I thought hard before writing this review, aware that I may get carried away by nostalgia for a city that I love and hate in equal measure and, by extension, it's hotels. But I am a (pretty hard-boiled) journalist by profession and have stayed in the world's best hotels and its worst hovels, so I have made a conscious effort to do this with an element of detachment.
I am currently staying at the hotel (2 days, in the midst of relocating out of Calcutta) so I write with a view from a bay window (double glazed so the noise isn't getting through) looking out over the Maidan (literally, grounds... the city's green lung, what Hyde Park is to London and Central Park is to New York), the lights of the suspension bridge over Ganges in the background in the heart of downtown Cal.
This is an old Cal family owned but professionally managed hotel and I will say this:
it is brilliant ~ clean, safe, vale for money (compared to the "5-star" hotels in this city),
a location one can't beat, excellent restaurants including the still hard-to-beat Aheli for authentic Bengali cuisine.
The staff is smart, courteous and includes youngish duty managers who are pleasant, professional and always ready to help (including at midnight when I called to make my booking). Mr Abhishek Mishra and Ms Ritu Sahi deserve a special mention ~ get them on the line, they make things happen.
I have options in this city when I next come visiting ~ I can stay at one of the British-era clubs, check into a "swankier" hotel, or stay with friends. But I have a feeling I'm going to make a bee line for suite room no. 409.
It does not have a swimming pool, though, please remember, so if you are travelling with kids or must swim you will have to make other arrangements. but for corporate travelers, those who want to check out the city, couples & singles (there's a decent lounge bar, "Ego"), foodies, and those who want it all laid out and minimal interference, I recommend the Perless Inn very, very highly. It's the closest you will get to an authentic Calcutta experience in reasonably luxurious comfort.
Suite Room 409. Not too high, not too low... Perfect view. Or, any room between floor 4 and 8, but d...
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