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Vivanta by Taj - Blue Diamond
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All reviewsmystic masalawhispering bamboolatitude restaurantkoregaon parkcoffee shopbusiness hotelvalue for moneyosho ashramthe heart of the citycomfortable staypool sideexcellent hotelcourteous staffbusiness tripthe hotel staffexcellent staymini bar
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Reviewed November 12, 2009

Very nice hotel. Enjoyed the friendly service! Would recommend it to everyone!

Stayed: March 2008, traveled on business
Thank ParmjeetK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2009

I had heard and read mixed reviews of this hotel but I was very pleasantly surprised by all aspects of the hotel in a country that does not seem always to value finesse or customer service.

Of course, I stayed in refurbished rooms, but it was clear that designers had thought through the rooms and amenities thoroughly. Beautiful, peaceful rooms. And it will be interesting to see what the building looks like when the new lobby area refurbishment is completed.

Service was extremely helpful and courteous. The staff I encountered took the initiative at all times when dealing with my confused and rather demanding mother and were also keen to ensure the comfort of my ten year old daughter. Most excellent. Well done. Keep it up! I look forward to having the opportunity to stay there again.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled with family
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Thank MsAlliance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2009

I had a wonderful stay at Taj Blue Diamond Pune - stayed for 2 weeks in August 2009, and another 2 in October. By far one of the best hotel stays I have had in my travels around the world. A real gem of a business hotel, hidden away in nondescript Koregaon Park.

The Hotel - The Taj is undergoing renovations for its main lobby, bar and some other portions of the hotel. The first thing that strikes you is that the main facade of the hotel (ground floor) is boarded up, and the entry is through a temporary foyer on the left - which winds around the building, by the poolside, into a side entrance. This may be a put-off for a leisure traveller, but really didn't matter to me during my stay as a business traveller. The hotel is mid-sized, well-situated and very contemporary on the inside. There is a LOT of renovation noise during the daytime (which the hotel informed me on multiple occasions during the booking process, including Bold Print in my reservation confirmation), especially on the lower floors - but work only happens weekdays between 9 - 7; did not bother me as I was travelling for business and was gone most of the day. Only downside (during renovations) - there is not much lobby space to relax / talk anywhere in the hotel except the screened poolside (which has seating for about 6 - 8 people).

The Rooms - the hotel is undergoing a major renovation and they have started with the rooms. The renovated rooms are great - large, with great natural light from large windows, beautiful marble floors, contemporary fittings including an interesting multi-media desk and LCD TV, and a wheeled workdesk which you can move around the room. There is also a minibar and tea / coffee maker - plus fruits replaced everyday. They had a complimentary bottle of red wine in my room on arrival. My Deluxe Premium superior room also had a multi-media DVD player with 5.1 speaker system around the room. The bathrooms are great - right-sized, with luxurious amenities from Forest Essentials (the Hyatt hotels have the same brand). The shower was my favorite feature - spacious contemporary stand-up shower (no bath tub), with a fantastic dual shower - head (a first for me). All in all, an extremely comfortable room even for a long stay.

The Facilities - I used the gym on a few occasions - decent sized and well-equipped, but missing an elliptical machine. They do have a salon and a spa, as well as a sauna. Not overly luxurious, but how much does a business traveler need? They have a large swimming pool as well, just outside the 24-hour coffee shop. Some guests may find it too public, but thats true for most business hotels. Didn't use any other facilities. One big negative, that I cannot forgive for a business hotel - they do not offer free internet. While there is a good strength wi-fi throughout the hotel, a 24 hour use will set you back by Rs.600 + taxes or about $15 USD. I know that charging for internet is common in some Indian hotels - but building it into the price of the room would be a much better option. When asked, the hotel offers a lame excuse about "Internet services are outsourced to an external service provider" Not cool at all! Apart from that - laundry was reasonably priced, always a big plus for a business traveler on an extended stay.

