Friday, August 06, 2010

Luxuriously Green

ITC Royal GardeniaThe ITC Royal Gardenia in Bangalore was a pleasant surprise. While the hotel has played up its green credentials in their marketing campaigns, they didn't say much about the other delights that make a visit there quite memorable. The open airy atrium, the vertical gardens in the lobby and the nicely appointed rooms are a treat for the senses.

A girl decked up in a gorgeous sari recieved me and draped a silk scarf around me in a traditional welcome from the city's royal past. The hotel itself is located quite close to UB City and the 125-year old Bangalore Club. My room was very well appointed and equipped with the latest electronics including a single console to control everything from lighting to the telephone.

Cubbon Pavillion at ITC Royal GardeniaService quality was very good (like most ITC hotels) but I still hold the Oberoi as the epitome of service in India. What stood out was the quality of their restaurants. While ITC's branded restaurants are present in most of their hotels, the food and service quality can vary. My experience at Kababs & Kurries here was very good, enough to forgive the lapses in quality during my last visit to its namesake at the Grand Central Mumbai.

Kababs and Kurries at ITC Royal Gardenia
Highland Nectar at ITC Royal GardeniaThe Chooze Ki Biryani is made of whole spring chicken marinated in yogurt, saffron and green herbs that is cooked in basmati rice and finished on dum. The Patthar Ke Gosht is deccan style lamb escalopes in traditional spices. Fantastic stuff! A few glasses of Glenlivet at the Highland Nectar bar before dinner will keep all thoughts associated with calories and cholesterol far away. Drop in if you love single malts - they have quite an extensive menu.

ITC Royal GardeniaI tried Cubbon Pavillion during breakfast and lunch. They have an extensive menu that includes North Indian, South Indian, Continental and Oriental options, even a live counter. Overall a great experience!

West View Grill at ITC Royal Gardenia
West View Grill at ITC Royal Gardenia
Finally, West View their western-style grill. They continue to retain the all-girls tradition in this one as well. However, while I loved their creative and artfully presented hors d'euvres, the robust seafood soup and the desserts, the main course comprising of grilled meats and seafood fell somewhat short of expectations. The meats were not tender enough or seasoned sufficiently to bring out the flavors, even though I found the seafood satisfying. The quail was passable and the chorizo sausage the best thing on my plate!

West View Grill at ITC Royal Gardenia
West View Grill at ITC Royal Gardenia
West View Grill at ITC Royal GardeniaAll in all, the ITC Royal Gardenia is among the best places to stay in Bangalore. Even more impressive is their environmental credentials. Leeds Platinum rating, carbon positive, water positive among other things. Proof that green and luxury can go hand in hand. And if you have the time, I would recommend Kaya Kalp their spa for an instant recharge!


Alisa said...

What a wonderful review. Your photos are very impressive.

Shantanu said...

@Alisa: Weclome here and thanks for the comment.