Hotel Review: ITC Gardenia, Bangalore in India
Recently I was invited to the ITC Gardenia, one of Bangalore’s most beautiful hotels. Overlooking the century old Bangalore Club, the hotel is located in the midst of Bengaluru’s most elite neighbourhood. ITC Gardenia is in many ways an ode to the garden city that is Bangalore. As one enters the wind-cooled Atrium Lobby, with its vertical hanging gardens, the water body in the centre, with the multi-pillared Lotus Pavilion visible at a slight distance, one can’t help feeling mesmerized by the beauty of the surroundings. There were many occasions where I spent time in the beautiful lobby just admiring the gorgeous sights around. In the evenings the hotel has a flutist playing live for a few hours creating a serene environment where one can relax and just enjoy the moment!
The 292 room hotel has been designed by renowned architect Rajinder Kumar. The exterior uses Gwalior sandstone and Malaysian red bricks, interspersed by panels of specially treated smoked oak and highlighted with strips of copper in a matt copper-sulphate patina. Copper sulphate material has also been utilized for the roof while the flooring of the entire hotel is blonde Italian marble. The rooms are categorized in the chain’s premium brands of Towers and ITC One with a number of suites on each floor. The exclusive larger suites are located on the upper floors and offer splendid views of the city and its green surroundings.
The interiors have been created by Francesca Basu and nature in all its different manifestations can be seen throughout. The designer has drawn inspiration from different layers of life forms offered through nature and each floor follows this theme through colours, motifs and textures. The themes are based on moods and representations of various elements of nature, ranging from Stones and Fossils, to Earth, Trees, Wood, Water, Fire, Foliage, Animal Life, Flowers, the Winged Species such as birds and butterflies, leading up to the Sky and its Clouds.
ITC Gardenia was the first hotel in India to achieve the World’s Largest LEED Platinum Rated Green Hotel. An inclusive blend of contemporary design and International Green Practices, a beacon in a bustling urban environment, built on the ethos of “Responsible Luxury” the hotel has adopted contemporary ‘Green Practices’ that harness the element of nature in an inspired setting to deliver unique guest experiences.
The hotel has utilised innovation, cutting edge technology and design integration to earn new benchmarks in energy efficiency, water efficiency and low carbon techniques and is a model of environmental stewardship.
ITC Gardenia at Bengaluru is amongst the first hotels in India to create the concept of ‘Vertical Gardens’.
Located in the hotel’s main lobby and a ‘Green Living Wall’ at The Cubbon Pavilion – the multi-cuisine Coffee Shop, these are gardens created on a vertical format, mounted on a steel structure, drip irrigated and rise up to the ceiling. The open lobby which connects the hotel’s main entrance to the ‘Grand Arrival Court’ has four Vertical Gardens rising up to the ceiling, with each panel comprising of approximately 1500 plants. The ‘Living Wall’ at The Cubbon Pavilion covers an entire section and has around 25,000 plants. It reaches up to the 12th floor in an atrium effect to a height of 30 metres with a sky light at the top.
It was fascinating to discover that ITC Gardenia at Bengaluru is India’s first hotel to have been granted permission to operate Helicopters from its Roof Top elevated Heliport on a high rise building. Located on the hotel’s 22nd floor, I went to take a look at the Heliport which has a diameter of 27 meters and has received the DGCA’s approval and authorization, to operate landing and take-off under day VFR conditions- interpreted as day time operations only. The time taken to reach the hotel from the ‘Bangalore International Airport’ (BIAL) is 12 min and from HAL it is 3 minutes.
World leaders and corporate honchos can land by helicopter on a heliport and be whisked down in a special elevator to the Peacock Suite – The Presidential Suite. Considered the largest among business hotel suites in India, the interiors of the suite is spread over 5040 sq. ft. across the 20th and 21st floors of the hotel.
ITC Gardenia offers 292 spacious well-appointed ITC One & Tower rooms including 12 elegant suites and The Peacock suite. All guestrooms are well equipped with state- of- the- art – facilities like an entertainment and media hub with digital cable TV, wired and Wi-Fi internet connectivity and an INCOMM Digital Assistant bedside control that allows guests to control lights, temperature, telephone access and other services, all at the touch of a button.
