“Now to escape involves not just running away, but arriving somewhere.”
There are very few things as important to me as my food and one of them has to be the great experiences be it indoors or outdoors. These experience have helped me being me and have definitely shaped me into what you see today.
When I was a small kid I would get really fascinated looking at the globe and would always wonder when will I be able to tick mark on all these places marked here. Those dreamy eyes of the innocent kid are still somewhere inside me but this hustle and bustle of this daily life has got us trapped. For the people who know me well they are well aware of my inquisitiveness and know how I am moved by the urge to do more, see and collect it all. I just cannot stay still.
Given to our daily corporate routines we don’t really get times to ourselves, the city life is definitely wonderful but we often feel trapped in the concrete jungle filled with crowd. This itches me and want me to run to a place in the wild where there is calm and no chaos.
Amidst all these the experience of being in the lap of nature surrounded with luxury is something which seems to be a far sighted dream, but not when Marriott Hyderabad decides to prove it otherwise. We being the lucky few were able to experience this first hand hospitality of Marriot through The Great Outdoors Vol 2 in association with HillCart Tales, Jameson and Heineken.
Before we get onto this wagon let me put a warning, this is clearly going to be a long journey as this is one of those mesmerizing experiences which is going to take you back to it.
Our journey began as soon as we reached Marriot Hyderabad at 12 PM on a sunny afternoon followed with some refreshing drinks to quench our thirst. The excitement level of the bunch of 25 was sky rocketing as we were still not aware of the secret location. In order to calm our senses before we begin with the journey we were served a lavish spread of buffet lunch at their maiden restaurant Okra.
Now it was time to get onto that bus which was going to take us to our destination for an experience of a lifetime. Before we began we were given a small brief by our wonderful host and guide Suhasini about some of the basics and were handed our own survival kits to take us through these 24 hours.
A mere of two-hour drive from Marriot and we were already amongst the picturesque land leading to Ananthagiri Hills- our destination. Just in a couple of hours we were already witnessing the Marriot hospitality as we could spot the white flags waving at us leading to the camp site. We were taken aback with the warm welcome of refreshing drinks and some fruit skewers.
This was not it as we moved further in to the place, the kind of detailing that was done took us by surprise and the entire set up done by them was mesmerizing and quite impressive to look at.
The surprises were not over yet! Before heading for the Hi Tea we were shown our own individual tents that spells luxury in true sense and guess what these were customized individually with a small jade plant, a hand written note, blue pine water and a photo frame along with name tags outside each of the tents.
After this there was another experience waiting for us- food cooked the old style way!
Each and every dish served out there was prepared on wood fire solely, be it grilling, sautéing or poaching everything was done on fire without using any gas. On the very first counter were placed some refreshing salad jars, which I gave it a miss. I was more interested into the crisp deep fried spiral cut potatoes served with oozing cheese. While devouring the taste of this goodness I was already eyeing on the rustic meaty burger served along with garlicy butter toasted buns waiting to be attacked. There were Churros and s’mores on the side to go with along with some marshmallows which were just wow.
While we were still catering to our taste buds we were informed to pull our strings for the trek. All set in our joggers and trek gears we were greeted with a beautiful sunset on the top. Though the trek was not that a difficult one, a beginner level with just 1 km to go we did feel some pull. Getting down was one experience in itself, as it was already dark and we took another route than the one we went uphill from. The survival kits here came to the recuse and we took out our torches to guide us back. The kit also had a safety knife, some energy bars, sippers to quench our thirst, wet wipes and mosquito repellent.
As soon as we approached the camp we could see the lit site which was a sight to behold. The atmosphere was filled with beautiful live music being played by Shiv Mohan.
Post all the hard work we did, we deserved some pampering. There were foot massages waiting for us and once we were relaxed and changed into fresh clothes it was dinner waiting. The dinner set up was oozing luxury in the outdoors and the work done by the F&B team was commendable. The dinner was not a simple affair and was quite an elaborate menu.
There was a lot of lamb which had been cooking form the afternoon, crispy grilled chicken was just amazing with a very different and flavorful marinate. We were also served some salt dough crusted fish, steak, risotto and some made to order pasta. The risotto was really great.
We also had a counter dedicated to salads where we could make our own ones. There was a wide variety of breads being served and Focaccia deserves a special mention as it was perfectly baked with good amount of olive oil, rosemary, thyme sea salts and olives.
In the dessert Tiramisu was a total rock star and also the flambéed fruits. The soaked ladyfinger sponge and mascarpone were perfect.
We all decided to stay up till late and do some star gazing as it is a luxury in itself these days. When we did decide to retire to our tents we were greeted with another surprise. An envelope waiting to be opened which contained 3 individual ingle origin chocolates, a pair of quirky socks, a soothing eye mask and Chamomile tea from HillCart Tales.
We decided to catch up on some sleep in the calm before we get back to our chaotic city life. We woke up around 7 in the morning and were surprised to see the breakfast already being set up. The team of Marriot did an applause worthy job as it takes a lot of effort to clear off the dinner set up post 1 AM and again be ready with the breakfast set up by 6 AM and that too not some regular set up but one lavish spread.
We were instantly pulled towards the Filter Kaapi which was much needed and were also able to get some great captures for the gram. The cereal table laid next to it was a delight to the sore eyes with a wide range of breakfast cereals including cornflakes and some health mueslis. We had an option to choose between hot and cold milk and some great dry fruit toppings as well. There was a wide selection of fruits and yogurt cups to choose from. We also had fresh fruit juices like orange and watermelon. The section dedicated to the varied variety of cheese was something to look at and had some really great options like cheddar brie, edam and emmental and Swiss.
My most favorite on the menu was Egg Royale with Eggs Benedict also being an attraction. I choose to go with smoked salmon instead of the ham on the perfectly charred English muffin.
Post 24 hours of pure pampering it was time for us to head back. But before that it was time for recognizing the real heroes who pulled this all and made our stay an experience in itself. This was carried out by the General Manger of Marriot Hyderabad himself. A thank you is not just enough for these people who worked tirelessly to make our stay comfortable.
Even upon our return to the hotel we were greeted very well with refreshments waiting for us. It was time to bid adieu to this wonderful experience.
In a nutshell this was an ethereal heaven combined with an old world charm. The Great Outdoors with Marriot Hyderabad Vol 2 was a heavenly experience and will definitely linger on for long and I am already excited for their next edition to come.
Marriot Hyderabad organizes these kind of experiences which are curated as per the needs. The minimum requirement is a gathering of 20-25 people and this can be a very good option for corporate getaway and gatherings.
They can be contacted on their website or can be reached at +91 9666406393 for bookings and queries.
Before ending this let me remind you, it is really essential to step out of these four walls and experience the nature. Routines are always something to look up to but not for long. Before you get burdened with this routine life, leave, as there is no such thing as a right time.