Dwarka is the land of Lord Krishna. He is said to have built this town out of scratch to provide shelter to his followers. He had migrated with them from Mathura, his birth place, to save them from the wrath of his enemy Jarasandha.
Today, around 5000 years after it was built, the pilgrimage continues to attract tourists on a large scale. The place is also known as Krishna Nagari or Devbhoomi. It is one of the chaar dhams (four holy places) of India along with Badrinath, Jagannath Puri and Rameswaram.
Our driver, during our recent trip to Dwarka, informed that the town at any given point has more tourists than locals. Hence, it is imperative to have good hotels in and around the holy place.
Mercure Dwarka is the latest one to be built in the city to facilitate the devotees. It became the first hotel from an international brand to arrive in the holy town of Gujarat when it was inaugurated in August 2017. Mercure Dwarka is a part of Accor Hotels. It mainly suits to people from urban or western areas who prefer a comfortable and luxurious stay during their pilgrimage.
Let’s analyze different features of the hotel:
Location: Mercure Dwarka is situated on the Porbandar-Dwarka Highway. It is a lone big structure in the locality. It is one and a half hour’s drive away from Porbandar Airport and little over two hours from Jamnagar Airport. The main Dwarkadhish Temple is at five minutes’ drive away. From here, one can also visit other prominent sites like the Rukmani Temple, Nageshwar Mahadev Temple, Bet Dwarka, Gopi Talao and Sudama Setu (bridge).
Rooms: The most important aspect of any hotel is the room since it is your temporary abode for the next few days. Mercure Dwarka has 99 rooms in total with 20 on each of the first four floors. The fifth floor has 19 rooms as one is a suite. Every floor has four interconnecting rooms.
To put it simply, the rooms are exactly what you expect from such hotels. The bed is soft and comfortable. The same can also be said for other furniture like the sofa, chair and table. The interiors and ambience offer a feeling of serenity. The simple and light colours used on the walls have a large role to play in it.
The icing on the cake is the beautiful painting of Lord Krishna (in each room). This adds to the spiritual as well as artistic value. They also have the same painting of elephant in every room. The staff told us that Mercure adds local flavour to each of their branches. This was clearly on display here.
The suite has a nice extra room that can also be used for office or meeting purposes.
The bathroom and washroom are posh and luxurious. I personally felt one problem due to the lack of bucket and tumbler while bathing. Everyone might not be used to the shower. Availability of tap would also help in reducing wastage of water.
Lobby: The lobby and reception area goes with the peaceful demeanor of the rooms due to its spaciousness, use of light colours and simple properties. It becomes even better when they play the flute music (which goes with Krishna’s personality).
Food: The restaurant inside the hotel is called Makhan (as Krishna was called Maakhan Chor), which serves vegetarian food. Its specialty is the Gujarati thali, which is quite a sight as you can see from the picture below. We were served Theplas, Shev Tomato (bhel sev mixed with tomatoes) and Ringna Bateta (brinjal potatoes) sabzis, Dal, Rice, Gulab Jamun, Salad, Kachori and Khakra along with a glass of Chhaas (buttermilk). The taste of the food does go well with the looks.
I was surprised to see Shev being added in the end in the Shev Tameta. We always add it while cooking.
Maakhan also serves good Punjabi food on ala carte and buffet basis. The subzis that we had over there on three occasions were quite satisfying and so were the rotis and naans. One can try their Pasta too. The breakfast menu too offers a wide range of options like simple bread butter and toasts to items like Pohe, Medu Vada, Shev Upma, baked beans, etc.
Other facilities: The conference or meeting room has a capacity of 40 people. There is also a gym with a good range of equipment.
Staff: The staff deserves special mention for being extremely humble and friendly.
Overall: Mercure Dwarka is an ideal hotel for Krishna devotees who are looking for a comfortable and luxurious stay during their pilgrimage.
Article and pictures: Keyur Seta