by Kamla Srinivasan
Mt View, California
June 7, 2005
The Leela is one of my favorite hotels in India. It epitomizes Southern warmth and hospitality. This hotel is a welcome oasis in this otherwise perpetually traffic-clogged road.
As soon as we went up the short drive to Leela Palace Hotel, we found ourselves enveloped in warm hospitality. As we stepped from our car into the foyer, our bags were efficiently handled and taken indoors. We stepped into the high-ceilinger foyer and into the lobby, where we were quickly assigned our rooms, and our request for a room on a higher floor was accommodated without any fuss.
Since the hotel is modeled after the Mysore Palace, most of the furniture and artifacts reflect the royal lifestyle of the Maharajas of Mysore. The hotel just stops short of being opulent in a fussy sort of way.
Our room was located on the fourth floor and overlooked the pool. The room had beautifully appointed furniture and paintings. As soon as you walk into the room, the fridge and the coffee counter are on the left, and on the right is the bathroom. The best part of the room is the bathroom, which is a separate room with traditional shuttered double doors. The bathroom is neatly sectioned: the toilet with its own door, a glass-encased shower cubicle, and a bathtub.
two bedside tables. There was a sofa and a writing table with Internet connectivity. Watch out--the Internet connectivity does not come cheap! It costs a bomb at about $25 for a day!
We delved into the complimentary fruits and fresh-baked cookies. Since it was still summer, we got a nice collection of mangoes, oranges, and pomegranates. We called housekeeping and got a kettle with an array of complimentary tea sachets.
Our stay came with complimentary breakfast at Citrus. The breakfast spread at Citrus is mind-boggling! You can get your choice of Western or traditional Indian breakfast. I always ask for my coffee to be done a special way: cappuccino with a shot of espresso. If you are averse to cinnamon, let them know, and they should hold it.
At close to $300 per day, you should definitely take advantage of your stay at the Leela. The hotel comes with a beautiful pool, gym, and a shopping galleria.
From journal Bangalore, the IT capital of India