- Ritz Carlton Bangalore
- The Park Bangalore
- Four Points by Sheraton Bengaluru, Whitefield
- Aloft Bengaluru Whitefield
On a recent trip to Bangalore, Ajay and I stayed at 3 different Starwood hotels: The Park, a run-down hotel followed by the Four Points by Sheraton and the Aloft in Whitefield both of which were good business hotels at a reasonable price point.
For our last night in Bengaluru, we decided to treat ourselves to a little bit of luxury. For luxury in Bengaluru, the city is spoilt with choice. I absolutely love the Ritz-Carlton hospitality and am always looking for a chance to stay again at the hotel. Our previous stay at the JW Marriott Bengaluru though did not go too well. It was during the IPL being in season and both the teams were staying at the hotel and the hotel staff were overwhelmed with a full house. Also, the lounge back then was not operational.
Ajay was keen to stay at the JW Marriott again as he wanted to give them another chance. Plus now that all facilities at the hotel were fully operational he convinced me that it would be a good idea to book a stay at the JW Marriott again.
The JW Marriott in Bengaluru is located on Vittal Mallya Road. It shares their wall with the city’s luxury landmark, UB City.
We arrived at the hotel in the afternoon and the doorman helped us with our bags. We walked into a stunning high-ceiling lobby. The two-storey high lobby was spacious and allowed uninterrupted natural light to seep in through the ceiling to floor glass windows. The outsized space was like a grand hallway with two rows of pillar columns and a massive chandelier hanging from the ceiling.
The cream and walnut brown colour tone gave the entire space an elegant rich feel. Behind the reception was a refined backdrop of colourful blocks. Right across the reception was a seating area with sofas, couches and pouffes on an elevated podium.
Behind the seating area, there was a table flower arrangement with yellow lilies, all giving the space a nice summer sunshine feel. Towards the evening when the lobby chandelier was lit and the lights came on the entire area had a grand look without it being over the top.
We headed towards check-in. The crew at the front desk was expecting us and processed the formalities in no time.
We were introduced to the guest relations executive who brought us to our room. She offered suggestions of places we could see around and restaurants to try at the hotel and in UB City next door. She also asked us if she could make any reservations on our behalf for lunch or dinner which I politely declined.
While pressing the lift button she mentioned that our room on the fourth floor though is not very high but has some stunning views of the lush green park.
The Cubbon Suite
The suite was located at the end of straight at the end of the corridor. Our room #432 was a massive suite with a view of the Cubbon Park on one side, and UB City on the other. The door opened into a central foyer. There was a modern wall décor fixed on the dark brown wooden wall panel. The yellow lilies followed us all the way up from the lobby and were placed in vases above an empty cabinet.
This was an apartment style, three-fold suite with a separate dining area and the living room on one side and the bedroom and the bath on the other.
Our hostess promptly led us to the dining where there was a plate of petit fours and a platter of fruits. There was a welcome letter on the edge of the table. The hostess had a welcome greeting on her and she placed it next to the one already in the room. The welcome letter clearly explained all the benefits we could avail of as Marriott Gold Elite members in the room.
She also presented us with a golden card, which was a gift card for us being a Marriott Gold Elite. The back of the card had some beverage and food options and the host explained to us that we could pick any one food and a beverage from the list to be delivered to the room.
Since we’ve stayed at a few JW Marriott’s and never seen this before, I asked her if this was a new form of loyalty recognition. Without delving much into it she told us that some hotels have the luxury to pamper their guests and they looked at this as a way to thank their guests for their loyalty. We’d not seen this card the last time around at the JW Marriott Sahar in Mumbai or even at this hotel, so I guess clearly it was introduced in the last few months.
The half bathroom opened up from the dining area. The dining room also has a writing desk with an ergonomic chair set up in a corner. A set of plug points were fixed on the wall above the work desk, but as a guest you could only have one of those. Next to that was the tea kettle set up on top of the minibar. For a suite of this pedigree, the coffee and tea were meh, to say the least. Wonder why do hotels don’t invest in good quality tea and coffee for their patrons and still peddle instant coffee from sachets.
