We came across this place whilst researching Homestays in and around Delhi. From the photos and video, it seemed too good to be true and the total lack of reviews made me a bit suspicious.
So with our expectations turned down to zero, we booked two nights and asked them to pick us up from the airport.
The transfer cost 1200 which is double what you might pay in a normal cab BUT......we did not want to start our India trip getting hassled/jossled/ripped off by the taxi sharks at Delhi Airport.
To our surprise, somebody was actually waiting for us at the airport and drove us the 40- 60 minutes to the Banyan Tree. The traffic and driving style in and around Delhi truly is something else but we made it alive.
Our main criteria was a swimming pool and I think the Banyan Tree must have one of the best in Delhi. It is a HUGE infinity pool set in beautiful gardens. There are only 8 rooms and we had the pool completely to our selves. It was so nice that we really struggled to the leave the place.
OK....back to reality - what's the catch? Location location location. The Banyan Tree is not particularly near a metro station although we didn't find this to be a problem. The first day we walked to Chattapur metro which was about 8 - 10kms. The walk was a fascinating introduction to life in Delhi and really gave us a good sense of exactly where we were located. This proved quite important when it came to getting taxis back in the evening. Most taxi drivers will not have a clue where this place is so taking a card with an address and a telephone number is a good idea.
On subsequent days we simply wandered down the road and flagged a cab to the metro which generally cost 100-150. Getting a cab from the metro back to the Banyan Tree was always more expensive 200-300. They can organise a car to and from the metro for 400.
Breakfast is included and consisted of tasty Indian delights, omelettes, fresh fruit, cereals, toast and of course masala tea. The waiting staff don't speak much English outside of "masala omelette Mam"? but make up for this in enthusiasm and smiles.
Lunch or dinner costs 400 per person and consists of a hearty Indian fare. If I am totally honest the food was a bit hit and miss. We had some great meals and some distinctly average ones. On one occasion they kept the kitchen open till 1.00am as our train from Varinasi was delayed a mere 14 hours. Touches like this made us feel really welcome.
The manager Navin is a really nice guy with a good sense of humour and excellent english. He bent over backwards to make our stay so enjoyable. He even invited us to his cousins wedding which would have been fab had we still been in Delhi.
We had originally planned a 2 night stay but had such a thoroughly relaxing time that this rolled into a week. We have already booked four days at the end of our trip as this will be a perfect round off to 3 month holiday.
In conclusion - we loved it here. If you are into swimming and relaxing in a beautiful setting and don't mind being slightly off the beaten track then stay here. I would take my mum here and that says it all.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Banyan Farm draws its name from a grand Banyan tree that welcomes you right as you reach the palatial property. Standing majestically in the front yard, it holds the promise of a serene & implausible experience that unfolds as you set eyes on this architectural delight, complete with landscaped rolling lawns, thriving green trees & an infinity pool. Stepping into The Banyan Farm will instantly transport you to a distant well serviced resort, far far away, tucked within a silent green paradise, while keeping you right in the middle of the bustling city. The Banyan Farm awaits being your own personal utopia. Spread over three acres of lush green landscaping and a beautiful driveway ornamented by tall green trees, the property presents a unique experience for anyone looking for an unpolluted, spiritual experience right in the heart of the city. ... more less
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