by Santorini Dave • Updated: July 1, 2019
The Oberoi Grand – Superlative luxury, amazing amenities, and so much history in a prime location.
The unparalleled elegance is immediately evident at the lobby where the staff wears long suits, live music is played on an old-fashioned piano, and century-old chandeliers dangle from the ceilings. One of the first in the Oberoi chain, this hotel still maintains many structural reminders and thousands of photos of its former life as a boarding school. Even the standard rooms are regal and feature prints of colonial India, plush carpets, high ceilings, and granite bathrooms. More exquisite, of course, are the sumptuous suites in the newer wing. All rooms and suites face the extensive internal courtyard from balconies, or the bustling markets at the back, and all windows are effectively soundproofed. Amongst the garden, the pool is surrounded by palms, creating a tropical feel that contrasts sharply with the streets outside.
The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata – The Location
- Address: 15 Jawaharlal Nehru Road, also called Chowringhee Road, in the middle of downtown. The main entrance is easy to miss along the sidewalks jam-packed with market stalls. Look for the security guards.
- Area: Faces a main road alongside a park. All sorts of facilities are within walking distance, including markets in all directions, but it’s very chaotic and crowded.
- How to Get There: Taxis from the pre-paid counters at the airport take 50-60 minutes (17km). From the main railway station (Howrah), the hotel is about 20-30 minutes (5km) by taxi. See Local Transport below for more information about taxis and the metro.
- Handy to: Indian Museum.
The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata – The Basics
- Guests: Equal number of business people, government officials, and tourists on upmarket trips.
- Views: Rooms to the back face the sprawling markets from windows with very effective soundproofing. Most, however, face inwards and overlook the pool and garden.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: By maintaining the original structure, private pools and jacuzzis are not possible.
- Extras: Guests in many of the rooms and suites have access to a butler 24/7.
- Wi-Fi: Free throughout for all guests.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +91 (0)33 2249 2323
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: oberoihotels.com
The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata – Amenities
- Pool: Remarkably, the pool was built where an ice-skating rink once stood. During the 1920s, spectators would watch performances from the balconies which are still used today. Large and surrounded by lounge chairs and palm trees, the pool exudes a tropical island vibe.
- Spa: Offers a wide range of treatments rarely (if ever) found elsewhere in the city.
- Fitness Center: As impressive as imagined. Personal trainer on hand at all times.
- Other Facilities: Business Center. Laundry.
The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata – Food and Drink
- Restaurants & Bars: threesixythree° – Lavish buffets for breakfast and lunch, and a la carte Indian, Japanese, and European meals all day. Very popular for mouth-watering desserts. • Baan Thai – Award-winning, silver service, and exquisite décor that needs to be seen to be believed. • The Bar – Refined meeting place serving imported spirits, signature cocktails, and extended wine list.
- Breakfast: Not normally included, but this may depend on the room and how it was booked.
- Room Service: Available 24/7.
The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata – Rooms
- Room Types: Premier Rooms (some with balconies) • Luxury Rooms • Deluxe Rooms • Executive Suites • Classic Suites • Deluxe Suites • Luxury Suites • Presidential Suites
- Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms or public areas, but dedicated sections inside the grounds.
- Best Room: The Presidential Suites are truly extraordinary. A whopping 125 square meters, they feature 2 massive bedrooms, each with a bathroom, equally large living/dining rooms, and 5 balconies.
- For Families: All rooms and suites are large enough for 1 or 2 single beds, but the management may need to be convinced to allow this. Otherwise, the top-end suites feature 2 bedrooms.
The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata – Local Transport
- Walking: While the sidewalks along the main road can be disconcertingly overcrowded, the backstreets around the market area behind the hotel are easier and safer to wander around.
- Public Transport: Local buses and trams are of no use to tourists. The Kolkata Metro is reasonably useful to reach areas a little further north or south, but won’t link to the airport and main railway station (Howrah) until at least mid-2021. The nearest metro station, Esplanade, is on the main road, virtually outside the hotel entrance. 3-minute walk (280m).
- Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: Plenty of yellow taxis (with no air-con) and blue-and-white ones (with air-con) for longer trips. Both types have meters, but drivers need to be pressured into using them. Rides can also be booked using Uber and Ola apps. Also, lots of auto-rickshaws – and man-pulled versions – around the backstreets.
The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata – What’s Nearby?
Restaurants & Bars
The area behind the hotel is jam-packed with inviting restaurants serving authentic Indian food, as well as fruit-juice stalls.
- New Cathay Bar & Restaurant – Upstairs and next to the Oberoi entrance. Pleasant staff, family-friendly, and fascinating street views. 1-minute walk (80m).
- In a cluster, attached to the New Empire Cinema along a street behind the Oberoi, are 6 places, including Barista (pleasant coffee shop offering light meals), Wow! Momo (safe street-food in clean setting), and KFC (no description needed). 2-minute walk (140m).
- Peerless Inn – Neighboring hotel featuring Oceanic (24/7 for seafood, and popular for Sunday brunch buffets), Aaheli (local Bengali food, with silver service and stylish décor), and Ego (self-labeled ‘retro lounge’ bar). 3-minute walk (210m).
- Rang Mahal +91 (0)33 2228 0929 – Cozy café/bar with a menu far more exciting than most. On a corner behind the adjacent Peerless hotel. 3-minute walk (250m).
- Regent Restaurant – Opposite Rang Mahal, known for unfussy service and vast selection of Indian food, including rare non-vegetarian options. 3-minute walk (250m).
Shops & Markets
- 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, and 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. South down the main road. 5-minute walk (350m).
- 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. 11-minute drive (3.5km).
- 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. 14-minute drive (2.5km).
- 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. 14-minute drive (3.5km).
- 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. 55-minute drive (13km).
The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata – The Hotel
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