Novotel Vijayawada Varun: An ideal Staycation Location off Hyderabad

We were travelling to Vijayawada on some work towards the end of the week. We needed a little time to relax and I remembered that a few of my friends had recently visited Novotel Vijayawada Varun, and had a good experience there. My Accor Plus membership ensured a good weekend deal in the hotel, and on a Saturday afternoon, we arrived at the hotel after a nice time in the Tadepalli-Mangalgiri area. 

The hotel is located near Benz Circle Flyover, bang in the middle of the city. We had a quick check-in and were allotted a room on the fifth floor. I have some friends in the Accor Group, and a word from one of them ensured a tremendous welcome – a specially designed Welcome Hamper in our room when we occupied it. The Executive Chef Mr Suraj was personally present to deliver the hamper of dry fruits and goodies.

The room provided some excellent views of the hills and the surrounding localities. I was told that the rooftop had an even better view, and after some freshening up, we went up there. You can almost see the entire Vijayawada city from the tenth floor, which also houses the swimming pool, the Calm Spa and the Skydeck restobar. The hotel rooms are completely non-smoking, so if any guest wants to smoke, a smoking corner is available on this rooftop.

The hotel has four food and beverage outlets, - Food Exchange, the buffet place, Gourmet Bar in the lobby, SkyDeck the resto-bar on the rooftop and Wugan, the pan Asian place. As a food enthusiast, I wanted to try out all the four places. In the early evening, I went down to the Gourmet Bar at the lobby level to taste a special Hi-Tea session there. 

A mélange of savouries and sweets were presented for the Hi-Tea, Shrimp Cheese Quiche, Root veggies Feta Bruschetta, and Stuffed Cut Mirchi Bhajji were some of the highlights from the former. Vijayawada is known for its Punugulu and aptly, there was Punugulu with assorted chutneys. Among the sweet items, there were Strawberry Macarones, Clair Pistachio and Raisin Scones. The Gourmet Bar also has the best liquors available there, and the bar person there can make some kickass cocktails and mocktails.

The hotel has two types of rooms in terms of views – the city and hill views respectively. On the top two floors, they have single and double-bedroom apartments where long-duration guests usually stay.

We went back to the rooftop Skydeck in the evening. The outlet has two levels, sitting on the top level with a beer and snacks and enjoying the night view of the city was surreal.

Our dinner was at the buffet place Food Exchange, which is also located at the lobby level. The dinner had a good spread, the highlights for me being the Telugu starters and main courses. Miryala Chicken Fry, and a hot Andhra Mutton Curry were my picks from this section. The Pan-Asian and continental sections were also adequate, though I missed a pizza oven here.

After a good night's rest, the next morning we were back for breakfast at the same place, and this was a delightful experience. They have several types of dosas that they make at a live counter – Ragi Dosa and Egg Dosa to mention a few. The Tea and Coffee counter was quite crowded with people opting for their favourite versions of tea and coffee. Down south for me, it is always the filter coffee. The idlis were also available in a couple of varieties – Thatte Idli from Karnataka, and a yellow ural dal-based one, the name of which I forgot. There were vadas of different types too, not to speak of about ten types of chutneys accompanying these delicacies. These made me skip the other types of breakfast available, except for a huge Cheese Masala Omelette.

The heavy breakfast was followed by a leisurely walk in the colony next to the hotel. The place mostly had independent houses that had an old-world charm. There were carts selling dosa, idli and other delicacies and people were thronging to them. 

We had visited Vijayawada on at least half a dozen occasions earlier, so the major sightseeing locations were all familiar to me. However, if you are here for the first time on a vacation hire a transport to visit the Kanakadurga Temple, Bhavani Island on River Krishna as well as the Mangalgiri town about 15 km away to have a look and purchase their iconic cotton products like saree and kurta cloth. The hotel will be most happy to make the arrangements.

A highlight of our stay at the hotel was the food of Wugan, their Pan-Asian restaurant. Arguably the best oriental place in town, the restaurant was closed for renovation, but the management arranged for a special tasting session on the last day of my visit so that I could have a feel of its dishes. And, I was very pleasantly surprised, the food was as good as the best in Hyderabad. And it is the only place in Vijayawada to have a teppan.

We started with Salmon Nigiri and went on to taste their California Roll and Asparagus Bell Pepper Maki. The Prawn Tom Kha was nicely presented inside a tender coconut, and the taste complemented the looks. This was followed by some lovely dim sums. The star of the afternoon was the Chicken Yakitori, while the Donburi impressed too. The other dishes we tasted were Kung Bao Chicken and Basil Crispy tofu. The taste overall was excellent. Look up the restaurant when you are in Vijayawada, it is scheduled to reopen after a renovation soon.

Was very pleased with the cosiness of the hotel, where all the staff had a smile on their faces. Every staff member was eager to help and chip in with their suggestions regarding the food and surroundings. Novotel Vijayawada Varun is definitely a good place to visit for a short break from Hyderabad. If you are an Accor Plus member, you can get special vouchers with your membership that will make your stay quite economical compared to the rack rates.


Novotel Varun Vijayawada

near Benz Circle, Bharathi Nagar, Vijayawada 520008

Telephone: 0866 666 8999

Read more ...