The desire to get away from it all has only been seen to increase over the past few years. The rising fragmentation of life and the high priority of each individual fragment has ensured the rapid exhaustion of whatever inner peace each of us has squirreled away, bringing with it increasing desires to restore our reserves of tranquility. This is usually done by physically leaving what we perceive to be the sources of our stress, such as our homes and offices and plonking ourselves elsewhere in the hope of being refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated. While the frequency of our desire to escape may be on the rise, our incomes however remain largely the same, especially the disposable portions. The presence therefore of properties in popular destinations, that promise value for money to the weary family traveler is a welcome one that allows us to extend our largely static incomes while also taking time off with family multiple times a year. My visit to Leisure Inn at Jaipur was a similarly welcome trip; an opportunity to lower my ever-vigilant mental guards and at the same time, my blood pressure.
A 52 room property, centrally located on MI Road, Leisure Inn is a scant 20 minutes from the airport and quite accessible from the rest of the city. As underwhelming the exteriors of the property are, the insides reflect a utilitarian, easy comfort while at the same time studiously avoiding anything akin to elegance.
Supported by three F&B outlets as well as room service, Leisure Inn offers a very comfortable stay. Apart from two suites, the rest of the 50 rooms are standard, which are well appointed, comfortable and spacious, each of which come with an acceptably stocked mini-bar, central air conditioning, an iPod dock, a personal safe and a fairly large bath (no hot water after 10am), in addition to a large room. During the course of my stay I found the F&B well run and thought their efforts to innovate and produce new dishes quite laudable. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect from the restaurants at Leisure Inn, Jaipur.
Their all-day dining restaurant, Cafe Viva also hosts their buffet breakfast that is complimentary with most room bookings. The menu is a mixture of international dishes from all over, including a breakfast selection, and Indian food from different parts of the country. The breakfast buffet is acceptably stocked and at once caused me to experience the most unpalatable coconut chutney I’d ever tasted as well as the most awesome sambhar ever to cross my table. This restaurant is also home to innovations like the imaginative and vegetarian Chupa Rustam kebab, a delightful combination of sweet, savoury, crunchy and crisp – all in one mouthful. Cafe Viva has a bar alongside too, which appeared to be a comfortable place to enjoy a drink though the selection of brands available needed upgrading.
This rooftop bar and grill almost seems an afterthought with a tiny covered area housing about 12 covers and the rest of its 68 covers spread across the uncovered terrace. Backed by its own kitchen, as with all other restaurants at Leisure Inn, Arya appears to be a popular hangout for beer and snacks, delivering as it does, a splendid view, which that evening was clarified and made sparkling by day long showers. Offering a largely north Indian menu big on snacks and appetizers, Arya looked like a nice place to unwind after a day of roaming the Pink City.
A very well known, vegetarian restaurant in Jaipur, Grand Chanakya serves Rajasthani, Chinese and north Indian fare. While the food it serves is good, I couldn’t agree with their branding messages of claiming the restaurant to be a Rajasthani specialty outlet, while at the same time hedging their bet by dishing out Indian-Chinese and north Indian too. While I have little doubt the decision to do so was one wholly motivated by commercial compulsions and consumer preferences, it still seemed a bit jarring to me, the corruption of an ancient Indian cuisine by the presence of a relative newcomer and another that is culturally unrelated. Combined with the very tacky interiors, Grand Chanakya is left with a single attraction, the food; the rest can be comfortably ignored. If you are therefore unfettered by philosophical encumbrances, you’ll find the Rajasthani Thali at Grand Chanakya to be a great way to experience the quintessential taste of Rajasthan in one meal.
Leisure Inn, Jaipur claims to be a three star deluxe property and that is exactly the experience it delivers. The staff are helpful and courteous, managed by professionals who take pride in what they do. While the property cannot claim any points for beauty or aesthetics, nor the restaurants for international finesse, you’ll find yourself exceedingly comfortable in their rooms and eating well at their F&B outlets. If it’s a comfortable, family experience you’re looking for, within a budget, Leisure Inn, Jaipur will deliver.
… and my room, for the first time ever, didn’t overlook the outdoors, but offered an unparalleled view of the corridors outside.