Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Vacationing in Vashi at the Four Points by Sheraton

The welcome

I am a traveler at heart but who would have thought I would vacation in my own city. I was the guest of The Starwood hotels at their Four Points, Vashi property recently and had a fantastic time there. This after brushing off the idea several times and you won't believe how memorable it turned out to be!

It was a promise of 2 nights/ 3days. I called up to confirm my stay and right from that moment I received delightful service from everyone of the staff.

I was put up in a Comfort suite that was smart yet cozy all at the same time just like a business hotel should be. The bed tempted me to climb on to it immediately and just cuddle up with a book instead we kicked up our shoes and settled down on the sofas to snack on some cookies and fruit that the hotel had laid out for our welcome and there was Syrah sitting pretty on the table too.

My first need is to connect to the internet, as that is where all my business happens. The Wifi was free and worked well through the stay. I immediately posted a few pics on my FB page for my family, friends and readers to see as this was a much needed vacation for me after my Diwali Hamper season got over. This stay was a reward for blogging and it was just in time to celebrate the 8th anniversary of AnnaParabrahma which was started on 9th October, 2006 in Bangalore. Plus the AnnaParabrahma FB page reached a milestone of 500 Likes just recently, its been a 100% organic growth. What more I drove only 15 mins to reach the hotel. Stayaction it was!

After an hours rest I was met by Arartika Samanta and Monika Tomar from the Sales and Marketing team at the high ceilinged reception. They gave me a tour of the entire property and facilities available. The most impressive was their gym which is very well equipped and run by the holistic living guru, Mickey Mehta. What's nice is it is not just for their inhouse guests but even Navi Mumbai residents can sign up for memberships. I also got a sneak peek of their spa facilities, they have several packages that follow Thai practices and all oils and packs for therapies are made inhouse. There is a salon which is run by a third party which has reasonable rates, should you need a haircut or some pampering.

Since this is a business hotel I took a look around for the business facilities available, there are atleast 4-5 conference rooms with on OHP, network and screen. The Banquet hall was familiar, I had been there for a conference 2 yrs ago. They also have a business center where you can avail facilities just incase you are not carrying your devices or incase you need get work done on the computer when your phone or tablet is inconvenient or need a print out.

We walked in and out thru the restaurant which I was to explore the next day for their cuisines. For a business hotel 4 restaurants are decent options and will talk about their food menu individually. 

I loved the Tipplers lounge, when I visited in the early evening, it had the beautiful setting sun casting rays on this small lounge which has a book case and a bar with high stools and comfortable seating alike. This doubles up as a breakfast area for executives staying the premier suites in the morning.

There is 24X7 restaurant called Wrapped near the reception which I did not get a chance to review but I liked the decor there. Especially in the day time it looked all sunny and bright.

We had our breakfast on both the days at the Asian Kitchen. It is a spacious restaurant with a show kitchen and relaxed seating. There is a huge breakfast buffet which I sampled for everything vegetarian on the menu. The menu is familiar as you would find on any buffet of a business hotel. Worth a mention was the Laadi pav/ Mumbai pao which went with the batata vada for vada pao. The menu may be meant to be comforting in familiarity to the business travelers is what I can say, so there is your standard 2 kinds of idli, uttapam, soups, something chicken, eggs, cheeses, juices, flavored milks, deli meats and what not and bakes that you can expect.

The breakfast

I must mention that we got excellent service from the team. Our favorite pineapple juice was made fresh for us on both days. On one day my Dad who was staycationing with me ordered a masala dosa which was excellent he said. I ordered pancakes and when they were serving realized from the yellowish tinge that I forgot to mention, I did not eat eggs. Chef Vijay was very kind to replace it with made-to-order eggless banana pancakes served with honey but they did provide Maple syrup on request. I quite liked my pancakes for veg pancakes are slightly tricky to make and very easily can reek of soda. But they got them right, fluffy and nice. I enjoyed them on both days.

On the second day the Chef suggested we have a panini and he made lovely ones for both me and Dad. We were delighted with the freshness of the veggies and molten cheese. They were perfectly grilled and the bread felt still soft on bite and not too dried out. Followed by masala chai which we loved. Even on the previous day Nisha Kaur from the F&B team had very sweetly sent masala chai for us to the room especially for my Dad, since he enjoys it more than tea bags.

Since I am a baker myself I was keen on sampling the bakes on display but unfortunately only the breads were eggless. I think I can rate their inhouse bakers good, I enjoyed their breads both the herbed ones as well as the sweet breads even though they are commercial breads and not artisan. I would have been thrilled if I could taste some of their tarts, doughnuts and muffins and that's a suggestion that they should have more of these as an eggless option.

There is a separate egg station which serves you custom made eggs, scrambled or omelette the way you like it. The young man happily flips it up for you.

I also got to look around at their brunch menu but since I was full from breakfast I did not eat anything. Like true Indian hosts since I was not eating they offered me a fresh lime soda which I enjoyed. I did take a sip of a vivid green concoction on the brunch menu which was looking interesting as it was served in a testube. It was supposed to be a welcome drink made of Kiwi which I found cloyingly sweet and reeking of artificial flavor and I don't think even the kids will enjoy anything like it.

 The desserts galore at the brunch

Four Points hosted a dinner for us on the second night and we chose to try the Sky Grill for it. More about it in the upcoming post.

The best thing about my staycation was getting to cook with their Executive Chef Mukul Jha. It was my first experience of working in a commercial kitchen!

And that requires a separate post. Psst, he has shared a recipe with me so I can share it here with you. Come again tomorrow, won't you? You will, sure you will to read about my new adventure, right!

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