I had the pleasure of staying at the ITC Grand Chola in December 2013. It was my first visit and it definitely will not be my last. Except for the location being a disadvantage as most of my favorite city attractions were quite far from the hotel, my overall experience was truly Royal. The obviously noticeable feature is the sheer size and grandeur of the hotel, which makes it feel more like a palace than a hotel. The second and very important aspect that stands out is the warm and courteous nature of the entire staff. The service throughout my stay was exceptional and was a highly welcome change from most of the other 5 star hotels in Chennai. I stayed at the hotel for 3 nights in "The Towers" with my girlfriend and we had booked the spa package which included a few spa vouchers and the spa experience was definitely worth it. The spa experience at times made me feel like I was not even in India let alone Chennai where usually such services do lack the international standards that I have come to get used to.
But like all things in life, nothing is perfect and the Grand Chola did have some negatives as well. Due to my busy schedule I only had the chance to dine in one of the many restaurants (a plus point of the hotel). Dinner on one of my nights was at "Peshawri" and it was a big disappointment. I have dined at Peshawri in Delhi and Mumbai and the quality of food at Chennai was sadly very poor compared to the other 2 cities. The service not so great either. To make up for it I headed over to the Italian restaurant "Ottimo Cucina Italiana" for desert as I definitely needed some good Tiramisu to make up for dinner. Unfortunately my bad luck continued into the night as the Tiramisu was a another major disappointment! On the negative side of things the glaring issue is the quality of food. This can be vouched for by also mentioning the in-room dining service which lacked options and taste. The one saving grace was the buffet breakfast which had a very lavish spread and being served "Madras Filter Coffee" at our table 5 Star style was definitely worth the experience.
Overall I would still rate my stay as 4/5 as I definitely enjoyed my experience and as mentioned would love to visit again. I hope the management does address the dining side of things so that we can enjoy a truly Royal 5 Star experience next time!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in an opulent, palatial design which pays homage to Southern India’s grand empires, the ITC Grand Chola, Chennai overlooks verdant parks and gardens. Experience understated Indian hospitality in an exquisite property with a distinct personality. ... more less
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