Kolkata’s Oberoi is the grand old dame of hotels in north-east India. Opened in 1888, this luxury heritage hotel is a palatial landmark in the City of Joy and offers well-appointed rooms, excellent dining, great facilities and truly wonderful service a stone’s throw from the main sights.
The Oberoi sits in the heart of historic northern Kolkata in Chowringhee, the city’s shopping district, close to cinemas, markets, restaurants, the Indian museum and B.B.D. Bagh, the former heart of British power in India with its imposing Writers’ Building.
Style & character
A successful marriage of heritage and modern amenities. Located in a huge 19th century building, India’s colonial past almost pours from the print lined walls. Although the hotel is located in an extremely busy area, guests will have the feeling of being in an oasis, far from the madding crowds.
Service & facilities
The staff, from the huge uniformed and turbaned gentleman with a humongous beard who welcomes guests to the smartly suited and courteous managers, are forthcoming without being intrusive. The atmosphere is a little stiff, but this is to be expected from a property that is as much part of historic Kolkata as Mother Theresa.
Facilities are outstanding. The pool in the central courtyard is large enough to keep both children and grown-ups happy, and a fully-equipped, spacious gym and a well-appointed spa are for the exclusive use of hotel guests.
Guests may also book a selection of interesting trips and workshops through the hotel. Spice Route introduces food buffs to the subtle flavours of Bengali cuisine, while The Indian Wine Trail leads budding sommeliers on a journey through the subcontinent’s viticulture.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
The standard rooms are compact, comfortable, with plenty of nods to the city’s heritage – from old prints and miniature paintings on the walls to the stylishly traditional wood furnishings that almost hide the state-of-the-art conveniences – Air-conditioning, TV, DVD player, tea and coffee, a safe and a minibar. The bathrooms are small and spotless with shower tubs and lamps fit for a Roman palace. The rooms exude quiet charm, a world away from cold chain hotels and the mad bustle in the streets outside.
Food & drink
Perhaps the best Thai cuisine in Kolkata is served at Baan Thai. The yam phet yang, a roast duck salad with rambutan and water chestnuts is splendid and thalay yang, a mixed seafood platter of grilled lobster, steamed fish, prawn skewers, pan seared scallop and squid tempura will satisfy even the most jaded palate.
La Terrace offers an extensive menu of international, Indian and Bengali dishes. The galouti kebab, pan fried ground lamb patties makes for a tasty starter that virtually melts on one’s tongue, while the sarson mahi tikka, a Bay of Bengal bekti fish marinated with yoghurt and mustard and cooked in a tandoor, is equally delicious. International options stretch from rösti to mezze.
The best place for a pre-dinner drink is the laid back Chowringhee Bar which has a large selection of international and local spirits and a decent wine list.
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