I stayed at the Palace Hotel for 5 days a few days after the doors were opened to the public.
Having stayed at the Burj Al Arab, there were a number if comparisons to be made with Dubais finest. The service was second to none, with staff going far beyond the call of duty in hoping to make your stay comfortable. Rather than give directions, staff walk far out of their way to take you to your required destination. Management are actively seeking criticism to improve the service which is provided.
The hotel provides a range of new white BMW's in either 5 or 7 series chauffeur driven vehicles with complimentary water and flannels on an hourly or very reasonable half day rate. The drivers are friendly and knowledgeable and clearly heavily reliant on tips; tips I was happy to give.
The poolside service is quite attentive, though not intrusive and you are greeted with a courtesy hamper containing chilled bottles of coconut water and plain water resting on crushed ice, and chilled flannels to take the edge of the Chennai heat.
The rooms are a mix of traditional opulence and modern technology, with mood lighting settings, phones every where you turn, and the latest computer and AV inlets to plug your equipment in to. There are the usual robes and slippers you would expect from a 5 star hotel but an additional silk robe and slippers for lounging in. The beds are superb and they go the extra mile in providing you with a pillow menu (yes I just said that) with a choice of approximately 15 pillows to aid your slumber!
The lobby level buffet restaurant provided some of the best food I had ever eaten. I ordered off the menu and the head chef was happy to assist - this at no extra cost. I would often arrive to the table with my iPad or work papers and the waiters would immediately present a separate stool for my work paraphernalia.
I was challenged to find something to complain about by management and managed to find something. The fine dining restaurant in the basement, was fine indeed, but no better than the buffet dining available in the ordinary restaurant. This is not because it was below par; far from it and as good as the under sea restaurant at the Burj on both the service, and food front. The problem simply is that the buffet restaurant being so good, you would expect the fine dining to far surpass which is simply impossible!
Great gym, new equipment, staff on hand to assist and complimentary fruits and water on offer.
At the time of my stay the hotel bar was not open but I was given a tour. WOW!!!! It is absolutely amazing and would put many a New York or London swanky modern bar to shame. It will undoubtedly be the place to be seen in Chennai.
The Wifi is provided at an additional cost, and I would have liked to have had Internet connectivity throughout all communal parts of the hotel once paid the cost for it but this is not available poolside for example.
The images of the hotel give the impression that it is sea side though it really is not. It is situated on what looks to be reclaimed land or on the edge of a swamp. There is no beach front which is a real shame as that would have completed the hotel offerings. That said, although the hotel are keen to boast their sea views, having enjoyed such a room, they are not views worth paying extra for.
This hotel is not an all suite hotel like the Burj, but all in all I would rate it higher than the Burj simply because of the service provided, the opulence being tasteful yet still extravagant, and the food being an extravaganza for the taste buds!
Would I stay here again? Absolutely!!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- On the confluence of the Bay of Bengal and the Adyar river, The Leela Palace is Chennai’s first and only seafront city hotel, designed by John Gerondelis from Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates Inc. While the public areas, guestrooms and suites, Library Blu, Jamavar and Spectra have been designed by Jeffrey A. Wilkes, the principal designer of DESIGNWILKES, the art and embellishment has been done by Mrs. Madhu Nair, Director Operations and Design of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts. Drawn from the inspiration of Chettinad Dynasty, the architecture of the Palace Hotel exudes the regal and opulent style. Set on 4.8 acres of land, the 11-storeyed hotel features 326 rooms and suites. Equipped with world-class amenities, the meeting and conference centres are luxuriously and lavishly spread. Its close proximity to the central business district and local attractions and having a spectacular sea view on offer is sure to make the experience of our guests a very memorable one. ... more less
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