Hotel Review: The House of MG, Ahmedabad in India
Ahmedabad, a city in Gujarat boasts of a rich cultural heritage. The Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2014. Now maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Rani-ki-Vav was recently quoted to be an inspiration for the Hudson Yard’s Stairmaster Monument (titled ‘Vessel’).
London-based Architect Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick studio, said the staircases were inspired by the step wells in Gujarat. Besides being an architectural wonder, Rani-ki-Vav has art at every level featuring over 500 intricate stone carvings, combining religious, mythological and secular imagery.
Two other stepwells exist in the heart of the city of Ahmedabad – the Dada Hari Vav, which is not so well maintained, and attracts few tourists but one can only imagine the beauty of this exotic sunken well centuries ago, and the Adalaj Stepwell, which is filled with tourists.
The House of MG – a pleasant world-class surprise
The House of M G complex is one of the best heritage structures in the city, that is 150 years old. A premier boutique heritage hotel in Ahmedabad, it showcases architecture of the early 20th century. Almost a century ago, the complex welcomed Mahatma Gandhi when he first returned to India in 1915 from South Africa.
One of the restaurants in the Complex, Pol Kholi offers traditional and western dishes with fresh juices and ice creams. ‘Pol’ means a narrow street. The old city of Ahmedabad is made up entirely of ‘pols’. It also means ‘a hidden secret’. ‘Kholi’ means ‘revealed’ or ‘opened’.
Another eatery is housed on the ground floor, the Green House, a restaurant under the canopy of old trees dishes out authentic Gujarati specialities in style.
The hotel is spread over three floors and each area is a delight – the first floor has a gallery showcasing traditional textiles of India from the Mangaldas family collection, a tribal heirlooms boutique and a heritage bookstore are the latest additions to the hotel to make the guest experience truly special.
A theme-based indoor swimming pool, with ‘Lotus Pool’ theme is a pleasant surprise. A digitally created lotus fresco covers the entire ceiling above with a 17-meter long pool and a 300 kilogram Calder inspired lotus mobile hangs from its centre. The Chakra Spa is a great place to unwind at the end of the day!
On the third floor, Agashiye – the restaurant that has a choice of seating is charming. Attentive and efficient staff greets the diners and one can choose from indoor seating or outdoors. The sheer class of this restaurant speaks volumes and it’s not a co-incidence the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had dinner at the famous Agashiye a couple of years ago.
The restaurant overlooks the charming city and one can see the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque located right outside. Choose from a silver thali, a premium with addition of an extra dessert and savouries or a kansa (a metal) thali – that is itself a great mixture of Gujarati cuisine. Gujarati cuisine, unlike any other Indian cuisine, is almost strictly vegetarian.
Traditionally served on silver platters – it’s a feast of tastes, colours, spices and flavours – right from the welcome drinks, savouries, starters to the main meal of vegetables, lentils, yoghurt-based gravies to the grand finale of a choice of rice dishes.
The meal is served along with a variety of Indian wheat breads – rotis, puris, theplas. The harmony derived from mixing of the sweet with the salty is what makes the cooking of this state different from the rest. Can you imagine eating more than 15 items at a meal? It becomes possible with the typical Gujarati thali !
Address: Bhadra Rd, Opp. Sidi, Saiyad Jali, Lal Darwaja, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380001, India
Phone: +91 79 2550 6946