I am used to receiving invites for restaurant & food reviews. But when I received an email with the subject line reading – Sunday Brunch Launch & Stay Experiential – it got me thinking. I was happy, excited, felt strange, confused….. 2 reasons –
- This would be my 1st invite outside of mumbai
- It included a property review.
Post re-reading the email and a small happy dance later, I was really looking forward to the weekend at Novotel Imagica, Khopoli.
After greeting my fellow travelers & the aati-soft spoken driver, the almost 2.5 hour drive to Khopoli began. I assumed that the drive once we were out of the city would be smooth but, being surrounded by trucks & trailers proved me wrong. Famished at around 1:30 pm we reached Novotel Imagica & headed straight for lunch. Sighting some known faces was comforting. The lunch buffet was served at The Square, the hotel’s round-the- clock restaurant. Under the guidance of Chef Gaurav Chakraborty who was kind enough to meet us & presented few dishes which were not part of the elaborate buffet.
My lunch started with some salads & bread. Braised Bok Choy-baby Corn & Waterchestnut with Blue Cheese, Thyme & Garlic Marinated Tomato with Pickled Artichoke, Lotus Root, Grilled Pineapple & French Beans with Hot Chilli Dressing, Zaatar Garlic Roll & Focaccia. The babycorn-waterchestnut salad was really good. A special mention for the Zaatar Garlic Roll – pillow soft with great flavours.
From the lavish spread of Italian, Asian & various Indian dishes, I decided to try the 3 dals with garlic naan & some kokum paneer. While the paneer was nice, the Dhaniya Mangodi daal turned out to be epic. Dal Makhani & Palak Masoor Dal – a jain preparation was appreciated as well with the perfect accompaniment the Butter Naan 🙂
The massive dessert spread was extremely tempting. Chocolate Mousse & fudge was my choice & I throughly enjoyed it.
Post our lunch we headed to our rooms. You can get a view of the room here –
Bathroom – The 1st thing I check when I enter a hotel room. Small, neat & clean with a glass-wall facing the room. Since we were following an itinerary, I didn’t have time to laze around or enjoy the goodies – chocolate truffles, macaroons, etc – in the room. During a walk around the property we learned the hotel has 287 rooms out of which few are still getting done. With 3 Conference Rooms & banquet halls, this is a great venue for corporate offsites, family gatherings & functions. For the health freak’s, a well-equipped gym & swimming pool ensures you don’t miss your workout. A kids play-area will keep the toddlers occupied as well. Nitro Bar – named after the famous ride at Imagica & Tubby’s Bistro guarantee you a lazy, comfy evenings. Wanna get pampered? Head to the O2 spa. With the property tour done, it was time to head to Snow Magica 😀
Located adjacent to the property, Snow Magica made us kids again. Once we were geared up in snow-shoes (more like Gum Boots), jackets & gloves – the next hour or so was sheer fun. A thick layer of snow, an igloo, an ice-sculpted seating area & few snow slides later, the DJ got us on the dance floor. Grooving to the latest Bollywood tracks had got us tired.
A spread of cupcakes, milkshakes, tapas & chocolate coffee later, we headed to our rooms.The room was spacious, cozy & comfortable.
Nitro – The whole ride could be seen from my room 🙂
A quick shower & change later, we all gathered for a Cook Off. 5 teams competed & barring the fact that my team lost by 1 point, we had an awesome time.This was followed by a karaoke session, games, drinks & dinner.
I finished my soup & called it a day.
A south indian platter including some pepper wadas, vermicelli upma, idli & sambar was the beginning of my breakfast next day morning. Followed by some north-indian style raswale aloo with ajwain poori & finally finished with croissant, Danish pastry & coffee 🙂
Novotel Imagica has many recreational outdoor activities including water zorbing, archery & riffle shooting. I put my archery skill to test & did a decent job for my 1st attempt.
But the riffle shooting was a pathetic attempt. “Kahin pe nigahein, Kahin pe nishaana” would have been perfect for this situation. Not keen on any of these activities?? Take a dip in the pool then.
Carrom, Table Tennis, Board games, foosball, etc will keep you entertained if the weather misbehaves. And then it was time to get our hands dirty & start the cake mixing. Get a sneak peak here 🙂
The Sunday Brunch set up was done & its was MASSIVE. Breads are my weakness & I had a gala time tasting the array of them.
From a soft-cheese loaded bread to buns to dinner rolls to focaccia to many others. With various cheese/relish to choose from, I could have a complete meal only with this. Moving on… Appam & Stew (Veg & Chicken), Blue Cheese Pizza, Arrabiata Pasta, Moong Wadi Puloa, Palak-Mushroom with Naan was tasted & liked. I LOVED the appam & veg stew. With hardly any space for dessert, I decided to enjoy some ice cream with the live music.
Exactly 2 hours drive later; I was home (Andheri West). The weekend at Novotel Imagica was thoroughly enjoyed. The distance from Mumbai ensures you won’t be exhausted by the time you reach. The property is suitable for everyone. Wanna plan a weekend with family, friends, with kids, with sr family members?? Novotel Imagica is a good choice. Being right next to Imagica, you can spend Saturday enjoying the rides & relax the next day indoors at Novotel. Or just drive-down to enjoy the lavish spread offered by Chef Gautam & team at The Sunday Brunch.
The Sunday brunch at Novotel Imagica Khopoli is not a just a meal but an experience that makes for the perfect antidote to a tiring week! For reservations call – 07030951522/02192301888
Venue: The Square, Novotel Imagica Khopoli
Date: Every Sunday
Time: 12.30-4.00 p.m
Price: INR 1999/- buffet with unlimited cheers, INR 1499 /- buffet with unlimited soft cheers