Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge Hotel in India

by Santorini Dave • Updated: July 1, 2019

Review of Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge in Kolkata, India.

Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge – Smart, elegant, and set along a quiet side street in a convenient location.

Cozily nestled within a residential area away from a main road, the Radisson offers more style and panache than others in the area. The marble lobby features a massive Buddha statue and mezzanine guest lounge, and the rooftop, an extremely appealing pool with jacuzzi. Other facilities often absent in rivals of a similar standard are the spa and well-appointed fitness center. Rooms are spacious, modern, and functional, but the main selling point is the location within the inner-city suburbs, without the crowds, beggars, traffic, and noise of downtown. Not a lot of facilities in the immediate area, but the city center is only a few minutes by auto-rickshaw.

Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge – The Location

  • Address: 17 Garcha 1st Lane (also called Dover Place), about 200m from Old Ballygunge Road (also called Gariahat Road) in the inner southern suburbs. Follow the hotel signs along railings from the main road near the Gariahat Road Flyover.
  • Area: Clean and safe residential area (with upmarket apartments and slums) in the inner south, yet convenient to downtown.
  • How to Get There: Taxis from the pre-paid counters at the airport take 50-60 minutes (21km). From the main railway station (Howrah), the hotel is 35-45 minutes (11km) by taxi. See Local Transport below for more information about taxis and the metro.

Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge – The Basics

  • Guests: Mix of foreign business people and Indian tourists.
  • Views: As the only high-rise in a residential area, street views are more appealing than rivals closer to and within the city center.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided at an inner-city hotel like this in Kolkata.
  • 
Wi-Fi: Free throughout for all guests.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)33 4040 9999
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: radisson.com

Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge – Amenities

  • Pool: Pretty good. It also offers expansive views and welcome breezes. Inviting lounge chairs in a shallow section of the water, and jacuzzi attached.
  • Spa: Unusually for hotels in Kolkata, there is a spa, but it offers little more than massages.
  • Fitness Center: Reasonable size and well-equipped, with steam rooms and sauna.
  • Other Facilities: Business center (open 24 hours). Same-day laundry.

Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants: K-19 – Indian and Mediterranean fare. Particularly bright and airy, and abundant space between tables. Open 24/7. • Smoke Shack – Rooftop bar for grills and tandoori. Terrific views, live music, and dance floor. • Brewin – Pleasant coffee shop opposite the reception desk. Cakes, pastries, sandwiches, and healthy drinks.
  • Bars: KLINK – Sleek décor, hip DJs, and imported spirits. On the rooftop. • Nirvana – Trendy hotspot for cocktails. Light meals also available.
  • Breakfast: Included in all rates, which is unusual among rivals.
  • Room Service: Available 24/7.

Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge – Rooms

  • Room Types: Superior Rooms • Deluxe Rooms • Business Class Rooms • Junior Suite Rooms • Executive Suites
  • Smoking Rooms: Not permitted in the rooms or public areas.
  • Best Room: Twice the size of the standard rooms, the Executive Suites feature separate living areas and particularly spacious bathrooms.
  • For Families: All suites and suite rooms have space for 2 extra single beds, while some rooms and suites also have connecting doors.

Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge – Local Transport

  • Walking: Backstreets are pleasant for strolling: safe, clean, and not too busy. A fascinating slice of less squalid Kolkata, but the main road 200m away is exceptionally noisy and dirty.
  • Public Transport: Buses and trams career along the main road, 200m away, but are of no use to tourists. The nearest metro station, Jatin Das Park, is an inconvenient 2km away (13-minute drive). Additionally, the Kolkata Metro is not useful to most tourists anyway until it connects to the airport and main railway station at Howrah by mid-2021.
  • 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, a few auto-rickshaws around the streets, and more along the main road. Man-pulled rickshaws also available for short trips around the backstreets.

Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

  • Mirch Masala Restaurant & Bar – Downstairs bar that’s not dingy as is typical in the area, and restaurant with a bizarre decor, but fantastic Chinese and Indian food. Easy to find about 100m towards the main road. 2-minute walk.

