Kenilworth Hotel in Kolkata, India

by Santorini Dave • Updated: July 1, 2019

Review of Kenilworth Hotel in Kolkata, India.

Kenilworth – A touch of history and a splash of charm in a vibrant area.

Within the former diplomatic enclave (before the British moved the capital to New Delhi), the Kenilworth still offers some historic elegance despite the upgrades and extensions. Rooms are in two buildings: those in the whitewashed Heritage Wing are closer to the noisy corner and likably old-fashioned, while those in the newer wing are disappointingly more like a motel than a colonial-era hotel and not as charming. Still, the facilities throughout are very good (although there is no pool) and it’s in a comparatively pleasant area packed with upmarket shops and tempting cafés and bars. Away from the tourist scene, the Kenilworth is a top-notch hotel without the top-end rates.

Kenilworth, Kolkata – The Location

  • Address: The official address of ‘1 & 2 Little Russel Street, Kankaria Estates’ isn’t much help to anyone. It’s actually on the corner of Little Russel Street (a side street) and the main thoroughfare, Shakespeare Sarani Road. In the inner southern suburbs.
  • Area: Comparatively affluent area, with many offices, banks, and other commercial buildings. Packed with middle-class workers during the day, so the cafés, bars, and shops are better than average.
  • How to Get There: Taxis from the pre-paid counters at the airport take about 1 hour (22km). From the main railway station (Howrah), the hotel is 25-35 minutes (9km) by taxi. See Local Transport below for more information about taxis and the metro.

Kenilworth, Kolkata – The Basics

  • Guests: Mostly business people of all nationalities, and some Indians attending weddings.
  • Views: Views from the Heritage Wing are of the courtyard garden or busy road (but the soundproofing is effective). The street views from the newer wing are more expansive, except for those on the ground floor.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided in an older-style inner-city hotel like this in Kolkata.
  • 
Wi-Fi: Available free throughout for all guests.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)33 2282 3939
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: kenilworthhotels.com

Kenilworth, Kolkata – Amenities

  • Pool: Surprisingly, there isn’t a pool. Not expected in the older wing, but obviously ignored when designing the newer building.
  • Spa: Unusually, there is one, but the Sohum Spa & Salon offers little more than massages.
  • Fitness Center: Part of the spa complex and pleasingly large, the Pulse Fitness Centre also provides personal trainers.

Kenilworth, Kolkata – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bars: Aromas – The main restaurant at the lobby serves breakfast to guests and a la carte meals all day. Pleasant garden setting and friendly staff. • Mae Kong – In the older Heritage Wing. Contemporary versions of cuisines from all over Asia. Splendid décor, and bar attached. • Ovenfresh – Delicious and fresh cakes, pastries, and breads.
  • Breakfast: Included for guests in the suites and more expensive rooms. Otherwise, pay at the time if required.
  • Room Service: Available from about 7 am to 11 pm.

Kenilworth, Kolkata – Rooms

  • Room Types: Executive Twin Rooms • Executive Deluxe Rooms • Business Club Rooms • Business Club View Rooms • Business Club Suites • Russel Suites
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms or public areas, but permitted elsewhere.
  • Best Room: Very swish and admirably spacious, the Russel Suites feature a charming contemporary décor, and the separate living/dining areas are quite large.
  • For Families: Nothing specific available, but some rooms in the newer wing have connecting doors.

Kenilworth, Kolkata – Local Transport

  • Walking: The sidewalks are full of food stalls, but it is a comparatively pleasant area for strolling. Plenty of tempting shops and cafés in the area.
  • Public Transport: The Kolkata Metro is reasonably useful to reach areas a little further south or north, but won’t reach the airport and main railway station (Howrah) until at least mid-2021. The nearest metro station, Maidan, is about 600m away. Head up the side-street, turn left at the junction, and then right at Chowringhee Road (7-minute walk).
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: Taxis are easy to find. The yellow ones have no air-con, while the blue-and-white ones do. Both types have meters, but drivers need to be pressured into using them. Rides can also be booked using Uber and Ola apps. Unusually, no types of rickshaws anywhere in the area.

Kenilworth, Kolkata – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    All sorts of food stalls catering to local workers pack the sidewalks, so this may be a good time and place to try some authentic street food.

