by Santorini Dave • Updated: July 1, 2019
Swissôtel Kolkata – Much better than just an airport hotel, with mall attached and stunning pool.
Close to the airport and used mainly by transit passengers, the Swissôtel is actually one of the city’s finest for three significant reasons. Firstly, it’s part of a complex that includes the western-style City Centre New Town mall, which houses numerous shops, cafés, and familiar fast food outlets. Secondly, it boasts the sort of pool found at five-star resorts in Bali, rooftop, with those infinity edges that somehow blend into the horizon. And lastly, the suites are very luxurious, some with jacuzzis along private outdoor terraces. What’s more, the facilities – from the business center to the spa – are world-class. And did we mention the pool?
Swissôtel Kolkata – The Location
- Address: Biswa Bangla Sarani Road, in Rajarhat (also called Chinar Park or New Town). Near the airport.
- Area: Amidst a lively business and shopping district, with a substantial mall next door. The backstreets are safe and interesting to wander around.
- How to Get There: Taxis from the pre-paid counters at the airport take 10 minutes (4km), but guests may be entitled to 1 or 2-way airport transfers, depending on the room booked. From the main railway station (Howrah), the hotel is 50-60 minutes (15km) by taxi. See Local Transport below for more information about taxis and the metro.
- Handy to: Airport.
Swissôtel Kolkata – The Basics
- Guests: Most are airline passengers, but also some business people.
- Views: Not fabulous, but with just a few high-rises nearby, views are better than rivals.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Some suites and executive rooms feature jacuzzis along private outdoor terraces.
- Extras: Club Lounge access for guests in the suites.
- Wi-Fi: Free throughout for all guests.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +91 (0)33 6626 6666
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: swissotel.com
Swissôtel Kolkata – Amenities
- Pool: Truly stunning rooftop pool. The sort found at top-end Bali resorts, with infinity edges that seem to merge with the horizon. Palm trees and lounge chairs add to the tropical island vibe.
- Spa: On the rooftop, Pürovel Sport uses Swiss products and techniques. Extensive range of massages and facials infinitely better than most hotels in the city center.
- Fitness Center: Part of the spa complex, a little undersized but still well-equipped. Faces the pool and provides city views.
- Other Facilities: Business center (open 24/7).
Swissôtel Kolkata – Food and Drink
- Restaurants & Bars: Café Swiss – Bright and airy, it also offers a terrace overlooking the atrium inside the attached mall. Open-plan kitchens serving buffet breakfasts and a la carte items from the eclectic menu. Open 24 hours. • Durbari – Sophisticated décor and long menu of traditional Indian cuisine. • Splash – Rooftop lounge with garden setting, intimate tables, and splendid views (mostly of the airport). Finger food and special cocktails. • Maaya – Trendy DJs and dance floor for the hip crowd.
- Breakfast: Included in the more expensive rooms and all suites. Otherwise, pay for it at the time.
- Room Service: Available 24/7.
Swissôtel Kolkata – Rooms
- Room Types: Classic Rooms • Swiss Advantage Rooms • Swiss Executive Rooms (some with jacuzzis) • Executive Suites (some with jacuzzis) • Junior Suites (some with jacuzzis)
- Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms or public areas.
- Best Room: The Executive Suites with jacuzzi are very spacious and relaxing. Substantial deck, plenty of outdoor furniture, and luxury throughout.
- For Families: No rooms or suites are especially designed for families, but there’s plenty of space in the rooms for 1 extra single bed, and for 2 singles in the suites. Otherwise, book rooms with connecting doors.
Swissôtel Kolkata – Local Transport
- Walking: Plenty of shops, cafés, and bars along the main road, which has sidewalks, but is dangerous to cross. Wander around the backstreets for a glimpse of Indian suburban life.
- Public Transport: Buses career along the main road at breakneck speeds but are of no use to tourists. The Kolkata Metro is also not practical, and won’t fully reach the airport and the surrounding areas until about mid-2021.
- Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: Unmetered ‘taxis’ (which are just private cars) hang about outside. For something far cheaper, flag down a yellow taxi (with no air-conditioning) or blue-and-white one (with air-con). They have meters, but drivers need to be pressured into using them. Metered taxis and auto-rickshaws can be found at the junction about 200m up the street (turn right from the hotel doors). Rides can also be booked using Uber and Ola apps. Cycle-rickshaws are available for short trips.
Swissôtel Kolkata – What’s Nearby?
Restaurants & Bars
- One definite advantage of staying at the Swissôtel is that it’s literally attached to the City Centre New Town mall (see below), which is home to McDonald’s, KFC, an extensive food court, and several tempting cafés.
- Jiban Jamuna – Nice setting, friendly staff, and Bengali, Chinese, and Thai cuisine. About 200m, heading away from the mall. 3-minute walk.
- Domino’s – Pizza joint familiar to many. In Hotel Pipal Tree on the other side of the road from the Swissôtel. 9-minute walk (650m).
- Holiday Inn – The second-best hotel in the area offers: Social Kitchen (bright and cheerful, with all-day dining, including buffets at breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and Urban Kitchen & Bar (tasty grills and signature cocktails, with live music on most nights). About 1km, walking away from the mall. 9-minute walk.
- Access to the substantial and western-style City Centre New Town mall is also possible from several points within Swissôtel because the hotel is part of the same building. The mall offers abundant places to shop and eat, as well as a cineplex showing the latest Bollywood blockbusters.
- Dakshineswar Kali Temple – Historic Hindu temple, built in 1855, featuring a vast courtyard, 12 shrines dedicated to Shiva, a Radha-Krishna temple, and a bathing ghat by the riverfront. 26-minute drive (14km).
- Mother House – Also known as Missionaries of Charity, it houses the tomb of Mother Teresa as well as her photographs, awards, articles, and belongings. The description of work done by her charity is eye-opening. 45-minute drive (14km).
- Howrah Bridge – This famous Kolkata landmark is the world’s busiest and sixth biggest cantilever bridge. Built in 1943, it connects Kolkata with the important Howrah Station, and features wide footpaths full of pedestrians on both sides. 45-minute drive (15km).
- The must-see Indian Museum is the country’s largest and oldest. It houses a world-class collection of ancient artifacts from India and beyond, along with Raj-era relics housed in an occasionally frustrating manner. Open from 10 am to 6.30 pm on weekdays and until 8 pm on weekends. 50-minute drive (16km).
- Victoria Memorial – Kolkata’s most popular attraction, this opulent British-era white marble replica of the original Victoria Memorial in London was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s 25-year rule of India. In addition to lush gardens, statues, and sculptures, there are sound and light shows from March to June (7:45 pm). Open daily from 11 am to 4pm. 45-minute drive (20km).
Swissôtel Kolkata – The Hotel
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