After having spent a week in an ashram in Rishikesh, India, in what I call “monk furnished”, where the toilet seat fell on the floor every time you sat on it, and the monkeys woke you up at 3 a.m. by running across the ceiling, and the mosquitos thought that you were their new diet, I was definitely in the mood for that clean, quiet, and (forgive me) luxurious home feeling. I had also accidentally been given some “native” water in Rishikesh, and so where I stayed next and the comfort level of my temporary “home away from home” was now, very very important!
Problem was, Bangalore was my next stop, and I had to stay near my videographers house in an old part of town to make sure that his crew kept a steady pace editing my new film before I left India.
So where to stay?
I asked around and Bindu, one of my Indian friends mentions that there is this business hotel not far from my videographers house called, “The Atria”.
“It’s not a 5 star hotel, it’s only a 4 star, but it feels like a 5 star” Bindu said.
Bindu hadn’t been at the ashram, so she had no idea that even a 4 star hotel was now sounding really good. Ashram life definitely promotes flexibility!
“No problem” I said. “Let me look it up on Expedia and see what the cost comparisons are to the other hotels”.
“Either The Atria has some huge problem with it or I’ve just struck gold Bindu!”
After researching on Expedia, I found out that The Atria, was the least expensive 4 star hotel in Bangalore, by almost half!
After seeing the rates of the hotel, I jokingly said to Bindu, “Must be some dog of a place!”
“No Janet, it’s not like that. I know the people who run the place, and it’s a very nice hotel. Go and see” she said.
So off we went.
I was really hoping for the best, as I wasn’t feeling totally 100% with my “delhi belly physiology”.
“We’re already there?” I said. Amazed that it was just a few miles away from my videographers home.
Starting to feel a little dizzy and creepy inside my body, I said under my breath as Bindu and I entered the hotel,
“Please let this be a win”.
Immediately I could feel that my prayers had been answered.
“There is a God!” I thought, as I walked in and surveyed my soon to be “new home”.
It wasn’t 5 star luxurious like the Oberoi, but it had a really clean, open and warm feeling.
I loved the openness of the lobby and the high ceilings and there was a restaurant right off the main lobby, and from what I could see, looked like a really nice one.
Bindu saw me eyeing the restaurant and said, “My family comes here all the time for special dinners Janet, you’ll enjoy eating here. This hotel has 3 restaurants and they are all really good! They have an Indian Restaurant called Tijouri that serves authentic Hindustani delicacies, and they have “Silk Winds” which has Szechuan, Cantonese, Japanese, Thai and Malaysian delicacies, and they have a really nice coffee shop downstairs from the lobby that has a great morning buffet that’s part of the cost of your room .
“All are excellent Janet” she continued. “Even me and my girlfriends come for our parties here. We’ll bring my kids and Ashok and we’ll all have dinner with you some night”.
I was definitely into food, so this was great news!
Of course, for me, what “seals the deal” are the people who run and work in the place and I had to admit, everyone was incredibly friendly from the moment I got out of my car.
Feeling tired from my trip from the Himalayas, I said good-bye to Bindu and checked into the hotel.
Longing to just lay on my bed and close my eyes, I was immediately led to my room.
It was “love at first sight!”.
Big screen t.v. , tastily furnished contemporary furniture, wood floors, a little seating area, my own office desk, 2 phones, a nice display of snacks and, not only did my modern bathroom have a bath and a shower, the shower was also a steam room as well!
“Is there hi-speed internet here?” I asked the concierge.
“Of course Madam” he replied with a smile.
As I lay my head on the bed, I immediately become aware of the feel of new soft white sheets against my skin. And the bed, well, it felt better than my own at home, and that was saying a lot!
“As soon as I take a nap, I’ll go down to the restaurant and see if Bindu’s recommendation hold true! ” I thought to myself as I dropped into a dreamy sleep.
“I’ll have vegetarian spring rolls, coconut soup, noodles and vegetable medley with your special sauce and a sweet lime soda” I told the waiter in the Silk Wind’s Restaurant.
As soon as I took my first bite of food, I knew Bindu was right. This restaurant was really really good! The coconut soup was one of the best I had ever tasted, and the noodles and the vegetables with their special sauce were amazing.
“Dessert Madam?” my waiter asked.
“There’s no room!” I said. I’m completely full! I exclaimed.
The waiter and I both laughed as we surveyed my empty bowls and plates on the table which were filled with a lot of food just an hour earlier.
“We have a full service bar if you want to just relax and have a nice glass of wine or after dinner drink” he said.
“Thank you”, I replied.
“No problem Madam” he smiled.
The restaurants, the staff, the room, they were really great.
“Maybe I should hold a Passion Test Conference here” I thought to myself. People would love the rooms and the food.
“Do you have a conference room here?” I asked as I paid my dinner bill.
“We do Madam, 7 altogether” he replied.
The conference rooms were both big and cozy at the same time. Glancing around the rooms, I sensed that I could have anywhere from 10 to 1000 people if I chose to have a Passion Test seminar here. Now that would be fun! Wait until I tell my business partner, Chris hears about this good news!
Another glorious find for all of my readers who travel to India!
For more information on The Atria you can go to www.atriahotel.com