By Natalia Ningthoujam
Agra, Feb 26 (IANS) Eat like a king and get treated like one at Courtyard by Marriott in the cosmopolitan legacy of Taj city and former Mughal capital Agra.
With the 17th century monument of love within walking distance, the hotel, which opened its doors to public in January, is not very far from popular attractions and shopping districts including the Agra Fort, Jama Masjid and Kinari Bazaar.
A city tour is an easy option from here.
“We help to organise a city tour. The package varies. If the guest wants to just visit the Taj Mahal or Agra Fort as well or go for shopping too, the packages will change accordingly,” Vishal Bharti, general manager, Courtyard by Marriott, Agra, told IANS.
Promoted as a hotel that “caters to all”, it is the brand’s 12th property in India. It boasts 189 well-appointed guest rooms and 18 exquisite suites.
“On an average, the standard rooms would cost around Rs.8,000 and it can go up to Rs.16,000 if one books an executive suite,” said Bharti.
It also offers large conference and banquet facilities, with over 30,000 sq ft of indoor and outdoor space that can accommodate up to 1,200 guests.
With contemporary and local design elements into play, the hotel’s high point is definitely its buffet. The MoMo Cafe all-day dining multi-cuisine restaurant offers Ã la carte and wide buffet spread.
While the Ã la carte menu is basic, one can choose from the 17 hot dishes like stir fried vegetables, biryani and paneer kali mirch from the buffet.
“There are four live stations as well. One is Teppanyaki ice cream station where you can ask the chef to make you a customised ice cream. Then there are salad, chaat and pasta stations,” said Italian cuisine expert Vivek Kalia, the hotel’s executive chef.
If not Teppanyaki ice cream, one can even dig into some 17 desserts like kheer, rasgulla, petha and cakes.
There are also coffee shop MoMo 2 Go, and MoMo To You, a round-the-clock in-room dining menu that offers guests the option of dining in the comfort of their rooms.
The Onyx Bar serves a selection of mocktails with delectable snacks to go with though alcohol based drinks are yet to be served as a liquor license is yet to be obtained.
The hotel also plans to introduce a north Indian restaurant, Anise, in the coming months.
A spa will be operational from April, and while the gym is already open, a trainer will soon be roped in.
“We are also thinking of coming up with an entertainment area for children,” said Bharti.
The Agra property, which is about a four-hour drive from the national capital, is part of the 1,000th Courtyard By Marriott globally.
“It marks the beginning of the celebrations towards the big milestone,” Rajeev Menon, Area Vice President, South-Asia, Marriott International, told IANS.
Come March 31, the Courtyard Walla Walla, Washington, will be designated the 1,000th hotel.
“There are more properties under construction. We will also open a property in Shillong, making it the first one in the northeast,” said Menon.
(The writer travelled to Agra on an invitation from Courtyard by Marriott. Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)