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“Poor service, but excellent facility - take your pick”

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ITC Grand Chola, Chennai
Ranked #2 of 394 Hotels in Chennai (Madras)
Certificate of Excellence
Westport, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Poor service, but excellent facility - take your pick”
Reviewed February 25, 2013

I visited the hotel recently this month - for the first time for 4 nights. I am frequent traveler to Chennai and have pretty much visited all the five-star+ properties in the city. So, this time, i decided to stay here.

First the positive elements. The facilities are excellent, even a bit over the top. So much wasted space, but it is great. The hotel is a maze. The room I stayed in was in the Towers, and it was excellent. Large room and the amenities in the room were impeccable. The linens, furniture, shower area are excellent quality.

Where the hotel literally sucks is in the service area. There are so many service staff that it makes you wonder - what everyone does. So much staff that half of them are standing round just looking or walking around and not even discrete. A manager come to the table once and even pitched some ITC products.

The restaurants were so, so. The vegetarian restaurant is a rip-off. But Peshawari is good. The bar has poor service and when I was there, the staff were literally mulling around someone in the bar area - and did not even notice there were other guests in the bar.

The service issues included: i asked if they had a blackberry charger as I had forgotten one - I did not expect them to have one, but at least they should call me back and say so - they staff took the phone and said that they would call promptly, but never did. I called for cleaning up the room - as i was going to be away for couple of hours and wanted them to clean before that. They did not do it after promising that they would. I left the laundry for service and it never got picked up. They would not accept my luggage - as I was traveling out of town for 3 days - as the manager gave the excuse that they did not have enough storage - if you look at the facilities, you will know that the guy was joking or thought that I was a fool or he figured that i would never come back again to this hotel. As a hotel guest, I walked to the bar at 11.00 in the night in shorts, and the guy refused to let me in - after paying so much for this hotel- and after a tiring day - they expect me to dress up for the bar - as it defeats the purpose of relaxing in the hotel after a busy day. All -in-all, the service staff - with hundreds or even thousands of them - i am not kidding - is not well trained and service is horrible - after paying one of the top rates in the city.

All-in-all, if you want over-the-top luxury facilities with decent food that you can get elsewhere in Chennai, and poor service that does not concern you after paying top dollars, - this is a good pick.

Room Tip: I stayed at Towers ,and it was good
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philippe_Charraudeau, General Manager at ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for your valuable feedback and for listing the positives of the hotel before sharing your comments on the negatives. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to you during your stay at ITC Grand Chola and regret that your stay experience was not up to the mark.

Please allow us to get in touch with you directly by emailing us your personal contact details on
philippe.charraudeau@itchotels.in. We hope you give us another opportunity to serve you again.

Wishing you a great day ahead

Philippe Charraudeau
VP & GM, ITC Grand Chola
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
81 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013

The hotel is awesome! The room perhaps the largest in the country well appointed. The expansive bathroom is well just huge. The usual sevice directory has been replaced by an I Pad and knowing the hotel is LEED Platinum rated helps one enjoy the luxury with a clean concience.

However the service elements still leave a lot to be desired. The lounge had no seating available for a guest who wanted to sit alone and the rooms have only chips no beverages in the mini bar.

Staff are friendly but overwhelmed, guests at the neighbouring table decided to use my table for their papers and no one said a word! Other guests served themselves and remained standing with their soup cups even before their table was ready!

All in all a beautiful property if a bit over the top but still finding their feet.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank keasdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philippe_Charraudeau, General Manager at ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for your valuable feedback. We regret the inconvenience caused to you during your stay here at ITC Grand Chola and wish to contact you directly. Please share with us your personal contact details on philippe.charraudeau@itchotels.in.

We hope you give us another opportunity to serve you again.

Wishing you a great day ahead

Philippe Charraudeau

VP & GM, ITC Grand Chola
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013

I would largely agree with the points that most other reviewers have made here. This is a huge and impressive property on first inspection - closer inspection does reveal some issues (largely due to the quality of the workmanship during construction - small defects here and there, but if those kind of issues are likely to bother you greatly, then the rest of India is probably going to raise your blood pressure excessively.) I still found the Grand Chola an oasis of calm from the frenzy outside the main gates, and the food was just excellent (I'd recommend a meal at the restaurant Peshawri - I was lucky enough to dine with some locals who had known the chef and key personnel there for many years, and the dishes they recommended were just fantastic). But the main thing that I will remember from my stay are the staff - everyone was polite and attentive, but some staff (particularly in the lobby - Sarvanan and Nathan are 2 that spring to mind) that were just so warm and welcoming that I would certainly pick the Grand Chola over the other hotels in Chennai that I've tried.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Manoj M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philippe_Charraudeau, General Manager at ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for your valuable feedback. We are delighted to note that your stay experience at ITC Grand Chola was up to the mark and that you truly enjoyed yourself here. We endeavour to make all our guests feel at home and were glad we succeeded with you. Thank you for your kind and encouraging comments on the service, they only serve to encourage us to go the extra mile. Sarvanan and Nathan were delighted that you remembered them. We do hope you give us another opportunity to serve you again.

Wishing you a great day ahead!

