With the opening of the Ritz-Carlton Bangalore, India’s Garden City now has a first-hand taste of the company’s impeccable services from its ‘Ladies and Gentlemen. Opened last October, the stunning new 16-story building sits in the heart of the city, on Residency Road, offering excellent accessibility to the city’s social and business establishments.
Driving into the property, one is immediately transported into a more serene atmosphere, unlike the hubbub outside, with its gorgeous jaali-work pillars, landscape of trees, calming water feature, and some quirky art installations including one at the entrance of Pablo Picasso commissioned by Robert St. Croix, the American artist known for his metal wall and table designs made of copper and brass. The property, whose façade is made from limestone imported from Jerusalem, sits on an L-shaped plot. This has enhanced its appearance and includes a lot of intricate jaali design and elemental characteristics of fire and stone.
The art and sculptures continue into the lobby level, which sits on the third floor of the property while a grand marble staircase is the center piece of the hotel. Showcased in the lobby are paintings by various Indian artists like Bose Krishnamachari, Paresh Maity, Sujata Bajaj as well as a noteworthy artwork by Satish Gupta in the reception area. Called Autumn Forest, it features a painting of a tree with leaves falling against a copper-leaf background painted and sculpted on three niches. The use of jaali work is visible throughout the property, from the outdoor pillars to indoors in the lift lobbies, the swimming pool area, the sliding window doors in the rooms, and in the restaurants where they have been carved in wood.
After a quick and efficient check-in process, we were escorted by one of the efficient ‘Ladies’ of the hotel into our Executive Suite.
The hotel features 277 rooms and suites available in various categories. At 102 square meters, our Executive Suite was gloriously spacious, modern and immediately made us feel at home. Unlike the more commonly served chocolate tray, we were served with a selection of juices in little shot glasses. While I cribbed, my partner preferred and thoroughly enjoyed this. A 42-inch flat-screen TV with Bang & Olufsen home theatre system, plush comfortable sofas, sleek study table with an in-room iPad and free Wi-Fi, Krupps Nespresso machines made up for the living area.
The bedroom featured your massive, gloriously lush featherbed with white goose down pillows – a standard for most five-star hotels and yet the most luxurious, probably even the most-remembered feature of any hotel room! The extremely cute Tivoli Audio radio sets had me googling for its retailer information immediately and needless to say, I was more than impressed with the walk-in closets and the large bathrooms with their deep bathrobes and Asprey toiletries. The Executive Suite is priced at Rs25,000 ($399) per night.
But can a brand new hotel be impeccably perfect? If two things did not impress us, it was the little oversight housekeeping had when it came to getting the suite ready – a minor detail that they immediately attended to and no turn-down service! Some teething problems, perhaps? Then there is also the ‘view’ or the lack of it. Whatever happened to the Garden City that Bangalore is? The not-so-great views of its heavily populated, next-door residential localities and glass façades of office buildings left much to be desired, but as we went on to find out – the service, food, location, and personal attention made up for it.
Besides our suite, the property also offers Deluxe, Deluxe Premiere, Club Deluxe, Club Executive Suite, Club Grand Executive Suite, Club Royal Suite and The Ritz-Carlton Suite accommodation options.
Located on the 15th floor, the Ritz-Carlton Club Level keeps up with the luxury hotel experience it offers its Club guests. It includes an exclusive Club Lounge, a private dining area, and a meeting room. The ambiance is enhanced by its non-intrusive, furnished interiors, which provide a perfect backdrop for a quick meeting with clients or to experience the culinary offerings through 24-hr food and beverage service, including six food and beverage presentations.
A dedicated Club concierge service attends to guests’ every need while amenities include complimentary beverage service including wine and spirits, work stations, meeting rooms, and Wi-Fi.
The Ritz-Carlton Bangalore is home to four restaurants, and three bars, with one more expected to open in March.
We kick-started our stay with the Sunday Brunch at The Market, located in the lobby level. With its several interactive kitchens serving, including Coastal Indian, Oriental, Western, and a sushi bar, the brunch was fulfilling and thoroughly enjoyable. The staff was attentive, very friendly and eagerly brought us samples from the various stations as we just sat back and enjoyed our lazy afternoon. Brunch packages are available in champagne (Philippe Gonet & Bollinger is the bubbly of choice), sparkling wine, spirits, and non-alcoholic options. A special mention to their garden-fresh salad counter had me salivating for more – probably more than their massive dessert spread! The Market also serves daily breakfast with a wide selection of western and local choices.
