Wood apple aka Bellada hannu as it is called in Kannada is considered one among the most auspicious fruits offered to Lord Shiva. Along with “bilwa patre” which is used during puja on Shivaratri, it is customary to have wood apple juice on the festival. While I missed on the latter at home this year, I was pleasantly surprised when I was offered the delectable, tangy-sweet panakam as a welcome drink at Grand Mercure, Gopalan Mall.
Served chilled with a hint of cardamom and presented artistically in the hard shell of the fruit, this was indeed a perfect start to my staycation at the newly opened hotel located on Swami Vivekananda road in namma Bengaluru.
Hoysala themed Interiors
Located right next to the signature Gopalan Mall, the grand façade of the hotel inspired by the Hoysala school of architecture is hard to miss. The pleasing sound of the nadaswaram, the traditional welcome and the showering of rose petals after the mandatory temperature check and sanitization struck the right notes as I stood admiring the magnificent interiors.
The décor and interiors of the hotel have a regal and opulent vibe and is in sync with the Hoysala theme. Ornate sculptures, eclectic panels, grandiose lighting, antique themed artefacts peppered with plenty of paintings, wall art and indigenous craft make the hotel a design and art lovers’ delight. With Instagram worthy corners and photo opportunities at every step, the décor of the hotel certainly deserves a separate post.
Essence of Karnataka
In sync with the philosophy of the Grand Mercure brand, the hotel is an ode to the culture of Karnataka with special offerings for guests to experience the art, craft and cuisine of Karnataka. Whether it is the all-pervading subtle fragrance of Mysore sandalwood mixed with vetiver, the coffee tasting session (Bababudangiri in Karnataka is the birthplace of coffee in India) at the lobby bar aptly named 1026 AD (the year that marks the beginning of the mighty Hoysala empire) or the thoughtfully curated culture walk within the hotel that highlights several aspects of Karnataka’s rich history and heritage, the hotel manages to successfully showcase the nuances of namma state.
The hotel offers a perfect balance of local and global flavours. 1026 AD with its chic interiors serves an interesting mix of native snacks like the Mangalore buns along with speciality coffees like the Vietnamese, Turkish, Chemex and vacuum coffee. It is key to note that the coffee beans are sourced from the oldest organic estate in Yelligudige, Chikmagalur. The alfresco space on the ground floor is ideal for an evening dinner or casual party with friends or family and offers a lovely ambience.
La Utsav is the multi cuisine all day dining on the first floor. The expansive breakfast menu includes the recreation of lost recipes and a few signature dishes from Karnataka like the ragi puttu.
The fare at lunch also incorporates local specialties like the ragi roti, Dharwad peda and the melt in your mouth Mysore pak.
Apart from this the menu includes a melange of global cuisines, catering to guests with a variety of tastes. Basically, it offers something for every age and palate!
World class amenities
With a whopping 221 rooms including 29 suites, 1 ballroom, multiple meeting and banquet spaces, the hotel is ideal for families and business travellers alike. It is also a perfect destination for corporate meetings, conferences, weddings, exhibitions and social events. The tastefully done up rooms are elegant, contemporary and offer a balance between aesthetics and functionality. The apartment styled suites are replete with a state of the art kitchenette and a private terrace.
The hotel also boasts of a gym and spa on the fifth floor. Do not miss the intriguing library on the same floor which is a blessing for the long staying guest as well a bibliophile’s delight. Within the library is also a game zone where you can try your hand at foosball or table tennis. The presence of traditional board games of Karnataka like Ali Guli Mane and Pagade in the game zone was something that won my heart.
The hotel also holds art events on a regular basis including art shows, artist interactions and the like.
The hotel is located about 3.5 km from Byappanahalli metro station and is in close proximity to Bangalore’s happening areas like Koramangala, Indranagar and Whitefield. Incorporating the highest standards of safety, hygiene and hospitality, Grand Mercure Gopalan Mall is sure the new hotel on the block to watch out for!
Contact: Tel: +9108068430000/ Email: H8908-RE@ACCOR.COM
Disclaimer: This post was made possible by Grand Mercure, Gopalan Mall. Opinions, as always, my own.