8th of July marked my 33rd birthday. As my lucky stars would have it, Mercure Hotel, Lavasa approached me to cover their prestigious establishment for baconbaba.com for the same weekend. I grabbed it with both hands, and landed up at the doorstep for lunch.
An hour and a half drive from Pune, nestled away on the other side of the famous Lavasa lake, Mercure enjoys an amazing view of the valley. With a tiny bridge over the cutest brook possible, you CANNOT get a more picturesque spot for chai and bhajjis this side of the Mulshi valley
The check-in process was smooth, and we were shown to our rooms. The rooms are spacious and fully stocked – just what you would expect from a top notch hotel from the Accor Hotels family
As we reached the hotel just after 3:00 PM, we were famished. After a quick freshen up in our rooms, we headed to Celebrations, the in house restaurant. As part of the monsoon special, we got to try out some of the chef’s specials on the menu.
Among the starters, we loved the Mongolian Fish. While there wasn’t too much ‘mongolian’ about the preparation, the batter fried basa was just perfect for the weather. This with a beer or a rum n coke is a match made in heaven!
Pihu, being a complete prawns fan, gobbled down the Golden Fried Prawns. Fresh prawns, crisp tempura batter, we asked for seconds of this dish.
My personal favorite was the Lamb Nihari – a chef’s version of this famous dish. Gloriously well cooked lamb, in a red gravy with a hint of cinnamon and saffron.
We also tried the samosa chaat and the chicken salad (as part of the monsoon tasting menu).
The coup de grâce of the meal was the Chef’s special Sundae. Cubes of chocolate brownie over a bed of fresh fruits, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, encased on a golden sugar net. As the hot chocolate melted the sugar net and cascaded down the melting quenelle of vanilla ice cream, it slowly coated the brownie cubes, gradually hitting the fruit at the bottom. Indeed, special!
We wrapped up the heavy meal and moved to the al-fresco area to chill. The spectacular view and the light drizzle made the perfect spot for chai.
After a brief nap in our room, and a walk around the promenade, we headed back to the hotel for the buffet dinner. The buffet, while not as spectacular as the ala-carte menu, is pretty decent, with quite a few options for veg and non-veg. Priced at 899/- AI, its an excellent deal for visitors to Lavasa to enjoy a lavish meal.
Ordered drinks from their bar and had a nice long session in their al fresco area, enjoying the fresh air.
The restaurant has a cute little children’s play area, where you can leave your kid and enjoy your meal! That, pretty much made our day!
Woke up fresh on Sunday morning feeling a bit older (I was 33 years and 1 day old!) Breakfast is an elaborate affair at Mercure. Apart from the regular fare (Poha, idly, vada, usal, porridge, eggs, etc – all good btw!) their made to order waffles and pancakes are absolutely superb. Served with maple syrup or honey, you couldn’t ask for a better start to the day. I could possibly make an early morning trip to Lavasa just to get this breakfast!
Overall, it was a fantastic experience at Mercure. Great hospitality, comfy rooms, amazing views, and fantastic food. A perfect weekend getaway.
Disclaimer: I was invited to enjoy the complimentary stay-cation by the PR. The Usual Disclaimer applies. A special shout out to Pamela Paul Mitra and the management of Mercure, Lavasa for hosting me and my family, and making my birthday extra special.