The Lantern is the hotel’s three-level Chinese restaurant adorning the hotel façade and serving traditional Cantonese cuisine with a special dim sum menu. The three levels are each designed uniquely. While the ground level houses the Lantern Bar – known for its Oriental cocktails using fresh ingredients such as Kumquats, Kaffir Lime and Lemon Grass, the first level features an Asian décor with its rich hardwoods, exotic, colorful fabrics, and porcelain vessels, while the second floor takes a more modern approach. If you make it past the dim sum menu, there’s an excellent yet minimalistic selection of authentic Cantonese dishes. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.
Riwaz, the hotel’s fine dining Indian restaurant, offers a menu inspired by the North-west frontier of India, with two private dining rooms, an interactive chef’s theater, and whisky and wine tasting tables. The restaurant which has been designed by internationally acclaimed Super Potato, is open only for dinner and reservations are recommended.
As with most Ritz-Carlton properties, the hotel also features a Ritz-Carlton Bar decorated in the classic colonial style to suit a gentleman’s tastes, and serves rare whiskies, vintage Port, and fine Cognacs and boutique Champagnes. Bang, the city’s only luxury hotel rooftop bar, will be the ideal choice for cocktails with a live DJ every evening when it opens doors in March.
There is also the Pool Bar for all your pool-side refreshments, next to the fitness center and Spa and the Lobby Lounge, serving the legendary Ritz-Carlton afternoon tea and a selection of finger foods and sweets using the finest local ingredients. The Lobby Lounge also features a confectionary counter, a reading corner stocked with local and international newspapers, and a selection of best-sellers.
Plans are underway to open Ganache, a gourmet retail store at the entrance level, offering customized wedding cakes, patisserie, decadent chocolates, aromatic coffee, and a selection of the finest tea and skin care products and fragrances.
Located on level five, this very business hotel offers a 24-hour Technogym-equipped fitness center with experts on-hand to guide you for guests looking to recharge from their hectic schedules. Also spread across its 545-square-meter terrace is the property’s modest outdoor swimming pool with plenty of lounge chaises and cozy private pool beds.
There is also a Rossano Ferretti Hair Spa, offering guests an extensive menu of hair and nail care services for that extra bit of pampering. Rossano Ferretti boasts of a celebrity client roster that includes Hollywood A-listers like Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, and the Duchess of Cambridge and is priced at a steep £1,000 ($1,650)! His salon at the property is the third in India (after Gurgaon and 21st globally).
Given the property’s excellent location in the heart of the city, guests here have quick and easy access to some of the city’s touristic gems, including the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore Palace, Cubbon Park, and Lal Bagh as well as the shopping destinations including the UB City. For kids, the hotel’s Ritz Kids program will engage with the younger guests, providing them with fun activities during their stay at the hotel.
Our favorite space at the hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA features 12 deluxe treatment rooms, including a VIP couple suite and two express single rooms. There is a comprehensive treatment menu of massage and body treatments using Eastern and Western techniques including Espa Maternity treatments and Signature Rituals like the Jaali treatment – a four handed tension releasing body massage by two therapists involves the gentle pouring of warm oil and use of hot volcanic stones.
The Spa also houses a hydro bath, steam and sauna, and a wonderfully relaxing pre/post massage lounge to unwind.
As a business hotel situated in the city’s heart, its meetings and convention facilities are very noteworthy. Facilities include a range of meeting rooms and a 600-square-meter Ritz-Carlton Ballroom for up to 1,000 people, including The Ritz-Carlton Lawn, one permanent boardroom, and three function rooms with natural light. The dedicated team of Conference Concierge ensures guests’ attention to every detail and every need.
In addition, there is a Business Center where guests can access wireless Internet access and a dedicated concierge to assist you with any administrative requirements.
The Ritz-Carlton Suite has all the amenities of the Presidential Suites including a panoramic city view from its top-floor location. Guests at the Ritz-Carlton Suite enjoy access to the exclusive The Club Lounge. Spread over 3,157 square feet, the suite also features its own 14-seater dining table, personal in-suite butler and chef on request, a spacious living room, dining area, exclusive library, private bar and theater room, state-of-the-art home theatre room with Bang & Olufsen audio system & TV, optional connecting guest room, a lavish marble bathroom with fixtures including an in-style shower and separate full-sized bathtub, an exclusive powder room and Dean and Deluca Honor Bar items.
The exclusive suite will set you back by Rs 3,50,000 ($5,580) for a night.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore,
No. 99 Residency Road,
Phone: +91 80 4914 8000
[The Ritz Carlton, Bangalore]