It was time for our 3-days annual event, which happens in different city every year. This time it was Chennai. In the process of finalizing the venue, we shortlisted 2 hotels. One of my colleagues mentioned that the Hotel we are planning to zero down was a palatial property inspired by the Chola dynasty, one of the most powerful kingdoms that ruled South of India.
Although we have explored many premium properties before (most of them are the beach resorts, my favorite being Leela Kovalam, Nirwana resort hotel ), but the idea of staying in a Palatial property was new and enticing, especially after seeing the pictures of this enormous hotel.
Finally, the day arrived, we landed at ITC Grand Chola, one of the largest Luxury hotels in Chennai. At the very first look, I was impressed with its grandeur and vastness.
After spending 5 blissful and memorable days here, I just feel that sometimes it’s good to be spoilt and pampered by experiencing the best of bests. Sharing the review and our experience: –
About the property
True to its tag line “A luxury collection hotel”, Grandeur is something that sets Grand Chola apart from other properties. Massive ornate building inspired by the Chola kingdom, offers 600 rooms including luxurious service apartments. Hotel’s three separate wings feature a set of luxurious service apartments, large banquets and exhibition spaces, recreational facilities, fine dining and spacious rooms.
The Hotel is so big that at some instances we were lost inside the building, not able to locate the way to conference hall or our room.
It’s not only the timeless beauty and luxurious feel that makes ITC grand Chola an ideal place, its location is surely another plus point. Situated in Guindy area of Chennai, Grand Chola is just 8 kms away from airport. It is also very close to some of the famous tourist spots in Chennai including Kapaleeshwarar temple and Santhomes Cathedral etc.
By now you already know that I was simply awestruck by the ambience of this beautiful Hotel. Every nook and corner of the hotel reflects splendid taste and architecture, be it the high ceiling, sparkling granite walls & flooring, gigantic pillars, the grand stair case, vast open spaces or the royalty themed décor. Every element of the hotel is designed in an exquisite way to make you feel the part of the royalty.
The rooms were very spacious and impeccably designed to make you feel comfortable. I just loved the large washroom area with bath tub (the area was as big as the room itself). Another unique feature which makes this palace themed property, ultra-modern is that everything in the room right from the lights, temperature, television, etc. can be controlled by the click of an iPad. Something which I haven’t come across in any other place where I stayed in.
There are different categories of rooms including the executive club, suits, serviced apartments etc.
Being a 5-star hotel, Grand Chola offer all the amenities that you can name. However, some of them which I really loved experiencing were –
Kaya Kalp Royal Spa – After 4 days of hard work to conduct our event flawlessly, it was time to pamper ourselves. I am so glad that we decided to try the spa. Our experience at Kaya Kalp spa was truly relaxing and rejuvenating experience. Beautiful decor, experienced masseuse followed by relaxing experience at Jacuzzi, Sauna and Steam, was refreshing for our body, mind and soul. I will surely write about in more detail in my next blog.
The Pool – This was another highlight of the hotel, surrounded by the palatial building from 3 sides and over-looking the city on one side. Aesthetically designed with palm trees lining both sides of the pool, it looks more like an oasis in the desert.
There is a separate pool for kids too.
Restaurants – Grand Chola houses many restaurants specializing in different cuisines. Although during our stay we could only visit their buffet restaurant, the Madras Pavilion which offered a huge spread of gourmet dishes including finest choice of Indian and International recipes.
We had great time relishing the offerings at Madras Pavilion specially their Sunday brunch was amazing with a massive spread.
Apart from Madras Pavilion, ITC Chola offers
1.Royal Vega – Luxury vegetarian restaurant
2.Ottimo Cucina Italiana – As the name suggests this is an Italian restaurant
3.Peshawri – Offers north-west cuisines from grills to kebabs
4.Pan Asian – Offers Pan Asian cuisine
5.Avartana – A blend of modern and traditional south Indian cuisine
6.Cafe Mercara Express – 24 hours coffee shop
7.Tranquebar – An elegant bar
8.The Cheroot – Malt & Cigar Lounge
9.Nutmeg – The Gourmet Shop – Offers baked goodies, artisanal chocolates, fine cold cuts etc
10.Fabelle – offers tempting handcrafted chocolates
To sum it up, during our stay at the Grand Chola,we could get a taste of luxury and royalty in many ways be it a great hospitality , ambience or food. It was a pleasant and memorable experience, I wouldn’t mind going back to ITC Grand Chola when I visit Chennai next time.