After catching a movie and lunch, it was almost 3 PM by the time I checked into my room.
The Four Points property doesn’t look too big from the main road but it extends inside. With a pool and gym, the Best Brews pub, a Pan Asian restaurant with teppenyaki and a café with all kinds of cuisine, the hotel takes care of almost every need of weary travelers.
My room was furnished very well in the modern style, with a flat panel TV, and a spacious work desk. A corner chair with ottoman provided a cozy reading corner. The room had a view of the bustling highway and was the perfect spot to watch the sunrise. The vents seemed to be low on air and the hotel staff provided a fan at my request. This was a pleasant surprise and the hotel staff really went above and beyond in doing this.
After lazing around for a while on the super comfortable bed, reading a book on my Kindle, it was time to head down for a drink. The Best Brews has the most relaxing atmosphere possible. Beer is chilled and the food hot. Total Nirvana, in short! The Five Spiced Crispy Vegetables lived up to the name and had a hot kick.
Dinner was a simple Alfredo Pasta at the The Eatery. The highlight of my stay was the complimentary breakfast. The breakfast spread at the Four Points by Sheraton will wow the worst cynics and the most demanding of patrons. Starting with an array of cut fruit, you can take your pick of baked goodies likes donuts, croissants, Danishes and cakes of many kinds. Multiple types of bread are available to be toasted.
The Continental selection in the hot food had the usual eggs, sausage, potatoes etc. There were sautéed veggies and also some kind of Idlis and Upama. You could have eggs made to order, pancakes or waffles. For the vegetarians, you could order any kind of Dosa or Uttapams. There was of course plenty of cold cereal, granola and the like with a variety of fruit flavored yogurt.
Considering that the Four Points has a lot of guests from the Far East, there was a big pot of Konjee with dozens of toppings. I may have missed something, I am sure. Coffee or tea was available at the table, made to order.
Overall, I had a very pleasant stay and even this short time away completely rejuvenated me. So if you are dilly dallying over a Pune Staycation, do it. Do it now!