For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been a resident of Gujarat for over a decade. My schooling started in Ahmedabad and have spent most of my childhood there. However, back then school was always the first priority and hence didn’t explore much of the city. However, in the last few days, I have explored the alleys of Ahmedabad and the hills and trenches of Saputara.
Thanks to Gujarat Tourism for inviting me to explore the state where I’ve spent most of my life. Over the next few blog posts, you will see Gujarat the way I did. And the first blog post in this series will be about my luxurious stay at House of MG, a heritage hotel in Ahmedabad that was arranged by them.
Ahmedabad – India’s First World Heritage City
As a kid, I never realized that I was residing in a city that would be declared as India’s First World Heritage City. Places like Lal Darwaza, Relief Road, Teen Darwaza were spoken just like any other place. Today these have become iconic places in the city. On this trip, I’ve explored Ahmedabad like never before, thanks to Gujarat Tourism for organizing the Ahmedabad Heritage Walk, about which I’ll talk in the next blog post.
Every nook and corner of Ahmedabad has a tale of its own. The streets speak to you, the pols want you to pause and witness the rich past of Ahmedabad. The aroma of the traditional Gujarati food lures you towards them. Amongst all of these, there are heritage properties in the city that have withstood the test of time. House of MG is one of the iconic heritage hotel in Ahmedabad. And my stay at House of MG was nothing short of luxurious.
History of House of MG
Mangaldas Girdhardas and Chimanlal Girdhardas are the men behind House of MG the iconic heritage hotel in Ahmedabad. Back in 1904, the brothers built a house with the money they made by starting a textile mill in the 1890s. This very house was the place where Mahatma Gandhi was a guest after his return from South Africa. The House of MG expanded over the years and made space for banks, shops and added more rooms to host dignitaries.
Over the next few years post-independence, the house of MG was further divided into smaller parts. Post the division of Gujarat and Maharashtra, the Government of Gujarat occupied the House of MG. In the late 80s, a garment shop was started by Abhay Mangaldas who in 1995 purchased the House of MG from the family members. This is when the dream of making House of MG an iconic heritage hotel in Ahmedabad started to turn into reality.
In 1999, Agashiye a Gujarati Thali restaurant opened followed by Green House Cafe that was opened in the parking. Both these restaurants are popular in the city. In 2014, the House of MG became a full-service hotel becoming one of the iconic heritage hotel in Ahmedabad. When Ahmedabad was declared as the World Heritage City, PM Modi had hosted the Japanese PM at Agashiye.
With such a rich past, House of MG is a book. Every room is a chapter and every corner is a page that has its own story. I was awestruck when I was informed that I would be staying at this iconic heritage hotel in Ahmedabad and experience their hospitality.
My Luxurious stay at the House of MG
House of MG is located right across the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, overlooking the Nehru Bridge and Patang Hotel in the Lal Darwaza area. The property is huge and its distinct red colour and intricate design are one of a kind. As soon as you enter the property, you are greeted with pieces of history on every wall. The reception area and the lobby are no less than museums. There’s a store and indoor swimming pool along with lots of seating areas for you to spend your time.
Among the 38 rooms in the hotel, there are a few suites along with the classic room. I was provided with a classic room that was in the basement of the hotel. As I climbed down the flight of stairs to reach my room, a sudden gush of cool breeze blew across the area as the green plants swayed and welcomed the rain.
The classic room was a perfect mix of contemporary designs and modern elements. The desk (one of the places I love in a hotel room) was a perfect one with a lot of books, power outlets and a tabletop that was perfect to work upon. I was going to be working for a day so this desk was literally my throne for the day.
This was a twin sharing room with two separate beds. It had a refrigerator, a pedestal fan along with a TV and AC. The wardrobe provides a locker, a yoga mat, a weighing scale and a couple of slippers. The bathroom too has a lot of contemporary elements in the mirrors, on the floors etc. While the room doesn’t give majestic views, the small garden outside compensates for it. The mirror obsessed room is surely a cosy place to unwind and relax.
Traditional and Modern dining options
Just like every corner of the House of MG is an instagrammable place, the in house restaurants are no less. At one side we have Agashiye which is one of the iconic places to relish a Gujarati Thali. You enter the rooftop restaurant passing through a museum that tells you more about the MG family. I’ve been to Agashiye earlier and have documented my experience of dining at Agashiye too. If you want to experience a traditional Gujarati Thali, this is the one that you must try.
Green House Cafe was a revelation for me. While it was there even the last time I visited, this was the first time I actually checked it out. It’s a typical sit out the setup with a waterfall at one side. It so much reminded me of the setup at Mapro. This restaurant serves a variety of dishes ranging from Gujarati fast food to Italian.
The House of MG special drink here is a MUST here and one of the most refreshing drinks I’ve had. Fresh lemon juice with a tinge of ginger and grated coconut. Though the restaurants close at 10, trust me you won’t go hungry.
Experience hospitality at House of MG
House of MG is a house and not a typical hotel. That’s what Mr Abhay Mangaldas had to say during our short interaction. He’s a passionate person who wants to preserve the heritage of the House of MG and still allow the people to experience it. The hotel staff is extremely warm and welcoming.
In fact, they invited us to the small Janamasthami celebration that they had. It was around midnight when some of us were chilling when the staff called us for the pooja and gave prashad to all of us. You see, they don’t treat you as guests.
Overall, my stay at the House of MG was all about luxury and warm hospitality. The hotel has lots of instagrammable spots where you can click on some amazing photos. The food, the service, the stores and the history lessons are the reason why you should book a stay at the House of MG – the heritage hotel in Ahmedabad.
I’d also like to thank Gujarat Tourism, India Tourism Mumbai – Ministry of Tourism for inviting me to experience the hospitality of Gujarat. While I was here on an invite, my thoughts are based on my experience and unbiased.