Looking for a getaway around Hyderabad? Here’s my review of Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beach Hotel and things to do in Visakhapatnam:
I fell in love with Vishakhapatnam (Vizag) at first sight. A small, beautiful fishing town that’s slowly crawling its way to becoming an industrial hub, its charm just mesmerizes you in no time. I have similar thoughts for Novotel Vishakhapatnam Varun Beach Hotel. Although I feel, the hotel is ahead of its time in this port town. It is most definitely a next generation hotel with largest convention space in east coast, all rooms facing the sea, landscaped terrace garden with jogging track, and (a beautifully beautiful) outdoor infinity pool overlooking the beach (one of the best swimming experiences I’ve had is here because of the view).
Stand anywhere in this Novotel hotel and you are likely to get an outstanding view of the sea with huge openings. Being extremely fond of water bodies, that was a huge attraction for me. Second, was the food. If breakfast was sumptuous with a huge variety of Indian, European and Asian cuisines at The Square, lunch at Zaffran was delightful with regional dishes. Evening at Vue, the bar is a memory I’d always cherish. I still remember the taste of Pina Colada I had. Simply super. And dinner at Infinity, roof top restaurant. (No, this wasn’t all in a day.)
The third thing I like about the Novotel hotel is its spacious rooms, as aesthetically designed as the entire hotel; and again, overlooking the beach. The fourth, and the most important feature, is the impeccably hospitable staff. Genuinely warm and friendly service.
The hotel is great for….
Business: The parent group (Accor) aims to develop the city as a MICE hub. The hotel helps with its 225 rooms (32 are extended rooms for long stays), premium lounge and large banquet halls (can accommodate 4000 guests).
Leisure: (things to do in Vishakhapatnam) Located near Hyderabad, Vizag has good enough attractions to see. Visakhapatnam isn’t called “the jewel of the east coast” for no reason. Virgin beaches (Rishikonda is my favourite). Kailasagiri, a beautiful hill offering scenic view of the city. Araku Valley — little away from the city but totally worth the visit. The fascinating Borra Caves and much more. (More about it in a separate post)
Going all the way to just Vizag wouldn’t really make sense to most tourists; going via Hyderabad, the city of pearls and Nizams would probably make better sense. There are, however, direct flights to the city. Wiki says the airport has also recently started international operations with tri-weekly flight to Singapore and daily flight to Dubai.