Dwarka has always been on my list to travel to, to explore in detail. I always thought I would do it as a typical pilgrim circuit sometime. However, last October I got an invite from Mercure Dwarka that had just opened up to visit the holy place. The dates did not work out then, but they were kind enough to extend the invite to a later date. Finally, this March I spent a few days in the holy town and stayed at the hotel.
Being a part of the Accor group, I expected them to live up to the hospitality standards of their brand. However, when they exceed all expectations, you not just thank them but also wish them well.
My first interaction with the hotel staff started right from Porbandar airport. A board near the conveyor belt gave a glimpse of their restaurant ‘Maakhan’ – creatively named after the favorite dish of Krishna.
The hotel stands tall amidst almost nothing. If you try hard, you might see some windmills in the background. I wondered where the city is until I reached their open dining area and saw the whole of the town’s skyline from there. Dwarkadhish Temple stands tall with its fluttering flag in the middle. Surrounding it are the other buildings of the town and on the left is the sea. Mercure Dwarka gives you a perfect vantage point to have a bird’s eye view of the holy town, especially from their upper floors.
Rooms at Mercure Dwarka
Rooms at the hotel are also soaked in the local ethos. There is a Krishna playing flute mural on the wall but a very contemporary version of it. The rooms come with a full window that looks outside.
I was on the road facing room on the 5th floor. In the mornings I could see a lovely sunrise. The railway track runs in front of the hotel and given the vast plains, this is the first time I saw a complete train running in front of me. Come to think of it, how many places do you get to see an actual long-distance train run in front of you like a toy train. In general, unless you live in such vast plains, you do not see the horizon till your eye can see.
The rooms on the opposite side have a few of the sea – again to be able to see a vast stretch of ocean in one go is a pleasure. You get to see a gorgeous sunset on this side. The bathroom comes with all that you need – neatly packaged with Mercure branding.
Vegetarian Food at Mercure Dwarka
There is nothing that can delight a vegetarian more than knowing that you are in a 100% vegetarian place. We are so used to having a small part of the menu for us that to be able to order anything from the menu is a simple yet sheer joy. I was at Maakhan, three times a day to eat all I can.
Breakfast at the hotel offers a choice of South Indian, North Indian, Continental and Gujarati options. What is interesting that the bakery items like cakes are totally eggless. Only a fellow vegetarian would know my joy.
Read More – Beyt Dwarka – The Golden City of Mahabharat
Gujarati Thali is something you must try while you are in the holy town. I tried Thali on my first day and my last day. It is heavy and demands a dose of sleep post eating, so I chose to eat it at dinner time. The Bajra Roti, Sev Tamatar Sabji, and Gujarati Kadi are delicious, to say the least. Gulp it down with some Masala Chas and you are ready to deal with Gujarat heat.
The hotel staff/team is ever ready to help you with your dietary requirements. For example, they kept recommending me various drinks to try and I kept saying No as most of them have sugar in them. As a diabetic, they do not work for me. So, Sanjeev from F&B created a Mojito for me using the jaggery syrup instead of sugar syrup. It tasted as good as the sugar one if not better minus the guilt of having sugar. Full points for using creativity for customer delight.
Other facilities at Mercure Dwarka
The hotel has a simple décor that used brass plates, dandiya sticks, and Garbha paintings.
In addition to 100 guest rooms, the hotel has the banqueting facility that can host small events and functions.
Wi-Fi connection was surprisingly very good given the isolated location of the hotel. Non-smokers would like the fact that it is a 100% non-smoking hotel.
The main town is about 5 km from the hotel. You would need a taxi to commute to the city.
The Extra Mile
The best part of the hotel is its friendly staff. They come from all parts of India to make a perfect holiday experience. They go the extra mile to make you feel welcome.
For visiting Dwarkadhish temple, they put you in touch with a known Panda, who would take you around the temple. Panda Prem Pujari who took me around showed me all the big and small temples of the Dwarkadish Temple Complex and answered all my questions. You can always get a Panda from the temple, but when the hotel puts you in touch, it is like going through a reference.
Overall, it is a new-age luxury hotel in the timeless city of Dwarka.
For rates and availability, please check their website. Thank you #MercureDwarka