Hotel Review: Grand Mercure Mysore, Mysore in India
Travel writer Bindu Gopal Rao discovers that a stay at Grand Mercure Mysore is the best way to experience the royal city in an environment that marries luxury with a local touch.
A close to three hour drive from Bengaluru brings me to my destination in Mysore – the Grand Mercure. As I enter the property I cannot miss the large black gates, beige façade and traditional music notes that are playing at the entrance. I am greeted by a drum roll and suddenly feel like a celebrity; after all I am in the city of palaces.
Grand Mercure is an Accor brand that focuses on all things local and this experience starts when you are welcomed here. I was given a traditional welcome with a sandal tika (applied on the forehead) and an aarti as well as a chain made locally. As I am escorted to my room, I see a clear mix of Indian and French sensibilities in the design of the space.
My room is a Junior Suite with balcony located on the 5th Floor and offers a stunning view of the city. There is a small note from the General Manager Sunaina Sharma Manerker along with my photo in a frame as well as the local dessert Mysore Pak and a selection of fruits, dry fruits and a cake with my name in the room. The sense of welcome here is certainly as personal as it can get.
As I stayed alone, I was also given a glass bowl with a fighter fish for company! The walls of the lobby leading to the room as well as through the hotel have photographs of the local area including the famed palace, Mysore silk saree motifs as well as of temple architecture from nearby places.
The 146 keys hotel is located in the center of the city and is close to the famous sights like the Mysore Palace and the Mysore Zoo. Interestingly the hotel is located on the road that is part of the famed Dasara procession and the top floor actually has a viewing platform where you can see the procession during the Dasara finale.
All the rooms are well appointed and have a mini-bar, free Wi-Fi, Flat Screen LED TV, tea-coffee makers and round the clock room service. There are five categories of room Deluxe Room, Executive Room, Junior Suite Room, Junior Suites with Balcony Room and Deluxe Suites. The rooms are furnished in hues of grey and blue with a dash of yellow and orange in the wall pattern and carpet design.
The hotel prides itself on a sense of taste with its numerous options for local food as well. At La Uppu (Uppu means salt in Kannada and the first item served in a traditional meal), the 24*7 all-day dining restaurant I sampled the authentic Karnataka Thaali. The filling meal had a selection of local dishes that are popular in this region and gives a wonderful insight into the cuisine.
A buffet is served for breakfast and dinner and the spread includes both local delicacies and a selection of the finest global cuisine. The 140-seater, all-day diner has both indoor and al-fresco seating and their Sunday Brunch offers a delectable spread of food with live counters and has an alcohol inclusive and non-alcohol option. If you are looking for some sinful desserts, head to the 20-seater Deli the pastry shop located in the lobby that bakes fresh breads, bakery dishes, cakes and confectionary creations as well as a selection of coffees and teas.
For authentic North Indian and North Western frontier food, head to the specialty restaurant ‘By the Blue’, the rooftop resto-bar that is only open for dinner. The menu includes a selection of Indian food cuisine using fresh ingredients, meats and fresh spices. If you want to enjoy a quiet evening, head to the plush Silk Bar that serves an eclectic collection of single malts, cocktails, mocktails, spirits and wines.
The hotel has three spaces for banqueting and meeting all of which are equipped with state of the art modern audio-visual equipment. The largest of this space is ‘Regent’ that can cater to 200 people and can be divided into two parts. The smaller meeting rooms named after popular falls in Mysore Edmuri and Balmuri have the latest conferencing technologies and the natural lighting ensures that corporate meetings can be held in the best location. Catering for banquets is also done at the hotel.
Health watchers can head to the in house fitness center as well as the swimming pool on the top floor. An outsourced spa is also on the premises and is a great way to de-stress your mind and body. I had a wonderful foot massage in my room post a long day of sightseeing that was deeply relaxing and much needed too. This was offered as part of the Sense of Wellness at the hotel. My room was also serviced twice every day and as part of the turn down service a plate of cookies was also placed every day.
The hotel also organises local sightseeing tours for interested guests on request on a chargeable basis. The hotel also gives interested guests a video of ‘Yoga in bed’ that has been curated with the help of a local expert. It is small touches like this that makes a stay in Grand Mercure Mysore unique. Added to that is the fact that the staff here are attentive and intuitive ensures you have a stay that is as memorable as it is enjoyable.
Address: 2203/60, New Sayyaji Rao Road, Nelson Mandela Circle, Mysuru, 570021
Phone: +91 821 4021212
Images courtesy of Grand Mercure Mysore