The Ritz-Carl­ton Ban­ga­lore


Upscale Living Magazine - - Contents - | By Jy­oti Balani

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!

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