Life in a metro or a Gaon (Gurgaon) is not easy, and every now and then like most, I look forward to a weekend break away from the hustle-bustle of the city. However there aren’t many options for short breaks that allow one to relax without driving crazily in mad rush. A little bit of research and I was off to Westin Spa and Resort at Sohna which is barely 35km from my home at Gurgaon yet so much in the natural and green surroundings.
The vast resort spread over 37 acres with kids pool, free form pool and lap pool along with a library, kids room, tennis court and most importantly the beautiful cottages and villas with hammocks are perfect way to relax. After an introductory tour of the place in battery operated golf cart, we first hit the spa. ‘Heavenly Spa’ is truly heavenly with a pyramid shape meditation room surrounded by water on four sides, a yoga room, various single and couple spa rooms attached with steam-shower facility and independent steam-sauna-jacuzzi facility for those who don’t want massage.
Leaving the kids in the complimentary kids room we were in a treat of sixty minute Balinese Massage (Rs 4000), which has influences of Indian, Chinese and European traditions. We almost slept in the session with the well trained masseurs using various tempo of acupressure, rolling motions and long strokes which provided an invigorating experience for the whole body. Followed by steam bath, we were completely fresh. The shower is in nature’s open which could have been liberating for few, but we opted to choose the attached bathroom instead.
We were now doubly hungry after the heavenly experience and headed to The Living Room (TLR) that offers buffet (Rs1200) for lunch. I have never been enthusiastic on buffets but unfortunately that is the only option for lunch at the resort. Westin’s Sohna speciality Xiao Chi (Chinese) and The Indian Restaurant (Indian) serves only at dinner. The lunch wasn’t a gastronomic affair. But we were forced to choose it in absence of any other option. It was a simple spread consisting of mix of Indian, Oriental and Continental dishes with limited choices. However, most of the dishes were made well and tasted good and compensated against those buffets which are high on variety and low on taste. Dessert section on the contrary was a complete disappointment. None of the desserts were worth being in a Westin property with an exception of the chocolate brownie. Either they were stale, dry, or refurbished from left overs.
Post that I had to visit their organic farm from where most of the vegetables requirements of hotel are met. Even after advance intimation and confirmation, no one from the hotel was aware of the farm visit. Finally they obliged and asked me to come towards the reception where a transit car would be waiting to take us to the farm. After waiting for about 20 minutes in April heat, I learnt that the driver had no instructions and he wasn’t coming. Not to spoil my mood, I came back without confronting anyone to have a dip with family in the swimming pool. Some half an hour later, duty manager, Vivek, came looking for me without any sign of apology and said that now the car is ready; the offer I happily declined.
This perhaps wasn’t one of our days and we realised that we left our swimming costume in the changing room, and we immediately informed the duty manager. He was happy to give all assurances of getting them retrieved and promised to call back. We waited for over an hour and called him who did not take the call. We knew that time that he hasn’t taken out time to check on the costumes. Some three hours later he called to confirm that only one of the two costumes was traced. We know it was our fault, but had he immediately sent somebody to check, perhaps we could have got both of them back. Perhaps!
Instead of sending the costume back to our address, Vivek asked us to go to Westin Gurgaon to pick the costume. This clearly demonstrates the ridiculous notion that the hotel has of service levels they think their guests deserve. This was also bought into notice of the PR person who promised to get back to me but after waiting for two days was surprised to learn that no one has reverted to me yet. She did call back shortly confirming that costumes have reached Westin Gurgaon clearly showing lackadaisical attitude and showing ‘we care for no one’.
Service has never been a forte of Westin (Read my earlier experience at EEST, Westin Gurgaon) and the story here was no different. Missing dessert spoons at the buffet, delays in getting the golf cart to drive us to reception in spite of assurances, and notice board saying that no life board on duty in a resort where kids come in plenty goes on to prove the service standards at a premium resort.
With limited options in Gurgaon for an overnight stay, I may have gone back to Westin Sohna resort for the excellent spa experience and to spend quality time with friends and family, but after experiencing the service level of a roadside joint rather than a premium resort, I am not sure I ever will. The overall experience at Westin Sohna was pathetic because of their completely uncaring service. Consider yourself warned in case you are planning to go there.
Food: 2.0/5 | Ambience: 4.5/5 | Service: 0.0/5 | Overall: 2.0/5
Stay for two: starting Rs. 15500+ (excl alcohol) | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes
Address: Westin Sohna Resort and Spa, Vatika Complex, PO Daula, Karanki Road, Sohna | Telephone: 0124-4508888