Situated between the 300-acre Cubbon Park and the luxury shops of UB City, this hotel is close to pubs, boutiques and quirky restaurants. For about 400,000 Indian Rupees (£4,900), guests can save the one-and-a-half hour drive from the airport and opt for the helicopter-pick up. Within 20 minutes, guests are flown over Bangalore city to land in style on the hotel’s helipad. A welcoming committee receives all guests with brocade stoles that are worth carrying home. Guests who prefer discretion can opt for a pick-up on one of the hotels’ hybrid cars.
Contemporary in style with vertical gardens, double-glazed windows to reduce air-conditioning bills, and energy-efficient CFC and LED lights, the hotel takes its mantra of ‘responsible luxury’ seriously. Thankfully, there are no preachy nudges to guests about reusing towels. Instead, the hotel takes the onus upon itself to renew and recycle at every step.
Every floor has a theme—water, fire, earth, wind, animals, butterflies—all of which become motifs for the carpets and artwork on the walls. A nice touch is the Eva floor for women travellers, manned by a female security guard and service by female staff. Its rooms include nail polish remover, and a small vial of perfume amongst its toiletries.
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Service & facilities
The service is outstanding, which is perhaps the reason why politicians and the Indian cricket team opt to stay here. Higher category rooms come with a butler, who becomes the guest’s interface with the hotel—making reservations, ordering room-service, doing laundry and even serving the food at restaurants. The swimming pool and fitness centre are not distinctive, but the purple-theme pomegranate-based Kaya Kalp spa with therapists from the Northeast offers aromatic massages in the seven spacious treatment rooms.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
- Steam room/hammam
Basic rooms have contemporary miniature paintings, embroidered headboards, a safe, and electronic bedside climate controls. Most come with a balcony. Bathrooms have a spacious shower, bathtub, and decent—but not exceptional toiletries—made in-house. The Flamingo Suite, has two interlinked bedrooms and two balconies—a great choice for families. Club rooms get one of those massage chairs you can sink into at the end of the day.
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Food & drink
Drinks on the house for all guests between 6-8pm makes for a great draw, particularly since imported liquor is on offer. Try the single malts at Highland Nectar bar; or a well made gin and tonic at Upper Crust, the business centre. Amongst the five dining outlets, Fabelle, the chocolate boutique is the most recent with house-made chocolates, truffles and well-balanced, not overly sweet desserts.
Ottimo, the Italian restaurant, headlined by Chef Vittorio Greco looks like a diner with large photographs and boxy seating, but the extensive wine list on tall Schott Zwiesel glasses, and Chef Sasha Fernandes’ playful take on Italian dishes make up for it— try the seabass simmered with tangy capers and ciabatta bread or the soups.
Edo, their Japanese restaurant, once the toast of town, now suffers from too much competition. Still, its set kaiseki tasting menu for 5,000 Indian Rupees (£61) is a draw. The Indian outlet, K&K, short for Kebabs and Kurry, excels in boneless melt-in-your-mouth chicken, a variety of kebabs, and fragrant biriyani. Daily buffet breakfast is at the Cubbon Pavilion, an inside-outside space that serves all the healthy yogurt parfaits, organic egg omelettes, and millet dosas that are now all the rage in India.
Value for money
Double rooms from 13,000 Indian Rupees (£160) in the summer (April through September), inclusive of breakfast and high-speed internet. During from October to March, the rates go up a tad: Double rooms for 14,000 Indian Rupees (£170) for the same deal.
Access for guests with disabilities?
There are ramps and lifts; and a special room for guests with disabilities but not the level of vibrating pillows for deaf guests to hear a fire alarm. Instead, the butler opens the door and comes in to wake you in case of emergency.
There are interconnecting rooms. A crib is provided free of cost on request, but an extra child’s bed comes at a nominal charge. Children are welcomed with toys, and a kit. That said, this is still a business hotel. Don’t expect a kids’ club.
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