once again it is unbearably hot in bangalore, so when faced with a long weekend for easter i knew just what to do — find myself a hotel with a pool and hide out for a few days. i enjoyed my dusshera staycation at shangri-la last october, but this time i wanted a place more centrally located and that offered free breakfast in the rate, and i found both in the oberoi.
the oberoi has long been the luxury standard for bangalore hotels. with its location right on mg road in the heart of the city, you are well-placed for access to restaurants, pubs, shopping, and whatever else you might want to see in bangalore. when i checked their rates for the long weekend, i was happy to find discounted rates that included early check-in, late check-out, complimentary internet access, and free breakfast. all of that, plus the access to a pool, sounded great, so i booked myself a garden view room for two nights and headed over.
i arrived on friday morning and was immediately impressed by the warm welcome that i received. check-in was a breeze, and within 5 minutes i was being shown my room and becoming orientated to all of its features. i was immediately drawn to the balcony with its table and chairs overlooking the gardens and pool below, and i knew my weekend was going to be a good one.
about 10 minutes after i arrived the butler showed up – yes, there is a butler for ever floor – with a welcome drink and to let me know to call on him if i needed anything. needless to say, that’s one service i did not partake in, but i suppose it works for some.
after he left i wasted no time in climbing into that giant bed and falling straight into a 3.5 hour nap. i have not been sleeping well for the last few weeks – i think it’s the heat – but with that a/c on i was out like a light. when i woke up in the afternoon i was a little annoyed with myself for wasting so much of my first day, but i was more refreshed than i have been in weeks.
on friday night i had dinner at rim naam, a delicious thai restaurant in the gardens. i stuffed myself silly on button mushrooms and the fried rice with pork and thoroughly enjoyed the setting and ambience.
for saturday breakfast, i opted to have breakfast delivered to my room so i could sleep in a bit. promptly at 9.30am i received a delicious breakfast of corn flakes, poached eggs with a side of potatoes and bacon, watermelon juice, croissants, and masala chai. it was completely decadent and amazingly tasty, and – best of all – it was all included in my room rate.
i spent all of saturday morning and afternoon by the pool. as soon as i arrived, one of the attendants laid out a beach towel on a chair for me, after which i dumped my stuff and jumped into the pool. there were 3 girls sunbathing next to the pool, but no one else was in it, so i swimmed some lazy laps and enjoyed the coolness of the water. as soon as i stepped out of the pool, the attendant was ready with another towel for me to use to dry off, which i found fascinating. i alternated my time between reading, listening to podcasts, sipping on watermelon juice, and occasionally jumping back into the pool. it was exactly why i wanted to stay in a hotel over the weekend, and it was everything i could have hoped for.
i again ordered room service for dinner, because i had a skype call that evening, and this time opted for the tenderloin with a glass of merlot and some vanilla bean ice cream with a brownie for dessert. with the integrated ipad technology in the room [more on that below], it was super easy to decide what i wanted and to place the order, and it was delivered to my room in almost exactly 30 minutes.
i was so full from all of my saturday meals that i couldn’t even eat breakfast when i woke up on sunday morning. i would have loved a turn through their buffet, but i guess it will have to wait for a future stay.
overall, my weekend at the oberoi was everything i hoped for and more. the room had everything i needed, the balcony was an added bonus, and the pool was exactly what i was looking for. i would highly recommend the oberoi if you are looking for a luxurious stay in bangalore.
things i liked:
so many things!
- the impeccable service. literally every single person i met during my weekend was friendly, genuine, and helpful. they often anticipated my needs before i had them, and i cannot rate the service at the oberoi highly enough. and one of the things i liked best was that they were helpful without being intrusive — i remember when i stayed at shangri-la, it felt like someone was coming to the room every hour, which was nice but not very relaxing.
- the many dining options. the oberoi has 3 restaurants and a bar on site to go along with the all-day in-room dining on offer, so you will never want for food. i tried food from rim naam, the thai restaurant, and le jardin, the 24-hour continental restaurant, and thought the food from both were excellent. everything was well-presented and tasty, which was a winning combination.
- that bed. i mean, it was divine. i sank into that mattress, and with all the pillows stacked around me, i was pretty sure i was in heaven.
- the integrated ipad technology. i could control just about everything with the ipad that came with the room. from lights to temperature control to ordering food or drinks to even changing television channels or choosing movies to watch, it did just about everything i could have asked it to.
- opening the balcony door switches off the a/c. all of the 5-star hotels have different ways that they try to offset their huge carbon footprints, and one of the oberoi’s that stuck with me was that the a/c switches off if the balcony door is opened. i thought that was a smart feature, and it was a little touch that i greatly appreciated.
- all the rooms face the garden. with the curved shape of the hotel, all guest rooms face the inner courtyard and overlook the pool and garden. it cuts down on noise, especially since the hotel sits on one of the busiest roads in the city, and it provides guests with a little escape. as an added bonus, the balconies miss the afternoon heat, so they are a great sitout in the early evenings.
- attention to detail. i always leave my jewelry in pile on a table or shelf, so when my room was cleaned on saturday, the housekeeping staff put them inside a cute little felt covering so they wouldn’t get dirty or misplaced. i thought that was a sweet and practical gesture, and i appreciated it.
things i think could be improved:
i’m really scraping the barrel here.
- more television channels. this is just me being picky, because there were quite a lot of channels to choose from, but i would have welcomed some more sports channels on offer. it was the first weekend of the ncaa tournament, and i would have loved the opportunity to watch some of the first- and second-round games.
- more lounge chairs / tables around the pool. the pool was pretty empty when i got down there on saturday morning, but by lunchtime / early afternoon it had gotten pretty crowded. at one point all of the lounge chairs and tables were being used, and there were still people coming down to look for options. i don’t know how often it happens – maybe this was an exception, since it was a long weekend? – but they could do with another table or two down there.
- restroom facilities closer to the pool. i did find this one a little strange. there are no restrooms near the pool, so people using the pool have to go down to the spa if they want to relieve themselves or freshen up. there was no one down there when i went, but i did find it a little odd.
location: 37-39, m g road. bangalore – 560001. india.
contact: +91  80 2558 5858 / http://www.oberoihotels.com/hotels-in-bengaluru/
room rates: premier rooms [what i stayed in] begin from rs 8,500 when booked in advance on their website / they also have luxury rooms, deluxe rooms, executive suites, and a presidential suite which looks fabulous but is likely unnecessary
amenities: free wifi [when booked through their website]; free breakfast; 15% off spa and laundry services [when booked through website]; 24-hour butler services; 24-hour in-room dining; integrated ipad technology in all rooms; welcome drink and fruit; evening turndown service; access to pool, spa, and fitness center; airport transfer [for a fee]; toiletries provided; balcony overlooking the garden or pool; 3 restaurants and 1 bar on the property; information on local activities available
nearby attractions: pretty much everything — 1 mg and lido mall are less than 0.5km away; brigade road is 1.5km; commercial street is a little over 2km; and indiranagar is about 3km or a metro ride away
my tripadvisor rating: 5 out of 5 // the oberoi is ranked #1 of 614 hotels in bangalore
to keep in mind: there are a lot of advantages to booking through their website — early check-in, late check-out, free wifi, free breakfast, discounts on spa and laundry services, etc; the rate i paid was a holiday weekend special, so the general rates are a little higher
would i stay there again? it’s very likely. i am – and will always be – still partial to my friends at st mark’s hotel, but there’s no denying that the oberoi is a great alternative if you’re after a little luxury
have you ever treated yourself to a staycation in your city? what was your experience like?