from Sicklerville, New Jersey
Submitted on 11-16-2017
We stayed at ITC Grand Chola in late September for a few days and again in early October 2017 for a longer period of time. We have traveled many countries around the world and stayed at numerous hotels and can say that ITC Chola is just a warm welcoming and a great place to stay with well thought out amenities and conveniences to make for a memorable experience. From the moment you pull in to the hotel you are greeted by a courteous staff with respect, and a willingness to be of assistance to yo...
We stayed at ITC Grand Chola in late September for a few days and again in early October 2017 for a longer period of time. We have traveled many countries around the world and stayed at numerous hotels and can say that ITC Chola is just a warm welcoming and a great place to stay with well thought out amenities and conveniences to make for a memorable experience. From the moment you pull in to the hotel you are greeted by a courteous staff with respect, and a willingness to be of assistance to you. The warm, spacious lobby with the grand staircase immediately takes you to a place where you know is just the beginning of your experience. A very pleasant aroma permeates the hallways from the subtle oil lamps strategically placed around the hotel.
The hotel is centrally located and self-sustained in a way that you can keep yourself relaxed and entertained throughout the day and for several days exploring varied options within the hotel. The three pools with poolside chairs, table, chaises, and umbrellas can give one the option of a swim, enjoy a meal/drink or just a way to relax with a book and catch up on your reading. The three gyms close to the pool are well equipped and have very helpful staff members ever willing to assist you with your needs. I thank Suresh at the gym for his pleasant demeanor and for his relentless personalized attention. The luxurious rooms with spacious bathrooms can be a warm retreat for an afternoon nap or a good night sleep. Itâ??s always nice to see the same familiar face attending to your room and would like to thank Raj Kumar for keeping our room clean and inviting every day. The spa is yet another retreat with many options for massages and facials as well as a full-fledged salon for hair and manicure/pedicure treatments. Mamatha the manager there was very helpful with suggestions and tailored a plan that best met both our desires and needs. I thank Romila, Cindy, and Grace for their excellent services at the spa. The complimentary sauna, cold shower, and jacuzzi/hot tub for guests serve as another way to sneak in some relaxation even with a busy schedule. One of my favorite finds at the hotel was Yoga offered complimentary at poolside in the morning and in the spa in the evening. Yoga master Raj had a very special way of bringing you back to the traditional roots of Yoga and took you to a spiritual and relaxing place with just you and your inner being while at the same time exercising with a willingness that came so naturally. Private sessions were also available, but if one has a busy schedule, the morning and/or the evening complimentary group session is something to consider as at any level of expertise one can still enjoy the class.
No trip is memorable without oneâ??s stomach being happy and content, and ITC Chola sure did a great job accomplishing this. Whether one is vegetarian, non-vegetarian or vegan, you will be pleased with the myriad of options available from a selection of six restaurants, cafe, bar, and chocolate cafe. CafÃ© Mercara, the 24-hour cafÃ© was a good place to go to for a quick bite or drink with an ample selection of items on the menu to keep you refreshed and satisfied. The lounges were a special place to enjoy an evening with drinks and snacks. I thank Kismat, Siddarth, and Udit for their kindness and genuine way of attending to guests in the lounge. We visited all the six major restaurants in the hotel, each different in their cuisine. Madras Pavilion offered the morning breakfast buffet with both traditional Indian and continental style cuisines, dosas and omelets made to order, fresh juices, and of course, the best type of coffee you can experience â?? Madras coffee freshly brewed right in front of you! Although it was a buffet, you always knew that the restaurant staff was close by to make sure your needs were attentively met. I thank Veralika, the assistant manager who exuded the same bright and positive demeanor whether you encountered her in the early morning or after many hours of work and for her vibrant customer service. Royal Vega, the all-vegetarian restaurant served the traditional â??thaliâ?? style meal and featured both North and South Indian cuisine. It was a delight meeting the chef who proudly explained the fresh ingredients and spices and the manner in which each dish on the thali was uniquely prepared. Pan Asian, offered cuisine from the East Asian regions and it was easy to find a favorite or familiar dish from the good selection on the menu. Ottimo, the Italian restaurant had a great wine selection and excellent seafood, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Peshawri, the clay oven tandoori restaurant offered a very unique and spice infused selection of vegetarian, meats and seafood grills with a delicious selection of bread. I thank Partab for his excellent recommendation and attention to detail. He had a natural intuition of knowing what we might enjoy after a brief conversation with us and did not hesitate to offer recommendations that turned out to be great. The lobster and black dhal were our favorite and of course the bread! Although all the restaurants were great, our most memorable one was Avartana, the new restaurant which offered a few pre-set menus and featured South Indian cuisine taken to a whole new level. The rasam (warm tomato broth with spices) made to perfection kept us refilling our glass. We are usually not a big fan of pre-set course meals but this place kept the course to just the right portion size to not fill you up until the very last course. And each course was well thought out, uniquely prepared and appetizingly displayed. I thank Avinash for his descriptive knowledge of each course explained in detail with such enthusiasm, which made each course even more enjoyable.
The go-to place for any questions/concerns was the front desk and concierge and the level of customer service rendered by them was courteous, kind, attentive and sympathetic especially when you had concerns with any part of the service you were experiencing. I thank Salma, Barnali, Sandhya, Maya, and Brenda for their follow-up and regular inquiry on our well-being. Last but not the least, I give a sincere and a very special thank you to Champa, the Fronk Desk Manager who was astute when there were couple issues with our room during our first stay. She promptly and efficiently dealt with the situation with positive outcomes. Her leadership, follow through and utmost high level of customer service served as a major factor in deciding to come back for our second stay. Things could go wrong on a trip, but it is not the problem that matters as much as how it is handled and the type of outcome. ITC Chola to me proved a place that took concerns seriously and made every effort to resolve the problem to make the rest of your stay comfortable and memorable. I commend the hotel for its selection and training of staff. We will definitely stay at this hotel again!