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Royal Retreat

Inspired from the architectural styles of the Royal Palace of Mysore, The Leela Palace Bangalore blends extravagant interiors and world-class comforts. Raadia Mukadam reviews this palatial property

The latest entrant on Bangalore’s hotel scene, the much-hyped Leela Palace Bangalore has already catapulted to the apex securing its place as the only Indian hotel to have made it to Forbes magazine’s list of ‘One of the Best New Business Hotels of 2001’.

Situated on the airport road, the property is in close proximity to the business district of Bangalore, not more than 20 minutes driving distance from the Information Technology Park at Whitefield and an easy stroll from the KGA golf course. A bonus for avid golfers. Inspired from the architectural styles of the Royal Palace of Mysore, it is built in an art deco form and stands majestically amidst seven acres of lush gardens and a sparkling lagoon. A striking feature of the property is its stately porte-cochere at the entrance. The palm-lined approach of the hotel leads you past an exquisite marble fountain into a windswept lobby that overlooks luxuriant gardens, cascades and lily ponds.

All the 254 rooms and suites overlook the azure pool or verdant gardens in the courtyard. Suites boast a lavish decor, from the handtufted carpets to the pastel walls and elegant paintings. The well-sized bathrooms feature a separate walk-in glass shower enclosure and bathtub. Blending elegance with technology are the state-of-the-art facilities that include a 25-inch Sony digital flat screen television, electronic safe, Internet and voice mail facilities and a personal bar.

Staying on the Royal Club floor, it was hard to believe I was still in India. I ate a sumptuous breakfast at the Royal Club lounge, but my schedule meant relinquishing the complimentary cocktails, promising to return later to the chic champagne and cigar lounge. Being a Royal Club guest, I was entitled to use the meeting room for two hours or simply use the business centre with comprehensive secretarial and communication facilities. You could take your pick of the four exclusive boardrooms for 15 guests each.

To relieve your hunger pangs at any hour, I recommend an exquisite dining experience at Citrus, the 24-hour brasserie. The decor is eloquent without being grand, bright without being garish, and soothing without being sombre. And finally, wash it all down with a glass of Martini at the The Library Bar. The hotel’s other two signature restaurants, The Jamavar, the Indian speciality restaurant, and The Asian Bistro, showcasing exotic Asian cuisine, complete the dining experience at this quintessential hotel. The property also offers value-added facilities like rejuvenating in an outdoor Jacuzzi or the health spa. Another feather in its hat is the adjoining Leela Galleria that displays leading brand names.

While the luxurious interiors reek of royalty, the sheer extravagance and expanse could be intimidating. From the imperial structure to the hospitable personnel, everything was splendid par excellence.