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Kool Kolkata Check Out Your Options

A drop in leisure and business visitors makes luxury accommodation in Kolkata a steal these days. Joy Roy Choudhury discovers some of the best hotels in the city

How do people fall in love with Kolkata? It’s easy for people who have grown up in the city because for them it is their cosy home. They are familiar with the nuances of the city, but what about those who land in the city for a pleasure trip, or a business deal, for an interview, or, god forbid, medicare? For the stranger, this unfamiliar city holds experiences of varied sorts. Roads clogged by long processions and demonstrators, unwilling taxi drivers, hostile policemen, unfamiliar road signs in an alien language and people lazing around in groups discussing their favourite pastime - politics and football - over a hot cup of tea. These can be reasons enough to put you off.

There was a time when people from all over the country flocked to West Bengal, Kolkata in particular, for studies, jobs and even medicare. Now these same people are heading for other metropolises. But Kolkata - ‘the city of hope and aspirations’ - is ready to shed its inhibitions and is poised to take a giant leap into the future and embrace the world. The city, which houses the headquarters of three important public sector banks, United Bank of India, UCO Bank and Allahabad Bank and several other important financial institutions and companies, has emerged as a premier ‘business and trading hub’ of eastern India. The rapid growth of IT and other industries has lured several international chains to set up their properties in Kolkata. Apart from the upcoming hotels, the city boasts some of the finest properties in the country. But inspite of its world-class facilities, the hotel industry in the state is passing through a difficult phase. The ‘Mayhem at Manhattan on September 11’ and the subsequent attacks on the Indian Parliament and the US embassy in the city has had a telling effect on tourist arrivals and business executives to the state. But hoteliers are putting up a brave front inspite of these constraints. The hotels in the city, with their remarkable blend of quality services coupled with traditional Bengali hospitality, offer a memorable business experience. So to beat the summer heat, check out the ‘cool’ options offered by luxury hotels in Kolkata that perfectly mix business with pleasure...

Modern Classic Taj Bengal

34-B, Belvedere Road,
Tel: (033) 2235200
Fax: (033) 2231766
E-mail: bengal.calcutta@tajhotels.com

One of the finest luxury properties in the city situated amidst a sylvan surrounding at Alipore, it is the ultimate choice for the discerning business traveller visiting Kolkata. Situated close to the greenery of the Kolkata Maidan, the Kolkata Zoological Gardens and the National Library, the property is a visual treat for tourists visiting the state capital. Taj Bengal has won several accolades over the years. The new deluxe rooms at Taj Bengal designed by Wilson and Associates of Los Angeles are contemporary and yet reflect the art, elegance and warmth of Bengal. The rooms boast an in-house ISDN Internet connectivity and other sophisticated equipment. The sound-proof windows help you to concentrate and relax in the confines of your room. The miniature and headboard paintings of the East India Company transports one to the old world charm of a colonial flavour - an inherent part of historical Kolkata. Taj Bengal provides large and exclusive banqueting facilities too. New carpets with contemporary design have replaced the old ones in addition to the unique flower arrangements, contemporary buffet set-ups and subtle colour schemes, variety of international cuisine and a new uniform. The business centre and health and fitness club is always ready to cater to the needs of the business fraternity. Dining at Taj Bengal is an exotic experience. ‘The Hub’, the 24-hour international food theatre, offers an array of international cuisine. ‘By The Way’, the new international eatery, takes you on a culinary journey of international and Anglo-Indian cuisine. ‘Junction’, the new-look bar, serves an exhaustive range of liquors and cigars.

Grande Dame Oberoi Grand

15, Jawaharlal Nehru Road,
Tel: (033) 2492323
Fax: (033) 2493229
E-mail: fo@oberoi-cal.com

Oberoi Grand is the premier business hotel of the city. Characterised by its old-world charm and gracious hospitality, the hotel offers all the comforts of a luxury hotel with state-of-the-art business facilities. Its distinguished accommodation includes the completely refurbished rooms and suites, elegantly appointed with plush fabrics and finely detailed classical furniture. For the discerning business traveller, there are modern amenities from communication systems to in-room entertainment. This 213-room hotel features ‘La Terrase’ for European and Asian cuisine; two specialty restaurants, ‘Gharana’ for fine dining from Royal India and ‘Baan Thai’ for authentic Thai cuisine in a traditional ambience. There is also a tea lounge and bar. Oberoi Grand has banqueting facilities for large conferences and receptions for over 1,000 persons, meeting rooms for select board meetings and seminars. The Grand Ballroom, ideal for large conferences and receptions, accommodates up to 800 persons. The three meeting rooms, including a boardroom, are suitable for select gatherings and seminars. The hotel also offers satellite teleconferencing facility. Other facilities include a fully equipped health club with gymnasium, a large swimming pool and a 24X7 business centre equipped with modern facilities.