  • Deck 88 – Lovely café with al fresco setting and lively bar, open from late afternoon. In The Astor hotel. 2-minute walk (140m).
  • Kebab-e-Que – At ground level below Deck 88. Classy décor and popular with meat lovers. 2-minute walk (140m).
  • Monkey Bar – One of several bars also serving excellent food, and located on the upper floors of office buildings along Camac Street. At the corner that the hotel faces, head left (east) and then turn right at the traffic lights. 5-minute walk (400m).
  • The Senator Hotel – Offers a café with value-packed buffets and a la carte meals all day. Just down Camac Steet from Monkey Bar. 6-minute walk (500m).
  • I Love Haldiram – Cafeteria-style, with huge dining area. Tasty food, low prices, and spotlessly clean. The traditional masala tea is excellent. Directly opposite The Senator Hotel. 6-minute walk (500m).

Shops

  • Better range of shops in this more affluent area. The New B. K. Market is an indoor collection of stalls, mostly selling clothes, but with few customers, the hard sell is common. On the other side of the road, 100m left (east) from the corner with the hotel. 1-minute walk.

Attractions

  • 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. 12-minute walk (1km).
  • 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. 17-minute walk (1.4km).
  • 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. 12-minute drive (2km).
  • 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. 23-minute drive (6km).
  • 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. 1-hour drive (16km).

Kenilworth, Kolkata – The Hotel

The historic hotel is ideal for all types or tourists.

The historic Kenilworth (which is also signposted in English) is popular among Indian tourists and business people, and is still ideal for foreign tourists as well.

The hotel is the classiest among nearby rivals.

The Kenilworth is easily the classiest hotel in the area.

The hotel has an older and a newer, more modern wing.

There are 2 sections: the Heritage Wing on the corner with the older rooms and this newer wing featuring modern rooms.

The Aromas restaurant serves breakfast and a la carte meals all day.

The lobby restaurant, Aromas, serves breakfast to hotel guests and a la carte meals all day.

Ovenfresh serves delicious home-baked pastries, cakes, and bread.

Next to Aromas, Ovenfresh offers delicious home-baked pastries, cakes, and breads.

The Mae Kong restaurant serves an authentic Asia menu.

In the older Heritage Wing, the Mae Kong restaurant serves authentic Asian cuisine.

The fitness center is fairly large.

Attached to the spa, the fitness center is quite large.

The newer wing rooms are spacious and modern.

Rooms in the newer wing are spacious, functional, and modern.

The commercial neighborhood features slightly affluent workers.

The area around the Kenilworth is packed with comparatively affluent workers from neighboring offices, banks, and other commercial buildings.

The neighborhood facilities are more for locals than tourists.

Facilities in the general area are set up for local workers rather than foreign tourists, but are still interesting.

The excellent street food around the hotel is worth a try.

Popular among business workers, the street food around the hotel is excellent and worth a try.

The area also features a lot of fruit stalls.

Unusually, there are also many fruit stalls in the general area.

The Deck 88 café/bar at The Astor hotel nearby is fabulous.

In The Astor hotel, about 150m around the corner from the Kenilworth, are 2 fabulous places to eat and drink, including the Deck 88 café/bar.

Kebab-e-Que is a classy restaurant at The Astor hotel.

On the ground floor of The Astor hotel, below Deck 88, is the classy Kebab-e-Que restaurant.

The Senator Hotel nearby is known for its excellent-value buffets.

Worth a 500m walk for the excellent-value buffets is the café at The Senator Hotel. From the corner at the Kenilworth, continue left (east) and turn right at the traffic lights.

I Love Haldiram serves tasty Indian and western food in a clean setting.

Opposite The Senator Hotel, the I Love Haldiram cafeteria serves tasty food in a spacious and spotless environment.

I Love Haldiram is also known for its sweets and pastries.

Counters at I Love Haldiram are packed with sickly-sweet confectionary and cakes.

There are several cafes and bars in the neighborhood.

On the same street as The Senator Hotel are several cafés/bars, most of them located on the upper floors of office buildings.

Monkey Bar near The Senator Hotel serves excellent food as well.

The most inviting bar/café near The Senator Hotel, Monkey Bar also serves excellent food.

The area has several upmarket shops.

Catering for more affluent workers, the general area offers a better range of upmarket shops than normal.

The white and blue taxis are metered and air-conditioned.

With a dearth of auto-rickshaws in the area, taxis are generally the easiest way to get around the city. The blue-and-white ones are metered and air-conditioned (but passengers are charged more if air-con is used).

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