Ever felt the need get away in the midst of a hectic work schedule? Let’s face it, we all love it when we can take a break and just slip out of our routines, even if it is just for a day or a weekend. Looks like someone was listening to my heart, because that’s exactly what I got as part of the #Oyoxplorer experience with Oyo Rooms, in association with IndiBlogger.
@Oyo Rooms hand picked ten bloggers from Bangalore to spend a day touring the city, together with a review of the Oyo rooms that included an overnight stay at the Oyo Premium Majestic, in one of Bangalore’s busiest districts. It was a pleasant surprise to receive the call from IndiBlogger which confirmed that I would be part of this experience and boy, was I excited!
Since I am most comfortable moving around the city on my own vehicle, I set off on my scooter towards Oyo rooms, navigating Bangalore’s traffic. I even stopped by the side of the road to click a rider selfie! Can’t you see the excitement on my face? 🙂
The Oyo Rooms Review:
First look– Walking into the plush confines of the Oyo hotel/ Bangalore International Hotel, I was warmly welcomed by the Oyo team, represented by Sumanta and Sameer, who ushered us to the check-in counter to get the formalities out of the way. It was great to meet Shrinidhi Hande and my trusty blog goddess, Vidya Sury, their smiles splitting their faces open. While we waited, we clicked some pictures of the foyer and the seating area which was very aesthetically done.
Here I am with Sumanta and Sameer from Oyo Rooms- what pleasant smiles they have!
It was then time to head to our rooms to find out what was in store. Walking into a budget hotel can go either way, to be honest. But, I was pleasantly surprised to see the quality of the room. The room was spacious, the linen was comfortable, the storage in terms of a cupboard was huge and the decor looked easy on the eye. Check out this lovely panoramic shot of the room which I called home for a day. Such a luxurious feel to it, right?
Oyo also welcomed us with a kit of props that was both thoughtful and useful!
The bathroom was not extremely large but comfortable enough with the toiletries and the bath linen being of decent quality.
The only thing I found a bit awkward was the fact that the shower curtain provided did a rather shoddy job of keeping water away from the rest of the bathroom.
The really lovely part of the day, however, was the entire day of sightseeing that Oyoxplorer had asked us to indulge in. What more can one ask for?
The #Oyoxplorer Experience:
Being a tourist in my own city was something that I eagerly looked forward to, not because I haven’t seen the city, but because I could do it with a blogger buddy. Vidya Sury and I got together and decided that we would tour Bangalore in the best way possible- going with the flow and without expectations.
With the spending money from Oyo in hand, we hopped into an auto and made our first stop at Mantri Mall. The takeaway meal from Rajdhani, the jackfruit ice cream from Ibaco, the really cute Madhavan poster from Tanu Weds Manu returns, our leisurely window shopping at Home Stop- I really can’t decide which was my favourite part of that visit!
Post that, it was auto #2 and off we sped towards M.G.road and our ride in the air-conditioned Namma Metro. Just outside the station we came across this lovely girl, Dhanalakshmi, and the most delectable fruits on an open wagon. What was really heartwarming was the fact that she was a student who helped out her mom on weekends, by selling these fruits. It really touches a chord deep inside me when I see people work and study with such passion. May her tribe grow.
The metro ride to and from the Bengaluru Santhe was such a dream on a day which was exceedingly hot. I was honestly tempted to ride back and forth a few more times, just to stay in the air-conditioned confines of the train 😉
It was my first time at the Bengaluru Santhe and I was captivated by the rustic look of the place together with the myriad handicrafts and talented wares on display by the shop owners.
I especially loved this shot of the quiet lane right in the midst of busy Bangalore!
An afternoon wasn’t enough to do justice to the place and I intend to go back one weekend to explore this place further.
We wound down the remainder of the evening with a walk down MG road’s promenade filled with so many sights and sounds that it was a veritable treat for the senses.
A quick stop over for coffee and lime soda at the iconic Koshy’s- an eatery- was on our must-do list and Vidya was reminiscing about how she used to frequent the place 20 years earlier. The waiter who served us was around back then as well and Vidya almost jumped in joy at that. Too bad I didn’t capture that on camera 😉
A leisurely stroll down Church Street brought us to one of my favourite places ever- a bookstore called Blossom. The place is a landmark of sorts in Bangalore, with books filling every crevice possible from ceilings to floors. Can you imagine? I just died and went to book heaven! Just picture yourself in this place forever. Sigh.
Finally, it was 8.45 pm but not yet time to return to the hotel. No, we had to dine at the Red Bamboo Shoots restaurant, where we feasted on dumplings and noodles to our hearts’ content. A quick call to the Ola cab company made sure we had a safe ride back to our hotels.
Oyo had decided to make the day even more fun by setting the bloggers a series of selfie challenges. Well, we are all ‘selfie-made’ bloggers, right? 😉 Ok, ok, not my best pun, I know, but I couldn’t resist. I’m always game for a challenge and put my best face forward to capture the high points of the day. Hey, it’s great photography practice, too! Trust me. Check out this cool collage I made with (almost) all the selfies I took that day!
What I enjoyed to the hilt:
- Walking around Bangalore with not a care in the world
- Riding the Metro rail twice in one day (Yes, I have simple needs)
- Spending a day window shopping with a buddy
- Strolling around the Bengaluru Santhe
- Clicking selfies (as funny as that sounds!)
- Resuscitating my almost defunct Instagram account
- Live tweeting the experience and also following the hash tag #Oyoxplorer and finding out what other bloggers were doing at the same time!
- Laughing till my cheeks hurt with my really good friend, Vidya
- A solo stay at a hotel, feeling as pampered as a queen
- Oh and having Oyo Rooms compliment me on my photography skills 😉
After a pretty exhausting but fun-filled day, we returned to our rooms and I caught up with some light reading and an hour-and-a-half long gossip session with Vidya, chuckling at the fact that here were two women staying up way past our usual bedtime, but hey, I’m not complaining.
The morning after dawned beautifully and I was pleased as punch at the rested night that I had. I generally find hotel pillows rather uncomfortable, given a neck issue I developed recently, but the ones in my room were actually lovely!
We came down to this sumptuous buffet spread at breakfast (only part of that’s seen here) which left me feeling so full that I actually skipped lunch later that day. The food was tasty, I must say!
In all of these blogging-related events I must give due credit to my wonderful husband, V. His completely hands-on comfort with my schedule ensures that I can drop everything and blog/ attend events, knowing that all is in safe hands. Thank you for being so supportive, my dear!
Was it a good experience? Yes.
Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.
Am I grateful for being in this world called the Blogosphere? You bet I am.
Thank you once again, Oyo Rooms and IndiBlogger for this incredible weekend experience that I will treasure for a long, long time to come.
Trust me, it’s an experience you won’t forget 🙂
DISCLAIMER: I was selected by OyoRooms and Indiblogger to participate
in this event and write an honest review of the Oyo rooms experience.