Designer Style The Park

17, Park Street
Tel: (033) 2493121,
Fax: (033) 2497343
City Toll Free:

Superior Single- Rs 7,000
Superior Double - Rs 7,500
Deluxe Suite - Rs 9,500 and
Deluxe Room - Rs 8,500

Situated on the Park Street, the ‘fashion street of the city’, The Park features 150 rooms including The Residence with 24 deluxe rooms and suites. The decor and ambience of this boutique hotel, one of the oldest in the city, reflects the rich legacy of Indian culture. The selling points of the hotel are its international quality services and location. It offers a wide range of business and conferencing facilities like voice mail, international direct dialing, e-mail and Internet facilities. The meeting room and six banquet halls are well-equipped to host any sort of business conference. The guests can also leaf through the latest editions at the Oxford Bookstore situated at the hotel arcade. The spa provides an opportunity for health-buffs to rejuvenate. Enjoy a wild night out at ‘Tantra’, the international nightclub. ‘Someplace Else’, the pub-cum-restaurant, is the ideal place to chill off and enjoy the evening over live jazz. Dining at The Park is a gastronomical delight. ‘Zen’ - the Oriental cuisine speciality restaurant, ‘Saffron’ - the contemporary Indian restaurant, and ‘The Atrium Cafe’ - the 24-hour restaurant are the right places to tempt your tastebuds.

Corporate Convenience Hotel Hindusthan International

235/1, AJC Bose Road, Kolkata-700020
Tel: (033) 247-2394
Fax: (033) 280-0111
E-mail: reservation@hindusthan.com

Deluxe Room - Rs 6,000
Imperial Club - Rs 7,000
The Colony - Rs 8,500 and
Club Suite - Rs 10,000

The next time you touchdown at Kolkata, just ask your chauffeur or cabbie to take you to Hotel Hindusthan International (HHI), and he would easily drop you off at the hotel. This 180-room luxury hotel is located in the commercial and cultural heart of the city. But the best of the draw is the 24-room ‘The Colony’ on the eight floor totally dedicated to the business traveller. The rooms exquisitely designed by master interior designers provides guests with personal fax machines, personal computers, laptop connectivity, DVD, personalised stationery, personalised butler service, express check-in and check-out facility, an exclusive bar and dining area for guests and even a dedicated elevator for the eight floor. When asked why a business traveller should opt for HHI, Sanjeev Kapoor, general manager of the hotel, said: “HHI has stood the test of time and over the years has ensured that the guest gets world-class services and his minutest of necessities are taken care of. Right from the ‘U’ clip to his diet chart, everything is personally looked into.”

The hotel is the perfect place to host business meetings and conferences. The conference halls of different sizes with seating capacity of 30 to 300 match international standards. HHI boasts some of the finest restaurants in the city. ‘Palm Court’, the 24-hour eatery serves mouth-watering dishes. ‘Kalash’, the Indian speciality restaurant with live entertainment, and ‘Oriental’, serving Chinese and Far Eastern cuisine, draws the gourmet connoisseurs of the city. The ‘Pool Bar’ breathes the spirit of the city, besides the ‘Winning Streak Sports Bar’ that tests your adrenaline amidst some great music and spirits. ‘The Verve’ - the newly renovated health club and gym of the hotel - is a one-stop shop for total body fitness. Apart from the usual multi-gym equipment, steam and sauna facilities, a brand new oxyzone parlour is another attractive feature of Verve. The hotel authorities have engaged a physician who will check the guest thoroughly and then in agreement with the trainer decide on the fitness regime to be prescribed.

