Sharing my experience from the Wildflower Hall, Shimla from July’16
It had been a while since the family had traveled together. We welcomed the new year in Vegas but it was clearly time for a vacation again. The Wildflower Hall had always been on my father’s wish list but somehow, we never ended up going there. This time for this birthday, I had to make it happen! I got in touch with Mr. Sumit Joshi, who heads the team at Wildflower Hall and he helped me reserve two beautiful valley view rooms. I was so excited but someone was more excited than I was- my dad.
I can write a book on how beautiful the property is. It is like stepping into a world of luxury and comfort that is beautifully nestled in nature. Mr. Joshi took us around the hotel, which is like a colonial hill station home with it’s library, cards room and intimate seating arrangements.The magnificence of the hotel left us awed but what was more interesting was the history of the place. It is the former residence of Lord Kitchener, that got burnt before it was taken over by the Oberoi group. No surprises here but my favourite part was definitely the indoor pool and the jacuzzi that overlooked the mountains. I could live in there!
We spent hours in the cards room playing monopoly and in the pool. Is there a better way to spend a vacation than to sit in the hot jacuzzi and staring at the pretty mountains with people you love the most? No, right?
However, what made our experience SO special was not just the property. It was the wonderful team at Wildflower Hall. If I’ve to put it in one sentence- hospitality at it’s best. But one sentence is not enough to thank them for making our stay so comfortable and for making us feel at home. And as Mr. Joshi said while we were leaving- “Wildflower Hall continues to be your house in the Himalayas”. Every member of the team contributed to make our stay special, be it the staff in the restaurant or in the lobby or at the pool. What really makes Wildflower Hall special for me is it’s positivity and comforting atmosphere.
Only when I thought it doesn’t get better than this, we had our first meal at Wildflower Hall. By now, you should be able to assume how pretty the dining area was. So, let’s talk about the food. We are a family that eats a lot and so we did. What surprised me was how every single dish that we tried during our stay, whether Indian, Asian or Continental was made to perfection. While the parents obsessed over traditional Himachali food that the chef recommended, my favourite was the mushroom and ricotta ravioli. Since I’ve not been eating meat, I will rely on my sister’s feedback on the grilled chicken she ordered- “delicious, delicious, delicious!”
I’m that annoying child who always skips breakfast but when I’m vacationing, it becomes my favourite meal of the day since I get to eat a lot of sweet things. I was delighted to pile up donuts, croissants and waffles on my plate. I loved the blueberry french toast- breakfast goals! Mummy gorged on idlis, that she loves, followed by a cup of her favourite Darjeeling tea. Another thing that I loved on the menu was the egg benedict. The chef made it without ham for me and it was so good! A breakfast menu that can keep the entire family happy is just what a restaurant needs and the Wildflower Hall restaurant was that and much more!
How can I not talk about desserts? I wanted to try everything on the dessert menu since every single dessert sounded just what I needed. Unfortunately, I couldn’t because of the amount I used to eat for every single meal ha ha. But I did try their cheesecake and ice-creams. I love when a dessert menu offers you so much choice that you get confused. Luckily we tried almost all the flavours of their delicious home-made ice creams. The parents obsessed over the paan ice-cream for the next two days while I kept dreaming of the blueberry one. The lemon ice-cream was something unique and if you like citrus, like I do, you need to try that- something like I’ve never had before!
Why I say that Wildflower Hall is close to nature is because it is right next to the Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary. The guide who took us for the Wild Strawberry Trail skirting the sanctuary told us that the forest is the most dense forest in Asia! We spent one afternoon trekking, snacking on the wild strawberries and hearing the guide talk about the beauty of the place- the trees, the flowers, the insects. What a wonderful experience!
The experience at the Wildflower Hall was incredible and I would definitely go back in a heartbeat.