METRO PLUS

Royal honour for the Taj

A ceremonial welcome

A ceremonial welcome  

IT WAS really a royal honour for the Taj Garden Retreat Hotel at Pasumalai. The Nepal King, Gyanendra Bir Bikram Singh Dev, and his Queen, Komal Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah, stayed at the hotel for two days, March 24 and 25, during their sojourn in the southern part of the State.

The King, who came with a team of 30 aides, arrived at the hotel around 1 p.m. on March 24. The king being accorded a ceremonial welcome. The hotel rolled out a carpet made of roses for the royal couple to tread on. Traditional and folk dances were organised to welcome them.

"The couple then were guided to their enclosure. In the evening, they strolled around the hotel and had a bird's eye view of the city. The King was pretty impressed with the night view of the city with the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in the midst", says Prakash Menon, general manager, Taj Garden Retreat.

"A special suit was prepared for the King and his men by the poolside as it provided a right ambience for the royal couple to stay", Mr. Menon explains.

"Though he had a good knowledge of the city in terms of its geographical conditions, our hotel personnel detailed him about the rich cultural heritage and various other important aspects about the city", he says.

Sign of appreciation.

Sign of appreciation.  

About the menu, Mr. Menon says, "though we prepared various cuisines, including continental, the King preferred to have only south Indian dishes and a thali, mostly with traditional south Indian food, was served to him in silver cutlery".

T.Pramod, executive chef, Taj Garden Retreat, says, "the only preference the King had was the food to be cooked in olive oil, mostly he preferred less oil. Prawn fry was his favourite.

Throughout his stay in the hotel, he had only south Indian dishes. Only on the second night, he had noodles".

"He is a very light eater and takes only tea in the morning and avoids breakfast", says Mr. Pramod.

Speaking about his other activities, Mr Menon says, "the King goes to bed by 10 at night and wakes up by 7 am".

"He had a royal touch about every thing he did. A soft-spoken personality, the King was very kind and receptive to his men and the hotel personnel as well", Mr. Menon adds.

"Security officials from Nepal and the Indian Government, who came to the city a week before the King's arrival, inspected various hotels in the city and fixed the Taj Garden Retreat for the royal couple. It is really a great honour for our hotel", claims Mr.Menon.

Karthik, Assistant Relationship Manager of the hotel, says, "the hotel staff were issued three or four identity cards and our movement was also restricted to particular places only. The chef and our GM were the only privileged to have a direct access to the King. Two wheelers were stopped downhill and a separate vehicle was operated to ferry other guests to the mountain top".

The King had also appreciated the eco-friendly measures initiated by the hotel and has complimented the hospitality, rendered by the staff during his stay, in the visitors' register.

The Taj Garden Retreat, as a mark of respect, presented the royal couple a book on the heritage of the Chettiar community. Apart from this, the hotel also presented 10 saplings of the Indian Cork tree as requested by them.

M.R.ARAVINDAN

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