Fort Radisson is a five-star hotel built on lines of an old Portuguese fort. It is made of red bricks. There are well-manicured gardens all around, which we often visited for a morning stroll along the river or for yoga classes conducted by the activity center. The instructor who conducts the yoga classes is, incidentally, an ex-state-level winner in yoga. There is a shallow-water pool in the front with a lot of curves. There are pedal boats which one can use to enjoy boating. The boats, however, were not in working condition when we were there. Similarly, the Jacuzzi, air-conditioners in the table tennis rooms, and the bicycles of the Fort Radisson were also not working properly, but we hardly missed them.
As soon as you enter through the huge ‘gateway to the Fort’, the club is on the right-hand side. There is a huge terrace chessboard, a small discotheque (non-air-conditioned), a swimming pool, a gym, table tennis, air hockey table, sauna and massage room, etc., here. The activities include fishing, kite-flying, archery, cycling, etc. The swimming pool does not have a lifeguard, so care has to be taken. The staff is very helpful, simple, and knowledgeable. If required, they can be requested to take care when the kids are in the swimming pool. There is a small rent for cycling, but the friendly activity manager allowed us free use. The hotel gets a lot of guests in the weekends, so most of the activities of the activity center are done on the weekends. The weekends, in fact, keep you fully occupied. You start with yoga in the morning, and later there are water games, group activities, bird-watching, cookery classes, painting competition, treasure hunt, live music, and disco. I suggest that the visitors should visit adjoining areas on weekdays and keep weekends for the resort.
The Serena Spa offers various natural treatments – massage, Jacuzzi, herbal face mask, water therapy, and aromatherapy. The staff has been trained at their training center in Bangalore. The spa has branches all over the country. There are separate trained specialists for ladies and gents. The architect who has designed the spa must be a great creator. The place oozes out energy.
There are two restaurants; the one at the ground floor was always closed. The one at the second floor offered buffet meals on weekends and a la carte on other days. There is a good choice of Indian and Chinese food. The Bengali cuisine was not available, the reason being that most of the guests are Bengalis who may not relish there own food, even on a vacation. We were told that on special occasions like New Year and Durga Puja, traditional
Bengali fare is served. The high point, apart from the modern décor of the restaurant, is the terrace garden outside. The place gives a magnificent view of the expanse of the river, the boats and the greenery on the other side. The sunset is especially beautiful – invigorating.
The bar below, on the first floor, has a glass on the Western Wall. The same view of the river and the sunset can be seen through the glass while not missing your cocktails. The prices of the food, as well as the drinks, do not seem high if you are from Mumbai.
The lounge on the ground floor has a glass roof, and there are big, big beautiful paintings all around. Newspapers are available. There is a piano, which my daughter liked playing everyday.
Photographs of the Portuguese fort in-charge and his family, ammunition, swords and old umbrellas can be seen everywhere on the walls. They add to the theme of the old Portuguese fort on which the place is built.