On a recent trip to Chennai, we had the opportunity to visit the newly opened ITC Grand Chola, a luxury hotel in Guindy. It stands true to its name in a grand manner and the main entry to the building comes after doing a ‘pradakshin’ (a devotional clockwise circle) around the building. The foyer is huge and so is the staircase leading to the first floor. The beautiful carved marble pillars in the corridors give it a temple appearance. We were delighted to meet the ‘Bangalore people’ in the hotel – Atul Bhalla, the hospitable and friendly General Manager, the energetic Prakash from Marketing and the ever-smiling and helpful Renu from Guest Relations. Renu very kindly walked us around and showed us the rooms, suites, spa, pool, gym and restaurants.
The lunch at Cafe Mercara was fabulous. I enjoyed the Moroccan stew and khobz. Also picked up some multigrain bread from Nutmeg, the hotel’s bakery outlet.
The icing on the cake was meeting the world renowned author, Jeffrey Archer, in the lobby who was on his way out.