The only other options are at, or near, The Ivy House guesthouse, about 750m away. At the main road near the Radisson, turn left (north), then right at the traffic light, and follow Anil Maitra Road.

  • Karma Kettle Tearoom – Within an undercover courtyard at The Ivy House. Limited array of light meals, sandwiches, and high teas every afternoon. Check out the amazing teashop attached. 9-minute walk (750m).
  • Fish Fish – Classy little place directly opposite the guesthouse entrance. Also offers a few tasty Chinese meals and better-than-expected service. 9-minute walk (750m).
  • Kasturi Food Plaza – 2 levels serving Indian food, just past Fish Fish. Nicer and quieter than typical street-side eateries. 10-minute walk (750m).
  • Melting Pot – Very cozy and welcoming, with a menu more westernized than rivals, e.g. pasta and burgers. About 200m from The Ivy House. 10-minute walk (850m).

Shops

  • Nothing along the street in front of the Radisson, but only 200m away along the main road are several shops – mostly jewelers and tailors, but interesting enough.

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. 18-minute drive (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. 21-minute drive (4.5km).
  • 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. 27-minute drive (8km).
  • 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. 35-minute drive (11km).
  • 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 (18km).

Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge – The Hotel

The hotel is located in a quiet southern suburb.

The hotel is 200m down a quiet side street from a main road in the inner southern suburbs.

The entrance to the hotel is prominently signed.

From the corner of the main road, follow the prominent signs down the side street to the hotel.

The hotel dominates the buildings in the area.

Among smart apartments and rundown buildings, the Radisson dominates the immediate area.

The impressive lobby features a large Buddha statue.

The lobby is impressive and features an uncommon and large Buddha statue.

Brewin coffee shop also serves sandwiches and healthy drinks.

Opposite the reception desk, Brewin is a quaint coffee shop that also sells sandwiches and healthy drinks.

The bright guest lounge is above the lobby.

The unusual guest lounge on a mezzanine level overlooks the lobby.

K-19 restaurant serves breakfast and a la carte meals all day.

The main restaurant called K-19 is on the 1st floor. It serves breakfast to guests and a la carte meals all day.

The rooftop Smoke Shack restobar serves grills and tandoori dishes.

On the hotel rooftop, the Smoke Shack restaurant/bar offers grills and tandoori meals.

The rooftop KLINK bar and club offers indoor and outdoor seating.

Also on the rooftop is the KLINK bar and club. It provides seating inside and along the poolside terrace.

The large rooftop pool features a jacuzzi and lounge chairs.

The pool on the rooftop of the Radisson is fairly large, and offers a jacuzzi and lounge chairs for guests.

The gym is decently-equipped.

In a room near the pool, the fitness center is reasonably well-equipped.

The hotel even has a decent-sized spa.

Next to the fitness center is a spa, which is often not provided at hotels of this size and standard.

The hotel is located about 200m from the chaotic main road.

This is the corner where the side street leads to the hotel, 200m away from the chaotic main road.

The main road features offices and upmarket shops.

The main road near the hotel is lined with offices and upmarket shops.

Mirch Masala is the closes and best place to eat and drink.

The closest place for a meal and drink is also the finest option in the area: the Mirch Masala Restaurant & Bar.

Mirch Masala's bar is very popular.

Only 100m from the hotel towards the main road, Mirch Masala is popular among local business people for the bar on the lower level.

Mirch Masala has a funky decor.

At the ground level above the bar, Mirch Masala provides an unusual décor.

Karma Kettle Tearoom at The Ivy House guesthouse is very appealing.

A superior range of restaurants and cafés is at, and near, The Ivy House guesthouse, about 750m from the Radisson. The Karma Kettle Tearoom in the guesthouse courtyard is a welcome respite.

Fish Fish serves seafood and Chinese dishes.

Virtually opposite The Ivy House is Fish Fish, a classy café that also offers Chinese food.

Kasturi Food Plaza serves a good and affordable India menu.

A little further down the street from The Ivy House, Kasturi Food Plaza is a pleasant and well-priced bistro offering Indian food.

Melting Pot serves good western meals.

Just around the corner (past Weavers Studio) from The Ivy House, Melting Pot offers a more westernized menu than other local restaurants.

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