Through the wooden separator in the dining area, I could look at the large living room which was furnished very well. Two sofas and 2 chairs furnished in brown fabric and bright red cushions to contrast the brown.
The living room had a great view of the Cubbon Park, which is a 120-hectare green patch in the centre of the city. We could see greenery all across from these windows.
The bedroom had its own sitting area by the window that had a view of the UB City’s amphitheatre and courtyard.
The colourful blocks from the reception appeared again as a headboard. The queen-size bed had a sink-in mattress, soft white sheets and there were six plush pillows arranged neatly bear the headboard.
The bedside table was equipped with a digital alarm clock and charging docks. Surprisingly, plug points were only on one side of the bed and not on both. It still beats me why hotels across the world have to charge docks that can’t charge the current phones which either use the lightning ports or the Mini/micro/USB C ports.
There was more than ample water supplied in the room. I always appreciate this in a hotel, given that many times during our stays we only notice two half-litre bottles placed in the room. The wardrobe and storage space was behind the bedroom that was separated by a partition wallboard and had ample storage space.
The marble bathroom had a His and Her basin, a walk-in shower along with a bathtub fitted to soak in. Bath amenities were by Aromatherapy, a brand we’ve consistently seen other JW properties like the JW Marriott Mussoorie and the JW Marriott Sahar in Mumbai. Not a favourite in my book. Their smells are very overpowering and the lotions have high viscosity, not something I feel is apt for the Indian warm climate.
The suite was infused with tasteful brown colour schemes, rich furnishings and contrasting views of the greenery and the city from the two windows; all arranged in a beautiful elegant manner. All the rooms had ample lighting and the dark brown colour scheme did not give any of the rooms a gloomy touch.
The Executive Lounge
We spent a lot of time working at the Executive Lounge of the hotel while we were there. During the afternoon, between 2 pm and 03:30 pm, the lounge had an Afternoon Hi-Tea spread that consisted of an assortment of snacks, whole fruits and cakes. Apart from ordering in some tea and coffee, we could also help ourselves to non-alcoholic beverages from the refrigerator.
The Executive Lounge on the 14th floor has cocktail hours from 4 pm to 8 pm daily and appetizers are served between 6 pm and 8 pm. The evening drinks menu included a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.That included Old Monk rum, an Indian favourite not known very well in the rest of the world. The wine list was comprehensive as well with a good mix of International and Indian red and white wines.
The food on offer was good enough to make a dinner out of it and included a variety of hot and cold canapes. The cold selection had beetroot and goat cheese salad, crudites with a choice of dips and cold cut meat. I went with some greens and stuffed olives from the make your own salad counter and sampled a few kinds of cheese with raisins and fresh figs.
The hot appetizers selection had a choice of Indian and western selection with soup, samosas and arancini balls.
The lounge staff were attentive. Our server remembered the label of the Indian wine I was drinking and kept my glass filled throughout. It was the same with other guests in the lounge.
The lounge itself is very spacious and divided into two sections. The side facing the Cubbon Park was where the buffet was laid. During the days, this section gets very hot given the sunlight shines right through. On the UB City side, there were couches and easy chairs placed. It was quite busy in the evenings. There is also a meeting room in the lounge which members need to book in advance to use. The Lounge also had the facility to use their computers and make prints as well.
Later in the evening we cancelled our dinner outing plans and chose to chill out in our room. The room TV was perfectly angled to snuggle in bed, watch a Bollywood flick and order in some chicken biryani.
Next morning, instead of making tea in the kettle, we cashed in our welcome amenity. We called in ordered in masala chai and khari that arrived fresh, buttered and warm out of the oven in about 20 minutes.
Also came along a couple of Red Bulls which we left behind at the hotel itself. None of us is a Red Bull fan, and unless in Goa, we weren’t up for a beer at these early hours.
