Log on to any resort’s website and you’re likely to see pictures of expansive views they offer, the stunning verdant greenery that flanks the place, and promises are made about the sounds of chirping birds waking you up. City hotels have it a lot more difficult in this regard. ‘Never-ending views of the cold, concrete jungle skyline. The lovely background noise of cars passing by, the drivers with their hands aggressively pressed on the horn’ hardly makes for brochure material, understandably. Conrad Bengaluru stands out in sharp contrast with its offering. So travellers and guests don’t have to settle for views of rooftops of houses around them or draw a curtain when a nosy neighbour wants a peek.
The Conrad Bengaluru towers over the smaller structures in the area, you can spot it from a mile away. The first few floors have the reception area, the all day dining restaurant, the spa, the pool and the many amenities they have to offer. The rooms are at higher levels ensuring that most guests have views of the placid Ulsoor lake right next door, a welcome respite in a city, most people would admit.
The stay at the Conrad Bengaluru was easily one of the highlights of my trip. The luxury here is unparalleled – and I love that it percolates down to every detail here. The welcome was warm; I was given a welcome drink, offered a space to sit and the check in, done digitally, was quick and fuss-free. Up in the room, the lamps are the right shade of muted so the entire room glows in the gentle, golden light. There’s plenty of space here, the luxe factor amped with the use of black and white. I particularly liked the wardrobes with the sliding doors featuring huge mirrors. You can check yourself out from every angle before you step out for a night of fun.
The beds at the Conrad Bengaluru are the kind that embrace you and lull you into the deepest slumber so you wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day, and the traffic ( as you must when you’re in Bengaluru). In the room, the lights and curtains are controlled by buttons, making it easy for you to choose the mood you want and honestly, just to hit them to see what lights come on and go off which is kind of a fun game to play. A platter of fruits and chocolates were placed on the table for my welcome which I mindlessly popped into my mouth as I walked around the room and each time I would stop to fully savour the flavours.
The interiors at Conrad Bengaluru have the recurring motif of a mandala- a beautiful pattern repeated subtly and delicately in the carpet, the themes and other nooks of the hotel. The repetitive patterns of mandalas are said to serve as art therapy and it’s quite clever of the hotel to weave this into the tapestry of the interiors.
You’ll be spoiled for choice with dining options at the Conrad Bengaluru. The all day dining space at Caraway Kitchen has plenty to choose from. This is right next to the reception and the aroma of freshly baked goods and coffee will draw you in. On the ground floor also is Mikusu, where you can indulge in the flavours of Japan, China and Thailand. The sushi here was polished off within seconds and I wasn’t even hungry. I also tried my hands at making dim sums here (they have classes on Sunday) but everyone including the very polite chef suggested that I do not quit my day job. The limp, oddly shaped dim sums sitting on the plate confirmed that it was in everyone’s best interest if I just continue leading the digital vertical at ELLE.
For dinner, we headed to the alfresco restaurant of the hotel, Tiamo. The cuisine here is Mediterranean, and the vibe is perfect to unwind after a long day. The tables are nestled inside the cabanas that are dotted around the azure waters of the pool. The food here was delicious, the ravioli had me craving seconds despite being very full. Conrad Bengaluru also has an extensive and very fun brunch at Caraway Kitchen every Sunday and I recommend that you check it out.
For each of the restaurants, the hotel has a chef committed to making the flavours stand out. And each of the chefs were enthusiastic, recommending that I try everything on the menu, offering great alternatives to anything I didn’t enjoy and happily explaining the ingredients in every dish when I was fawning over it (which I did way too often).
I had the opportunity to experience a spa treatment as well. My knots were undone, my chakras were aligned, my body felt nimble-all things I have no experienced in a while.
Conrad Bengaluru is a city hotel that delivers above and beyond expectations. Expect luxurious, warmth and comfort. And expect to forget the urban chaos once you step in. It’s perfect for when you are in the city for work or for play.
I also went to the recently opened Westin Resort and Spa, Himalayas. Read about that here.