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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

ITC Grand Chola Chennai & Indibloggers Meet



ITC Grand Chola – A palatial grandeur based on Dravidian temple architecture of Chola Dynasty!

ITC Grand Chola Chennai graciously hosted Preview Indiblogger Meet on Oct 28th Saturday.

Gracious, perfect host indeed!

As a specialist in Heritage Interior Design, ITC-Grand Chola always grabbed my attention whenever I crossed that road.  Its awesome grandeur looks at its BEST at night with all the lights strategically placed & lighted, giving it a dreamy, classy, fairytale-like palatial look!!

For Chennai, it has become a Prestigious hold, whereas for the whole of India, it is the mark of highest rank in Hospitality/Hotel Industry.

Built on 1,600,000 sq ft, ITC Grand Chola has 10 floors, 10 Restaurants, 600 rooms including 78 service apartments with parking facility for 1000 cars!

The BEST thing is ITC Grand Chola is the world’s largest LEED [ Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design ] Platinum Certified hotel in the New Construction category !They produce their own wind energy.

WOW…right?

The hotel has 4 gates and I chose the last one so that I can drive the full circle…and believe me..My enjoyment and excitement started at that precise moment!

When I entered the lobby, it struck me like any other luxury hotel’s lobby.

The Blogger’s meet was on the 2nd floor in Rajendra Hall…named after the great Chola King Rajendra !

This was my 3rd Indiblogger meet..So, I knew there would be Tweets and fun stuff. But this time all my excitement was about ITC Grand Chola, it’s interiors and the promised guided tour! : P

Photo here..

Mr. Philippe, GM, ITC Grand Chola gave a welcome speech and set the ball rolling..


The much anticipated, much awaited guided tour started after the fun stuff like musical chair, human train and Gangnam dance [of courseJ ]!


Rajendra Banquet Hall:  Interior, color scheme, facilities: 5 Stars +



This is one big, big Ballroom, a palatial one at that covering 45,000 sq ft ! The interesting concept is it is Pillar less!!   This big hall space can be divided into 8 divisions with sound proof collapsible banquet partitions and have 8 different meets/events at the same time! It can accommodate 2400 guests as a whole and even have a separate VIP entrance. Every table is fitted with 4 I pads with Wi Fi connection! PERFECT for Hi Fi Conferences, Meetings , etc. We were informed that it has a large freight elevator which can carry even a limousine weighing 2500 kg ! So..perfect for Auto expos and such !

This ITC Palace has 4 well-equipped Meeting rooms.

High tech Boardroom 'Tanjore': 7 Stars

The high tech Boardroom named “Tanjore” fitted with unbelievable, high-tech, advanced gizmos!  I fell in love with this Boardroom!  Everyone should have a Meeting here just for the sake of it!! A big WOW!


High tea:  Quality of the food and taste: 5 stars

The arrangement of the pastries,  decorative center piece, 50 + varieties of teas , coffees, fruit juices, shakes, snacks, sandwiches, chutneys was so good and inviting !  who could resist such invitation ? we bloggers tasted, devoured, demolished every single variety to our hearts’ content ! Cant say stomach’s content..because stomach was objecting the over-stuffing/ over loading !!









Ms. Meghna acted as our group’s guide and took us to ITC One rooms.

Accommodation: 5 stars +

ITC Grand Chola has 600 rooms & Suites including Grand Presidential Suite ‘Rajaraja Chola’[ 4380 sq ft ], Presidential Suite ‘Karikalan’ [ 3000 sq ft ], ITC One, Tower rooms, Executive Club rooms & Eva rooms !

Accommodation includes 78 one, two, three bedroom Service Apartments  with Gym, Swimming pool along with other services and facilities.

ITC One room was 615 sq ft.  These rooms are designed based on the Pure room concept, that is allergen-free environment!  I found this room compact and the space management was clever. Everything..from Lights to room service , from curtains to door camera,..every single thing can be controlled by I pad. The room is also provided with a small laptop & wi fi . Bath room is the best. Color scheme is pleasant if not extraordinary!

