Sign Up for Our Monthly Asia Newsletter
I was in Bangalore less than 24 hours, but it didn’t take more than the 20-minute ride from the airport into the city for me to realize that it was going to be one of my favorite places during my visit to India. Bangalore is India’s Silicone Valley, but I found that the city has much more than just technology campuses to offer. It is also the “Garden City” and that is immediately recognizable by a more lush landscape than those I had visited in India previously.
While I was only there for a mere 22 hours, the city left a lasting impression. Part of the indelibility of Bangalore was due to the two hotels I visited while I was there — The ITC Gardenia and the ITC Windsor. Both hotels are operated by ITC, but they each have very distinct personalities. The ITC Gardenia is a lush paradise reflective of Bangalore’s budding gardens while the ITC Windsor is equally luxurious but reminiscent of the British Colonial era with its whitewashed exterior, pruned gardens and traditional pub.
I could easily have made myself at home in either hotel.
The Gardenia, in the heart of the city, has a bustling atmosphere that pulsates well into the night. Rooms are spacious and well appointed. My ITC One suite, which is part of the hotel’s corporate room offerings, featured a view of the pool, a balcony and access to the Towers Lounge where cocktails and snacks are offered between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Along with access to the lounge, ITC One-level rooms also provide three hours of boardroom access, butler service and a complimentary breakfast each morning.
A tour of the hotel also revealed other parts of the property that were distinct to the hotel — particularly the Peacock Suite. This presidential suite is enormous. At 5,040 square feet, it’s larger than my house. Spread over two floors, there is a dining room, a living room, a study, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, an outdoor pool and lounge area overlooking the cityscape and a beautiful selection of art — including a glass mural of a peacock, whose colored feathers inspired the suite’s design.
The hotel also offers an extensive selection of luxury dining options. We had dinner at Edo Japanese Restaurant and Bar where we enjoyed traditional Japanese cuisine with everything from sushi and tempura to sake pairings and delectable desserts. Guests can also dine at the Cubbon Pavilion, which offers 24-hour fine dining; West View, serving a variety of meats, poultry and seafood; and Peshawri, which will replace Kebabs and Kurries as the hotel’s Indian restaurant.
In addition to spacious accommodations and a variety of dining, the ITC Gardenia also offers a Kaya Kalp spa, extensive meeting space and a large pool area perfect for a relaxing afternoon.
While the ITC Gardenia has an open, modern feel, the ITC Windsor offers an Old World flair. The hotel is defined by its lush, landscaped gardens, wood paneling and Queen Anne furnishings and offers 240 guestrooms and suites in several different room categories.
Similar to the ITC Gardenia, the ITC Windsor features rooms in the ITC One category, as well as the Manor Suites and a Presidential Suite in its high-end room categories. Guestrooms in each of these categories feature a range of high-end amenities, including personal butler service, luxury hours and in-room check-in.
Tower Rooms are located in a separate wing of the hotel and offer private reception, floor butlers, breakfast at the Raj Pavilion and more. All rooms feature complimentary use of the health club, a fruit platter, 30 minutes of free Internet access in the Business Center, in-room tea and coffee and in-room Wi-Fi Internet access.
The ITC Windsor also offers a Kaya Kalp Spa, and dining options include the Raj Pavilion, which is open 24 hours, traditional Indian fine dining at Dum Pukht, North West Indian cuisine at Royal Afghan and the Irish pub, Dublins.