There is special joy in staying at a luxury hotel in the middle of the city — it is comfortingly familiar yet suitably different. So there I was at the Oberoi Bangalore, looking with new eyes at the metro chuffing away importantly, its silver and purple body gleaming in the evening sun. My room in the newly-renovated wing was a symphony in silk, leather, wood and marble. The beige, gold and caramel tones with splashes of royal blue added the requisite warmth.
After a hard day at work, the room with its private balcony overlooking the lawns makes for a luxurious change. As I try out the thick, fat mattress and cosy armchair, I feel a bit like Goldilocks. My welcome drink is brought in by Manish Lohani, my own personal butler — how is that for a taste of the high life? The work desk is terribly efficient with an online multi-media hub, universal electrical points and internet. The alarm clock, incidentally, also allows one to play music from an iPhone, iPod or iPad. The bathroom has a telly facing the big fat bathtub so that you can soak away the stress of the day while watching inane stuff on the neon god.
Oberoi has launched Oberoi E’nhance, which allows you to check out all the conveniences it has on an iPad. And what better city than Bangalore, the IT city, to launch this service? Technology and I are not the best of friends and I look at the iPad with a certain degree of trepidation. Amit Kaul patiently takes me through the paces and invites me to try it and E’nhance proves to be extraordinarily easily navigable.
Before I know it I am controlling lights and temperature, peering through the door camera, and watching Rowan Atkinson play intrepid secret agent Johnny English. While I go down for a drink at the Polo Club followed by an excellent dinner at Szechwan Court, I decide to order dessert from the in-room dining menu on E’nhance. It is the greatest fun, the bulky menu replaced by this slim device with its delicious food pictures. You click on them for a detailed description of what you are going to order. The best thing is, if at any point you are stuck (which I was) you can always pick up the phone and ask room service to help you — I needed help deciding if I wanted a rich chocolate cake or tiramisu.
I loll about in bed listening to jazz on the web radio, which I click on E’nhance, and pick up the book I was reading, only to be surprised by a delicately worked metal bookmark marking my place. There is a note from housekeeping saying they noticed I liked to read (I had three books for a single night’s stay!) and hence the bookmark.
Like Vince Vega said in Pulp Fiction, it’s the little things… the technology definitely makes life smoother but it is these little touches that make you feel really welcome.
Name: The Oberoi, Bangalore
Contact: 37-39, M.G.Road, Bangalore -560 001. Tel 91-80-25585858. www.oberoihotels.com
Tariff: Rs. 21,500 onwards
The jolly mix of hi-tech and good, old-fashioned hospitality
Nothing really, except the limited choice of movies on offer
Keywords: Oberoi E’nhance