New Delhi, India
October 8, 2013
For the tourist who's here to go sightseeing, this is therefore not a hotel I'd recommend, simply because if it's so very in the back of beyond. For a business traveller who may have to put in long hours of meetings at the office of the many large corporates that have their buildings in Electronics City (Hewlett-Packard is one, HCL is another), though, this hotel's pretty well located.
A tall glass-fronted building topped by its own helipad, the Crowne Plaza is smart and comfortable. My room, on the 6th floor and with a good view of the neighbourhood (very quintessential Bangalore, all swish office buildings!), came with all the amenities I would expect of an upmarket hotel room - and some more. Lovely abstract paintings of water lilies decorate the room, which has two twin beds (each with a full complement of pillows and bolster, plus a little card beside the bed, inviting guests to choose - if they wish - from a further range of pillows on offer, including contour pillows and goose down). In the wardrobe, besides the safe, the hangers and the laundry bags, was an ironing board and iron, a welcome addition that not enough Indian hotels offer.
Among the other things I appreciated about my room was the fact that it had ample and comfortable seating - all the way from a cozy sofa chair good for curling up with a book, to an ergonomically designed swivel chair (with desk, lots of drawers) to a day bed and a sofa. There was a flat screen TV, a mini bar (no alcohol included, though there were packaged snacks and soft beverages available), tea and coffee fixings, and mineral water bottles.
The bathroom was equally clean and well-appointed (and, a major plus point as far as I am concerned), large. It had a good big bathtub, a separate shower stall, neat sink and loo, loads of big fluffy towels, and adequate quantities of soap, shampoo, et al.
Among the facilities the Crowne Plaza offers are a concierge, laundry services, banquet halls, a fitness club, Wi-Fi, and a few restaurants, among them a coffee shop, an Italian restaurant called Aloro, a lounge bar (Connexions), a 'recreational bar and restaurant (The Terminus), and a grill room (Burgundy Grill). There is also 24-hour room service, offering a range of South Indian, North Indian, and Western dishes, plus some other popular international signature dishes, like Thai curries.
Since I was here to attend the Bangalore Literature Festival, all my meals were from buffets organised specifically for delegates attending the event. It was therefore a little limited, but the food was mostly a judicious balance between predominantly South Indian food (including lovely specialties such as bisi bele, idli, vada, adai) and Western dishes, including salads, quiches, pasta (made to order at the buffet) and desserts.
The Indian food, on the whole, tended to be mostly better than the Western - I ended up tasting a chicken salad with overcooked chicken, a cauliflower salad with too many spicy chillies in the mayo dressing, and a tomato and feta salad that had obviously been lying around far too long. One good thing was that I, on a low carb healthy diet, was able to find enough to fill my tummy - and mostly satisfy my palate at the same time - without feeling guilty. Fellow writers who let themselves go on a binge agreed that nearly everything they ate was, likewise, very tasty indeed.
The staff at the Crowne Plaza were attentive, friendly, and helpful; my stay here, though it was only for two nights, was comfortable. If you're going to be spending a good bit of your time in Bangalore at Electronics City, I would certainly recommend this as a place to stay.
From journal Eating and Sleeping in Bangalore