The Restaurants- currently there are 3 choices, Mystic Masala (Indian), Whispering Bamboo (Thai and Chinese), and a 24 Hour Coffee Shop that serves some Indian and Italian fare. One rule I follow in most mid-priced and sized hotels in India (basically anything less than a 5-star) - avoid foreign cuisine. I ate at the Whispering Bamboo once - didn't go back during my whole stay. One other guest I met, remarked that the food was just not Thai enough - and I agree - pretty lame attempt at Thai. But, that said, the Indian restaurant is amazing - easily the best Indian food in a 3 / 4 star hotel in Pune. The restaurant is fairly small, and cozy, but draws crowds on weekends. The service is impeccable and personalized - but more on that later. Plus, they have live Indian music on some evenings - always nice in the background. All the pounds I have addaed during this trip to Pune - are thanks to this restaurant - the food is just finger-licking good! The coffee shop is great for breakfast (though they really should change the breakfast buffett menu once in a while). They also offer great recommendations if you are lost for ideas - and the snacks are great and well-priced (for a 4 star). And yes, avoid the Italian if you can - I was slightly disappointed - good food overall, but just not Italian enough. The pizzas were good though.

Finally, the service - I have spent a significant amount of time in India recently, and the Taj group of hotels have been a spectacular find. just the most amazing levels of service you can imagine. Personalized attention to detail, everywhere. I have found great service at the restaurants, at the gym, at the front desk, and even from house-keeping. These guys have got it right. I know some guests have found issues with the hotel - and I have too on occasion, but they well make up for it on multiple other occasions. I could go on and on, but you will see the difference once you stay there. The nicest touch was when I tried to tip someone at a restaurant in cash - and while the tip was graciously accepted, the server came back and politely said - "thank you - please do talk about the service you received from me in your feedback form - we take it really seriously, and it would mean a lot to me if you really liked the service received, and wrote about it". So, while there were numerous great service experiences, I definitely would like to thank and record my appreciation of Javed and Prabir (at Mystic Masala) and Ashrafali (at the Coffee Shop). Its obvious that the Taj group knows what Customer Experience and service really means - everyone lives it here.

In summary, this is a great business hotel - if you're looking for a home away from home - (and I have called this hotel 'home' for 2 loooong stays), you've come to the right place. Keep up the good work!

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled on business
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Thank BornToRoam77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2009

We booked in here for 3 nights as my husband had to work in Pune for a few days. Upon arrival it was clear that all was not well, as the front of the hotel was boarded up! You now enter around the side of the hotel as there are serious renovation works going on. The driver who picked us up from the airport gave us our room key in the car, and we went straight to our room with no need to go to reception. The work on the hotel was being carried out during the day, which made our room quite noisy at times (which was annoying when trying to watch TV) but if you are visiting on business and will be out during the day, it shouldn’t interfere with your visit too much.

The room was fairly spacious, with a mini-bar, flat screen television and DVD player and comfortable bed. The bathroom had a very large walk-in shower and a good selection of toiletries. We had some laundry done at the hotel and this was fairly cheap.

The hotel had three restaurants, of which we ate in two. The best of these was the Indian restaurant, Mystic Masala, where the food and the service were both excellent and faultless. On the second night that we ate there, there was a live Indian band, which was more like background music and gave a great atmosphere.

We also ate in the café-style restaurant which service Italian cuisine. This was not a good experience! The food was not very appealing, but what I found worse was the constant staring of the male staff. This was a problem generally in India, where my white and freckled skin seemed to be a source of fascination, but I really do not expect to have to deal with that in a hotel restaurant. When I ate there alone while my husband was at work, it put me off my dinner and I just wanted to leave as soon as possible.

Also disappointing was the location of the pool…right in front of the restaurant with the staring waiters…

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank maidenvoyager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2009

The hotel is under renovation and so there is no lobby (the reception is located on 1th floor corridor), business center is in a room on the 1th floor too and the Casabella bar is closed.

In spite of these works my 7 nights stay in Blue Diamond was perfect: very nice and well equipped room with a new marble floor and new bathroom, good food for breakfast at Coffee shop and excellent services (laundry service included).
Maybe is a bit too expensive the Mistic Masala restaurant.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled solo
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Thank giuly271
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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