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Check-In To Bangalore

High service levels, luxurious facilities and low rates characterise the hotel scene in bustling Bangalore. Lakshman V checks out some of the most favourable options

The Leela Palace Bangalore

‘Most Indian cities are ancient and represent their past history, except Bangalore which represents the future that we are moulding,” said India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, when asked once to describe the city of Bangalore. Today, even decades later, he is spot on. From a stereo-typed and laid-back city to be reckoned as the most happening city in the country, Bangalore’s rise has been phenomenal to say the least. Encompassing 1,000 IT companies including 150 multinational firms, Bangalore is clearly the IT-nerve centre of Asia. Aptly christened ‘Silicon Valley’, this emerging global business hub has a plethora of surprises in store for you in terms of business, leisure, entertainment, lifestyle etc.

The Oberoi lobby

They say that close behind a city’s fortunes, its hospitality industry follows. Rightly so, much of Bangalore’s success is amply reflected in its hospitality industry. The city boasts some of the finest hotels and resorts, at amazingly down-to-earth prices. A few years back was boom time for Bangalore hotels when the city shot into the limelight as a major IT hub in Asia. But with the IT meltdown and 9/11 disaster, the hotels have suffered a major setback. Facing such a scenario, majority of Bangalore’s business-oriented hotels are offering sweeteners of some form. The hotels, with their fantastic blend of services coupled with traditional hospitality, makes transacting business in Bangalore a truly memorable experience. Hotels in the city, which had only a sprinkling of top-end luxury properties till the 90s, began positioning themselves in three prime regions of the city. Most of the leading hotels are spread across the busy M G Road, Sankey Road and the Airport Road. Furthermore, with traditional markets like Mumbai and Delhi reaching a near saturation point, the Bangalore market, with its exuberance and high disposable income groups, have lured in national and global hotel majors to set up properties in other areas too.

exterior view of St Marks

Classic & Contemporary
The Leela Palace Bangalore
23, Airport Road, Bangalore - 560 008
Tel: (080) 5564525, Fax: (080) 5212323
E-mail: reservations@theleelablr.com
Rates: Rs 6,000-6,900 (single) and Rs 7,000-7,900 (double)

Voted one of the best new hotels of 2001, by none other than Forbes Magazine, this 254-room property stands amidst landscaped gardens and a sparkling lagoon. While the ‘city-resort’ tag is a little fanciful, it does serve as an oasis of sorts. All the usual corporate amenities are available, as is an efficient business centre. Despite lacking in location, The Leela Palace easily makes up in terms of luxuries and amenities. The aesthetically designed rooms with almost dome-shaped ceilings are spacious rather than cluttered with ample living and working space. If room size matters, The Leela Palace should appeal. Catering well to business needs, it features state-of-the-art gizmos and business stationary.

exterior view of The Oberoi

There’s also a personalised butler on hand to take care of everything else. The tariff is a little steep, but if you’re willing to stretch your wallet a bit, then this is the place to be.

Garden of Eden restaurant, Hilton Golden Palms Resort & Spa

City Centre Steal
The Taj West End Hotel
Race Course Road, Bangalore - 560 001
Tel: (080) 2255055, Fax: (080) 2200010
E-mail: trn.bangalore@tajhotels.com
Rates: Rs 6,000-7,500 (single) and Rs 6,500-8,000 (double)

The Leela Palace Bangalore

Formerly known as Bronson’s West End, this charming five-star deluxe property presents an impeccable ambience that gives it a resort look. Deserving the ‘city-resort’ mantle, this hotel is set amidst 20 acres of well-landscaped greenery. Combining the ambience of a private home with the convenience and functionality of a hotel, the 129 rooms are elegantly furnished. Though the rooms are stretched out here and there, it is more than made up with the ‘buggy’ service, which is unique in itself. Despite a slightly steep tariff, it is hard to resist this property for its sheer comfort and convenience.

Cleopatra Bath at Hilton Golden Palms Resort & Spa

Grand Style
ITC Hotel Windsor Sheraton & Towers
No 25, Sankey Road, Bangalore - 560 052
Tel: (080) 2269898, Fax: (080) 2264941
E-mail: itcwindsor@welcomgroup.com
Rates: Corporate Floor - Rs 3,800 (single) and
Rs 4,300 (double)

It’s the preferred base for the creme-de-la-creme and many upper-echelon business visitors to the city. Hosting all visiting heads of state and dignitaries, its imposing milky-white edifice has become a sort of heritage landmark in the Silicon Valley. Hidden beneath the grandeur of its elegant Victorian interiors, the hotel encompasses a total of 240 rooms between the Manor and the newly-added Sheraton Towers. The rooms are splendidly furnished with requisite business amenities. However, its biggest assets are its restaurants and pubs, which are extremely popular with the local populace. Admittedly, the bathrooms are on the small side and a bit less luxurious, though for location and price, this hotel is hard to beat.

Memories of china at Taj Residency

Locational Advantage
Taj Residency
41/3 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Bangalore - 560 001
Tel: (080) 5584444, Fax: (080) 5584748
E-mail: residency.bangalore@tajhotels.com
Rates: Rs 4,400 (single) and Rs 4,800 (double)

Le Meridien Bangalore

Close to a host of corporate headquarters in the commercial heart of Bangalore, it is one of the most business-savvy hotels in the Silicon Valley. Structurally different from its counterpart, West End, this huge modern complex presents an intimate and placid ambience. Nowhere is the hotel’s business orientation better experienced than the executive floors, which are packed with an almost daunting array of technological gizmos and amenities. Though the rooms in this 171-room property at times appear a bit compact, they are smartly done up and furnished. Attracting the creme-de-la-creme of the corporate world, it offers extensive conferencing and business facilities, which is an added advantage. This business hotel represents good value for corporates who are trying to compare hotel costs to the bone.

