Monsoon Getaway to Novotel Imagica, Khopoli

Having blogged about food for the longest time, I sometimes like to break away from the monotony and feature properties that I’ve personally experienced. Being an ardent travel buff and someone who truly likes covering all things lifestyle, I recently got a chance to experience a lovely weekend getaway at Novotel Imagica in Khopoli – the comparatively new property right next to Adlabs Imagica – my most favourite amusement park which I covered here when it had newly opened.

The Property
The entrance
The lobby

This time, the main agenda was to check out everything that this resort has to offer. Hardly 2-2.5 hours away from the bustling city of Mumbai, Novotel Imagica is located in Khopoli. We reached just in time to check-in and then went to The Square – Novotel’s all day dining space for a hearty lunch.

The Square
What lunch looked like…
Desserts, of course.

After an indulgent buffet spread and a long interaction with Mr. Srinivas Srirangam – the General Manager of Novotel Imagica Khopoli, we went on a property tour – I guess it was the most perfect way to digest all that food we’d just eaten… haha!
We walked out into a beautiful open space with cabanas by the poolside, which by the way was quite a photogenic sight, we got a lovely glimpse of the mountains that surrounded us. Grey skies and a light drizzle gave us company and the weather was rather pleasant. The spacious place is ideal for patrons who want to host outdoor events. From poolside sangeets to cocktail parties, I could imagine a lot happening here, and why not? The vibes are perfect!

Poolside musing…
The serene pool
The property from behind – by the pool
Up next, we checked out the play area for the kids – an ideal spot if you’re vacationing with children. Right next door was this basic but amazing gym that I knew I had to check out later. From treadmills to yoga mats to sets of dumbbells, you have the liberty to workout in whatever way that suits your needs. Yes, even though I was never really a “fitness enthusiast”, I am a proud one now because taking care of my health has indeed become a priority.
Proof that I actually did use the gym 😛
What I observed about the property was that it neither exudes absolute luxury nor is it super casual, like a typical resort. Having struck an interesting balance, the place is extremely kid-friendly as well as sports a pretty cool bar and vibes that works perfectly well for young adults. It also offers a wonderful high tea spread within the lounge spaces of Tubby’s Bistro. I guess one may wonder who Tubby is now that I mentioned it? Keep reading to find out… 🙂

The lounge between Tubby’s Bistro and Nitro Bar
It’s been a long time, but I remember staying at the Disney’s All Stars’ Music Resort when I was in Disneyworld (Florida) and noticed how Novotel has taken similar inspiration and tried to include the same experience. A mascot like Tubby – the cute red elephant is indeed a cute way to match up. That’s why the bistro in the lobby is called “Tubby’s Bistro”. It includes a recreational area that has a foosball table (we played and we won!) along with many other games. The bar here is called Nitro Bar. For those who aren’t aware, Nitro is the craziest and the highest roller-coaster ride at Adlabs Imagica. Talk about getting ‘high’ at the bar that’s named after it! 😉

Tubby came to greet us!
High tea spread at Tubby’s Bistro
A competitive game of foosball 😀
We also noticed the gift shop that involves souvenirs and so for those who seek it, it’s there. The lower lobby also has 3 banquet spaces that are ideal for conferences, corporate meet-ups, weddings or any other form of celebrations. With a separate entrance for the same, one can easily plan a destination wedding to say the least. (PS. How cool would it be to have an amusement park themed wedding?)
Once we got done with the tour, it was time to head back to our rooms. One really never knows the joy of having a room all to yourself until one has been there, done that. 26 years of my life, and this was my time. Better late than never, I truly looked forward to it… Enjoy this “me-time” of solitude, in a super comfy hotel room… that welcomes you with open arms. Yes. 0:)

My cozy room
Bathroom selfie toh banta hai… 😛
View from the room

The property has 3 wings with respect to hotel room views. Each wing has rooms facing Nitro (the rollercoaster), the AquaMagica side (aqua wing) or the classic greenery + mountain view. My room faced the lush greens as this trip was meant to be my ideal monsoon getaway. It was time to relax on that super comfy queen-size bed and just take in the silence around while I savoured every moment of this time with myself.

