As I stand on the patio of our Luxurious suite of Oberoi Cecil Shimla, the rush of the cold wind whispers in my ears, punctuated by the sound of the toy train puffing and chuffing, meandering through the valley enveloped with Cedar trees. I stand in awe of the sight and sounds of the beautiful valley of Shimla.
Perched at 1700 feet overlooking the beautiful Himalayas, Oberoi Cecil Shimla is one of the finest property in Shimla. Located close to the famous Vice Regal Lodge, the former summer residence of the Viceroy of India.
The beautifully restored hotel is set up in a picturesque setting and can be clearly identified from a far off distance from the green terrace railings and white façade.
– Welcome –
Right from the time you enter the hotel, you can feel the warmth and wonderful hospitality. As soon as we set foot in, we were welcomed by the staff with tilak and aarthi, which was followed by wet towels and welcome drink as we settled in the lobby area to complete the check-in formalities.
The lobby was a huge skylit impressive atrium and with a counter bar in the middle, it was a perfect place to hang out with books and friends.
The wooden flooring, the period furniture, wood paneled pillars and beautiful chandeliers, which recall the days of the British Raj.
There is a sense timelessness and the experience that defies description at Oberoi Cecil. The teak wood flooring, walls adorned with portraits & painting, hanging chandeliers, lamp posts and beautifully laden carpets everywhere.
The hotel has retained the old world charm and the design largely reflects the fusion of both Victorian and Edwardian style.
– The Luxurious Suite –
As soon as we filled in the form, we were informed that we were upgraded to the Luxurious suite – the most expensive one in the Hotel. The room.. nada the suite was huge and impressive. The layout of the suite was very interesting. There was a separate living area which led to a bedroom with a patio.
The bedroom led to a wee passage and on one side was a room-sized bathroom and just a few steps in there was a separate walk-in closet with an electronic safe.
Colonial-era history oozes out of the grand furnishings and fixtures. There was so much detailing that went through in designing the suite that you feel you are back in the time of British Raj, be it the furniture, candle holders, the embroidered curtains or the sofa, everything speaks all about utter elegance, royalty, luxury, and serenity. Everything was so damn tastefully designed with a hint of remnants of the yester years.
Oh wait, there was much more, the living area had a separate study table with a fax machine, landline phone, magazines. There was also a weighing machine to keep a count on the number of calories you gain during your stay as you devour on the sumptuous cuisines.
– Food –
The restaurant offers a mouth-watering variety of Indian, Continental and Regional cuisines. The menu has everything from snacks to drinks.
On our very first day, we were pretty exhausted driving from Chandigarh to Shimla so we headed straight to their restaurant to fuel ourselves. While browsing the a-la-carte menu, the chef walked to the table to introduce himself and suggested us to try their Shimla special curry with saffron rice. The food was sumptuous, to say the least. Most of the days we sampled different dishes from the menu.
On the second day, while scanning the delectable breakfast spread at Cedar Garden I casually told Sam, wish instead of normal pancakes they had blueberry pancakes in the spread. To our dismay, the staff, who was busy refueling some of the items overheard us and in no time the message was passed to Chef and we had blueberry pancakes on our breakfast table in minutes. I was totally smitten by the sweet gesture. Oberoi definitely knows how to pamper their guests.
The staff, manager, chef everyone — were very friendly and on one occasion, an intern got us a very innovative dish — one of his experiments on Molecular Gastronomy.
Impeccable hospitality and awesome food made our stay completely wonderful. Most of the time we opted to dine at the restaurant except one night when we wanted to try some street food at Mall road.
– Spa & Pool –
Spa had a huge selection of treatments offered. Personally, we did not have time to experience anything that the Spa menu had to offer as we were too busy in the pool. 😉
– Staff –
I guess it has always been about the hospitality that matters the most. The staff’s behavior can either make it or break it and at Oberoi Cecil, the staffs were very proactive and diligent. The impeccable service is hard to give a miss.
I think our experience was enhanced manifold because of the staff and the super cool chef. We would also like to quickly mention and thank the Spa Manager and the Manager for making our stay at Shimla one of the best ever.
It definitely goes down the memory lane, a time that we will reminisce all our life.
Interesting Things to Know :
- The hotel was known for its fabulous ballroom dances and was an intrinsic part of the social whirlwind of the British Raj.
- Raj Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi was penniless when he arrived in Shimla and started his career with a job on the front desk at hotel Cecil close to the Viceregal Lodge.
- By the age of 31, he had mortgaged everything to buy a hotel of his own – Clarkes. He acquired Cecil in 1943 and the Oberoi Cecil went through a complete revamp in 1984 whilst retaining the elegance of the bygone era. Though Clarkes is no longer part of Oberoi property now.
- Shimla is the birthplace of Oberoi Hotels.
The hotel has categorized its rooms into Deluxe Rooms, Premium Rooms, Deluxe Suites and Luxury Suites. All the rooms and suites are equipped with all modern luxuries and have elegant interiors. The suites have private open balconies, which offers splendid views of the valley.
Activities & Attractions Around
Sight-Seeing – Vice Regal Lodge & Mall Road is at a walking distance from the hotel
Shimla has so much to offer.
(Read: Things To Do In Shimla)
The Oberoi Cecil is just 10 minutes from Shimla Station and 45 minutes from Jubbarhatti Airport. You can easily hire a taxi or board a bus.
Nearest Railway Station – Shimla
Nearest Airport – Jubbarhatti Airport, Chandigarh Airport
Distance from Major Cities – Chandigarh (120 km)
Hotel Contact Detail :
The Oberoi Cecil, Shimla
Hotel Website :
As we check out with fond memories I look back once, gazing at the valley with a thought and a promise to return back in winter.
Oberoi properties are definitely an epitome of luxury and service is just unparalleled.
This was our first experience at Oberoi and was one of the best.
We were guests of Oberoi Cecil Shimla, but the opinion as always is our own.