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Movenpick Hotel & Spa review - Swiss comfort in the Garden City

Archana Achal | Updated on: Oct 12, 2011
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To experience true Swiss hospitality, make your way to namma Bangalore where Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has opened its first Indian property, the Mövenpick Hotel & Spa. ARCHANA ACHAL recounts her stay at this chic business hotel.

I called the Guest Relations associate at 11pm on the night of my stay at the newly-opened Mövenpick Hotel & Spa in Bangalore with a strange request. I needed two band aid plasters as soon as possible! The associate repeated my query in a truly concerned voice, prompting me to explain that wearing three-inch heels for eight hours had been my worst decision to date. Being fully assured that I did not need medical assistance, she promptly sent up, four, not two plasters, just in case I needed fresh ones for later. This is Swiss hospitality, I thought. Concern for guests' comfort combined with efficient service.

Started in 1973, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has had a successful history in the hospitality industry. They run 71 hotels and resorts in 25 countries, with another 30 properties being planned or under construction. The Mövenpick Hotel & Spa in Bangalore is the first foray made by the company into the Indian luxury business hotels market and based on their studies of inter-country and outbound travel, they plan to open up to 12 properties in India alone.

It's all about location!

The USP of the Mövenpick Hotel in Bangalore is that it is the only luxury hotel located within thirty minutes of the International airport. This is a definite plus-point for business travellers as negotiating traffic snarls to reach a hotel at the city centre can be very tiresome. The drive from the airport is quite pleasant, introducing the traveller to a side of Bengaluru that usually goes unnoticed. That is North Bangalore, an area slowly being opened up to commercial activity due to its proximity to the airport. In true Bangalore style, you need to drive through a narrow residential street to get to the hotel, which rises like a futuristic beauty above the traditional homes. The designer has made the most of the space available to create a chic hotel without compromising on luxury or contemporary design aesthetics.

The interiors

The Mövenpick brand believes in building hotels that are location-specific. So the traveller is expected to notice a bit of Bangalore in the hotel's design concept. Having lived in the city for more than a decade, I could not help but notice the blend of modern fittings with classic lines that is a characteristic of buildings in the city. The glass front of the hotel, tear-drop crystal chandelier in the lobby, vibrantly illuminated glass staircase and interesting furnishings are quite modern and European in style, but the low-lying sofas, use of black, brown and cream upholstery, ruffled satin lampshades and South Indian “kaapi” inspired lounging area all speak to the classic Bangalorean sensibility. I stayed in a Superior King room, one of the 182 rooms available. Accommodation options also include eight Executive suites and a Presidential suite. The highlight of my room was the view. Floor to ceiling glass windows gave me an uninterrupted view of green North Bangalore, including a glimpse of a lake, railway lines and upcoming high-rises.

The “fun”tivities

There's a lot to do and even more to eat in this hotel. One can jog high above the city in the fitness centre or take a dip in the infinity pool. For a more relaxing time, hit the Sohum Spa which offers a number of treatments ranging from traditional Ayurvedic to decidedly European healing techniques. The décor of the Spa is inspired by South Indian Hindu temples, so the tranquil-looking Nandi statue I glimpsed in one of the rooms seemed perfectly in place.

If you would rather de-stress by adding calories instead of burning them, step back in time to 1920s America at the Obsidian bar. Drawing heavily from the Art Deco style of the period, Obsidian prides itself with its classic cocktails like the Mojito (twisted with a dash of kokum if you'd like), the Caipiroska or the Martini. Flop into one of the plush black couches and enjoy the ambience.

After your Great Gatsby-style party, make sure you savour authentic Italian dishes at Mezzaluna. The restaurant is named after the half-moon shaped knife and delivers flavourful food in a setting so beautifully Italian. Cosy nooks, an open wood-fire oven, a cheese and wine tasting area and a mosaic-tiled ceiling bring a slice of Italy into this property. I went with the chef's recommendation of buffalo mozzarella and juicy plum tomatoes dressed in sweet basil pesto as a starter to my meal. The freshness of the ingredients was undeniable. A zingy peach Bellini sorbet followed to cleanse the palate and ready it for the main course, layered eggplant in a rich tomato sauce sprinkled with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. This dish was Italy on a plate; rich, vibrant and full of hidden treasures to discover. The perfect end to this sumptuous meal was a bowl of Mövenpick chocolate ice cream. Granted, it was not Italian like the white chocolate cannoli or semifreddo on offer but it was delectably smooth and creamy.

Midnight cravings can be satiated at My Place, the 24-hour restaurant serving international cuisine from an open, interactive kitchen. Their breakfast buffet, which included Swiss cereals and cheese, had something for everyone. However, the rooftop lounge called Perfect Sky hadn't opened at the time of this review.

The Mövenpick Hotel & Spa in Bangalore is a great choice for both travellers and Bangaloreans looking to experience something new.

What: The Mövenpick Hotel &Spa

Where: Near BEL circle, Bangalore

How much: Rs 7,500 per night onwards (Launch offer package)

>archana.a@thehindu.co.in

Published on September 28, 2011
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