Take time out when you visit this one. Possibly one of the most eagerly anticipated hotel openings in recent times in India, ITC’s Grand Chola has been in the making for the better part of the last decade. As it finally opens, I got some sneak previews of the hotel, and though it is far from complete, and only partially open, there are already glimmers of what lies ahead.
It is India’s largest hotel in floor area, and built to scale. Located in Guindy, on the way to the airport, it should be accessible to business travelers easily. It’s a massive structure, and the numbers just reinforce it. It’s a 600-room hotel, spread over 1.5 million square feet in an eight acre plot. It has 100,000 square feet of banqueting and convention space which includes 30,000 square feet of pillar-less ballroom, named after one of the greatest Chola rulers, Rajendra. It can seat up to 2,500. The hotel, when complete, will have four entrances, facing the four cardinal directions. Right now, only the main west entrance is open.
The lobby is massive, and there is even a pre lobby area, which helps you bypass many public areas and transport you to the conference zone! The art is understated, and more in stone than canvas. Lots of traditional motifs abound, and there are a few standalone pieces of art too.
Every aspect of this hotel is worth spending time over. The hotel abounds in firsts. It uses cutting edge technology in many aspects, including one-of-its-kind iPad controlled technology that will have all the controls in the room, from lights to AC and even looking at who is at the door without getting up from your oh so comfortable bed with its choice of pillows. There are multiple gyms, the ITC signature Kaya Kalp Spa, and a rather pathetic apology of a rooftop pool on the fifth floor. I missed a garden. Only one wing and half the restaurants are open, and there are occasional signs of construction. There will ten odd restaurants finally. The ones open include the Madras Pavilion, Tranquebar, Prego, Café Mercara, and the moved across town Peshawri.
The hotel, even what is open is too large to comprehend at one go. There is an interactive concierge display system in the lobby that can map out the direction to follow, and transfer the information to your phone! Use it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.