Guests staying in these rooms can also avail the use of the Meeting rooms for limited hours...say 4 hours..! All they need to do is to reserve the boardrooms at the same time when they book the rooms!



EVA Rooms: 7 stars

 These rooms are something special because, an entire wing of the 2nd floor, have been designed exclusively for women travelers!! Even the butlers r ladies in this wing! J This shows how considerate ITC Grand Chola is to their Lady guests. Kudos to u ITC Grand Chola!!

Tanque Bar:  Well equipped Ladies Bar with comfortable seating arrangement.



RESTAURANTS :  

7 Restaurants : Madras Pavilion[ Indian & International cuisine], Cafe Mercara Express, Nutmeg Gourmet shop, Peshawari[north west foodies] , Ottimo-Cucina Italiana [ Italian cuisine] , The Pan Asian[ Japan, China, Mongolia, Korea, Thailand ] & Royal Vega [ vegetarian ]

2 Bars: 5 Stars

I Place-fun pub – fun music and stuff

Tranque Bar – Ladies exclusive Bar!

 Malt & Cigar Lounge:   Best Cheroots and Cigars [on display too J] with good Malts. Perfect space to relax after a fantabulous meal! :P 

Kayakalp: 7 stars

ITC Hotels’ spa brand, spread across 23,000 sq ft offers many number of exotic massages as well as spa for a complete body and  mind rejuvenation along with wellness centers and swimming pools !  Ambience is out of the world..! Pampering at it’s BEST !

Kalai : Cholas were known for their performing arts and this auditorium is a perfect tribute !

Architecture : 7 stars

They have taken Dravidian Hindu temple architecture of Chola dynasty as their theme and did absolute justice!! 



At first glance, ITC Grand Chola resembles [ a bit] the world famous Louvre Museum, Paris. Nothing surprising in that considering the fact that we can always find traces of architectural influences in faraway places. It only shows the inter-cultural relationship of those bygone eras.

Interiors : 





Sangam lobby, with it’s grand, impressive marble staircase again resembles Louvre Museum, Paris. The intricate designs on the side walls flawlessly depicts Chola period. Lobby floor portrays another intricate design, that is Tamilnadu ‘s famous trademark ‘Kolam’ !



More than 1 million sq ft of marbles [57 varieties] were used in this Palace. I was told that ITC bought a whole marble quarry in Italy and shipped many a tons of marbles to Chennai for this very purpose!!!  WOW ….

There are many intricate stone works and carvings on the sidewalls and other places which flawlessly depicts Chola period.



The strategic placement of decorative art pieces blends perfectly with the cultural ambience.



Staffs r courteous & friendly. Service is topnotch.

My suggestions:

1.    Media Library – 1.An assorted collection of books in all genres 2. Digitized books, 3. Some rare first prints 4. Some old palm leaf writings and can even have a collection of  Naadis, Chola region’s famous oldest astrology which are still in use!!  Adding Library usage to I pad along with it’s numerous other controls would be wonderful for the guests.

2.    3D theater:   Run a virtual tour of ITC Grand Chola in 3D spiced with some selective scenes from Chola period. It will engage guests in an interesting cultural experience.

3.    Using Kanjeevaram, tamilnadu’s prestigious silk form can be used in upholstery, table mats, and such. It will suit the cultural ambience very much and also will look unique.

On the whole, ITC Grand Chola has become the prestigious symbol of Chennai. It stands apart from other luxury hotels, a Numero Uno,   because of it’s themed architecture which is massive & palatial!

It was an honor and privilege shown to us, the bloggers by ITC Grand Chola.

I enjoyed every minute of the tour and blogger meet.

Thank you ITC Grand Chola.

Thank you Indiblogger.

4 comments:

Shashi S said...

Liked the different approach to the Preview...

Thanks for sharing..

___
Shashi
ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

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