The Sonnet Hotel in Kolkata, India

Home > Sonnet, Kolkata Hotel Review
by Santorini Dave • Updated: October 9, 2019

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Review of The Sonnet in Kolkata, India.

The Sonnet, Kolkata – Superior option in a serene suburb, with 4-star facilities at 2-star rates.

The Sonnet looms large over the streets of Salt Lake City, a comparatively upmarket area of offices and boutiques. The layout and design are reminiscent of a four-star hotel in downtown, but rates are considerably lower, while the gym, stylish lobby, chic bar, and pool are all uncrowded. Rooms are surprisingly spacious and feature sofas and desks facing full-length and soundproofed windows. And with few other high-rises nearby, views are more notable than most in the city center. For many, the main advantage is the location: halfway between the airport and downtown, the hotel is surrounded by wide, shady, and clean streets (with sidewalks), and just a few minutes on foot from a mall with a food court, games arcade, and cinema.

The Sonnet, Kolkata – The Location

  • Address: Block DD, Plot 8, Sector 1, Salt Lake City. This is a typical address for this area but means nothing to taxi drivers. The hotel is 300m northeast of the City Centre mall via the main road (3rd Avenue).
  • Area: Purpose-built suburb of (mostly) upmarket apartments, shops, and bistros, as well as a mall. Clean, safe, and easy to walk around. Conveniently located halfway between the airport and downtown.
  • How to Get There: Taxis from the pre-paid counters at the airport take 25-30 minutes (12km). From the main railway station (Howrah), the hotel is 35-45 minutes (10km) by taxi. See Local Transport below for more information about taxis and the metro.
  • Handy to: City Centre mall.

The Sonnet, Kolkata – The Basics

  • Guests: Mostly business people and a few tourists of diverse nationalities. Some families.
  • Views: Decent views in all directions. Rooms at the front overlook the metro line – but have excellent soundproofing – while others face the quieter backstreets.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided at a city hotel like this in suburban Kolkata.
  • Extras: Daily newspaper delivered to each room. Guests at the Club Rooms are offered free transfers to/from the airport or main railway station (Howrah).
  • Wi-Fi: Free throughout the hotel for all guests, but a bit slow at times.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)33 6633 9000
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: thesonnet.com

The Sonnet, Kolkata – Amenities

  • Pool: Small but OK. Jacuzzi attached.
  • Spa: One solitary massage room attached to the gym, but nothing else.
  • Fitness Center: ‘Workout‘ is the appropriate name for the well-equipped gym.
  • For Families: Cots. Baby-sitting.
  • Other Facilities: Business center. Money-changing. Same-day laundry. Travel desk.

The Sonnet, Kolkata – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bars: Aura – Open 24/7 at the lobby level and facing the garden. Cuisine from India, China, and Europe, as well as buffets for breakfast and dinner. • Unwine – Classy bar offering a lengthy list of cocktails and imported spirits. Perfect place to ‘unwind’. • Sugarworks – Sweets and home-baked cakes at the lobby. • Splash – Poolside bar and café.
  • Breakfast: Not normally included, but this depends on the type of room and how it was booked.
  • Room Service: Available 24/7.

The Sonnet, Kolkata – Rooms

  • Room Types: Superior Rooms • Club Rooms • Executive Club Rooms • Suites
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms or public areas.
  • Best Room: The Suites are so much larger than all other categories. Extra-stylish décor in the spacious bedrooms, and separate living/dining areas.
  • For Families: Not ostensibly a family-style hotel, but ask the management about fitting extra single beds in the Club Rooms and Suites. Some of these have connecting doors.

The Sonnet, Kolkata – Local Transport

  • Walking: With wide streets and shady sidewalks, this is the nicest area in Kolkata for a stroll. Plenty to see and minimal traffic. A few slums, but the area is comparatively safe and clean.
  • Public Transport: The Kolkata Metro hasn’t yet linked Salt Lake City with the center of Kolkata, but will by about mid-2021. The station is conveniently located at the City Centre mall about 400m from the hotel (5-minute walk).
  • 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. Lots of auto-rickshaws and bicycle versions around the streets for short trips.

The Sonnet, Kolkata – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

  • Ambrosia Bar – Next to the Sonnet, and being renovated renovation during 2019. Dingy bar, but more inviting café with hearty portions at cheap prices. Located about 150m up the side street. 2-minute walk.
  • De Sovrani – Opposite Ambrosia, this hotel offers: Sand (specializing in traditional local cuisine, with buffets at lunch and dinner), Skyview Café (alongside the rooftop pool for views and events on most nights), and The Library (urbane bar/lounge for cocktails and live music/DJs on most nights). 2-minute walk (150m).
  • Food Court – Impressive range of options, including Domino’s pizza. In the City Centre mall, 300m down the main road. 4-minute walk.
  • Café Coffee Day – One in a popular chain of cafés across India for drinks and light meals. Outdoor seating. Also at the mall. 4-minute walk (300m).
  • Afraa Deli – Very appealing café next to Starbucks at the mall. Seating outside, serving a range of pastries and sandwiches rarely seen elsewhere. 5-minute walk (450m).

