Words: Ambica Gulati
Five years back, if someone had told me that I would be able to spend a comfortable night in Gurgaon for something as pocket-friendly as Rs 3,500, I would have had a good laugh. The Millenium City with flashy brands and overloaded with cars is a city ruled by MNCs and malls.
But Hotel Formule 1, under the European group Accor Hotels, came as a green surprise. The lime green décor makes it a bright stay. Located at Good Earth City in Sector 47-50, Gurgaon, the hotel gives the promise of a good night’s sleep. And yes, I did get it as the windows are sound proof. I neither heard the Gurgaon traffic noise nor the shoppers in the area.
Pulling down the flat green window cover, I parked my laptop on the small table, switched on the TV for some music and got down to work. It was evening and with no disturbance, I knew I could pull off a lot of pending work. The bed is soft which is what I discovered around two in the morning. My stiff back and tired bones could not have asked for something better. Pocket friendly does not mean hard mattresses here. But the amenities in the room are just a soap and shampoo. However, the hotel has two vending machines so you don’t need to run around a lot—one for basic requirements such as toothbrush, comb, sewing kits, oil and more. Another one is for snacks such as chips, biscuits, Maggie, chocolates and more. In fact, you can make your Maggie in the microwave sitting right next to the vending machines at the reception level. I did not try all this though as I wanted a light stomach for all the writing work.
With n eating out joints in the vicinity, spas, gyms and salons, convenience stores, even a bespoke tailoring shop, one doesn’t feel that lack within the hotel limits. Moreover, the hotel has the facility of delivery. I didn’t order any dinner, but the attendant helped me with a list of menus from where I could order. The hotel has tie-ups with few restaurants in the shopping complex. When your order lands at the reception, someone from the staff accompanies the delivery person to the room, I was informed.
I had bought a packet of nachos from Le Marche and some juice before settling in for an evening of writing. What I found interesting was there is a coffee-tea machine in one common corner and there is an ironing board. I was so reminded of my days in the hostel where we had these common areas. Luckily, it was not chargeable during my stay and I had many cups to keep pace with work. But there was a sticker there which showed the prices for the cups—Rs 5-20, depending on what you want—hot water, tea, coffee, half cup.
What you do get on getting up and feeling too lazy to order, is breakfast, near the reception. There is a tray slide out counter. There were boiled eggs, bread, butter, jams, cornflakes, tea, coffee, paratha, uthappam. I downed some fresh fruit and bread and butter. And then some hot uthappams with fresh sambhar and chutney. What I liked best—the fresh watermelon and orange juices. The breakfast comes at a nominal price of Rs 200.
Security is important and there are checks and balances at every level. Every time I slipped in and out of the hotel, I needed to slide in my key in the lift. Right now the lift gave me access to go anywhere in the hotel, but eventually the plan is to make a floor-centric entry. For instance, I was on the eighth floor, so the lift would land me at the eighth floor only. And each floor has a door at the corridor where too you need to slide in your key to get access. So the Rest Assured line does work.
Another interesting thing I found was that the lights in the corridor are sensor-sensitive. They come on only when they find you around. I was informed me that Accor is a green company, with a philosophy of less carbon footprint, so if any floor is unoccupied, the air conditioning of that floor is switched off without affecting the other floors.
There is also a small meeting room near the reception. The hotel has a tie-up for a cab service. There is a rent-a-car facility too.
What I liked best—Free wi-fi. In fact, you get your password and username along with your key on checking in. And it’s even free for guests who visit you. There is a dedicated internet area near the reception where the guests can avail the facility.
What I feel small families would like to do: Take the room with a bunker bed, so everyone, including your child sleeps in peace and with ample space.
Who does the hotel work for according to me: Business traveler, corporates, people who come for projects/exhibitions/explorations for work—they get a choice from the twin bedded rooms to double-bed rooms. I slept in the double-bed one.
Breakfast done, I picked my bags and checked out super fast.
What you will miss: Someone to get your luggage and room service. It’s a self service hotel.
What’s nearby: Artemis, Medanta hospitals
MG Road with its malls is about 10 km
Cinema hall and a mall on Sohna Road is within a 2-km range.
Kingdom of Dreams, the amusement centre, is around 6 km.
International airport is around 20 km. Railway station is not far.
About Hotel Formule1 – Rest Assured
The hotel is designed in Europe. The brand aims to offer cost conscious travelers all the essential comforts in key locations. The group has its presence in Gurgaon, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Greater Noida, Pune Hinjewadi and Pune Pimpri.