The Ritz-Carlton’s first property in India lands in the Subcontinent’s tech capital of Bangalore
By Hannah Wasserman
Photos by Eleanor Horowitz
Debuting its first property in India, The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore provides the Subcontinent’s tech capital with a much-needed dose of internationally acclaimed luxury. Nitesh Estates Ltd., who manages a small empire of high-end home complexes around Bangalore, built The Ritz as its first foray in the hotel space. They spent seven years and an estimated US$150 million on the 46,500-square-meter property, which sticks out like a golden beacon on the rickshaw-laden, frenetic Residency Road. The views may be nothing to boast about with sights of worn, low-lying buildings, but highly attentive service and a discretionary budget allotted to each staff member to attend to guest’s personal needs makes The Ritz second to none in Bangalore.
The Look: Colossal pillars made of limestone imported from Jerusalem greet guests alighting from a dramatic stone and marble walkway that hugs the length of the building. Patrons are welcomed off the bustling street into a sanctuary free from the city’s constant honking, offending whiffs of trash, and crumbling sidewalks. The smell of the hotel’s signature Black Orchid perfume wafts through wide double doors, giving arriving guests their initial encounter with extravagance to come. The interior, by luxury design firm Peter Silling & Associates, is distinctly Indian, with Rajasthan’s lattice jali patterns throughout—from the driveway, to the rooms, and even in the chocolate pudding with saffron ice cream dessert. The property showcases 1,280 pieces of art handpicked by the hotel’s owner and real-estate tycoon, Nitesh Shetty, most notably from internationally acclaimed contemporary artists including Satish Gupta and Revati Sharma Singh. Revati created a series of abstract landscape paintings commissioned especially for the hotel. Artwork is displayed throughout the hotel, with each piece intended for its display location so it blends in seamlessly with the area.
The Rooms: The Ritz’s 227 rooms offer a myriad of suite options, including the Ritz-Carlton Suite, which houses a wine cellar, as well as a personal butler and chef upon request. Despite the super-luxurious amenities, rooms maintain a homey feel, from the famously soft Ritz-Carlton bedding with 100 percent cotton Italian Frette linens to the locally-made wicker laundry baskets. The lattice wooden window screen completes the modern Indian aesthetic. The nostalgic yet contemporary Bluetooth Trivoli Radio can fill the room with your personal tunes while you soak in the oversized Kohler tub with Asprey of London bath amenities. Maintaining Bangalore’s techie vibe, each room offers free Wi-Fi, a bedside room control panel, and an iPad with Retina display to make in-room orders, read the newspaper, or just browse the web.
The Appeal: The Ritz boasts three restaurants overseen by executive chef Anupam Banerjee, formally of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, including a multi-cuisine marketplace, three floors of dim sum dining, and an Indian fine dining outlet. Chef Banerjee likes to stick to the basics—each cuisine has the appeal of a homemade recipe made really, really well. After an abundant Banerjee meal, a trip to the 5,180-square-meter wellness floor may be in order. The Ritz Spa by ESPA may be one of the hotel’s finest features, with a holistic spa journey, beginning with a unique-to-Bangalore heat experience in the Thermal Suite featuring a steam room, sauna, vitality pool, and a relaxation lounge. The jali theme surfaces again in the spa’s offerings: the Jali Dreams treatment uses light and air circulation to enliven the treatment room and restore physical and emotion equilibrium. The wellness floor also features a salon by internationally acclaimed Rossano Ferretti and a large fitness center with the latest Technogym equipment.
The Surrounds: Encased with honking cars, auto rickshaws, and the occasional cow, the Ritz’s busy location provides easy access to some of the poshest areas of Bangalore. The city’s finest shopping centers and restaurants are just a few blocks away in UB City and Lavelle Road, including international classics such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry, and Bottega Veneta. If you’re looking for a stay close to the airport this may not be your best bet: Bengaluru International Aiport is 36 kilometers away by car (30 minutes without traffic and up to an hour with), which The Ritz can arrange for US$30. The location does provide easy access by foot to the Bangalore’s metro, only 15 minutes away, that can transport you to Indira Nagar, the city’s slick nightlife neighborhood with bars, restaurants, and shopping aplenty.
For those in the know… Nothing says gentlemen’s bar like a quirky accouterment: in the Ritz’s case it comes in the form of a cushioned bench swing with regal red and gold details. Wander down to The Ritz-Carlton Bar and enjoy a single malt while you hang suspended from the ceiling, looking out over the courtyard of The Lantern dim sum restaurant, as guests enjoy their meal with their feet firmly on the ground.
99, FM Cariappa Rd, Bangalore; 91- 80/491-48000; The Ritz-Carlton Bangalore; rooms from US$215
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