The wind of change is blowing in the air of Bengal. With an economy that is beginning to show signs of a revival and a slew of developmental projects, Kolkata is one Indian city that is fast catching up with its counterparts in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore in terms of business development.
Nothing exemplifies this change of fortune in Bengal more than the presence of one of India’s finest luxury hotel – the awesome ITC Sonar Bangla. Ever since its launch in the year 2002, this landmark hotel has already carved a niche for itself among India’s elite panel of luxury hotels.
This magnificent hotel is well spread out over an area of 16 acres of lush greenery in one of Kolkata’s prime neighborhood – Salt Lake City. It has been catering to the exacting needs of the discerning modern day traveler in the trademark ITC way - with a harmonious blend of royalty and modern comforts.
The essence of the hotel is its unique architectural feature, which blends modernity with all that is traditionally rich and intrinsically Indian. Be it the 238 opulent guest rooms, the wide variety of culinary delights available at the hotel’s in-house restaurants, plush conference rooms, the 3 holed chip and putt golf course or the hotel’s luxurious Spa, everything about the ITC Sonar Bangla is in a class of its own. Kolkata being the City of Joy and the fact that it is the cultural cauldron of India, it was in the fitness of things that such a stupendous hotel was launched in this incredible city of Eastern India.
As I ventured inside the hotel and spent some time at the immaculately done up lobby, the caption on the hotel’s brochure –“Nobody Gives You India Like We Do” caught my attention. And as I went about exploring this stupendous hotel in the company of an elegant and well-dressed PR Executive from the hotel, I knew every word of that caption was correct.
From the plush confines of the “ITC ONE” block to the privileged “Towers”, which again was an exclusive block of a cluster of regally done up rooms providing breathtaking views of the neighboring water bodies and the lush green landscapes. The “Tower” block is conspicuous by its exclusive lounge facility, which is strictly reserved for use by the discerning guests of the “Tower”.
Once we were done with the accommodation part of the hotel, it was time to take a short breather at the immaculately done up West View Bar & Grill. As the bartender offered us with the signature Single Malts, we kept chatting about the architectural features of this standout hotel, interrupted only by the cracking of the occasional fried Cashew nuts. The West View Bar & Grill is easily one of Kolkata’s most popular watering holes and is much preferred by the city’s crème-de-la-crème.
An informal chat with the ever-courteous bartender revealed the interactive Charcoal Grill and a variety of meats that are cooked right in front of you. Some of the favorites include the Blue Fin Maguro with exclusive Cajun potatoes and snow peas, Arabian Sea Lobster, Rosemary scented New Zealand Lamb as well as stone grilled Camembert cheese and an assortment of Spanish Paprika potatoes and grilled pineapple.
One needs to get used to dining at the Black Rock Grill. The ever-attentive Chef is always there to demonstrate how to eat from the hot Rock Grill. I was politely told by the resident Chef - Ramesh Javvaji not to touch the Rock as it would burn my fingers.
In between our drinks, I was informed about the latest accolade that was bestowed upon ITC Sonar Bangla, courtesy the “Certified Emission Reductions” certificate of excellence issued by the United Nations Climate Change Convention. The ITC Sonar Bangla is the first hotel in the world to win this coveted certificate. This unique achievement amply demonstrates ITC’s commitment to environmental preservation and in the next two years the hotel will be on course to achieving the “Zero Solid Waste” benchmark.
From the cozy confine of the West View Bar & Grill, we moved on to the other culinary venues like the elegantly done up Eden Pavilion, renowned for it’s A La Carte menu, the Dumpukht that offers the very best of the Lucknow Nawabi cuisine, the Peshwari which is renowned for its North West Frontier cuisines and the Pan Asian, which is easily one of the best places for indulging in Oriental delicacies ranging from Mongolia to Malayasia and Taipei to Thailand.
A visit to the superb Sonar Spa with a built-in area, which is all of 13,000 Sq. feet, easily makes it the city’s largest Spa. The blissful Wellness Center is replete with sophisticated Jacuzzi, Sauna, exclusive steam room, a multi gym as well as a novel swimming pool that is strategically located outside, thereby offering fresh natural air.
The hotel’s buoyant mood was appropriately summed up by ITC’s visionary Chairman Mr. Deveshwar thus – “A three decade old relationship has been strengthened and enriched in a new partnership. The ITC-Luxury Collection exclusive arrangement recognizes ITC’s leadership in the premium hotel segment and places it amongst the finest hotel chains in the world. A new window to the world is now open to us, and together with our aggressive growth plans in India, ITC is well poised to meet the emerging needs of the discerning global traveller.”
Often it is the quality of leadership that is responsible for an organization’s success in today’s cutthroat competition in the global hospitality landscape and Mr. Deveshwar’s innings at the helm of ITC has been full of triumphs and achievement. Be it the conferring of prestigious “Business Person of the Year 2006” by the UK Trade & Investment organization or the path to “Sustainability” in accordance with the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative, Mr. Deveshwar has been a true champion of ethical business.
Let us hope the ITC Welcomgroup prospers in the days to come as India positions itself as an economic powerhouse.
For any further information on ITC Sonar Bangla, please feel free to contact:
ITC Sonar Bangla,
1, JBS Halden Avenue,
Salt Lake City, Kolkata,
West Bengal 700046
Phone: (91)(33) 2345 4545