I was recently chatting with a colleague, and she was inquiring about weekend getaways within the city. As we discussed options, she laughed and said – it’s good to know they are not the only folks that look for hotel stays in the same city for a break! We have taken these city breaks and love it because of the minimal hassle and planning – for the kind of mad work life most of us have in Bangalore, last few years city-breaks in hotels have become increasingly popular. A couple of months back, Tapash and I were invited to ITC Gardenia for an experiential staycation. It is a property that we frequent, and we absolutely love the food there, so a weekend there sounded pretty awesome. And it was SO much more than what we expected!
Right from a timely pick up on Saturday morning, to a very warm welcome at the hotel by Simonti and the ITC Gardenia team – this was an experience of thoughtful service and spectacular opulence. We were ushered into our room – a Tower Suite. This had a study and living area, balcony, and a nice spacious bedroom and bath. From the study room we had a city view, rather glorious overlooking the UB Towers. And the bedroom had a view of the hotel and pool. The most thoughtful part of the room – two personalized cushions on the bed with Tapash and my names embroidered – and yes, those were ours to keep!
We had a fully packed schedule, that began with lunch at Edo. Tokugawa Shogunate’s rule marked Japan’s grand era, and the seat of power for the kingdom was Edo – now known as Tokyo. So aptly named, this premium Japanese restaurant presents the cuisine in a modern yet entirely authentic way. They now have 4 set menus Nara, Kyoto, Nikko and Tokyo. We opted for Tokyo, as a namesake, and this the most elaborate of the menus. Each course had fresh produce and select seafood – delicately conserving the flavors. The sashimi, yakimon, zensai, syokuji and finally the mizugashi – the meal was exquisite and a journey in itself. Sated, we retired to our room – nothing beats an afternoon nap!
Just like a meal in Edo is a must, similarly a spa at Kaya Kalp is essential for a staycation to be complete at ITC Gardenia. The Spa has a large section of the hotel, thoughtfully laid out. I opted for the Kaya Kalp Signature massage, while Tapash picked the Deep Tissue massage. Both lasted 90 minutes, the masseuses were well-trained, and absolutely amazing. It was perhaps the most relaxing massage experience for me. And the therapist knew exactly where to apply gentle and strong pressure. It eased back pain and built up tension tremendously. Absolutely perfect!
The Last Word
The best thing about ITC Gardenia are the host of in-house restaurants that are top class, and you never really run out of options. So, whether it is Italian you’re craving – head to Ottimo, or Highland Nectar for a craft beer. If you’d like breakfast with a massive spread at Cubbon Pavilion or indulge in their in-room dining. And there’s also Japanese fare at Edo, and Indian at Kebabs & Kurries! Really, you’re spoilt for choice! We absolutely recommend ITC Gardenia for city breaks, follow them here for more updates.