I was put up in a room at the ITC Eva Floor, a beautifully designed room with personalized amenities and a welcome note by the General Manager. To cater to the single lady traveller, ITC Gardenia offers an independent floor dedicated to ensure the security and privacy of women. The EVA wing boasts of special facilities that include a video intercom, lady butlers and security guards. The Eva floor ensures complete privacy to lady business travellers and also the desired security along with comfort and luxury. My efficient lady butler Sunita ensured that I had a comfortable stay. From serving morning tea to fixing up appointments to ordering meals, sending my laundry to be processed, getting my room cleaned, everything was co ordinated with efficiency throughout.
My first meal at this stunning property was with the General Manager and his team in K & K, the hotel’s signature restaurant. A restaurant with an open kitchen, K& K is the coming together of ancient culinary secrets, long forgotten herbs and exotic flavours. Melt in the mouth kebabs, made their way forth from the restaurants clay ovens, iron tandoors, charcoal and ‘Pathar’ (stone) grills along with rustic tawas. In the evening I visited ‘Highland Nectar’ the hotel’s award winning Lobby Bar, an avant garde design infused with a contemporary and minimalistic decor. This is the perfect place to unwind with a couple of drinks mixed by expert bartenders combined with some interesting finger food after a hard day’s work.
The Cubbon Pavilion named after the creator of Bengaluru’s famous Cubbon Park is a four meal period restaurant serving both a la carte and buffets over breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was served the dabba meal which showcased an interesting lunch in a tiffin box and featured local delicacies.
The Lotus Pavilion, located in the Central Courtyard Garden, is a delightful meeting place over tea or to raise a toast, inspired by the Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan. I enjoyed a cup of tea in the afternoon paired with delicious bite size pastries, sandwiches, tarts and savouries in this beautiful setting.
Ottimo, which translates to ‘excellent’, is the signature Pan-Italian dining experience that celebrates quintessential Italian dishes prepared from the finest local and imported ingredients. It is a unique offering of modern and contemporary cuisine while ensuring the traditional elements of Italian cuisine are not compromised. With heart-warming aromas drifting from the oven at the centre of the show kitchen, I had a sumptuous dinner paired with excellent Italian wines on the occasion of Thanksgiving in this high end Italian restaurant.
ITC’s Japanese Flagship award winning restaurant EDO is inspired by the ancient name of the city of Tokyo. EDO showcases the Izakaya style of dining and is led by Chef Kamlesh Joshi who displayed his expertise by creating a menu that showcased authentic Sushi, Sashimi, tempura and a selection of everything that Edo is popular for. Each course was an explosion of flavours in the mouth and a veritable treat to the senses. The fantastic meal started with Kanisume Fry, after which I was served a colourful plate of fresh salmon, tuna and Hamachi Sashimi, followed by Gindaka Misozuke, Suzuki Moromiso and then Edo Uramaki. A mind blowing dessert called Mizu Shingen was the perfect end to a delightfully appetizing Japanese meal.
The hotel houses Kaya Kalp Spa which is spread across an area of 10,400 sq.ft. with 7 Treatment rooms, Jacuzzis, Sauna and Steam baths, a Salon and a 1100 sq. ft. Gym, with the latest state-of-the-art fitness equipment. A winner of many a prestigious award, the Kaya Kalp Spa is the perfect place to relax and unwind. I tried the Kaya Kalp journey which is their signature treatment and consists of a massage, a scrub and a wrap and felt very rejuvenated after three hours in the treatment room. Kaya Kalp at ITC Gardenia, includes lush vertical gardens among its major attractions.
The ITC Gardenia signifies luxury with a capital L and is a great place to stay while in Bangalore whether one visits for leisure or business. The hotel is a destination in itself what with a number of superlative dining outlets, a high end spa and beautiful surroundings, definitely worth several visits!
Address: No 1, Residency Road, JBS Haldane Avenue, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560025, India
Phone: +91 80 2211 9898