The Oberoi Cecil was built in 1884 and is a fine colonial-style building within walking distance of the Vice Regal Lodge, the former summer residence of the Viceroy of India, in the heart of the hill station of Shimla. It was extensively renovated in 1997 and is now a stunning hotel, combining colonial grandeur and modern comforts.
The 79 rooms are decorated with period features, and most have valley or mountain views. All have en-suite bathroom stocked with deluxe Ayurvedic toiletries. Other amenities include television, DVD player, internet access and bar. There is 24 hour room service.
The main restaurant serves European and Asian cuisine in a grand setting, complete with wooden panelling and chandeliers. The Cedar Garden provides al fresco drinks and snacks between 11am and 3pm, while the Tea Lounge and Bar is in the Atrium Lobby and is open till 11pm.
A full range of health and pampering treatments is offered here, which can be experienced while enjoying views of the mountains. Various types of massage, including Thai, aimed at releasing stress and tension, and hot lava shells for warmth and deep relaxation can be combined with soothing body wraps and exfoliating scrubs to provide a complete spa treatment. Manicures, pedicures and facials are also popular and there are also treatments designed specifically for men. Ayurvedic therapies are a speciality.
There is a heated indoor swimming pool with large picture windows offering views of the valley and mountains. This is one of the highest swimming pools in the world, some 7,000 feet above sea level.
Indoor recreational facilities include billiards, board games and a children's toy room. Guests can take nature walks or guided treks or explore the area on horseback. Golf is also available nearby. Located at the western end of the mall, Shimla's main street, the hotel is within easy walking distance of the sights of the town.
Open: Oberoi Cecil is open all year.
Location: Oberoi Cecil is located in the hill station of Shimla, at an altitude of 7000 feet in the Himalayas. It is within walking distance of the Vice Regal lodge. The hotel is 10 minutes from the railway station and 45 minutes from Jubbarhatti domestic airport.
Rooms: The hotel offers deluxe and premier rooms and deluxe and premier suites. All 75 rooms are equipped with TV and DVD player, direct dial â€˜phone, minibar, tea/coffee making equipment and a safe. There are rooms for guests with special needs. Many rooms have views across the valley and Himalayas and some have private balconies. All are en-suite and include a range of toiletries. They are heated in winter and air conditioned in summer. There is 24-hour room service.
Activities: Nature walks, guided treks, exploring historical Shimla, relaxing at the hotel, swimming, horse riding (pay locally) and, between November and March, ice skating. Skiing is available in season at Narkhanda, 64kms from the hotel and there is a golf course about an hourâ€™s drive away. For children there is an special activity centre equipped with computer games and toys.
Facilities: The hotel has a, indoor heated swimming pool, billiards room, board games, card games and a fitness centre as well as the Oberoi Spa which offers an extensive range of massages and treatments. There is a 24-hour concierge service, laundry service and babysitting. There is a range of dining options. The main restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves a selection of European and Asian dishes. The tea lounge and bar are in the 5-storey atrium and is open from 11am to 11pm. The cedar garden offers al fresco snacks and drinks at lunchtime.
Dining: Meals are taken at individual tables.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome.
Health: We recommend malaria prophylactics for travel to India.
Communication: There is Wi-Fi internet access in all guest rooms and public areas.
"Shame there was no garden which gave the feeling of being a little retricted. The room was not cleaned very well on a day to day basis in fact the floor was never swept. Food was good and the service at all levels could not be faulted."