What I like best about the Taj West End is that it doesn’t feel like a hotel. Bedrooms are situated in low rise blocks and scattered villas, set in 25 acres of lush gardens. A few rooms are also situated in the main building that dates from the colonial 19th century.
I’ve stayed at this hotel more than any other and I keep coming back because there is something comforting about familiarity. It’s also an excellent hotel, with discreet and exceptional service.
Our room, in the main building is quiet, but not too quiet; the honking traffic on the nearby road reminds you that you are alive and that you are in India. As well as a flat screen TV that I have never used, there is Wi-Fi (chargeable), a music centre for DVDs or CDs and a minibar. A separate dressing room with ample wardrobe space leads off the spacious, well-appointed bathroom. As well as bath and separate shower with seat, there are two sinks and a magnified make-up mirror. There is also a set of scales that I could do without. The housekeeping is the best I have come across.
The laundry service is very reliable and clothes are returned within eight hours. This means you don’t need to pack so much. There is a small gym and a beauty salon in the grounds that is being refurbished. Presently, the beauty treatments are cheap; this may change after the upgrade.
Two swimming pools allow you to follow the sun, if that is your wish, or you may sleep in a hammock slung between two trees or enjoy a book in the shade. They are both reasonably private and have never been busy.
The danger when staying at the Taj is eating too much. The buffet breakfast offers everything imaginable to suit European or Asian palates. The south Indian breakfast is delicious and highly recommended. A similarly large spread is available at lunchtime.
The Blue Ginger award-winning Vietnamese restaurant, surrounded by water pools, is worth a visit, as is the superb Masala Klub restaurant. Unlike in the UK, hotel restaurants are often rather good in India. The Blue Bar, also pleasantly situated outside, has a happy hour for Club Room guests in the early evening, and a Tom Cruise lookalike will fix your cocktail.
A guided tour of the grounds is well worth arranging. As well as more common trees and shrubs and a small temple, there is a several-hundred-year-old banyan tree and an ancient rock.
Booking a Club Room will get you personal butler service, Happy Hour at the Blue Bar with light snacks and drink every day and access to the Club Lounge, where complimentary tea and snacks are available whenever you like.
A small suggestion: you may want to avoid the place on Sunday lunchtime. They hold a special buffet at the Mynt café. An inflatable bouncing castle is erected for the children in the garden adjoining, free-flowing beer and champagne is on offer and the place is overrun with expats and their children.
The Taj West End Hotel , Bangalore, India
Contact tel: +91 80 66605660 , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost standard double room: £££
Services swimming pool, fitness equipment, hotel restaurant, hotel bar, creche/listening service, room service, internet access
The Taj West End Hotel, Bangalore, India