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14 May 2013

SIGHTED SITE : The Visaya, New Delhi

The Visaya

Facade of The Visaya

WHEN I first heard about The Visaya Hotel, I immediately thought, "Owned by Filipinos?" In the Philippines, the term Visaya refers to the archipelago's central group of islands, and to the language spoken by its residents. Digging further, I learned that the term came from the 7th-century Hindu empire called Srivijaya. In Sanskrit, "sri" means "fortunate" or "happy", and "vijaya" means "victorious" or "excellent". In the 12th century, these central (and a few southern) Philippine islands came under the Srivijaya empire, hence, the Visaya Islands. Et voilà! There's an Indian in every Filipino, after all!

But back to the 21st century, and back to The Visaya Hotel. Like its Sanskrit provenance, the hotel is a fortunate and excellent discovery in South Delhi. Above all is the location—parks and forests of Hauz Khas in the west, the Bahá'í House of Worship and other temples in the east, and shopping centers and eateries in the north and south. There can never be a better site than this for a traveler.

The hotel's design and amenities are world-class. I would add luxurious: the bathroom was clothed in Italian marble. At the lobby and hallways, I enjoyed viewing the stone statuaries and paintings that I think allude to the Srivijayan empire. The service, especially at the Life Café restaurant, is impeccable. Contrary to what some reviewers have written on the Internet, the roadside rooms are not necessarily bad. I stayed in a room facing the frenetic Panchshila Flyover on the first floor during a hectic weekend, and the noise levels were remarkably low. This has got to do with the architecture. The only downside are the mosquitos, which buzzed aplenty the night I stayed there, as I'm averse to those gadgets you plug into sockets to repel these bugs.

The best attraction is the tariff, a splendid three-star-hotel offer for such an excellent accommodation in one of Delhi's most expensive addresses. The Visaya is a fabulous value for money, and I highly recommend it for both business and leisure travelers wanting a big bang for their buck.

The Visaya
N82 Panchshila Park, Panchshila Marg, New Delhi, India


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