As expat Bengalis, we came to Kolkata for the first time as a family to experience Durga Pooja. This was also our first Indian holiday in many years. Having stayed in other ITC properties in India when on work and having experienced their usually exceptional levels of service, we chose Sonar Bangla. Our experience was very mixed.
First the good things:
- beautifully and aesthitically designed property with a lovely waterbody. Nice spead-out feel.
- I loved the traditional Indian artwork all over the place, and the soothing Indian music playing in the lobby. Thumbs up.
- good emphasis on "being green".
- simply fabulous Bengali food at the restaurants with exceptionally good service. They really pampered us with Bengali food, a novelty for us.
- the second rung of service staff (security, waiters etc.) are very courteous.
- comfortable rooms and amenities, up to expectations.
And now the horrors:
- We were upgraded to bigger (but rather confusing) rooms, which would normally be something to be happy about, but turned out to be a nightmare: these rooms were at the back of the property, next to a venue known as Milan Mela. Milan Mela was hosting 9 nights of continuous dancing and celebration with trance music at unacceptable volumes. It was impossible to sleep for the entire duration of our stay. When we spoke to the Front Desk they said they were aware of the problem but were helpless. Why they chose to allocate these particular rooms, especially when the hotel was running quite empty, was a mystery.
- Appallingly arrogant, haughty and impolite Front Desk staff. I am not sure what they were so upset about all the time (having to work while everyone else in the city was having fun?). When I asked to meet the Duty Manager over a particular issue, who was sitting 20ft away at a table, he passed on the message that he was unavailable to meet me and that I could share my concerns with the Front Desk! Only one lady at the Front Desk (a non-Bengali if I remember) was polite and helpful. All the rest deserve to be sacked.
- The toiletries are ITC's own products. Substandard and cheap.
- There are housekeeping issues as well. A plastic bag was on the floor of the room when we checked-in. The cleaning of the room was also shoddy on one day. Unacceptable.
OVERALL: A beautiful property with lovely food - let down by its proximity to a very noisy venue and inconsiderate service. You will love the restaurants and the walk in the gardens, but stay elsewhere.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear valued reviewer,
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Warm Greetings from ITC Sonar, Kolkata!
Thank you for taking time off and sharing your experience with us on Tripadvisor. The concept of ITC Sonar is indigenous to the local culture of the region. Created in today’s popular uncluttered style, the architectural design is distinctly eastern, capturing the essence of the region’s ‘Baganbaris’ (garden houses of yore), through water gardens resplendent with water lilies and the vibrant flora, fauna complimenting it. ITC Sonar is a business resort catering to guests who are on business as well as leisure.
We have viewed your feedback regarding the disturbance caused to you and your family during your stay at ITC Sonar & the response of our associates with great concern and would like to inform you that appropriate and immediate corrective actions are being taken. May we request you to consider this as an aberration not reflective of our otherwise impeccable standards of fond service.
We truly value your patronage and shall endeavour to ensure a seamless experience to you and your family on each of your future visits.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.