Maharashtra is an extensive canvas of rich culture, architecture, and celebrated historical legacies. An absolute delight of a state providing plenty of opportunities for both business travellers, as well as, the tourists. Near Mumbai, Maharashtra’s 3rd-largest city Nasik is a new hot favourite for conventions and weekend getaways. Perched on the bank of river Godavari, the city features ancient Buddhist caves, vineyards, an exquisite silverware market and close to a hundred temples. Therefore, I was thrilled to be invited by Express Inn, a premium resort by Preferred Group. I think the best thing about this property is that it faces Buddhist Stupa and ancient Pandavleni Caves that evoke a sense of calm.
On a hot summer day in April, I reached Nashik at 5 AM when the early morning breeze was dawning cool and breezy. As soon as, I sat inside the hotel automobile, the Express Inn SUV roared off into the foggy roads of Nashik. All throughout the 30-minutes journey, the Nashik Freeway appeared to chase the phenomenal views of majestic hills. Shortly, the silhouettes began to draw in the eastern sky, casting off a landscaping loom. I had only begun to soak in the beauty of the sunrise when the car entered the premises of the Express Inn resort.
I was to be allotted a Suite at 12 PM, however, was offered a standard room to freshen up in the meanwhile. While my Suite was getting ready, the hotel management asked me to enjoy a hearty breakfast at Aster, the all-day restaurant of Express Inn. The breakfast was pretty average with regular Indian and continental options. At 12 PM, I was finally checked into the spacious 535 sqft Express Suite of Express Inn. Sadly Express Suite does not have a separate living room but, the curtains do draw up to wonderful views of the ancient Pandavleni Caves. The french windows are locked hence you cant access the balcony. This Suite, however, is equipped with a foot massager, a walk-in closet, mini-fridge, electronic tea kettle and a digital safe.
The Suite still makes a great stay option for business travellers or for couples. If you are visiting Nashik for business then the in-room suit hanger will ensure your clothes remain crease-free. Amongst other premium facilities, enjoy the Kimirica organic toiletries in the en-suite washroom. Kimirica Royale De Collecte is based on a 5000-year-old Ayurvedic formula and is one of the best range of toiletries infused with organic oils, actives and natural fragrances. I give 5/5 to the hotel for their thoughtful selection of toiletries. As for the washroom, its equipped with separate toilet, shower and a small bathtub.
For lunch, I was yet again invited to Aster to explore their buffet. This warm restaurant is cloaked in the shades of red and black. One side of this restaurant bathes in natural sunlight which is well complemented by the indoor teak furniture.
At the time of my visit, the restaurant was hosting a 24-karat gold menu and the management made me taste one Kala Jaam slathered with edible-gold. It tasted like a usual Kala Jaam though. After lunch, I was given a hotel tour by the marketing manager. In the evening, I was invited to the Sunday Sundowner party organised in collaboration with Rhythm Winery. Most of the attendees of this gig were the in-house guests. The couple with children were dancing to the tunes of the local Dj and even enjoyed playing games hosted by the emcee. The wine from the Rhythm Winery was good considering Nasik is the wine capital of India.
The mid-April sundowner was hosted by the poolside, fuelled with Dj Sam’s music and powered by fire-juggling acts and an extensive bar. I can’t comment on the food and the drinks as I didn’t have the chance to try any. For dinner, I was invited to the Express Inn’s neon-lit Le Bar & Salon. This restaurant is popular for finger-food and continental delicacies. I had a very strange experience at this restaurant. Even though I was invited to review the place, the marketing manager forgot to inform the restaurant staff. That led to a lot of confusion and delay in service. Also, the staff was pretty rude until they figured that I was invited by the management. Which makes me wonder about how they must treat their regular guests.
After one hour of wait time, the waitstaff finally got me a sizzler and a long island ice tea. Next day, I visited Pandavleni caves. Even though the trip wasn’t Express Inn’s courtesy, here’s a picture of what the hotel looks like from the caves.
The Cave climb is pretty fatiguing but as luck had it, I was invited to O2 Spa after my short excursion. Bless the masseur who gave me foot reflexology to help heal from the tiredness.
In the night, the hotel left goodnight chocolates for me. The bed was super comfortable so I slept well on both the days. All in all, a good hotel.