Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Villa Maya - A special dining experience - Heritage Style


Maya means illusion. Illusion is the heart of a magic performance. But if a man made thing is christened illusion, will it live up to its name?
 
The answer is yes. I found it out after my first visit to "Villa Maya". A new hotel in Thiruvananthapuram. Yes its a hotel. But the dining experience and ambience is worth enough for a detailed review.
 
Rather than a review I will narrate the events as it unfolded. See for yourself, whether the nametag-illusion is justified. Located in the vicinity of the erstwhile palaces, Padmanabhaswamy temple and signature ancient buildings of Thiruvananthapuram, this one also is a masterpiece of the bygone era of Kings.
 
Ten years ago, this building was bearing a haunted house look. Ignored, isolated, unoccupied, bruised and battered. Right in its proximity there was a workshop. Horror stories were doing the rounds. It had a majestic charm though. As I entered the property, for a dinner, I never expected that the hotel is housed in this same building. The three storeyed structure was lit up beautifully. It has been resurrected. A second life.

The attire and the behaviour of the hotel staff gave us good first impressions. our gut feeling indicated that we are in for a surprise. We were given an option to dine in their lawns or inside the mansion. Offered to decide after a walk through their lawns. Darkness was the main theme. Didn't feel so dark. But felt exquisite. A beautiful sculpture was overlooking the lawns.

This sculpture had life. Whether it is the lighting or the craft, I donno. The tables are arranged in small huts. Eloquontely decorated.

No deafening music around. Only the sound of flowing water. A gently flowing man made stream. Two handcrafted majestic state animal was positioned here.

The food counter in the lawns was brightly lit up.

Got inside the mansion. The once haunted house is history. Now this is a palace. watch the sight which greeted us.


Look at the detailing. Photos don't do justice. Especially if you are taking pics with a mobile camera. The lounge, nothing but exquisite.

We decided to dine inside this palace. A hotel is to be judged by its food. The menu card itself had an unique design. The waiter who attended us was courteous. Explaining all the menu, the different combos and a whole of lot of stuff.

Orchid plant has a significant presence everywhere. On the table top too, there was one.


 
"All the plants inside the hotel are original", announced the waiter. Original has its own charm. Maintaining this itself is an art. If it is treated as a job, the plant will lose its charm. Ain't this beautiful.

The lamp shades showed class



The sight above us.


Soon the dishes arrived. Amidst all, this one stood out. A mexican dish. The presentation was good.


We were dining on the ground floor of the building which had 3 storeys. the food was uber cool. fresh, unique taste, nice aroma everything complimented each other. After food when we were waiting for the desserts the restaurant manager offered us a walk inside the building. Another nice gesture. Usage of wood is aplenty. craftsmanship - really noteworthy. See one example

Footsteps makes a fassy musical note when you tread through wooden steps. Wecould hear it as we climbed up the stairs. Two antique piece of furniture greeted us.

It looks like bed. Indeed it is. Not for sleeping though. Its a unique dining table. Four people can dine here. Legs stretched. A relaxed back. The table moved right near you.


A fantastic idea. A novel one too. To use this facility one has to pre book specifically stating this need. I am going again just to try this out.

Aesthetics everywhere. Detailed to micro level. Skilled craftsmanship is still available. Just watch these curios.

Hard to believe that these are real plants. They are. Kudos to the those who maintain this.

The flooring looked different. Not the modern tiles, granite or marble. Its not white. Manager explained. This is a special type of flooring. They used only natural materials. He did not disclose what materials they used. Coz he don't know. Hotel staff, infact no one was allowed to enter when the mixture was made and floor was laid. So itz a mystery floor.

It has a natural glaze. The mix of colors had an artistic touch. Very very cool too. This floor also has conventional dining area which could be converted into party hall based on request. The set up is really inviting.


Each room had an antique statue.


The second storey had an innovative dining table and a mystery floor. What's in the third storey. Another set of those traditional wooden steps greets us. Watch the stair case rails. Vintage stuff.
 

The stairs lead us to a wide open area. Its a party hall. Wide enough to accommodate atleast 100 people.

This hotel is centrally airconditioned. But where are the blowers. Look at the above picture closely. Those dome shaped things on the top are the blowers. The level of detailing in the design is simply awesome, since the conventional blowers would have disturbed the overall theme. The lighting here is pretty dim. But as I already mentioned, this kind of low lighting increases the charm. There is an option for increasing the lighting. Watch how it looks like with more bright lighting.



Another thoughtful addition, as it would come handy during gatherings. Well our desert is getting ready at our table and it is time for us to get back. On the way back , the dining bed was looking elegant.

Once back at the tabel another surprise awaited us. We had ordered just for some deserts. But in the middle of the table was a beautifully designed cake.

A small one, but their timely act surely impressed our souls. It was our 12 wedding anniversary. We came here for dinner with our parents to celebrate. But we had no plans for cake cutting or other celebration. During our chat with the waiter he had asked whether it is a treat during which time I told about our anniversary. And it culminated this way. Frankly speaking we felt really happy. More restaurant staff joined in celebration when we cut the cake. It was my wife's suggestion to dine out in this hotel and as is the case in many occasions, it exceeded our expectations !!

Well I am not signing off. Some more interesting stuff is around. The washrooms were not nearby. We have to walk through some beautiful pathways, designed according to the traditional ambience.

Once inside the wash room, we were more than surprised. The theme is such that we are in a pond with some area to stand in between. Watch the water filled floor and the plant.
 

It was as if, we were standing in the middle of a well decorated pond, standing on small boulders. Even the wash counter was unique. A classy traditional vessel with a gold mounted tap to match.

Mighty impressed at the way this hotel is decorated. This has been done up by some person with lot of stuff under his head. The level of detailing is superb. Everything is immaculately maintained. Maintaining this in pristine condition is as much or more difficult that creating such a masterpiece.
 
As is the case with any hotel in this Web controlled era, we can book our seats, choose our menu etc after browsing their web page. We cannot chose our menu online though. By the time we bid goodbye to the hotel staff, the ambience, their food and their cake had given some lasting impressions on us.
 
In my view, we were really under an illusion, an illusion created by the artistry of the construction. After all it is "house of illusion" or Villa Maya. What do you think?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Villa maya...a luxury for most..good review

alok singh said...

I would like to recommend your article .. you can also refer Villas in Sarjapur

alok singh said...

thank you for the post its very help full those who are searching for villas it is very difficult to find villas in villas in whitefield
your blog giving a solution for this

Anonymous said...

Mughasthuthi parayukayaanennu thonnaruthu.orupaadu spelling mistakes.word fileil ezhuthiyaal automatic aayi correct cheyyaamallo..atho ini wordum ariyillennundo..?

Anonymous said...

Excellent review.

Anonymous said...

Very impressive..good one

villa maya said...

Thank you very much indeed for posting this. A refreshing take! Today, we’d like to request you and others who’ve enjoyed our services to vote for us in this contest here, please. We’d be most thankful. The voting link is: http://www.luxuryrestaurantawards.com/node/add/vote/160559 It’ll only take under a minute. Thank you again and we look forward to seeing to you again.

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