Hotel Formule1 – I had heard about this new brand of hotels owned by AccorHotels but had not experienced a stay as yet. Two weeks back when I was in India, I got to do this as part of my work as a travel blogger. When I say work, it means anything that involves traveling, exploring new places, eating and reviewing hospitable properties. When I travel to different cities, countries, I get a chance to live in different kinds of hotels but that does not mean I miss on the chance of exploring the hotel options of my own city. I love doing them too because its like taking a one day break from your own routine. I am glad that I got this opportunity to spend almost like 20 hours at the Hotel Formule1 Gurgaon to be able to share my story.
When the cab driver dropped me at 5 in the evening, I learnt a few things about the hotel right there. I did not know the hotel was located inside the premises of the GOOD EARTH MALL. I found it a very interesting setting for three reasons. First, after a long day at work or outing, if you do not wish to go too far for the food, its available just right there. A small walk or some window shopping is relaxing. Second, when there is a shopping arena close-by, one does not has to travel anywhere to get what you want and you definitely save on a lot of time. Thirdly, the hotel is easy to locate. Even if you are coming there for the first time, you don’t get lost.
When I walked inside, the first thing that cheered me were the lovely colors and the decor. It was colorful and appealing. Bright colors and stylish interiors were impressive. The walls had cool designs and the three sides stood for ‘Reception, Lounge and Internet’ respectively. I am not sure what really stands for you but for me the first look of the hotel is very important. If the reception area is dull, its a big turn off for me. And of course, a neat and hygienic aura was the next thing on my book. I checked with a valid id proof and was soon handed over my room keys and wifi password with no fuss whatsoever. The people at the reception are of all types- quick, slow, courteous, friendly, rude etc. but they must know their job well. Here, they knew it, bang on!
I was met by the manager soon and we sat down to talk around the hotel, the concept of Formule1, travelers, his work and the challenges met in his day to day work. This session over coffee was really very interesting. He told me about his job, his team of 22 people for 205 rooms, how this was supposed to be a self-service hotel and why it was an ideal stay for those on business and leisure travel. Accor has three categories of hotels and this one was famous among the business and budget-conscious travelers. It provided for all the essential comforts and yet was easy on the pocket because it is a smart concept. The hotel caters to the ‘cost-conscious’ guests. As customers, we have to realize the difference between a pompous and a no-frills stay. If you have done backpacking in Europe, you would know what I mean. Hotel Formule 1 is hotelF1 in France. Its re-branded and adapted well as per Indian customers.
I also learnt about the vending machine,the energy conservation concept, the free computers for internet usage, the small conference rooms, the dinner provided by the tiffin service and more. I will talk about them as you read the post.
We also discussed on the new age traveler who is looking for comfort and convenience more than anything else. If you there to explore a new place, you definitely are not going to spend the day in the hotel room, what you really want is breakfast, hygiene, cleanliness and good sleep quality. The same holds for the business travelers too. The needs and expectations are very crisp absolutely to the point. A lot of choices depends on the kind of traveler you are. I was also glad to learn that the graduate trainees from companies like Ericsson, TCS were being provided with the rooms here for the initial 15 days of their new beginning. Now with Good Earth Mall around, I am sure the new entrants had everything around and with 17 restaurants within 100 metres of the property, there was no dearth of food options too. Soon I was joined by another blogger friend and the manager walked us to the room.
We took the lift to the third floor to learn a few more things about the hotel. But first I must tell you the hotel is working towards making fourth floor as a women floor. Also there was a iron table, coffee area on the 4th as well as the 8th floor for everyone’s use. It gave me a hostel like feeling at once. But of course, this was much more glamorous. As we walked on our floor, we also learnt that the hotel follows certain parameters for energy conservation. First it has centralized air conditioner. So whenever a complete floor is unoccupied, the electricity use can be kept a minimal for that particular floor. Second there are walk sensor lights. As you walk, the lights are switched on and rest of the time, its not in use saving power.
On entering the room, there was the loo on the right. Then a wash basin and just next to it was the shower-room. And then there came the bed. In one corner of the room, there was a mounted television. On the same side, there was a table and a stool for the luggage bags. Honestly the room was compact but very well managed and created in the manner to provide for everything. One shouldn’t be taken in for a surprise because that’s the concept of the Formule1.
Before entering our room, we also checked for other few rooms and I must tell you the linen was absolutely clean as this one. First we had been allocated a double bed room. But soon we wanted to accommodate another friend because who was flying from Hyderabad. At the last moment, it was tough to make the changes but thankfully there were bunker bed rooms and see we got the below. It was really cool. Now I could absolutely say, we were back to our hostel, home away from home. With three girls together, we had so much to talk that we almost forgot that we were all working on the next day. It was like a breather in the stressful week.
After refreshing ourselves, we went around to the mall and had our meal at Yo china. The walk around the mall was refreshing. If you have returned from your office and you are staying here for a business purpose, I am sure you will love it because it does not involve lots of walking and at the same time, it provides for some space to just hang around with friends or just be on your own. One may walk in the shops and buy some essentials too.
In fact, the hotel has a vending machine too to provide for the essentials like tooth paste, comb, dental kit, Maggi, upma. You put in the money and you get your stuff. Its absolutely easy and self service is the rule of the game here. There is a microwave and some bowls for you. One may cook and eat if you really don’t feel like eating at the restaurants.
My friend and I had a nice meal here at Yo! China
We hanged around till 10.30 because it felt absolutely safe to be close to the hotel. We could chose to retire at any time. Due to the restaurants, the place was still buzzing with families and groups of friends. Our third friend joined in directly from the airport and she could not help but compare it with Etap hotels in France. I thought she would look for lavish rooms but not once did she complain. She was absolutely aware of this brand from Accor group and had all praises for it. After our chit chats, we really slept late but comfortably, no doubt.
Next morning, it was time to check out but not before we had stuffed ourselves with the sumptuous breakfast. It comes for Rs. 200 per person but it has a complete variety. It ins’t lavish but enough to last you till the lunch. There are options in the juice, breads, eggs. I had both boiled eggs and omelette. I also had idlis, parantha and yogurt.
Here is all that that I did in my one day stay here. I was absolutely comfortable because I knew what I was in for. After having spent a day here as well as talking to the customers around and taking their feedback during the breakfast time, I can definitely vouch for value-for-money experience in the hotel. If you have been here, do let me know about your experience.
P.S. I did this when I was in India two weeks ago. Right now I am exploring Dubai, so keep following my travel stories here @manjulika5