Snippets from SnoMagica
In the evening, we all assembled in the lobby to head to SnoMagica – The snow park next to Adlabs Imagica. Since it was the first time here for all of us, it was indeed an evening to look forward to. I knew what to expect since I’ve previously visited Snow Park in Dubai, but I was excited enough to chill – literally. Jackets, gumboots and gloves are available on hire and are mandatory. Once you enter, you’ll know why… the temperatures are insanely low; -10 degrees if I am not mistaken.

SnoMagica has snow slides, ice sculptures you can pose with, snowfall that gets you feeling like you’re in a snowy hill station, a little café that serves hot chocolate, tea and coffee and a dance floor – well, not really a floor but like a really cool DJ console and space to dance to some of your favourite tunes. Sounds exciting, right? A couple of snow fights and a fun dance session, we indeed had a ball! Personally I love the cold and snow. While the others were ready to leave and go back to normal temperatures, I never really wanted to get out but had to… *sigh*

Martini workshop and Make your own concoction contest
Grilled delicacies we made a meal of!
Back to the hotel by around 7pm, it was time to freshen up and get ready for an evening of grills and martinis at Nitro Bar. A special monsoon-centric festival, the concept was all about savouring an array of grills with some potent martinis. Unfortunately I didn’t really drink as I was nursing a cold with antibiotics (Yes, I didn’t stop myself from having fun in the snow but I chose to skip the alcohol) so I managed to check out quite a few grilled vegetables and meats. But before that, the team led by Mr. Gaurav Magoo – Director of Food and Beverages Manager at Novotel had organized a really cool activity for us. We were made into teams of 2 and had to pick a chit. The chit involved the name of an alcohol base. Once that was allotted, we had the choice of picking our mixers and other elements that could make our customized drink as interesting as possible. Gregory – my partner in crime on this monsoon getaway and I stirred up a storm with some whiskey, apple juice, finely chopped apples and a dash of orange juice. A twist to the classic white wine sangria, ‘Whisksangria’ was surprisingly delightful and enjoyed by many! 🙂
The night was young and we had a really good time. But I knew I wanted to go back to my room to get a good night’s sleep. And why not? Everybody loves a good hotel room, right? I was no different…

Novotel Imagica by night
After a quiet night of comfort and sleep, I managed to wake up super early (6am) without an alarm (I hadn’t set one cuz well, it was Sunday!) and instead of being lazy, I took this chance to go check out the gym. There’s really nothing better than an early morning workout. I had the gym all to myself and spent almost 1.5 hours sweating it out. They call it ‘Inbalance’ and now I know why. 🙂
A leisurely and refreshing shower later, I knew I had worked up a wonderful appetite for a hearty breakfast. Strips of delicious bacon, scrambled eggs, a cup of hot mocha and some pancakes late, we were in for a pleasant surprise when we heard fun dance music (Gangnam Style, FTW!) playing in the background and some of our favourite cartoon character dancing their way into The Square and going around – getting the children and their families to have fun, mingle and pose for pictures. We were then told about this lovely practice – they call it the Irolic Parade. It’s a wonderful touch to brighten everyone’s morning and the perfect solution for the grumpy kids who aren’t ready to face the day. 😛
Queen size breakfast
We then decided to go and settle down by the poolside with our coffees. The Square gives one direct access to the cabanas and the weather was perfect. A light drizzle completed our leisure time.
Since the day was quite easy-going, we were given the choice of visiting either AquaMagica or Adlabs Imagica. I’m not big on water-parks so I knew it was gonna be Imagica for me. A couple of rides and rollercoasters later, Rutavi – my partner at Imagica and I were thoroughly drenched. If you think going on rollercoasters multiple times is insane, try doing the same while it’s pouring. OMG, it was crazy – you’re not only fighting your fear, but also fighting the rains! In the end, being the thrill-seeker I am, we went front row and it really couldn’t get better than THAT.

Nitro – the only picture I managed to click before it started pouring like crazy 😛
A few hours later, we walked back to the hotel. It was just so convenient to say the least. A light lunch, some more leisure time in the room and we were ready to check-out and head back to our regular lives in the city. It’s never a good feeling to leave something so lovely and comfortable, but it’s only then that you learn to cherish the memories made and the good times shared! #lifelessons
Thank you Novotel Imagica, for the impeccable hospitality that culminated into a memorable stay and a monsoon getaway that proved to be a sure shot success. Will be back soon! 🙂

Until next time…

The Potpourri Girl
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Twitter: @TaariniNB
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Email: thepotpourrigirl@gmail.com

 

PS. The bloggers were invited to check out this property.

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