Unfortunately we find ourselves in the minority of opinion concerning Wildflower Hall. Our expectations from a five star resort hotel are intuitive service, exceptional food and an idyllic location. This hotel comprehensively failed to meet those expectations. The experience was very disappointing for a number of reasons:
Primarily the food was not up to standard. We were served two mediocre meals at dinner on the first two nights of our stay, including overcooked white fish and rancid prawns. Having complained we were afforded the special attention of the executive chef and the food on our third night was good, but only as good as it should have been in this most expensive of Indian hotels. Service at breakfast fell apart as soon as the restaurant became moderately busy.
Wildflower Hall is not the isolated resort depicted in the Oberoi website photography. The surrounding landscape, although mountainous, is blemished with eyesores. The busy road was both visible and audible from our room. Nor is the hotel a model of architecture and design; it is quite dated and unsophisticated with parts that are in need of renovation.
The hotel’s best feature is its staff; the yoga instructor, Dinesh, typified their friendliness and hospitality. But they could not atone for the hotel’s many shortcomings.
paradise location...but be careful in the spa....
In addition to other reviews, I am in total agreement that this is an outstanding place to stay, one of the main reasons being the spectacular views. There was no fault in the booking, welcome, handling of check-in/check-out and general comfort. There was some slight annoyance with waiting staff - we paid for lunchtime tea out on the balcony, and told them we would wait in the main lounge for our change whilst spa staff came up to take our treatment bookings. We never saw them or our money until we asked for it (30 minutes later). Also, whilst they were very attentive during their service of the meal, when a larger group of people came through, the staff all flapped and concentrated on them, leaving my sister and I somewhat bemused as to why it takes 4 waiters to serve 5 people. We could then only get service if we caught their attention. However, the dinner service was faultless, great knowledge of the dishes and honest advice on how much to get considering the portion size (very good, you get your money's worth). Our fun and games really started when we had our spa treatments. The ambience is very relaxing and is everything a spa out in the mountains should be. Most of the staff are lovely. We saw one of the girls being somewhat 'off' with colleagues and customers, including us; it all seemed too much effort for her. When we asked for fresh dry towelling robes - she refused to get it!! So we sat having pedicures in damp and cold towels. Not a great start. Pity because we had had the most awe inspiring, almost spiritual experience relaxing in the hot jacuzzi over looking snow capped mountains, so were feeling really chilled and happy...anyhow...back to the story... I was cut quite badly when I had my eyebrows threaded which left scabs and marks (not attractive!) This was becasue she was too moody to tell me to taughten the skin when needed. Also it was too dimly lit in there for threading. Drawing blood was clearly on the menu for her that day as she cut my skin during a pedicure - not a problem it happens all the time in salons, our issue was the lack of clarity around whether the equipment had been sterilised or not. This got me quite worried. They were good in that I was not charged for either treatment, but then that's what I'd expect. We had to have a long talk with the Manager the next morning about it, and he assured us that whilst she hadn't sterlised the equipment for the full 25 minutes, it had been in the auto-clave for about 10 minutes?! The reason for the mini version for my safety - she knew we were sisters, and as my sister had her pedicure before me, she felt the risk was lower?! Anyone who figures the logic on that one...please do tell... Question though - Did she sterilise it before my sisters treatment? Hmmm. Must say though, the Manager was pretty good, very responsive, takes on feedback, really really well mannered and proactive. We did tell him that all the little touches in the rooms and welcome is great but the overall experience is possibly let down when SOME staff don't match the general effort being put in by the others. One other thing they may not tell you about (we found out by chatting to an off duty waiter) local monkeys sometimes like to take a dip in the outside jacuzzi with their kids too!! I thought that was quite ammusing (the water is filtered!) I reckon, we're encrouching in to their mountain and woods, so it's only right to share!! Will definately go back....
Some flaws, but still impressive
The Wildflower, while perhaps falling short of true five-star quality in some respects, is still a remarkable and unique hotel. Its location is top-notch, set on a mountainside with beautiful panoramic views (which, alas, were a bit hazy when I visited) of the Himalayas in the distance. Far from hearing any noise from the road below, I was amazed at the feeling of seclusion, aided by the 100+ yard steep driveway that separates the hotel from the tiny town below. There are a few disappointments, to be sure: the outside jacuzzi, its incredible perch notwithstanding, was showing its age and the adjacent area was under repair with a unsightly board blocking some of the views. And I agree that the food was a bit hit-or-miss (the thai dish was actually more impressive than the local specialities). But I found the service superlative, from the aforementioned yoga instructor (complimentary sessions at 9 am were held outside in a truly idyllic setting) to the personnel working the front desk, restaurants, and activities. All in all, despite being a tad stuffy at times, I was very happy with my experience and would certainly stay again if I return to the area.
I recently stayed at this glorious property as part of an Indian Tour organised through the Oberoi Hotels group and had read all the previous reviews posted here. I can only say that this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed in. Our room had spectacular views and the whole ambience of the hotel is one of refined luxury - very quiet, calm and peaceful suited to those wanting to escape the ratrace. Staff were very helpful and the service is seamless and efficient. Food fantastic. Enjoyed the yoga session and a two hour spa session. Wild Strawberry walk a nice intro to the area but beware monkeys and bears (apparently but not sighted by us)! Pool and spa are great. We flew to Shimla with AirDeccan which was convenient but the drive up to the hotel is about 1 hour 45 mins and a bit hairy! Got caught in Shimla when our flight back to Delhi was cancelled due to fog, so have a backup if you really need to get back to Delhi. We stayed one more night and then took a car to Chandigarh and flight to Delhi from there.