Shops

  • The City Centre mall is a fairly large area of shops and cafés less than 5 minutes on foot down the main road. A little easy to get disoriented, but spacious, clean, and fun to wander around. Also, a food court, games arcade, and cinema showing the latest Bollywood blockbusters. 4-minute walk (300m).

Attractions

  • 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. 35-minute drive (9km).
  • 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. 36-minute drive (9km).
  • 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. 40-minute drive (10km).
  • 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. 30-minute drive (14km).
  • 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. 45-minute drive (14km).

The Sonnet, Kolkata – The Hotel

The hotel is located in the upmarket Salt Lake City area.

The Sonnet is a classy hotel within the upmarket area of Salt Lake City, which is about halfway between the airport and downtown.

The compact lobby has very friendly staff.

The lobby sets the tone: compact and unpretentious, with personable staff.

Sugarworks sells pastries and sweets at the lobby.

At the lobby level, Sugarworks sells pastries and sweets.

Aura serves breakfast, a la carte meals, and buffet dinners.

Also at the hotel, Aura serves breakfast to guests and a la carte meals all day, as well as buffet dinners.

Unwine is a stylish bar opposite Aura.

Opposite Aura is Unwine, a nifty name for the stylish bar.

The gym is well-equipped.

The fitness center is surprisingly well-equipped.

The rooms are very spacious and well-furnished.

One advantage of staying at The Sonnet is enjoying the very spacious and well-appointed rooms.

The rooms are designed well for business travelers.

The desk is sizable, reflecting the fact that many guests stay for business reasons.

Rooms and suites feature a contemporary decor.

The décor across all rooms and suites is contemporary, but not overly chic.

All bathrooms are spacious and modern.

The bathrooms are also large.

The soundproofed windows offer views of the busy metro lines.

Rooms at the front face the metro line, but windows are remarkably soundproofed, so guests hear virtually nothing.

Some rooms offer street views.

Other rooms provide expansive street views across Salt Lake City.

The corner location of the hotel has a few facilities.

The hotel is on a corner, where the quiet side street leads to a few facilities.

Ambrosia Bar by the entrance offers good and affordable food.

Next to the hotel entrance, the Ambrosia Bar is a better-than-average café offering tasty food at cheap prices.

Skyview Café at the De Sovrani hotel close by is a good option.

Only 150m up the side-street from The Sonnet, the De Sovrani hotel offers a couple of good options, including the Skyview Café on the rooftop. (Like many hotels in Kolkata, the pool was closed during the cooler winter months.)

The hotel neighborhood has beautiful and shady sidewalks.

The purpose-built suburb of Salt Lake City boasts shady sidewalks unseen elsewhere in Kolkata.

The City Centre mall is very close to the hotel.

One attraction of staying at The Sonnet is its proximity (300m) to the City Centre mall.

Afraa Deli is known for its healthy meals.

In a shady courtyard within the mall, Afraa Deli provides healthy meals rarely available in the city center.

The mall has a decent food court on an upper floor.

On an upper floor at the mall is an impressive food court.

Café Coffee Day is popular for its coffee, light meals, and outdoor seating.

Also within the mall, Café Coffee Day provides an outdoor patio as well as light meals and world-class coffee.

There are several ice cream parlors at the mall.

Around the mall are plenty of other places to eat and enjoy an ice cream.

The mall has a very confusing layout.

The layout of the mall can be confusing, so several sections are easy to miss.

The mall has outdoor and indoor shops.

Some shops are accessible along an outdoor pedestrian strip while others are along an air-conditioned arcade.

The games arcade is very popular with kids.

Kids would relish the games arcade next to the food court within the City Centre mall, only 300m from the hotel.

The metro would be more useful once it's better connected.

The metro offers a few stops around Salt Lake City, but will be far more useful when it connects to downtown by mid-2021.

Taxis and auto-rickshaws are both convenient modes of traffic.

Taxis are best for longer trips (e.g. the airport or downtown), otherwise, auto-rickshaws are ideal.

Guests can enjoy environment-friendly cycle-rickshaws in the area.

More environment-friendly for short trips around the local area are the cycle-rickshaws that hang around near the hotel.

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