Google ‘What to do in Pune?’ and you get links about treks, forts and even a mall (what even?) but here’s what we recommend. Check in to the Westin Pune and then, well, it doesn’t matter because you won’t want to step out anyway. Nestled in a pretty bustling neighbourhood of Koregaon Park, you’d think that the hotel would be a reflection of the urban busy-ness outside. I was proved wrong and I am glad. The Westin Pune is like an oasis of calm, a wonderful and welcome surprise when you’ve spent the week chasing deadlines, stressing about last minute updates and more. We checked into one of their suites that was so spacious we met our step count just walking around ooh-ing and aah-ing at the various cool things in the room, as you must whenever you enter a fabulous hotel room. I believe this is required by the law.
To give you an idea of the luxurious experience you are in for when you check in to The Westin Pune, allow me to tell you about their floor which is fully carpeted so any time you deign to take off your footwear, you feel like you’re walking on clouds. Our room had a large outdoor sitting area one that, if you’re that social or a character from Bridgerton, you would entertain guests in. Throw a barbeque and beer party. Celebrate a birthday. You get the drift. Once you’re done sighing at how soft the carpet feels under your feet, you can choose to sink into the opulent sofas placed beautifully around the suite, perfectly suited for you take in the views around.
The beds at The Westin Pune are the kind of plush delicious comfort you eventually come to associate with brand Westin. I want to go into the details of how soft the pillows are, how they held my neck and head in a delicate embrace but I fell asleep almost as soon as I hit the bed and that’s a testimonial in itself. In fact, sleeping well is part of the Westin offering- one that they have aced. As a part of the turn down service (one of my favourite kind of services), they leave a lavender balm on your pillow which transports you to the lavender fields, calming you down and enveloping you in a fragrant aroma. The room also feels like it’s set to just the right temperature. It’s so perfect, that you actually do want that heavy blanket on you, without worrying that you will end up waking up sweaty in the middle of the night. This is important because I am convinced that most hotels are just trying to freeze us to sleep.
Our first lunch here was at Aafreen, which is wholesome, delicious Indian cuisine and much like the eponymous song sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, it’s difficult to fully put into words how absolutely delectable each dish was. The tomato soup with basil oil and cheese foam was the kind of stuff legends are made of. The lamb chops coated generously with pistachio crumbs was served on the table with a portable charcoal grill and the flavours in this were gentle but glorious- the kind of dish that you want to keep eating long after you’re full. The entire spread was decadent, yet not heavy, flavourful but not spicy- perfectly balanced and flavoured.
We also had a meal at Asilo, The Westin Pune’s bar that boasts of signature cocktails prepared by a bartender with plenty of flair. Each drink was presented to tell a story and potent enough for you to enjoy the story but also forget about it till morning next. Their sushi was spectacular and I may have indulged in more than I intended to. Of course, once both and I were suitably alarmed at the copious quantities of sushi, I got up to shake a leg to the music and that was fun.
We got breakfast at The Market. The Westin Pune’s takes it’s food seriously and this was proven by the fact that the spread practically took up the area of an entire pin code. The usuals were there- fresh fruits, juices, confectionary items, breads with every grain imaginable- and then there were interesting add ons. A live counter for sushi and dimsums, for example. A live bar for fresh pancakes and waffles- a counter that I may or may not have been seen at almost constantly. This was followed by a brunch which comes with a lovely spread as well. I found the brunch most celebratory and the vibe is the kind you want to bring your family too. They even have a play area for kids which adults will also enjoy.
The Heavenly Spa at Westin Pune is aptly named. I opted for their signature massage which involved potlis, undoing of knots and plenty of strokes on their part and deep snores on my part. Having gone to the spa after a particularly taxing week, the session was a welcome break. It started with the washing off the feet after which I clambered on to the bed, slept face down as the therapist started work on my back and feet. After which, I am sorry, I do not have much to report as I was in deep slumber.
Overall, The Westin Pune is a great city escape for when life has been hectic. But checking out is mandatory. Yes, I checked. No, you cannot stay there permanently.
Check out some of the other properties we have covered here.