Riverside Retreat The Ffort-A Radisson Resort

Post Bag 1, Sarisa,
South 24 Paraganas,
West Bengal-743368
Outstation callers:
91 3174 75444
Kolkata callers:
9174 75444
E-mail: ffortcal@cal.vsnl.net.in

City Office: 6/7A, AJC Bose Road, Kolkata-700017
Tel: (033) 2800043/44/45

Are you a software professional or a busy corporate executive? Can you remember the date when you last flew a kite? I am sure most of you would say - ‘No’. If you want to fly kites or want to teach your son how to fly a kite then check in at the Ffort, Raichak. The Ffort, as it is popularly called, is just 50 kms and hardly a 90 minutes drive from the heart of Kolkata. The hotel provides an enchanting experience for guests along the waters of the Hooghly. The red-bricked Ffort, which resembles a 19th century fort, also has a bit of history attached to it. It is the perfect getaway not only for relaxation with friends or relatives, but also to chalk out business strategies.

he host of games and entertainment facilities available make sure that your stay is a memorable experience. The Ffort Radisson, built around a 200-year old legend, has 59 river-facing rooms and two Presidential Suites with balconies. All the rooms overlook the dramatic bend of the Hooghly. The state-of-the-art conferencing facilities are available at Citadel I and Citadel II.

The Club Magna Carta is another added attraction of the Ffort. Spread over 60 sprawling acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, the complex houses designer homes, town houses and beautifully architectured-condominiums. It will satisfy every whim and fancy with pleasure. The Kids Klub, a virtual paradise for your kids and an international quality tennis court, is the other attraction of this riverside retreat. The health club complete with a gym, sauna, steam bath and jaccuzi offers rejuvenating experiences. ‘Reflections’, the multicuisine cafe, is an apt reflection of the high quality of food spread out at the retreat for its patrons.

Twin Treats The Kenilworth

1&2, Little Russel Street,
Tel: (033) 282-3939/40 ,
Fax: (033) 282-5136/1381
E-mail: kenilworthkol@kenilworthhotels.com

Single Occupancy - Rs 4,000
Double Occupancy - Rs 4,400
Suite - Rs 5,500
Premier Club - Rs 5,500
Deluxe Suite - Rs 6,000 and
Premier Club Suite - Rs 6,500

It’s ‘Advantage-Location’ for The Kenilworth. Yes, the superior location of The Kenilworth keeps business trickling for this 105-room hotel. In the words of Raju Bharat, director of The Kenilworth: “It is, of course, a boon to be in the heart of the city, within minutes of the business district as well as major shopping arcades.” The hotel is right at the heart of the business and entertainment hub of the city. “Our long term commitment towards quality and customer satisfaction have earned us a distinct name and recognition,” adds Bharat.

For the business traveller, a stay at The Kenilworth is a welcome experience. Not only is he easily connected with all the corporate headquarters, banks and financial institutions, he can also unwind at the various nightclubs and entertainment spots in and around the hotel. The banquets at The Kenilworth take care of the business meetings of the corporate houses. Executives can also access their mail at the 24X7 ‘Business Centre’. ‘The Premier Club’ is a different experience altogether. The corporate can also avail of all the business facilities like Internet, fax and other communication resources.

Keeping in mind the extent of travelling a corporate executive does today, the hotel authorities have also for the first time introduced low calorie, low fat and high energy meals, which are even served in the guests’ rooms. The hotel plans to feature interactive televisions in all guestrooms. Do visit ‘The Big Ben’, the exclusive English-style pub where the colonial legacy of the British has been resurrected. The ambience and decor of the pub is just the right place to unwind yourself over a couple of pegs. The Marble Room offers a gourmet dining experience.

Value For Money The Golden Park

13, Ho Chi Minh Sarani
Tel: (033) 288-3939
Fax: (033) 288-9600
E-mail: goldenpark@gujralhotels.com

Superior Room -
Rs 4,100 (single),
Rs 4,400 (double)
Superior Deluxe Room -
Rs 5,000 and
Suites - Rs 6,000

This 80-room boutique hotel is the latest entrant in Kolkata’s luxury hotels segment. Situated at Ho Chi Minh Sarani, off Jawaharlal Nehru Road or Chowringhee, it is located on the nerve centre of the city. The exquisitely carved wooden interiors of the hotel creates a unique experience altogether. What is its USP? Kanishka Mazumdar, general manager of the hotel, reveals, “The Golden Park is a mid-segment hotel and bridges the gap between a five-star and three-star hotel. It offers five-star facilities at ‘value for money’ prices. The success story of The Golden Park is, undoubtedly, its competitive pricing at the given facilities,” Mazumdar added.

