On my business trip to India, we spent a few days in the south of the country, in Chennai. There are some excellent hotels here, and while there we stayed at the ITC Grand Chola, which is affiliated with Starwood Preferred Guest. Like my stay at the Westin Gurgaon, I successfully used Suite Night Awards to upgrade my room to a suite.
A view of the ITC Grand Chola from the interior courtyard and pool
The ITC Grand Chola is a large new property with 600 rooms, including suites and serviced apartments. It is part of the ITC chain of luxury hotels in India but is managed by Starwood, and participates in the SPG program. I had to get some manual intervention for my upgrades to clear, but it worked, and the room was quite lovely. This would be a great property to relax and enjoy, but as is typical on my business trips, I didn’t have much time here other than to sleep. There is also a Park Hyatt near this property, and while it was tempting, that hotel was significantly more expensive, and I still tend to ‘reserve’ Park Hyatt stays for vacation trips with my wife, since they really are special.
A property this large can be a bit overwhelming, but the public areas are very nice, with lots of marble. This hotel was opened in 2012, so it still is new and fresh.
Large staircase near the main reception area
Once to my room, I was quite impressed by the very large, well appointed space. It consisted of a sitting area, and a bedroom with a desk and bathroom in between. Here are some views of the room.
Sitting room near the entry door. A couch, some chairs, and a decent TV
King bedroom with another TV and a fancy daybed
Bathroom with a tub and separate shower
Plus his and her sinks and gender specific bathroom amenities
The desk was between the main rooms, which could be closed off with sliding doors
A large walk in closet, with my terribly wrinkled suit jacket.
Floor plan which showed my large room, more than double the standard size
Other features in the room included iPads to control lights and environmental controls.
There were actually 2 iPads in my room, one for the bedroom, and another for the sitting room. There were also countless water bottles spread throughout the room, especially after evening turn down service.
Additionally, there were various welcome amenities provided. They offered me fresh juice upon arrival, and I opted for watermelon. Besides that, there was a large fruit basket, plus an assortment of cookies/snacks in the room.
Fresh watermelon juice was brought to my room as a welcome
Extensive fruit basket, although the options weren’t very exotic.
A plate of suites was also provided when I arrived.
Plus some dried fruit, cookies and snack mix as well
As I mentioned, I didn’t spend much time here other than to sleep. I only stayed 2 nights, and I arrived late the first night, and departed in the morning on my last day. I did have the opportunity to use the fitness center, which was large and well equipped. Then again for a 600 room property, I suppose it wasn’t that large, but there was only one other guest there when I used it. It is near the pool area, which is in the photo at the top of this page.
There are also multiple restaurants on property. I had breakfast in the buffet restaurant which was included in my rate. This was very impressive as is typical in hotel buffets in luxury hotels in Asia. There was a wide variety of options, mostly south Indian cuisine, but other options too. I also ate one night in the north Indian restaurant on site, Peshawri, which was excellent.
Another nice feature of my stay was free laundry service. It was rather early in my trip, but it was still useful. Up to 4 pieces per stay are complimentary for guests in towers rooms. My suite was in the towers wing, so this proved useful.
Free laundry for towers guest
The ITC Grand Chola was a very nice property for my brief visit to Chennai. It helped having Starwood Platinum status, but even without it, this is a good property, and the current rates allow for luxury stays for less cost than many other places. I’m always game for a Park Hyatt experience, but if I return to Chennai and the price is right, I wouldn’t hesitate to return to the ITC Grand Chola