Breakfast at the JW Kitchen
For breakfast, we first headed back up to the lounge where the complimentary breakfast for members is usually served. We were informed that breakfast for everyone is served at the JW Kitchen on the lobby level. We had missed the note in our welcome letter that mentioned that breakfast will be served from 6:30 to 10:30 am at the JW Kitchen at the lobby level.
Breakfast at the JW Kitchen was a lavish affair. Right at the entrance, a fresh coconut water cart was set up. Going left from the cart, the bar is converted into a fresh juice counter for breakfast. Further down, and another cart brewing masala tea and coffee.
The restaurant offers outdoor as well as an indoor seating arrangement. We chose to be seated indoors.
I started off with some fruits and cereals. There was an assortment of organic honey laid in interesting flavours, Clover, Litchi, Jamun and Wildforest. I drizzled some wild forest honey over my cereal plate. Then there were the regular morning greens, bakery and eggs-to-order. A few steps up there was the Indian selection where they were flipping out hot dosas and paranthas.
Ajay got chatting with the head chef who noticed him taking pictures of the buffet and offered to take pictures of Ajay with the food. Caught off guard, Ajay said it was okay and asked him to suggest a few dishes to try. Based on the chef’s recommendation Ajay tried some South Indian rice delicacies paired with Dosa. The chef then served him some Akuri, which a traditional Parsi style egg dish ate with pav bread.
As for me, after cereals, I headed to the Pan Asian counter. Thankfully the basket was not piled with overcooked dim sum. rather I ordered and the staff served me freshly steamed chicken Dim Sum on the table. I also picked out some Porcini, greens and udon noodles to make myself soup. I then combined both of these to make myself a custom-made wonton soup.
Their North-Indian dishes were spot on as well and Ajay wouldn’t leave without trying it out. He got a couple of pooris on the table along with all the north-Indian preparations and polished it off with a nice rabri+jalebi combination.
Finally, we dug our teeth into a plate of delicious French toast that was served with a side of crispy bacon. There was also a variety of ice-creams, however by this time we had no appetite left.
The breakfast spread here was luxurious and by far one of the best hotel breakfast buffets we’ve eaten. It was sumptuous, there was a wide variety of options to choose from among Indian, Western, Pan Asian. A few things that are a must try here are the French toast and the hot jalebis served with fresh rabdi.
Post breakfast we took a stroll through the hotel to check-out the facilities. There is an outdoor pool, a fully equipped gym and a separate Yoga studio. New York-based Warren Tricomi manage the salon and spa services at the hotel.
Spice Terrace, the hotel’s Indian restaurant is located by the poolside. Apart from the JW Kitchen the hotel has an Italian restaurant, a Spanish Tapas bar and an in-house bakery, Bengaluru Baking Company.
Located next to the Bengaluru’s first high street mall, JW Marriott is aptly situated in the centre of Bangalore. It took us about 10 minutes by car to M.G. road and about 40 minutes to get to the hotel from Whitefield. The hotel is 35 kilometres from the airport and the ride back to the airport took us just over an hour.
In case you don’t want to eat at the hotel, you’ll be spoilt for options of bars and restaurants in UB City and nearby Lavelle Road area.
A standard room night here is priced at an average of INR 13,000/ USD 200 per night plus taxes. Our upgraded Cubbon Suite sells for over INR 26,000/ USD 400 plus taxes. As a Marriott category 4 hotel, a reward night here costs 20,000 Marriott Rewards points, which I think is good value for your points.
After staying at the JW Marriott in Mussoorie and at the JW Sahar in Mumbai this was our third JW Marriott brand in India this year and this is one luxurious hotel that exhibits all the fine JW qualities. Contrary to our previous stay the staff were very prompt this time around. During check-out, we were seen off by the duty manager, who again thanked us for our loyalty.
Our room was more than comfortable, the facilities top notch and the staff courteous. When looking out for a luxury stay option in Bengaluru, this hotel must definitely feature on your list of contenders.
Have you stayed at the 9 JW Marriott Bengaluru? What has your experience been at the hotel?