Conference facilities at Golden Park

Another feature, which has done wonders for the hotel, is its location. The hotel being in the heart of the central business district, it is well connected with all parts of the city, the airport and Howrah station. The conferencing facilities at the Golden Park match international standards. Piccadilly I & II are well-equipped to take care of all your business and conferencing needs. The 80 well-appointed rooms including the eight suites, superior deluxe rooms and superior rooms offers IDD, Internet and e-mail, voice mail, multichannel cable TV, minibar and tea and coffee-making facilities. For health freaks, the fitness centre and health club provide modern equipment for total body fitness. DJs at the ‘London Pub’ not only captivate the audience with their latest numbers, but the decor, ambience and sound-system of the pub takes you to ‘cloud nine’. Dining at The Golden Park is a gastronomical delight. ‘Vibgyor’, the 24-hour coffee shop, ‘Pakhtoon’, the Indian restaurant, and the newly-opened ‘Hunan’, the ‘Oriental’ restaurant, are excellent places to savour exotic delicacies.

Bengali Hospitality Peerless Inn

12, Jawaharlal Nehru Road,
Tel: (033) 2280301
Fax: (033) 2286650
E-mail: peerinn@giascl01.vsnl.net.in

Single - Rs 3,200
Double - Rs 3,700
Deluxe - Rs 5,000
Suites - Rs 6,000

At Peerless Inn, Bengali hospitality welcomes you with all its warmth and charm into the heart of Kolkata’s vivacious life. You have to step into the hotel and feel the soothing ambience of its efficient hospitality. Situated at the heart of the city in the Esplanade area, Peerless Inn’s location has scripted its success story. Be it a discerning business traveller or tourist visiting Kolkata for the first time - a stay at the Peerless would keep him connected with all parts of the city. Though situated amidst the concrete jungle of the central business district, the services and typical Bengali hospitality at Peerless Inn gives you a feeling of a home-away-from-home. It is an ideal place to host corporate conferences and business meetings. The four different sized banquets of the hotel; Aakaashpot, Aalaapan, Jogajog and Ekaantikaa can accommodate upto 300 guests. The business centre is geared to meet any requirement of the high-flying executive. If you want to check out authentic Bengali cuisine during your short stint in the city, then ‘Aaheli’, the Bengali restaurant, is the ideal option. If your tastebuds are ready for an exciting gastronomical tour of Chinese, Continental and Indian cuisine in accompaniment with live Hindi orchestra, then check out ‘Bichitra’. But if you’re looking to celebrate after cracking a business deal then ‘Lahari’ bar is spot on. ‘Nishidin’, the 24-hour coffee shop-cum-restaurant, is the best place to steal a rare relaxed moment or two.

Blast From The Past Lytton Hotel

14 & 14/1, Sudder Street,
Tel: (033) 2491872
Fax: (033) 2491747
Email: lytton@giascl01.vsnl.net.in

Single - Rs 1,600
Double - Rs 2,200
Super Deluxe (Single) -
Rs 2,200
Super Deluxe (Double) -
Rs 2,700 and
Suite - Rs 3,300

Located in the heart of the City of Joy, Lytton is equidistant from the city’s pulsating business district and its charming tourist attractions, namely, Victoria Memorial, Indian Museum and New Market. From an old British guest house to a premium hotel, Lytton has come a long way. It was gradually positioned as a business hotel by the Punwanis. Their vision has made it one of the best, if not the best business class hotel in the three-star category.

The location is a big advantage for the hotel. It is at the heart of the business hub of Kolkata and if someone wants to blend business with entertainment, Lytton has plenty within the close vicinity of the hotel. The corporate traveller prefers Lytton because of its competitive tariff and latest communication systems. Once you come to Lytton, you become a part of a big family and will always love to come back again. The hotel authorities promise a memorable dining experience for all the guests and the discerning business traveller who puts up at Lytton. ‘Dynasty’, the exclusive Chinese restaurant, takes you on a gastronomical tour of authentic Chinese cuisine. ‘Gaylord’ offers authentic Indian and Tandoori dishes to its guests. ‘Sunset Bar’, its well-stocked bar, is the ideal place to chill out.

All rates subject to revision and taxes applicable