Who would dare to buy a 500 year old hotel in which 100 people had died due to cholera? Well in 1938 Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi, the founder of the Oberoi chain of hotels and now a legendary name around the globe was bold enough to do that.
Over the years, the Oberoi group has surpassed all standards of luxury hospitality with a quintessential touch of outstanding aesthetic architecture. After Mohan Singh’s death his son Biki Oberoi has taken the group to the next level of hospitality, making most of his hotels, the best in the world in many different categories. Calcutta has many landmarks, the Grand Hotel is one of those. One that is symbolic to the city’s grand old past, a reminiscent of the Raj that made this city its capital. Originally, a private mansion of Colonel Grand, which was later converted into a boarding house by Mrs Annie Monk who also expanded it. Finally it went to the hands of Mr Arathoon Stephen, an Armenian from Isfahan who purchased it and converted it into its present state. The hotel had a major uplift when around 4000 soldiers boarded the mansion during the Second World War.
With its gleaming off white colour, vintage chandeliers, attractive handmade carpets, a massive Victorian ballroom and a inner courtyard adorned with palm trees and heritage facades; the Grand is a piece of tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. The website describes the hotel as a business hotel too. With its 24 hours open business centre, legendary restaurants serving Thai and multi cuisine food and being a host to innumerable business summits, the hotel qualifies as a modern heritage hotel with the impeccable service standards of the Oberoi group.
Service, service and service, the emblem of the Oberoi’s are evident in every corner of the hotel. The staff surely make you live like an aristocratic of the late 1800’s. The breakfast spread might possibly be the best in the city. The various categories of rooms are spacious, vintage and cozy with the Luxury Suites having an area of 84 sq feet. The inner courtyard houses a spacious pool with a bar.
The hotel is conveniently located at Chowringhee (a signature drink they serve) the heart of the city. Babughat (also a signature drink they make) beside the Ganges is a stones throw away. Similarly, New Market (Hogg’s Market), Indian Museum, Park Street, Maidan, The Esplanade, you name it, its near you. Moreover, the balconies overlooking the city give you a breathtaking view of the cityscape with the towering Howrah Bridge.
Royal Service, the regal past, the bluesy piano tunes, modern amenities paired with a 125 year old heritage embracing the essence of Calcutta, the Grand continues to gleam brighter, with every passing day!
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