Sunday, August 17, 2014

How Marriott Ensures you Travel Brilliantly: Bloggers Diary

You don’t want to spend a weekend at a corporate hotspot of an IT city. Until unless it’s a five star hotel that innovates to please Gen Y, offers a sumptuous Sunday Brunch and has a nice spa! My recent stay at the Marriott Whitefield , Bengaluru surprised me as it was  a perfect work-and-play weekend.  

Jump the Queue: Mobile Check-In Counter
I reached Bangalore on a Saturday morning for a bloggers trip organised by Marriott Hotel. As soon as I got into the car I checked in using the Marriott mobile app. Being a blogger and Gen Y myself people expect me to be quite tech and web savvy. Truth be told I am always wary of trying new apps on my phone.  But the Marriott mobile check-in turned out to be rather smooth.  The cab that hotel had sent to pick me up was wi-fi enabled, thus making the check-in even simpler.

Once I reached the hotel it took me exactly thirty seconds to collect my room key that was ready at the mobile check-in counter. Marriott Hotel has globally rolled out mobile check-in and check-out using its mobile app. In fact the Marriott hotel in Bangalore was one of the five hotels in Asia where mobile check-in app was tested, as the global biggie is constantly innovating for the next generation traveller.

The mobile check-in has another advantage. The time that you save can be used for a power nap and a luxurious shower. I loved the room design at Marriott. With a glass wall between the bedroom and bathroom, the shower area looked bigger and had ample of natural light. Perfect for a woman, I say.  It’s the details after all that matter.

Chic: Room with see-through bathroom
In a very enjoyable company of the general manger of the hotel Nick Dumbell and fellow  bloggers, Ajay Jain of Kunzum Travel Cafe , Kalyan Karmakar of Finely Chopped and Jeet Banik of Traveling Beats,  I enjoyed a hearty lunch at the M Cafe. For a Saturday afternoon the restaurant was packed. I particularly enjoyed my glass of white wine, biryani and stir fried vegetables from the live counter.

In the evening,  I headed to the hotel’s  Sama Spa for the Asian Fusion massage. A speciality at their spa, the treatment is a perfect mix of dry Thai and oil massage. In fact being a spa addict I had browsed the Marriott app on my iPad mini to check the spa details and decided on the treatment even before I reached Bengaluru. Post the relaxing treatment, 15 minutes at the dreamy Jacuzzi and I was rejuvenated . The affable spa manager told me that while the spa was open till 10 PM, the fitness centre next to it was open 24/7. I was quite happy when she told me this as one of my top hotel pet peeve is fitness centre at a five star that’s not open round the clock.   

The evening was spent leisurely sipping cocktails at the M Bar. That India was winning medals at the Commonwealth Games that was playing on the screen was a bonus. Now I will fall short of words. We had dinner at Chef Alfonso’s Alto Vino and the meal that night was superlative. The seafood risotto was perfect and Chef made mozzarella cheese in his own kitchen. It’s the best mozzarella I have ever had, almost addictive.

Blogger Selfie: Jeet Banik, Vishakha Talreja, Kalyan Karmakar, Ajay Jain 
Next day at the Marriott Amazing Race, a treasure hunt sort of competition for bloggers, we visited  the HUL  Aerospace Museum that houses fighter planes and an old church. For Marriott’s #travelbrilliantly campaign we clicked lot of selfies together. It was great fun.
When we reached hotel we were pretty tired but the good news was Sunday and the hotel had its special Sunday brunch on! From steaks to pizza and stir fried vegetables, I tried everything from the live station. It was a lavish Sunday brunch spread with Sushi, Indian and Chinese all being served. The outdoor seating with some refreshing cocktails made for a memorable afternoon. Did someone say this was a business hotel?     

I was quite delighted with the breakfast spread at the M Cafe...and actually ate my breakfast like a Queen. My favourite was the ragi dosa, a healthy option but didn’t really help as I ate two waffles with chocolate dressing from the live station.  What takes the cake is the pastry shop Whitefield Baking Company (WBC for short). The soft baked chocolate cookies were to die for! The ones at Oberoi Hotel in Delhi are my favourite but the WBC’s came close, very close. I even tweeted about it few days back that how I missed those cookies (so they must be really good). Oh I really miss them.

I had an early morning flight on Monday but thank god for the Marriott mobile app, I was able to check out right from the comfort of my bed late in the night. The hotel staff was attentive and asked me a night before if I would like early breakfast in my room. The next morning without worrying about the hassle of standing at the reception for check out I enjoyed the sinful chocolate muffins, fresh cut fruits and my cup of cappuccino.

Wait this was suppose to be a work trip, but proved to be a great staycation!

If you want to read detailed review of the Marriott Mobile App here it is:

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