The Ritz-Carlton Bangalore
A COMBINATION OF ELEGANCE & LUXURIOUS DÉCOR
Recently I received an invite from Praydhumna Singh Rathore, Director of Operations-The Ritz-Carlton Bangalore to visit and write about the hotel. On arrival I was accorded a warm welcome in the form of a traditional Indian aarti and a rose petal shower which set the tone for a fabulous stay in the coming three days! As you enter the hotel premises, a statue of Picasso by American sculptor Robert St Croix near the entrance catches the eye instantly! This was followed by an interesting lunch hosted by General Manager Antony Page in the hotel’s popular restaurant called The Lantern where we were joined by Saurabh Bharara-Director of Sales and Marketing and Praydhumna Singh Rathore.
Located on Residency Road in the heart of downtown Bangalore, India’s first Ritz-Carlton houses 277 rooms, a stunning décor which encompasses Jaali (lattice screen) design from the Mughal era and many architectural and interior design features, including pointed archways. An impressive marble staircase is the center piece of the hotel’s interior and decorative paintings and sculptures are carefully blended to form an essential part of the hotel’s character. With 1,280 pieces of contemporary art from prominent artists, The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore is home to the largest collection inside a hotel.
With business cards that say that you are in residence at the Ritz-Carlton to personalized stationary and pillow sheets with your name sewn on it, a stay at the hotel is one of exclusive luxury. What works for the hotel is a combination of elegant and luxurious décor, high end cuisine and most important the attitude of the staff which matches up in every possible way.
In the evening I visited Bang, the hotel’s popular rooftop bar with fabulous views of the city’s skyline. My interactions with bartender Arpan Peter were interesting as he spins a story around the invention of his cocktails. Combining panoramic views of downtown Bangalore and The Ritz-Carlton’s signature sophistication, Bang has emerged as a premier nightlife destination in Bangalore. Club-style seating and a breathtaking floating pavilion with a central fire pit for private gatherings make Bang a unique place to unwind. Bang buzzes with an energy that immediately has a positive effect on you as I experienced that evening. A 20-metre-long bar behind which expert mixologists pour trendy shooters and cocktails adds to the chic ambience. Celebrity DJs spin their collections with a pulsating, irresistible momentum. For those who like to enjoy delicious tidbits along with their drink, Bang also has a full-fledged menu with various options. This exciting rooftop bar serves innovative food and drinks complemented by efficient service – a hallmark of the Ritz-Carlton experience. While I was a guest at the hotel, Vita Vladirmirski, the brand ambassador for Dewar’s whisky was a guest bartender at Bang and created some amazing whiskey based cocktails for me.
Business facilities offered at the hotel include a range of meeting rooms featuring the stunning 600 square meter Ritz-Carlton Ballroom which is ideal for lavish Indian weddings, a permanent boardroom and three function rooms with natural light. During my stay I visited The RitzCarlton Spa by ESPA for a relaxing experience with Ayurvedic and internationally-acclaimed treatments. The spa houses a stunning spa suite with a Jacuzzi where I went for a facial. The efficient Assistant Spa Manager Tamyaola Mashangva ensured that a stiff neck and back problem I had since a few days was resolved by going for a massage. On the same floor, the hotel houses the Rossano Ferretti salon which is now being managed by Gennaro Ambrosi or Jimmy as he is known. He has recently joined The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore as Art Director – Salon. Jimmy styled my hair and gave me a brand new haircut in his signature style. The super talented and stylish Jimmy told me that this is his first visit to India and he has arrived from Australia where he was styling hair at Maurice Meade salon as senior hairstylist. He has worked in London and earlier in his hometown Bari at Mimi Colonna, where he styled hair for contestants of the Miss Italy Beauty Pageant.
The Market is a great restaurant to sample the number of options that Executive Chef Anupam Banerjee and his team offer guests. There is food from East Asia, Europe and India, live stations, an elaborate dessert station, a sushi counter, etc. The Market has three interactive show kitchens along with wood-burning and tandoor ovens to produce culinary masterpieces from around the world and is a great place to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. While in The Market, it is a good idea to try Bengali desserts as this hotel has a talented Halwai (a chef who creates desserts).
Chef Ganesh Patil creates health food for those who are watching their weight and prefer eating healthy! He created interesting preparations such as rajgira chikki and a smoothie made with dates, papaya and chia seeds, healthy appams with stew and cloud eggs for me when I visited The Market for breakfast.
For those who can’t do without a cup of tea late afternoon, the stylish Lobby Lounge in the hotel is a must visit. Here The Ritz-Carlton’s legendary Afternoon Tea is served in a relaxed, contemporary environment and is a great place to try bite size sandwiches, pastries, tarts, savories etc. An impressive library captures the effortless comfort of a well-appointed living room along with artistic masterpieces completing the experience. The efficient Assistant Director of Food and Beverage Dinesh Sathiyanathan joined me during one of the afternoons for a session of the Afternoon Tea. The Lantern is a unique combination of casual fine dining and cutting-edge nightlife. Resembling a Chinese The Lantern, the restaurant explores diverse aspects of Chinese cuisine in a pleasing ambiance. While at The Lantern, it is the delectable dim sums that are a must try after which you don’t even need to order the main course as the dimsum platter is very filling. The food is so flavourful and delectable that it is worth visiting multiple times to try the chef’s signature preparations. There is a wide choice of seating both indoors and outdoors. One can’t help but admire the exotic textiles and porcelain vessels that line the walls. Dining at The Lantern is like embarking on a fragrant journey into Chinese kitchens that serve healthy and flavourful food.
Riwaz, a fine dine serves Indian cuisine and is a great place to experiment with smoky, robust flavors, tender grilled meats and an assortment of Indian breads. Given the nature of the cuisine it would be a better idea to go there during lunch.
An open kitchen, traditional methods of cooking, contemporary desserts, an extensive wine list make up for a memorable meal at Riwaz. Must tries are the Nalli Nihari and the mutton biryani dished up by the talented Chef Altamash Bin Iqbal.
Located at the hotel’s lobby level, an evening at the exclusive Ritz-Carlton Bar is for those who enjoy their drink in a sophisticated environment coupled by efficient service. This bar spells luxury with a capital ‘L’ and offers great food to match along with drinks. Renowned cognacs, robust ports, hand-selected whiskies and classic cocktails alongside rich comfort foods and artisanal cheeses are on offer here. The décor is inspired from the sophisticated intimacy of 19th century English Gentlemen’s Clubs and the intricate ornamental screens of the indigenous ‘Jaali’ tradition.
A stay at The Ritz-Carlton Bangalore is like a holiday in the lap of luxury made even more memorable thanks to the efficient and friendly staff as I discovered during my stay!