Delhi’s rapidly expanding satellite now offers far more than a bland airport hotel.
It wasn’t long ago that if you were flying in or out of Delhi, India, that your tour operator would dump you in Gurgaon as the most convenient place for airport access, irrespective of the fact that it was a cultural wasteland.
In more recent years, the area has expanded dramatically, developing into a hub for business high tech as well as becoming a centre for entertainment and dining.
Gurgaon has developed in ‘sectors’, each with their own appeal, so that far from it being a penalty to be located here on your first or last night, it’s an opportunity to get out and party – or at least have a great meal without the long schlep into Delhi city centre.
In the past we’ve mentioned a really good night out at the 21 Gun Salute, a restaurant that apart from its excellent food, intrigues by the vintage cars in the dining room – especially as it’s on the first floor with no obvious means of them having got there.
This year Cyber City Phase II (just a little further up the Gurgaon-Delhi Expressway and even closer to Indira Gandhi International Airport) has really come on strong to the extent that you’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of dining opportunities and surrounded by some of the biggest business names in their swanky high-rise offices – all of which adds a huge indigenous business community to the buzz of people walking the evening streets.
Walking down DLF Tower 8th Road (there’s some logic in the name somewhere) you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re at Canary Wharf in London but with even more restaurant choices at every step.
Ranging from the indigenous brands of Made in Punjab, Farzi Café, Not Just Paranthas, Angels in my Kitchen and Haldirams through to the ubiquitous Dunkin Donut, McDonalds, Hard Rock Café, Nandos and Italiano for those who aren’t yet ready for curry – or have already had their fill – you’ll find a cuisine to satisfy all tastes.
Friends took us to ‘Dhaba by Claridges’, which in contrast to what the name suggests is themed on a truck-stop café (although it is owned by the quality Claridges Hotel in Delhi).
You’ll be pleased to hear that it’s nothing like the truck-stops you’ll find along the roadside in rural India but is smart and clean and uses the notion of good wholesome and filling curry dishes within a lively restaurant filled with Bollywood style road signs, advertising hoardings and truck parts.
There’s also a ‘Theka’ (themed cocktail bar) and the staff periodically burst into voice with their ‘song of the month.’
The place has a good reputation – building on one of the same name in its hotel in central Delhi – and as a result is busy when we visit. Its been voted ‘Best Restaurant in Gurgaon (North Indian Cuisine) by popular choice’ a couple of times, so don’t just take our word for it.
Having mentioned ‘Bollwood style’ then if you really fancy a change of scenery you could go to the ‘Kingdom of Dreams’ in Gurgaon and really immerse yourself in Bollywood magic and mayhem!
You’ll probably already have your hotel booked if you’re visiting Delhi but there is a large selection of choices local to Gurgaon and all within easy distance of the airport – ranging from Vivanta by Taj, Marriott and Holiday Inn practically on the runway, with the Welcom Hotel (in Dwarka) and Crowne Plaza in Sector 29 itself, a little further away from the airport.
You’ll stay at Gurgaon for the convenience and now the chance of a good meal and evening out – you won’t be choosing it for a hotel that’s steeped in character – they are what they are – generally variations on a bland theme of high rise concrete but clean, comfortable and an efficient way to start or end your holiday.
Now you can also finish off with a bang in ‘Bollywood’
Why not download our guide brochure or give us a call today on 01202 030443, or simply click ‘enquire’ to submit your own personal itinerary request.
A couple of useful contacts for you if you think of venturing out in Gurgaon
21 Gun Salute
SCO 35-36, First Floor, Leisure Valley Road, Opp Bikaner Wale, Sector 29, Gurugram, Haryana 122001, India
Dhaba by Claridges
Shop No. 111, 1st Floor, Cyber Hub, DLF Cyber City, Behind RBS, Cyber City Phase II, Sector 24, DLF Cyber City, DLF Phase 2, Sector 24, Gurugram, Haryana 122008, India