Probably the best venue to host your child’s birthday party in Gurgaon

[Update 8/26/2016]: This venue is now closed. But we have another recommendation for a venue which we used this year. Check my post: A nice place to host a birthday party.

Our daughter’s birthday was a couple of weeks ago and for 2-3 months we had been agonizing on what to do for her birthday, where to host it, what events will be in it, what food, do we get a magician, or a clown, or a puppet show, or an events host… you know how it is if your kid’s birthday is coming up. Also, now that she is 5 years old, she had her own demands and inputs about the party. In the end we decided to do what we did last year. We hosted the party at Stellar Children’t museum (here’s a link to their website). Of course, when we said Stellar’s is where we will host it, she was all for it, since she enjoys going there so much anyway.

Stellar Children's MuseumIf you haven’t taken your children to this place before, you should. It is a great activity place. Best for children under 10, IMO. But, this post is about how it is also the perfect place to host birthday parties. Well, let’s see. What do you have to do to host parties here? You bring the cake. That’s it. Or if there are return gifts for the kids that attend.

They take care of the entertainment. They take care of taking care of the kids. They take care of the food. They take care of the security (not to let kids wander). They take care of the decoration. It is perfect. You see, in my opinion, a kids birthday party is something where children should have fun and adults who attend can relax. Since Stellar museum is setup to cater for kids anyway, the same benefits extend when you are having a birthday party there.

The entertainment that I mentioned is basically a FULL access to the entire museum, with all its activities. Their army of attendants is available to take care of the kids who are participating in the activities there. The food is provided from their cafe (it is very basic and by no stretch of imagination gourmet food) – but it is simple so kids don’t mind (pizza, pasta, popcorn, etc.). I am sure if you talked to them, they would let you bring your own food if that is your thing – though we never asked.

The pricing is simple. It is a flat fee per child who enters (you commit to a minimum number of course, but that number can be low). Adult entry is free and you only pay for the food for any adults that join in. Try it, you will love it.

How well Uber works in Gurgaon and NCR

I wrote about Uber two years ago (see post) when it had just launched in NCR. I am happy that it is becoming better in terms of availability each day almost to the point that you can rely on it (as I frequently do). If you want to sign up to Uber, you can use this invitation link (https://www.uber.com/invite/uberisnice) to sign up. This will give you some free credit and if you end up using it, then some free credit to me too.

Uber X
The Uber X

This was my wife’s Uber ride today. First the driver was very proactive in using the Uber app to arrive at the exact location that she had called the cab to – was very courteous on the phone when we were telling him where to come. Once she was in the car, the AC was on, and he asked her if she would like to listen to some music. She said yes, and he turned on his sound system on a decent volume. Then she received a phone call during the ride, and he voluntarily turned the music volume low. All in all, a nice ride experience. This is the best that Uber can get (or sometimes better, some drivers will have the newspaper for you in the morning, and others will offer you a bottle of water).

If you use any of these radio cabs today, there is absolutely no reason not to use Uber. It is as safe (if not more) than any of the other options available. It is certainly cheaper than them. It is cheaper than an auto – try taking an auto from Sohna road to Udyog Vihar for less than 150 rupees. With an UberGo, you can do it in less. With UberX the cost is less than 200 rupees. For this money, you get an air-conditioned car, more often than not in a good condition, with a driver, who is more often than not well dressed and well behaved and pleasant to talk to. No parking hassles, no driving stress, easy access to transportation.

I use Uber instead of my own car quite a lot. The whole no-cash mechanism of working makes it so much hassle free. You get to your destination and you walk away. All you have to do is open you app, press a button, and wait for the cab to arrive (typically less than 20 minutes).

Power tip: as soon as you are assigned a cab, call the person to let them know where to come. This confirms to the driver that you didn’t accidentally book it, and some drivers are not good at using the map to find your location and so will appreciate directions that you can give them.

There are 3 variants of the service available in the NCR: UberGO, UberX, and UberBLACK. With UberGo the cheapest with the smallest card and UberBLACK the most expensive with the largest cars (typically Innovas). Here are the prices shown for each one in the Uber app (in Gurgaon).

Uber Go
UberGO
Uber X
UberX
Uber Black
UberBLACK

I will continue to be a regular user of Uber, and if you haven’t tried it out yet, I suggest you do. Again, use this invite link (https://www.uber.com/invite/uberisnice) to sign up to receive some free credit in your account.

Visit Sawasdee Thai Spa for your well-being

Update (July 2014): between when I wrote this post and today there was a period when the service quality and this spa had declined a fair bit (other pages on this site discuss this fact). Having said that, the current level of service is much better (I have visited this spa a few times in this year). They are better than 80-90% of the spas in Gurgaon, I would say (not that I have visited them all). My only complaint with them is that they are still very expensive (more so than almost every other spa in Gurgaon) – at the same time, they are usually booked all the time, which means that there is demand for their quality of services. My recommendation again with Sawasdee is: “Recommended”.

Sawasdee is a traditional Thai greeting which is equal to a ‘Hello’ or a ‘Namaste’. The word is actually derived from a Sanskrit word which means ‘well-being’. And a boost to your well-being is exactly what you get when you visit the Sawasdee Thai Spa at Ambi mall in Gurgaon. There are many Spas in Gurgaon (as I have written here) and some of them are fairly good (such as Oriental Senses). But the Sawasdee Thai Spa takes good to a whole new level – I am sure it is one of the best (at the moment) in all of Gurgaon, if not NCR. Here’s a quick review, and hopefully others who have visited will add to this by leaving comments.

Continue reading Visit Sawasdee Thai Spa for your well-being