Monday, 22 August 2016

Testing at Prometric? Try Resting At Cinnamon!

Reading the email, I knew that it was time when I was slowly inching towards my big American dream. As a student of engineering, I had always wanted to move to the US for higher education in Environmental Engineering. The preparation for the mandatory GRE and TOEFL was going on since the past year. 
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The email confirmed my exam date and my centre was the Prometric Centre in Gurgaon. I was confident that I would be able to score very well in the first attempt itself. 

Yet, my confidence was not brimming as I had expected it to. My parents made me realize that perhaps it was the inhibition or “scare” of going to Gurgaon for the first time, that I was feeling the way I was. It was decided that mom and I reach Gurgaon a couple of days before to get accustomed to the place and can be focused on the exam completely on my “D” day.
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We chose Cinnamon Stays as our place of stay on the recommendation of my mother’s friend, Radha (who called herself a “Friend Of Cinnamon”). The recommendation paid off more than I had ever expected it to. Here are a few things that made our stay in Cinnamon simply fantastic!

  1. Located just 5 minutes away from the Test Centre
The Prometric centre is located in the Iris Tech Park Building on Sohna Road, just 5 minutes walking distance from the homestay. This convenience of being so close by meant that I could have a good night’s sleep and not worry about traveling across town.

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  1. Home like environment
The home like environment of Cinnamon was the first thing that struck us. It obviously is a home to the hosts, Manish and Shilpi, yet, every corner of the place oozes of warmth - something that I knew I would miss in the days to come.

  1. Safe for young travelers
Though I was with my mother, I did see a fellow girl student traveling from Kanpur on her own. For parents to send their children on their own, for an important exam, meant that they completely trusted Cinnamon. It is a safe and secure family place for young student travelers like us. They have 2 villas. You can choose to stay with the family or in the other villa if you want greater privacy. I loved staying with Shilpi and her family. 
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  1. Home cooked meals
The home cooked meals provided are hygienic, (spice according to your taste) and the portions are very good! (at least for a big guy like me who eats a lot!). The servings at the breakfast are different on different days and that feels just like home! I was even asked if I liked my milk with Horlicks, Bournvita or good old Haldi (turmeric). All the energy you need before the big exam. There is also a McDonalds across the street, Sree Ram restaurant that’s open 24X7. 

  1. Packed meals (added service)
I could also get a packed lunch ( actually very tasty sandwich made by Ravi - their cook) as per our request. The entire headache of what and where to eat near the centre was completely taken care of!
Cinnamon will also help you order from outside. They are pretty cool about food from outside.

  1. Flexibility
At Cinnamon, we had flexibility of checking in and checking out as per our convenience (Though on special request!). We had an evening flight to catch and the hosts agreed to look after our luggage even after check out so that we could go to the centre without our baggage and not worry about it’s safety at all.

  1. Quiet zone
The entire homestay is a quiet zone. Since it is located in a gated community, the noise levels are very low. The rooms are serene and with the greenery around, it gave me a stress free environment and I could carry out my last minute preparations with ease and comfort. There is a power back-up so there was no tension of power cuts and a sleepless night.

  1. Motivation
On the day of my exam, I was but nervous and edgy. Very strangely, Shilpi the host struck up a conversation with me. She helped me to stop being fidgety just by chatting up with me! Later, she told me that she is a Coach and it is her profession to “pep” up people. I suggest you have a small chat with her before you go for the exam. She really cheered me up!

  1. Extra amenities in the room
Cinnamon does not shy away from giving you the “extra”. Be it an extra mattress, milk with bournvita, extra cups of tea  (on the eve of the exam, on request!), a small guitar strumming session (to de -stress) or a quick lending of book from their collection.

    10.  Emergency drop off facility
I was told that in case of any emergency like rains, I would be dropped off at the exam centre well in time.
I had worked very hard for my GRE and taking the exam was a feat in itself but the one thing that made it fairly easy and convenient was the place we stayed - Cinnamon Stays. Today, after 4 weeks, I have my GRE score in hand and looking at it I know that soon I will be packing off to the US. One thing is for sure that if I do fly ex Delhi, I will stay at Cinnamon again for the love and pampering that I will be showered upon for sure! After all, the airport is only a 30 minute drive from there!

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