On Invitation Staycation

Staycation at Radisson Blu Atria

Tuesday, November 28, 2017ruthdsouzap

I have come to love staycations at star hotels! Getting pampered in the lap of luxury, good food, good drinks and not a care in the world for the weekend is just how I want a weekend to be. And only I know how few and far in between such breaks can be. The fact that this post is going up so much later than it should have is testimony enough. A while ago, we were invited to a staycation at the Radisson Blu Atria over a weekend. The idea was so welcome considering we wanted to go somewhere, but did not really want to drive to far. We were in the city, in case we chose to do something other than laze around and beating traffic from Jayanagar to Atria was a not really a challenge. Those of you who know what Bangalore's traffic is like will agree with me.

As the Atria Hotel, this property has been an intrinsic part of Bangalore's landscape. In my 17 years in this city, I have attended family functions, weddings, press conferences and events here galore. When it was taken over by the Radisson group I was quite keep to see how the old world charm of this hotel would be retained, while making way for something new and the with the times.

Domenico De Palo is the Chief Architect of the space. When you step into the lobby, its height is what takes your breath away. You can see all the way to the top floor while to your right, on a raised mezzanine floor is the coffee shop, which has a great array of tea on offer as well. A glass elevator takes you from the basement to the top floor and its quite an exhilarating ride up, with a lovely view of some indoor landscaping, waterbody and seating areas around the reception. The signature blue light that the space is bathed in begins right at the lobby.

A lot of work went into the refurbishing on the interiors. In fact, when Domenico first came to the hotel, he was accompanied by a translator. All of his initial sketches were translated into working drawings before many of his ideas were implemented. Naturally, existing structural set-up meant that certain ideas were not workable. Nevertheless, today we have a hotel that has quite a seamless feel to it.

Once we were checked in - a quick process, we were greeted with a traditional welcome of a tika with flowers. We were then escorted to our business class room on the top floor. Up the glass elevator we went (and we were going to do this quite a few times to follow) and into the room. The video below will take you through the entire space, a beautiful one - that overlooked a college campus, yet was well insulated from any news outside our window, or for that matter, outside our door.

On the table were lovely fruity spritzers along with some goodies from the bakery as part of our welcome.

The piece of towel art instantly caught the fancy of the little Missy

And what the video missed is large cupboard space,complete with a safe, ironing board, laundry bag and bathroom slip ons.

What I really liked about the room was that it was spacious, allowing each one of us to find a corner and claim it for our own. Things tend to get that way during a holiday, what with one wanting to read, another watch TV and the third get lost in cyber world. Yet everything was still at an arm's distance. In the bathroom, the bathtub was a huge hit and each one of reveled in it in our own happy ways. The rain shower is a pleasure and the throne quite a soundproof space!. 

 The Beautiful Entrance to One Atria Cafe

Just one of the plates that we loaded up on from the buffet
Lunch was the buffet at the all-day dining restaurant One Atria Cafe. I have always loved the food here. Nothing pretentious, well made and hearty. The options are enough to keep everyone in a family happy and the bar can also whip up some good stuff, besides the wines and beers that are popular. We snagged a place by the pool, in a semi-alfresco set-up, another spot in the hotel that we love. Post that, it was a nice siesta.

And after that siesta, our not-so-little-one woke up with a ravenous appetite and we thought of indulging her with something from the hotel's Tea and Wine Lounge. The receptionist gave us a great tip and told us to get the mixed bread basket. What came were warm croissants, berry rolls and sugared pastry. Served up with a side of butter and jam. There was happy kitten, who ate up and then promptly dived into the tub. 

We had our evening planned out in advance. Post a really refreshing siesta (I almost never sleep in the afternoons, except for some power naps to help me power through gruelling work schedules), we decided to start our evening early at The Whiskey Bar. Children are not allowed inside The Whiskey Bar, as a policy and so we moved our party of three to the poolside. This was a really nice choice - it was Bangalore's weather behaving its best, and turns out that a good friend of the husband was singing at a corporate do that was soon to start up.

Scenes from The Whiskey Bar

Considering we were sitting at the poolside, let me tell you a bit more about the space. The pool is a heated one (which I didn't know or else I would have jumped in at night - it rained in the day every time I thought I would). Its not made with regular blue tiles, but rather has a base of black granite. The stretch of wall across it has innovative candle boxes that are lit up and you have a waterfall cascading down it. 

So while we reveled in the beauty of this, I had the Blackthorn - Irish Whiskey, Dry Vermouth, Absinthe and Angostura bitters. Sudhakar stuck with a nice aged whiskey all through. To go with this we had some nachos with a classic salsa topped off with sliced olives. But the absolute highlight was the Erachi Varthadu - in a masala of tamarind, poppy seeds, coriander and green chilli. If there is one dish you plan to order here, please let it be this one!. 

The Blackthorn

A closer look at the Erachi Varthadu

After a leisurely session of drinking, the cold was beginning to get to me - especially since I was already nursing a bad throat. We decided it was time to head downstairs for a more substantial meal at Tijouri - the Indian restaurant on the property. Tijouri is placed in the basement and is a small restaurant and what immediately catches your eye is the very interesting distressed wood murals of Bollywood actresses and the open kitchen. 

All these pictures of the murals are by Anoushka

I was nursing a bad throat which a member of the staff very discreetly picked up as I found my way from The Whiskey Bar to Tijouri. Just as we were about to be seated, he asked me if I would like a Hot Toddy and I nodded in the affirmative, pleased as punch that he offered. And that was one really good hot toddy.

Tijouri, in all honesty, needs to make louder noise about itself. Serving up North Indian food done really well, there are very few places in Bangalore who can claim to do a good job. Tijouri definitely finds itself on this list. Don't look for authentic, because that can be very subjective. Go there for the great tasting food. 

The idea here was not to go on a binge but to really sit back and enjoy. We stayed away from the shorbas even though they looked fab. Some roasted papad while we waited for our mains to come. I was fascinated to hear about a Bhindi Palak Sabzi and this was the first thing we ordered. Along with that, we got some Nalli ki Salan. This we paired with some Khasta Roti and some Sheermal buns. 
Top Row Right - Roasted papad, Bhindi Palak Sabzi, Nalli ki Salan, Khasta Roti
and Sheermal Buns

A look at this grand meal. 

The Chef would not hear about us leaving without dessert and some Khubani Ka Meeta and some Phirni it was. A really delicious end to a great meal.

A really great late night of family movie watching and a good sleep later, we welcomed Sunday morning. The breakfast buffet beckoned and though we did indulge, we saved space for the Sunday Brunch. An hour after breakfast, junior and father got into the pool, though the seriously chilly window brought them both squealing back out very soon. It was back to the tub for us all.

This was how beautiful breakfast was that Sunday morning.

We wrapped up a really wonderful stay at the Radisson with their Sunday Brunch, which let me tell you, also includes the use of the pool too. Click on the picture to get a detailed lowdown on the Sunday brunch at Radisson Blu Atria. 

Our staycation at the Radisson Blu was seriously something the doctor prescribed and we loved every moment of it. What I really appreciated was the fact that despite being a full house, with two wedding parties staying at the hotel, never once was being full up used as an excuse for any sort of tardiness. There was never a delay in anything. The service is unobstrusive but very observant and all your little needs are anticipated before you actually request for anything. Not many in the hospitality industry do that these day. So next time you plan a break, the Radisson may just be where you want to head. 

Radisson Blu Atria
Address: #1 Palace Road, Ambedkar Veedhi, Sampangiramanagar, Bangalore
Indian and International
Accepts cards: Yes
Serves Alcohol: Yes
Parking: Valet

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