The Leela Palace Bangalore

Corporate Comfort
Le Meridien Bangalore
No 28, Sankey Road, P B No 174, Bangalore - 560 052
Tel: (080) 2262233, Fax: (080) 2267676
Rates: Rs 4,500 (single) and Rs 4,900 (double)

Banquet Hall at Hilton Golden Palms Resort & Spa

Situated in a posh area right in front of the serene golf course, this is one of the most contemporary hotels in the city. Positioned more towards corporate clientele, its recent makeover has catapulted it among the ranks of the city’s smartest addresses. And perhaps nowhere is its new look best displayed than its 201 well-furnished guestrooms and suites. Adorning the latest gizmos and upgraded business facilities, rooms are smart and comfortable. The hotel also houses the latest addition to Bangalore’s nightlife - Insomnia. This nouvelle nightclub-cum-cocktail lounge is a welcome change for an evening out.

Executive Club Room at ITC Hotel Windsor Sheraton & Towers

Stately Ambience
The Oberoi
37-39, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Bangalore - 560 001
Tel: (080) 5585858, Fax: (080) 5585960
Rates: Rs 5,850 (single) and Rs 6,350 (double)

Exterior of ITC Hotel Windsor Sheraton & Towers

This 158-room hotel guns for the same clientele as the Windsor Sheraton and Taj West End. Located in the heart of the garden city, six km from the airport, this property is a unique combination of subtle elegance and modern efficiency. It draws a respectable business clientele through its combination of good location, reasonable rates and signature business accommodation. Since a soft refurbishment in 1999-2000, the deluxe rooms offer enhanced facilities. Although views from the balcony may not be some of the best in the city, they’re not lacking in amenities. In a city where hotel dining is still a crucial component of the local scene, The Oberoi’s restaurants feature high on the list of places to see and be seen in - and also for their reliably excellent cuisine.

Boutique Appeal
The Park Hotel
14/7, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Bangalore - 560 042
Tel: (080) 5594666, Fax: (080) 5594029
Rates: Rs 2,150 (single) and Rs 2,750 (double)

Angsana Oasis Resort & Spa

This first Indian boutique hotel will appeal to those who prefer small properties. Its air of calm exclusivity has helped the hotel earn some of the highest occupancies in the city. The interiors of this suave property have a degree of sumptuous luxury that might not be to everyone’s taste, but its service that sets this place apart. The over 100 rooms are deeply influenced by Indian sensations and offer insights into the rich legacy of Indian culture. Many rooms have balconies with deck chairs that give one, a feeling of a beachside holiday. Standard business services are at hand. If your budget permits, it’s well worth spending an extra buck to stay in the rooms facing the serene Ulsoor lake. Further, the lounge bar, i-bar, encapsulates the energy and dynamism of the well-wired and wireless era.

The Park Hotel Bangalore

No-Frills Business Class
St Mark’s Hotel
4/1, St Mark’s Road, Bangalore - 560 001
Tel: (080) 2279090, Fax: (080) 2275700
E-mail: stmarks@vsnl.com
Rates: Rs 2,450 (single) and Rs 2,900 (double)

All good things come in small packages. Rightly so, St Marks’ is a smoothly operated, no-frills, budget business-class property. This 94-room property attracts a regular business clientele intent on shaving costs without shedding comforts or facilities. Rooms are mid-size, compact and well-equipped with business amenities. The bar of the lobby hums with business talk. The hotel is one of Bangalore’s great bargains and a bolt-hole for a significant number of in-the-know regular visitors. A really down-to-earth business property.

Pamper Your Senses
Golden Palms Resort & Spa
31, Albert Street, Richmond Town, Bangalore 560 025
Tel: (080) 8394074 /8398407
Rates available on request

The Taj West End

“Health isn’t everything, it is the only thing.” This one of a kind 148-room resort, located on the outskirts of Bangalore, is a 45-minute drive from the airport. Boasting a Mediterranean style ambience, this spa resort takes pampered bliss to new heights. The spa and sports facilities range from Oriental, Ayurvedic, Cleopatra Bath, Dyno Body Toning to Swedish Therapeutic Massages. Pamper your senses and de-stress at a host of sauna and steam rooms, Jacuzzis, Turkish Hammams, Vichy showers etc. If you’re looking for a quick break from Bangalore’s booming city life, this is the ideal getaway.

Executive De-Stress
Angsana Oasis Spa & Resort
Main Doddaballapur Road, Addevishwanathapura Village,
Rajanjunte, Bangalore - 560 064
Tel: (080) 8468898, Fax: (080) 8468897
Rate: Resort Room Rs 3,000 (single and double)

Lobby at Hilton Golden Palms Resort & Spa

Ensconced in the lavish greenery and vast space of the picturesque Northwest County, this boutique spa resort provides the perfect setting for conferences, seminars and indulgent spa retreats. The resort in its entirety has 39 rooms and suites offering personalised services designed to give you a holistic spa experience. The rooms with spacious balcony sit-outs are equipped with modern amenities. A good soak in the Roman Pools or a visit to the spa pavilions help ease the tensions of everyday life.

Note: The rates indicated in the article are rack rates offered by the respective hotels (taxes additional). Depending on the season availability, discounting is a normal practice and must be checked with the hotel. Unless asked for, discounts are rarely offered.