Philippe Charraudeau
VP & GM, ITC Grand Chola
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
91 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013

Must admit to being quite astonished at previous reviews of this hotel. Having read them before we went we were a little apprehensive but very pleasantly surprised. The hotel is located further out of central Chennai than others which is an advantage as it is closer to the airport and a little removed from the frantic traffic. The external facade of the hotel is vast and did feel a little like it was still being completed although no visible signs of construction. Once inside, however, it is beautifully decorated with a feeling of refined elegance. We were met in the lobby with a warm welcome and escorted directly to our room without having to stand around and fill in forms which was a real pleasure having just arrived off a long flight from the UK. We stayed in a suite in the Tower which was large and well appointed, it's unique design was comfortable and practical with a lounge area, study, walk in wardrobe, bedroom and bathroom with separate bath and shower and two separate basins. Friends who stayed in the other part of the hotel reported their rooms to be well above the usual standard of a luxury hotel. The iPad control of all the room's amenities is fabulous, room service ordering works perfectly and it is reassuring that they telephone beforehand to confirm your order. The room has automatic night lights which illuminate if you get out of bed which was fantastic. All of the staff throughout the hotel were friendly, helpful and efficient including our personal butler who went out of his way to ensure everything about our visit ran smoothly. The hotel has several gyms all staffed by very competent personal trainers who are eager to help and there are several pools including a large 25m main pool. The spa is magnificent, clearly some cracks are still being ironed out which is understandable as the hotel is only recently opened. The hotel is the world's largest LEED platinum rated hotel which is an added bonus for the eco conscious. There were very few sights or sounds of ongoing construction while we were there. Breakfast was sumptuous and we also at the Peshawari Restaurant which was good and the italian restaurant which was a little disappointing. Overall, however, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and cannot wait to return. It is by a mile the best hotel in Chennai and one of the best we have stayed in for some time.

Room Tip: If possible book a room in the Tower.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Batmum2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philippe_Charraudeau, General Manager at ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for your detailed valuable feedback. We are delighted to note that your stay experience was wonderful and that you found our services up to the mark. It is comments such as yours that encourages us to go the extra mile and serve our guests better. We endeavour to make every guest feel special at ITC Grand Chola and are thrilled that we succeeded with you. Do give us another opportunity to serve you again.

Wishing you a great day ahead

Philippe Charraudeau
VP & GM, ITC Grand Chola
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delhi
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2013

What is it that makes a stay at a luxury hotel truly an outstanding experience? Is it grandeur, white marble, variety of restaurants that it offers and the lavishness with which it's built? Nope. As a traveller I would say it's the impeccable service that you expect from a big brand luxury hotel that makes the stay at a hotel truly memorable. And that's where ITC Grand Chola fails us.

It's grand and lavish and it's restaurants serve delectable food. But the service is lax. I was on a work trip and wanted someone to come to my room and help me with saree draping. I would have been happy if they would have simply told me its not possible Maam. But they promised they wills end someone. I made several polite calls, wherein the staf kept saying 'in a minute..in a minute'. After I realised I am getting late for the conference I made a curt call...in a jiffy two front office girls were there in my room to help. Why couldn't they come earlier. What's the point if you have to run and yell when you are staying at a star property?
Next morning though the front office staff was promptly there to help, she was anything but polite. We don't expect hotel staff to drape great sarees for us but at least they should be nice enough. Alas! they did a good job with the saree but lacked hospitality.
On few other occasions too the service was tad slow! Drinking water bottles were not replenished promptly.
Over all nice hotel, but after reading those rave reviews about this Chennai's star property I was disappointed!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Vishakha T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philippe_Charraudeau, General Manager at ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for your valuable feedback. We regret that your stay experience was not up to the mark and that the service was not in keeping with our standards. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to you. In order for us to contact you directly please email us your personal contact details on philippe.charraudeau@itchotels.in.

We hope you give us another opportunity to serve you again.

Wishing you a great day ahead

Philippe Charraudeau
VP & GM, ITC Grand Chola
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chennai
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2013

It was a wonderful experience, ITC Grand Chola as the name tells, really grand, very huge and big. Needs one full day just to visit the entire hotels. All the staff are very courteous and helpful. The best thing all the systems of the room are controlled by the I- Pad.

Room Tip: Tower Rooms are the best i suppose.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jain_rakhee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philippe_Charraudeau, General Manager at ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for your valuable feedback. We are delighted that you had a wonderful experience here at ITC Grand Chola and found the service to be superb. We are also very proud of our iPad’s DigiValet features and are glad you appreciated them. We look forward to your next visit here and hope you give us another opportunity to serve you again.

Wishing you a great day ahead!

Philippe Charraudeau
VP & GM, ITC Grand Chola
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madurai
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2013

The Best 5 star hotel in Chennai. Opulent, that is the only word I can think of to describe this hotel. Service and comfort as expected in any ITC hotel. The Italian restaurant is worthy of particular mention. Excellent place to stay and dine. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RAJEEVAyyappan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philippe_Charraudeau, General Manager at ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for your valuable feedback. We are delighted that you appreciated the service and thought the hotel to be opulent. We are glad your stay and dining experience was up to the mark. We look forward to your next visit and hope you give us another opportunity to serve you again.

Wishing you a great day ahead!

Philippe Charraudeau
VP & GM, ITC Grand Chola
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about ITC Grand Chola, Chennai

Property: ITC Grand Chola, Chennai
Address: No 63 Mount Road | Guindy, Chennai (Madras) 600032, India
Location: India > Tamil Nadu > Chennai District > Chennai (Madras)
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 394 Hotels in Chennai (Madras)
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — ITC Grand Chola, Chennai 5*
Number of rooms: 600
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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