Two weeks ago, some personal work took me to the city of Ahmedabad and I stayed in two hotels in different parts of the city. For the first three nights, I opted to stay at Lemon Tree Premier-The Atrium for reasons that were rightly served. I am a history buff who loves to explore the old parts of the city on foot. The hotel turned out to be very convenient for sightseeing and exploring the historic heart of the city. It was just a walk-away from the famous Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, Bhadra fort, Jami Masjid, Manek Chowk, Teen Darwaza, Ahmedabad Club, Manek Burj, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the narrow alleyways and lanes of the ‘Pols’ of Ahmedabad. Secondly, I wanted to stay close to the river as well. The hotel is bang opposite the Sabarmati waterfront, and hence there was never a sign of melancholy. It was so much fun to see the glistening water and its myriad shades, the regular movement of vehicles on the foot-over bridges and the activities around the waterfront.
The hotel is a cheerful space with unfailingly helpful staff. Unlike other business hotels, Lemon Tree Premier-The Atrium, Ahmedabad is different in its look and appeal. It is very prim and proper, with a boutique look. The tone is set right with a cozy atrium, picturesque stairs and high ceilings. The glass lift in the center grabs immediate attention. The lobby leads to the restaurants- Citrus Cafe and the River Front Grill. The latter opens up to the riverfront and promises water views throughout the day. Mind it, the hotel is not located on the riverfront side but across it. The indoor swimming pool and the gym are located on the ground floor, next to the lobby and have to be accessed through stairs. The hotel exuded coziness and it was also cute in many ways. I had a very comfortable stay for three days and I would say it qualifies as a lovely option in the mid-priced hotel section. Read to know more about it.
How to Reach Lemon Tree Premier, Ahmedabad?
The ride from the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport to the Lemon Tree Premier, Ahmedabad was a smooth drive of seventeen minutes. I booked an Uber from the airport parking and hit the road. In the first impression, the city looked dainty. At the hotel, I was met with a traditional welcome and then escorted to my room. The process of check-in was hassle-free. In less than 5 minutes, I was already making my way to the fifth floor and the promptness is well-appreciated.
Since I had an early morning flight from Delhi, I had requested the hotel for an early check-in. Thankfully, they had been very accommodating about it. All that I needed was a bed for a few hours before I could begin my exploration of the city. Also, I remember it was quite hot that day, so staying inside the hotel seemed like the best idea. In the following days, it rained a lot and the temperature became better. The Rain God helped me to make the best of my first time in Ahmedabad.
My Suite at the Lemon Tree Premier, The Atrium
I was all smiles when I entered my suite. It had everything that promised a comfortable stay. Being a great fan of rooms with a view, I was quick to roll up the blinds on windows. City hotels usually do have not much to offer in terms of views but this one seemed interesting. Its close proximity to Sabarmati river and the waterfront added more character to the room view. My room enjoyed lots of natural light as well as cool visuals of the city. The suite (living room connected to the bedroom) having modern amenities whilst still retaining much of its old charm, was a real treat. It was equipped with a huge bed, settee sofa, study table, chandelier, huge wall mirrors, two washrooms, two television sets and a dainty looking bathtub. The room was elegant and sizeable and even the main washroom was pretty big. The overall feel was cosy, and well thought out.
With huge old buildings around, it was easy to conclude that the hotel was located in a well-preserved area and must have been revamped from time to time. Like all buildings, this one too had its own story. Initially, the hotel had opened up under another hospitality group but was being managed by Lemon tree group for several years, now.
View from the Room
Citrus Cafe is a bright and inviting multi-cuisine restaurant, which offers an eclectic all day dining menu including Indian, European, American and pan-Asian cuisine. The River Front Grill is also an all day coffee shop where they take ala-carte orders. In the evenings the latter makes for a nice open air dining place. One can enjoy lovely sunset views from here. The breakfast and dinner buffet takes place at Citrus Cafe.
On 2 nights, I chose to have buffet dinner at the hotel and on one of the evenings, I just had a light snack and later went to explore Manek Chowk, a night food market of Ahmedabad with friends. I enjoyed the dinner on both the nights. The salad spread and ‘make your own chaat papdi’ caught my attention everyday. The vegetarians in us (hubby and I) were definitely not disappointed. There was lots to indulge into. We saw a lot of people during dinner. The restaurant seemed popular with the locals too. On some occasions, the pleasure of dining in was lessened by too much noise. The buffet spread was pleasing but if in case you ordered something, you had to wait a little extra. However, the wait was always worth it. The food that arrived on the table was always good.
The breakfast not only makes for the most important meal of the day but it also plays an integral role in making a lasting impression of any hotel. At Lemon Tree Premier, we looked forward to the hearty breakfast, everyday. The spread was decent with lots of hot and cold choices. Along with porridge, mashed potatoes, vegetables, idlis, poha, upma, uttapam, etc, there were fresh and canned juices, buttermilk, local Gujarati farsan, eggs to order as well as piping hot dosas with sambhar. The staff did not disappoint. They were efficient, attentive and warm despite it being busy in the mornings. I wouldn’t say everything had a wow factor but things were pretty consistent, which made a good impact.
Places that One can Visit from the Hotel
I visited a couple of places from the hotel. On the first day, I went to Bhadra fort, Bhadrakali temple, the Atal footover bridge, Teen Darwaza, etc. On the second day, I visited the Sardar vallabhbhai Patel national memorial, one of the popular museums which is being dedicated to the great Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Then I went to the Hutheesing Jain Temple. Post lunch, I also did a trip to Sabarmati Ashram and the waterfront. In the evening, I went to Motera Stadium to watch IPL qualifier. Everything was easily accessible by autos and cabs but for Motera Stadium, we used the metro which was the best mode of transport. On the third day, I did a day trip to Patan and Modhera.
On Day 2, We returned at 2.30 in the night after watching the IPL match and walked from the metro station to the hotel. On the third day, we returned to the hotel at 1.30 a.m. from Manek Chowk. I had heard Ahmedabad is safe. It turned out better than that. And secondly, the hotel was very convenient to reach even at the late hours.
I would like to reiterate that though the hotel is not very grand, it is charming in its own way. It may show some signs of being old but it wins over with its warmth and freshness. I noticed that it was neat and tidy all the time. Kudos to the entire staff for being warm and cherubic, always ready to offer a helping hand. My visit to the hotel was a part of brand collaboration but the views expressed in the blog are authentic and solely mine.
Read more – 11 Highlights of my first trip to Gujarat