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14 July 2006

a possibly long picture post about our weekend in vizag, part III

SUNDAY (9-july-06) so we woke up sunday, and decided we wanted to see the OTHER hotel in town. vizag basically has three hotels that are approximately up to par with what a typical westerner is willing to accept as livable: the Taj Residency, the WelcomHotel Grand Bay, and The Park. we've stayed at both and heard that the park is nice. emma and i grabbed a rickshaw and went there for their sunday lunch buffet. the first thing i noticed about this hotel was the grounds. you enter through a gate, and there is a lot of land here. the other two hotels are sandwiched in to the hillside where there are already houses and apartment complexes, but somehow, this hotel found a great spot to spread out. the reception area was different as well, in a good way for me. the grand bay is a huge open marbled space with skylighting in the entire atrium. though it looks nice, the money could've been better spent elsewhere. i'm used to american hotels with a minimal reception, a small communal gathering area maybe with a TV, and then the hallways to your rooms. i don't know, i kinda like that simplicity.

the park was pretty much like this. small and quaint with a pacific island kind of atmosphere. it is the only hotel in vizag that is ON the beach. the other two have the main beach road between them and the beach, but where the park is situated, the beach road curves away from the beach, so it can fit quite nicely. out the back of the hotel, they have a nice pool, an outdoor restaurant called "aqua", and behind that, some nice greenspace that overlooks the ocean. if you walk toward the ocean, there is a cement half wall separating the grounds from the beach, and a security guard who allows you onto the beach if you are a guest at the hotel, so in essence, the park has it's own private beach. but i'm getting ahead of myself, emma and i went for the buffet and to scope the hotel. the buffet is at "vista" which is designed a bit like a fishbowl. the restaurant is a circular with the walls made of glass so we can see the pool, and to aqua. the buffet had mostly indian food but there was also an excellent kenyan veg salad, and some thai curries. they had some weird salads, i tried cous-cous for the first time (kinda bland, not really impressed). we ordered a cruette with balsamic and mustard and a green salad with chili-mayo. we got the cruette because we didn't know what a cruette was, and were a bit disappointed to find out it's just the name of the glass jar that holds slices of celery, bell peppers, and carrots. we got the salad because, in india, iceberg lettuce is a super luxury. ignoring the infinitesimally short time i've been home in the past 18 months, i haven't seen lettuce in probably the whole time i've been in india.

after we ate, we talked to reception about looking at a room. if we had next weekend off, we wanted to see if this is a place we should come to. they were more than happy to show us a room on the third floor. the entrances are outdoors on the back side of the hotel. the room we saw was clean, had some pseudo-retro looking couches, a nice bed and bathroom, and the view was amazing. we were really impressed by this hotel, and even more so, once we found out that the room cost more than what we had paid at either of the other two hotels. the reception manager then told us about an event they were having that day. sunday was the wimbledon men's final and the world cup final. the park hotel had arranged for a big-screen projection TV poolside at aqua for people to come and watch either match. he gave his card and told us to call if we wanted him to make a seating reservation for us.

emma and i went back and lounged about for a while. we talked to rahul, and he was cool with going to watch the world cup at aqua, so i called **GASP** and made a reservation for 9:30PM (the game didn't start until 11:30PM our time). emma and i watched the wimbledon final at the executive club lounge, had a few drinks, met up with rahul, and went to aqua. we got there a bit late, about 10PM, so they had to give away our table, but they still had us seated with a nice view within 5 minutes or so. we looked through the menu and to our surprise we found they had budweiser ($9) and guinness draft ($7.40). **ASIDE: i've been cursed to be in india forever by detlef (alstom) because i forgot to bring him back guinness from my last R&R** i ordered a guinness just to see if i was TRUE draft or the kind in a can with a widget. it's the widget kind, so i ordered 4 of them to go (and gave them to detlef last night, i'm now absolved of my failure, and can leave). i also found out that they didn't have budweiser but corona rather. so we drank and talked, i learned a bit about islam from rahul, we talked about work, about leaving, it was just general good conversation. the game came on at 11:30PM and we watched it. there was a group in front of us, one westerner pulling for france (has a shirt wrapped on his head in the pic), and the rest for italy. the guy was a wee bit obnoxious so we'd cheer when italy did something good. by the end of the night, he jumped in the pool since france lost and was chastised by the bar staff and had to get out. we ordered something call an iskander kebab. the description made it sounds like pepper steak, but beef in this country leaves quite a bit to be desired. "WOW" is all i can say. it was amazing. tender strips of seasoned beef with onions and red, yellow, and green bell peppers. it was amazing, i think we ordered 2 or 3 before the game was over. after that, emma moved aside to cheer for her team in her own special way, as you can see from the picture. so around 2AM, the game was over, emma had a nice nap, and i'd ended up paying $72 for 8 coronas (for that price, there should've been nekkid knockers in my face). it was a really good time, and a nice break from work.

monday, we had a late checkout around 2PM and had a rather uneventful drive back to rajahmundry. we'll see if we get to STAY at the park this weekend. should find out today. thanks for reading, and come again. and T, sorry it took so long.


Blogger themom said...

"nekkid knockers"? you are so original. a beautiful, enjoyable trip away from rajahmundry, nice pics and you end with nekkid knockers. whatever am i going to do with you?

glad you and emma had a nice break. is that like a cabana area near the pool where she is napping?


7:38 AM, July 14, 2006  
Blogger Mike T said...

The circle is complete. Dude I agree, for that price the receptionist at the hotel should have given you a lap dance. Hell even Jagr bombs are cheaper than $9 each.

8:52 AM, July 14, 2006  

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