6 New Indian Hotels For A Quick Getaway
1. Intercontinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort
Mahabalipuram — an ancient seaport and a UNESCO World Heritage site, for its temples and carvings — now boasts a luxury address that offers you a restful experience away from the hustle-and-bustle of a modern-day city. A car drive from Chennai takes you into the warm embrace of the InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort; and you begin to enjoy the tasteful and simplistic ambience from the moment you alight from your vehicle. The trendy suites, serene spa and various facilities are strategically housed. The quadrangular shape of the hotel incorporates local cultural elements and overlooks two water bodies. It also has a performance platform where cultural vignettes bring in some local flavour. Walk across the grounds at your leisure and tantalise your palate with tasty offerings from well-designed eateries like Melting Pot: The Market Cafe, Tao of Peng and The Gatsby Lounge.
USP: Coastal pleasures
The proximity to the beautiful coastline gives you a fantastic uninterrupted view of the Bay of Bengal waterfront. A short walk towards the beach takes you closer to nature, with the vast blue sky overhead and the sandy spread at your feet!
2. Taj Santacruz, Mumbai
Push through a revolving door and enter. At about a hundred metres away from the domestic airport, the Taj Santacruz, Mumbai, offers a warm welcome. A beautiful melange of traditional architectural designs and contemporary decor, the lobby exudes a palatial aura. Comprising 279 rooms and suites, one of the most striking features is the Luxury and Presidential Suite, which gives guests a fascinatingly soundproof view of the runway. Complete with lavish amenities and charming interiors, each room is also equipped with a fully stocked minibar, international plug sockets, 24-hour in-room dining and everything else one might need for business or pleasure. Staying true to its legacy of scrumptious culinary experiences, this luxury hotel by the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces has some brilliant options available. Tiqri, a split-level atrium eatery, serves global street food as well as regional cuisine. Rivea, a refreshing take on the savoury French and Italian Riviera palate, also houses Enoteca, a wine tasting room which brings to patrons fine wines together with cheese, breads and antipasti. Whether you choose to head to the beauty salon and outdoor swimming pool or spend a day rejuvenating at the Jiva Spa, Taj Santacruz, Mumbai is the maximum city’s newest place to indulge at.
USP: In plane sight
Its advantageous location near the airport makes the hotel accessible to travellers. In a city brimming with people, this property serves as a perfect fly-in, fly-out spot for all.
3. Zone By The Park, Jaipur
This 47-room luxury property, by the Apeejay Surrendra group, uses contemporary design and playful, vibrant interiors to create a welcoming atmosphere for its patrons. Guests can choose from four categories — Zone Room, Zone Trio, Zone Quad and Zone Suite. Each one has the best amenities to add to a comfortable stay. Playa By Zone, the poolside area, serves up an array of cocktails and appetisers to fill you up after a relaxed swim. The 2,500-square-foot banquet hall acts as a lavish venue, whether for a wedding or just a dinner party. And for fitness enthusiasts, there is Vitalia, the in-house gym and spa.
USP: Dine in style
Zone By The Park’s all-day dining restaurant, Bazaar, offers cuisines from all over the world — and its smoothie bar and outdoor terrace are sure to satiate your appetite.
4. Crowne Plaza Jaipur Tonk Road, Jaipur
This Green Engage-certified hotel is for the environment-conscious. Run on sustainable practices, Crowne Plaza is located in the heart of the Pink City. Complete with 218 rooms and 20 suites, it offers arresting views of Rajasthan’s capital. For those who need their beauty sleep, the Sleep Advantage Program includes premium bedding, aromatherapy, Quiet Zone floors and a guaranteed wake-up call system. If it’s delectable food one is looking for, this InterContinental Hotels Group property has five restaurants to choose from. The highlights are Sirocco, the all-day dining venue, the Chinese restaurant House of Han, and Connexions Bar, a lounge for people to unwind at. For further relaxation, the fitness centre, spa — that includes on its menu therapy baths and neck reflexology — and the quiet poolside are ideal spots wherein to enjoy some alone time.
USP: Wedding bells
Looking to have Bollywood-inspired fairy-tale nuptials? Crowne Plaza has a special wedding concierge who will help plan the big day so that you can take it easy. The in-house maharaj will cook up dishes replete with Rajasthani flavours — and your guests can also enjoy and experience the interactive ‘food theatre’ at the event.
5. Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort and Spa
The brand’s first resort in India, it is nestled in the Western Ghats, just a few hours’ drive from both Mumbai and Pune. Perfect for a weekend getaway, the Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort and Spa includes 122 guest rooms and suites, each with a private balcony from where one can enjoy natural vistas. At their signature Le Méridien Hub, be greeted by the tunes of French band Nouvelle Vague, and have your fill of Illy coffee and sparkling cocktails. To satiate the taste buds, Latest Recipe — the resort’s interactive all-day restaurant — offers European, Asian and local cuisine. Or choose from the several canapés and blends at Plunge Bar. For those who travel with family in tow, the Le Méridien Family Kids Club is where all the fun is. And tots under 12 will receive a complimentary Lego toy to play with, and even take home. Set in a UNESCO World Heritage site, the resort — with its spa, amenities and several indoor and outdoor venues — is like a home away from home.
USP: Highway to the hills
Explore the Western Ghats and its surroundings, with the resort’s curated visits to the tourist spots in and around the town. From Devrai Art Village to the 5,000-year-old Krishna Devi Temple, Le Méridien lets you take in cultural and natural bounties. And a trip to Mahabaleshwar is incomplete without strawberry picking — pluck your own batch and head back to the resort to cook up some fruity delights with the chef.
6. Shangri-La Hotel Bengaluru
Located in the Central Business District of the Garden City, Shangri-La Hotel Bengaluru expands the brand’s footprint to the South. Walk into the lobby and you will immediately experience its iconic hospitality — evident in the personalised greeting. A refreshing cup of tea dispels any tiredness and you are escorted into your room for a private check-in. The windows of the well-appointed suites give a panoramic view of the cityscape — as far as the eye can reach, you can see green spaces, heritage monuments (the Vidhana Soudha and the Bangalore Palace, to name a couple) and a metropolis that is going about its daily business. Foodies will find ample fare to write home about, for the hotel proudly presents a range of fine dining outlets. Take your pick from the Indian Ssaffron, Chinese Shang Palace, Japanese Yataii, Italian Caprese, tapas lounge Hype, Lobby Lounge and b Cafe; the last caters to your taste buds throughout the day. The offerings are simple and traditional with a contemporary twist, and turn you into an Oliver Twist by making you continuously ask for more.
USP: Chi time
A session at Chi, the spa, is a must. It is the first of its kind in the country. The trained therapist explains that the place of personal peace is inspired by the origins of the Shangri-La legend. With specially mixed oils, a treatment in a quiet therapy space is the perfect prescription for a relaxed mind and body.