November was a manic month for both of us – after 4 months of continuous travelling around North and Central America, we had a whole list of assignments that needed completion. As a result we spent most of November hunched over our laptops in complete isolation. What a welcome to India eh?! As December rolled in, we promised to book ourselves an impromptu weekend getaway somewhere in India – convenient flights and a few stray comments left by Bruised Passports’ readers in Bengaluru prompted us to choose Bengaluru.
A couple of days later we found ourselves there, with a romantic staycation voucher at Shangri-La Bengaluru on us. To be honest, we were just expecting to stretch our limbs, explore a city neither of us had ever visited, sample some local food, and fly back to New Delhi. As it turns out, the weekend had MUCH more in store for us. Read on to find out 8 things that made our weekend in Bengaluru special:
I) Personalised welcome – with fresh flower crowns!
You know what I always say – I’d rather be found with flowers in my hair than diamonds on my neck! It’s no secret – I love prancing in flower crowns. So imagine my surprise when I found out guests are greeted with bespoke flowers crowns made from fresh flowers at Shangri-La Bengaluru – rest assured, I checked in with the hugest smile on my face and kept my yellow & purple flower crown by my bedside during the length of our stay there.
II) THAT Spa
2 of our closest friends live in Bengaluru. When we asked them for suggestions before our trip, they gave us the names of lots of different local hangouts and hole-in-the-wall eateries. But both of them recommended the decadent spa at Shangri-La. We were thoroughly intrigued! To be honest, we just need the slightest excuse to book ourselves a spa appointment, so we booked the couples room for 90 minute long aromatic body massages.
Now the CHI Spa at Shangri-La doesn’t offer scenic views of the city (for a scenic spa try Maya Ubud) – instead it offers an expansive sanctuary of peace and quiet amidst the hustle bustle of the metropolis. As for the body massage, it was one of the most relaxing we’ve ever experienced and we’ve done our research in 70+ countries 😉 . The masseuses hands worked such magic on us that Vid was actually sleeping at the end of the 90 minutes. This was also the first time we saw heated massage beds at a spa (what a genius idea!), that only stepped up the decadence a notch!
III) Breakfasts of Kings
Nothing screams romantic like breakfast in bed. If I had my we’d wake up to a healthy spread and lots of fresh flowers by my bedside everyday. Unfortunately that’s not possible. But at Shangri-La Bengaluru I lived out that dream just a little. The B Café has a large variety of breakfast smoothies, fresh fruits, continental cheeses and cold cuts, and local breakfast foods. But the two of us decided to sleep in and order room service for breakfast (errr brunch) almost everyday. Cue croissants and chocolates on a window pane overlooking Bangalore Palace or dosas (savoury crepes), poached eggs, and coffee while watching Netflix in bed – the choice is entirely yours – psst choose both 😉
Here’s why the month of December ’16 will go down as the month of most indulgent breakfasts ever for the two of us:
IV) Ease of exploring Bengaluru
Languorous breakfasts are all ok but you can’t come back without exploring a new place can you? I know we can’t! Ergo a hotel apt for a city break needs to be located in close proximity to the city’s prime attractions. I think we did pretty well on that front because we could see Bangalore Palace from our room’s window.
Here’s a couple of places you definitely need to check out when you’re in Bengaluru:
- Bangalore Palace: Its royal facade is reminiscent of England’s smaller castles. Take a walk inside – expect bright yellow walls, crumbling facades, and spacious courtyards. Entry fee – INR 230/person, INR 685/still camera
- Cubbon Park: The historic park is located in the middle of the Bengaluru’s action and provides a respite from the city’s hustle bustle. Pack a picnic or drop by for a stroll. If you’re lucky, you might get to see its trademark pink trees in full bloom.
- Hole-in-the-wall eateries: There is no shortage of famous eateries serving all sorts of delectable delights in Bengaluru. Try CTR’s (Central Tiffin Room) or MTR’s (Mavalli Tiffin Room) famed masala dosas. There are queues but the food makes it worth it.
- Breweries: Indiranagar and Koramangala have a high concentration of independent cafés, ice-cream parlours, and eateries. There are also some fun breweries like Big Brewsky and The Biere Club you should try if you’re fond of locally brewed beer
V) Sunsets from a rooftop terrace bar
Craft beers are all well and good but if you like to your drinks to go with panoramic views, then you need to make your way right back to your hotel’s 19th floor. Shangri-La’s famous Hype Bar is a sprawling terrace bar that offers great views and an array of spirits, finger foods, and colourful cocktails. Reach the glitzy bar at sunset and watch the city’s twinkling lights come up as you nurse a drink or two 🙂
VI) The food
Excuse me for resorting to hyperbole every time I talk about food while we are in India. I’ve said this before but I will say this again – food is serious business in India and we love that. We tried almost all the restaurants at Shangri-La Bengaluru and really enjoyed North Indian delicacies at Ssaffron, Japanese food at Yataii and Mediterranean fare at Caprese.
Even if you live in Bengaluru or you’re staying in another hotel just drop by Yataii for some miso soup, intricate baskets made of nori wraps, and their scrumptious matcha ice-cream served on a bed of delicate crépes. If you prefer European food, stop by Caprese – Shangri-La’s Italian restaurant – for a meal. Try the deconstructed tiramisu topped with dollops of velvety mascarpone cheese or their signature Caprese salad, put together using freshly made Burrata cheese. I promise you this – you will come back for seconds 🙂
VII) It’s always the little touches
Over the past 15 years we’ve visited hundreds of thousands of hotels and homestays together. Less than 100 have actually made it to the blog. So many hotels have well-appointed rooms and luxurious bathrooms. But it’s always the little touches that make a property truly special and in this case, blogworthy.
A Romantic Staycation package at Shangri-La Bengaluru comes with little surprises like a bottle of champagne and fresh flowers in the room and edible photo-frames made of chocolate (nom). That’s not all. Cars used for airport transfers and sightseeing are equipped with wifi and the gym has state-of-the-art treadmills which we used everyday. These little things made our luxurious getaway truly memorable.
VIII) The best for last – Meeting YOU GUYS 🙂
Our impromptu readers meetup in Bengaluru was one of our favourite ones yet! It’s been weeks but we still cannot believe so many of you came to see us at a moment’s notice at Shangri-La’s lobby lounge. We know the event was all booked out (the hotel staff ran out of space in the Lobby Lounge) so we couldn’t put any more names on the guest list. But we promise to be back in Bengaluru soon 🙂 For those of you who DID come to the meet up, thanks for all the love, gifts, and kind words – we are forever grateful. You made our city break in Bengaluru so much more special.
Our romantic staycation package at Shangri-La included perks such as free breakfast in bed, couples massage, 5 course meal et al. Prices start at £160/INR 16000 per night.
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