5 star On Invitation

Staycation at The Den, Bengaluru

Tuesday, June 26, 2018ruthdsouzap

I have really come to like the idea of a staycation. You don't have to wait for a long weekend - just pick a weekend, make a booking and head out for a leisurely break that doesn't have you driving too far as well. We have been on quite a few staycations and were recently invited to spend the weekend at The Den, Bengaluru, in Whitefield.

So let's talk a little about the Den shall we? The hotel in Whitefield, Bangalore, a stone's throw from ITPL is the first in India from an Israeli brand, Dan Hotels. The 220 room hotel positions itself as a luxury hotel for the working millennial who likes a well-equipped place to work out of if needed and a luxurious space to retire to at the end of the day. The Den ticks off all the right boxes in this regard. The Den offers separate entrances for banquets and hotel entry ensuring guests never have to wait too long for valet services or end up in a crowded lobby. And that is just the beginning. 

Step into the hotel and you are welcomed by staff that has been trained to anticipate your arrival. Don't be surprised if you are greeted by name and be told that you were being expected. The check-in process is smooth and like most hotels. Since check-in is around lunch time, the staff will even ask if you would like to proceed for lunch first and check in post a good meal. Small thoughts that go a long way. 

The lobby is L-shaped. Just past the reception is a nice seating area, that overlooks a water body that flows through a large part of the outer landscaping of the hotel. Kids will have a field day following the path of the flowing water. To the right you have the bank of elevators going to the guest rooms, further on you have the Deli and then the restaurants - but more on that later. 

A good safety feature for the elevators is that you need your room key card to be able to go to the higher floors. The hotel thoughtfully gives you two key cards for the family room. 

We were given what is called the corner room - an entire wall and part of another done up in glass giving you a brilliant view of Whitefield, especially when you are placed on the 8th floor. In fact, on the first evening we were there, we saw the rains coming in towards us from distance, lashing everything in sight, causing the landscape to be covered in a curtain of water and then moving on. What a mesmerizing sight. 

What you see next below is the walk-through of the room we stayed in. A compact room for three - with all the facilities that you will need. I personally loved the design of the room - especially the rolling doors that separate the bathroom from the bedroom, yet give you strategic access to TV viewing if you would so like. Again, its the small things that count - an emergency light that switches on if there is an unexpected power outage, slated flooring and grips in the shower and around the bath tub. And the highlight- an espresso machine and bath tub in every room, irrespective of the category of room. Now how is that for some luxury?

(Don't missing the cute little trunk atop which bags may be kept - it even has drawers. There is one in every category of room. And all the bathrooms are 4-point bathrooms - which a separate shower, tub and toilet cubicles and spacious sink area). 

And moving onto the entertainment options (because there has to be something more than a great restaurant and some good drink, when you are on a break). Step into The Playhouse, which is just off the Nest, the in-house bar. The Playhouse offers you a full size pool table, a WII room and a room with the latest Playstation and digital Pacman tables that offer you games for one or for two players. Enjoy some me time here or make some new acquaintances over a friendly game. This is a space for adults and kids alike. 

And then you have The Cave - with two movie screenings a day and the option to connect to Netflix. Plush seating, with a choice of F&B coming in from the Creek or the Nest and sit back and enjoy. 

If your idea of relaxing is hitting the gym, then The Studio at the Den is open round-the-clock and you can choose to ask for a personal trainer as well. Set just off the pool area, this is a compact gym, with everything that you will need for a good workout. The plus point, is the cold pressed juice bar right outside. 
The hotel has an infinity pool of 4ft depth which makes for a nice time if you are so inclined. I personally loved the seating options around the pool - comfortable sofas, recliners and cabanas. Here too you have friendly staff checking in on you every few minutes, offering you a bottle of water and being hospitable. 

The Infinity Pool

The Sanctuary is the in-house spa and not a placed that has been contracted to an external service. The menu here offers facials, massages for head and body and basic beauty treatments of manicures and pedicures. And the nice little addition to this space? An open-air sunbathing nook attached to spa area, yet secluded enough to give you your privacy. The massage rooms are for a single person or for a couple. They also have a dry sauna. Every ritual begins with some ginger tea and ends with a lemon green tea. I opted for the half hour head massage with Ayurvedic oils and came out a very satisfied little kitten. 

As with most hotels of this stature, The Den offers banqueting services as well and has two halls that can be expanded into a single large hall. Judging from the constant events I saw happening there all through the weekend that we spent there, I am guessing this has become a popular venue. What's more, is that not once, did the sounds from the parties - whether by the poolside or at the halls permeate into the main lobby or restaurant areas. Nice acoustics management here. 

The hotel also has an Executive Lounge, which will be soon on offer along with the Club Rooms for the busy executive. It will a lounge with drinks and small plates on offer and will graduate to offering breakfast as well. It has a small work center and is ideal for meetings as well. 

There are two boardrooms that are provided for meetings arranged in the classic boardroom as as well as the school style set-up. Each one is equipped with drop down screens, projectors and all the necessary technology to be plugged in at all times. These too have collapsible doors which allows for an enlargement of the space. They also have an auditorium set-up for screenings or presentations and lectures. 


Now that I have covered all of what the hotel has to offer, let me come to the most delicious part - the food at The Creek. This is the only full-fledged restaurant for the hotel and you would think that 4 meals over 2 days at the same place may turn boring - honestly, I did too, but I was happy to be proven wrong. 

The Executive Chef of the restaurant said that his idea was to do away with impossibly large buffets where the choice is overwhelming. He believes that this is a trend that many restaurants are now adopting now. The buffet spreads at The Creek follow the simple idea of including dishes that one is familiar with and others, which are not over-the-top exotic, but which you would not really cook at home and would rather enjoy in a restaurant.

The restaurant has nice open kitchens where the live stations are placed - irrespective of which meal you are there for, there is always a live counter going - for eggs, dosas and pancakes, pastas, grills and more. What I particularly appreciated is that even the chefs manning the very busy burners will take some time out to come talk to you, help you make a choice, open a dish and help you serve yourself. Every day sees a few specials that the chefs will introduce to the menu and so there is always something new to try. 

Right outside the Creek is The Nest - a lovely bar space that offers some great Indian and international wines and cocktails. There is also a cigar bar with a decent selection for you to choose from. 

Back again to the food at the Creek - Let's go meal-wise shall we? At breakfast I especially loved that there were multiple chutneys to choose from for my dosas - both dry and freshly ground. The dry fruit and cheese platters along with the options of salads - where you could make your own, or pick from the ones made by the chefs were great. Fresh juices coming to the table were exceptionally good. And making the most of Bangalore's good weather - you may choose to sit outdoors as well. 

We were there for two lunches - a regular lunch and the Sunday Father's day Special Brunch. While the regular lunch and dinner had great choices, this was only further expanded on for the Sunday brunch. The live counters were placed outside and you had some great choices of Khowseuys, Chaats and Shawarma going. The Whole Roasted Suckling pig was quite a joy, and on a buffet I have never seen such a collection of seafood - from lobsters to clams to oysters to octopus, crabs and more, there was so much for choose from. The dessert counters are great with options for seasonal fruits and desserts as well as many other indulgent ones. There are also several cold cut based dishes as well as gravalax and carpaccio that we totally loved. 

Our stay at the The Den, Bengaluru was a lovely one. Pleasant, away from the humdrum that can be city life, yet placed right in the center of it all. A staycation here was just what we needed and we came back rejuvenated and ready to go!

Reservations: International Call
Tel: +91 80 71117222
Toll-Free: 18001237222
Check them out on - The Den Hotel

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