Yeshwantpur is a traditionally old part of Bangalore with a long-running vegetable market and train station. Today, highways from the airport have improved its access materially. The newly constructed metro train line takes commuters to downtown Bangalore in half an hour. That said, this hotel’s location right beside the highway and across from the metro makes walking or running outside a difficult option.
Style & character
Contemporary artwork lines the walls, and beaten copper curios are placed on tables. At the entrance is a bronze sculpture of the Hindu god, Ganesh, who looks through the centerpiece flower arrangement in the lobby to the ancient (and thankfully uncut) broad banyan tree in the courtyard behind the hotel. Beige furnishings match the marble floor and the place exudes quiet functionality.
Marketed as a business hotel and convention centre, this hotel has an array of services suited to the executives that visit the manufacturing and automobile companies all around. It is kitted out with the latest safety features on every floor including unobtrusive cameras, wide corridors and lights outside each room that turn and stay on when the key is in the room.
Service & facilities
The outdoor swimming pool, about half the size of an Olympic pool, has no restaurant nearby, which gives it a nice privacy for guests who are serious about their swim. The adjacent fitness centre looks out on the pool and is equipped with treadmills, cross trainers and weights. Trainers are at hand throughout the day and even at night upon request to help. The yoga and stretching room is sandwiched between the fitness centre and the spa, and yoga teachers can be booked on request.
The world-class, well-priced Taj Jiva spa is an oasis of quiet. Try the signature Jivaniya restorative two-hour treatment for 5,400 Indian Rupees (£63) which consists of a coconut and turmeric scrub followed by a wrap and an hour-long aromatherapy massage made with organic jasmine-scented oil. All of the linen, ceramic cups, jute slippers, and aroma oils are custom prepared for the Taj group and made with the highest standards of purity. A steam shower scented with lemongrass and bamboo, a sauna, and an experiential shower are a nice touch.
For a venture out, the concierge can arrange cars to nearby attractions such as the Hare Krishna temple and HMT watch factory with a guide. The staff keep out of your way and appear when you need them. Most of the guests are repeat (airline flight crews) or long-stay guests who know their way around the hotel. Corporate visitors host annual marketing conventions at the hotel, but thankfully this is at a separate wing.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
- Steam room/hammam
The 327 rooms are spacious and well designed. Base-category rooms have beds that face the window and a living/working area separated by a wooden console. The safes have an electrical plug inside, which doesn’t turn off even if the room is empty, thus making it convenient to charge laptops or mobiles while having dinner. In terms of décor, one wall is covered with curving vines, painted in muted green. Three-fixture bathrooms have fragrant toiletries by luxury Indian brand, Forest Essentials. There is a minibar stocked with whiskies, juices and water, and coffee and tea are complimentary. Room-sized windows offer sweeping views of the neighbourhood.
Food & drink
Palette, the all-day dining restaurant serves a buffet breakfast with eggs, pastries, Indian dishes – try the masala dosas (savoury crepes filled with spiced potatoes), and healthy options – granola bars, green juices.
Paranda, the Punjabi restaurant which is open for lunch and dinner, does good Tandoori dishes. Try the garlic prawns, boneless chicken marinated in saffron cream, Kashmiri morels, or braised lamb shanks. The Gourmet lunch platter (1,750 Indian Rupees/£20) is a good and quick option. Décor is muted but lovely. Walls have a jigsaw puzzle of spices such as cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves, enclosed in glass.
Open only for dinner, Azure serves Italian pastas, pizzas, salads, grilled salmon, lobster and chicken dishes. In addition, chefs talk to long-stay guests to customise dishes to suit their palette. Anything is possible in this arrangement as long as the ingredients are available. Shimmer, the bar, literally shimmers with light and sound in the evenings. Try the Hornet cocktail with gin, cucumber and lime.
Value for money
Double rooms from 24,960 Indian Rupees (£290) year-round. Breakfast not included, costs 938 Indian Rupees (£11). Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
One room is equipped with grab bars, alarm buttons, handrails, and is spaciously designed for a wheelchair. It also comes with an adjoining room.
While this is predominantly a business hotel, pets, babies and children are welcome. There is a children’s play area on the first floor, nannies or babysitters can be arranged on demand, and interconnecting rooms are readily available. Cots are provided as are extra beds for a charge of 1,000 (£12).
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