The Leela Palace, Bangalore - Reviewed by Priya Bala
The Leela hotels are a uniquely Indian concept, born from the vision and industry of the late Captain Krishnan Nair, a legend in the hospitality business of the country. The chain is named after his wife, Leela. The Leela Palace in Bangalore derives its design inspiration from the royal palaces of the region, particularly Mysore. It makes everyone who walks into its grand portals feel like they are entering a palatial edifice. It whispers luxury at every turn – from the sweeping staircases to the chandeliers, the attention to detail and, of course, the lush gardens it is set in, abounding with tropical flora and the flutter of parakeets.
Situated on Old Airport Road ,the Leela Palace once enjoyed close proximity to the city’s main airport. Even after the airport has shifted out of the city, the hotel is advantageously located – a short drive from the CBD, easy access to the buzzing hub of Indiranagar and the office complexes on the Inner Ring Road.
Rooms and suites
The base category room at the Leela Palace is the Royal Deluxe, going up to Conservatory room with garden views and the spacious Royal Premiere Room. These rooms, with their filigree panels and other plush touches reflect the luxury aspect of the hotel. They are also equipped with all modern tools for the busy business traveller.
The Leela suites are a thing apart and a true taste of royal style. The Royal Suites, for instance, have a large marbled living room, a dining space that seats eight, a plush bedroom and a bathroom that is the luxury lovers dream come true. There is also a well-stocked kitchenette that long-stay guests will appreciate. The suite opens on to a series of balconies that look out on the green expanse of the hotel. You could just lounge here and feel far away from the city. No detail is left unattended in the suites – from top quality grooming products to the bathrobes, even yoga mats in the wardrobes.
Like most Indian hospitality brands, the Leela takes its food and beverage offerings very seriously. Citrus is the hotel’s all-day restaurant, a vast, glass-enclosed dining room that also has an al fresco section. Buffet spreads are available for breakfast and lunch with dishes from across the globe to choose from. The champagne-soaked Sunday brunch at Citrus is a must-try.
Jamavar is for Indian cuisine – both from the North and South – an elegant restaurant that flows on to a lovely patio surrounded by greenery. The Maharajah Thali is one of the best ways to indulge in the best of Jamavar’s menu.
Zen, all white and super-stylish, is for Pan-Asian specialities and the dim sum and sushi have won many fans. For an international dining experience head to Le Cirque Signature on the 5th floor, to tuck into foie gras and some expertly hand-made pasta.
The Library Bar at lobby level is one of Bangalore’s classiest bars with its studded leather chairs and quiet air. This is a great place for an evening of single malts or some of the best martinis ever.
Business & event facilities
The Leela Palace has two large spaces for big events, conferences and weddings. These are the Royal Ballroom and the Grand Ballroom at mezzanine level. Spacious pre-function areas are attached to these two. For smaller business meetings there are various venues to choose from, all equipped with the latest technology.
On the mezzanine floor is the Leela Spa, an oasis of quiet and tranquility where you can have all your stress melt away through an array of treatments. The signature package here is the ‘Essence of Leela’ that harmonizes the chakras to balance mind and body with a deeply relaxing massage. The treatments are designed with the internationally acclaimed ESPA range of natural skin care products, aromatherapy oils and revitalising wraps.
Guests are also assured of exceptionally good and personalized service here. Alongside the spa is a state of the art fitness facility.
The thing that sets the Leela Palace apart is just that – it’s a palace, or very nearly that. And guests can feel the luxury of the royal life during a stay here. Genuinely warm service adds to the feeling of being utterly pampered.
It’s perfectly suited for business guests. But given the style and the leisurely air of the Leela palace, it’s also great for couples looking for a romantic getaway in the heart of the city.
The Leela Palace is not for the minimalist. It’s all-out opulence and extravagance here. Go, soak it in.