Located in Whitefield, the Alila Bangalore hotel is truly a little gold mine and from the first moment that I stepped out of the car and onto the property I started discovering its little treasures.
[VIDEO] CLICK HERE to explore the property with Angela 🙂
The first little treasure is the actual location of the hotel. Although set just two minutes off one of the main thoroughfares in Whitefield, it felt like I had been transported a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Bangalore or the mayhem of Whitefield. The Alila is set amongst farmland and just off the shores of a stunning lake. The lush green vegetation found all around the hotel is just the ticket to ease away the stress of any day and leave guests feeling like they’ve escaped to a tranquil, hip, modern, and relaxed ‘happy place’ day or night.
The Alila combines a unique mix of natural wood, water treatments and features, steel, grass and greenery, rough industrial concrete walls and sensual metal sculptures to deliver an amazing visual experience to any visitor. In fact, the hotel was designed with the natural elements of its locality in mind. The breeze coming off the lake is constant and the architects designed the main areas of the property without air conditioning knowing that the temperature would always be mild because of the breeze. Split between four floors is a wonderland of sculptures, comfy sitting areas in the gardens, in the lobby around small moats, outside the two restaurants … and poolside.
The Alila Bangalore has 122 perfectly appointed rooms in three categories – the Studio, the Leisure Suite and the Soho Suite. Each has a comfy but minimalist quality that is inviting, with at least one balcony in each room to ensure that the feeling of ‘openness’ is extended from the property and into each guest room. The Studio Room is a nice-sized 323 square feet. The Leisure Suite is an ample 689 square feet with an oversized, comfy chaise lounge and an enormous bathroom with a massive bathtub that really adds to the already lovely room. And the Soho Suite (Soho = small office, home office) is a whopping 850 square feet, offering each guest plenty of space with added amenities like a separate living area, which can serve as a private dining or meeting room and a guest washroom. It also has a large bathtub.
I stayed in the Leisure Suite but had the chance to tour all three room categories. Even though I loved the extra space of the Soho Suite, for me the Leisure Suite was my favourite. Partly because of the TWO balconies we had. Partly because I absolutely adored the stand-alone bathtub that takes centre stage to the rest of the furniture and I am just coo coo for bubble baths. And partly because I liked the open architecture inside the room with its massive bathroom and the longest mirrors and countertop I’ve seen in ages (with an enormous bouquet of lilies set atop it on one end). TIP: ask for a room on the lake side of the property or as far from the main street entrance as possible. We had a lovely room with two balconies but it was on the street side and didn’t have double-paned glass so we could sadly hear the traffic noise off in the distance at times.
The infinity pool at the Alila is absolutely lovely as well. And they play superb music – some of the songs I recognized from either Buddha Bar II or Hotel Costes IV if I’m not mistaken. They serve tapas and wine or Champagne or any cocktail your heart desires right to the large Thai lounge beds or poolside at the tables.
Alila Spa is also something quite special. To enter, there is a colossal wooden door to pass through that is – no joke – over 2 metres wide. It is HUGE. And it transports guests instantly from the outside world into a haven of calm, quiet and soft candle light. I was with my daughter and we both tucked in for facials and massages with two lovely ladies that ensured we were 100% happy and comfortable the entire time. They placed us into one of their signature couples room that is equipped with its own private steam room, shower and washroom, which was just perfect for us. I could imagine this being an ideal room for a “girl’s spa weekend” as well as for a romantic spa weekend getaway.
Alila Spa only uses natural ingredients in their own branded spa products, making them absolute top quality. The only complaint we had was about the music, which repeated itself. When I mentioned it to my daughter during our steam (post-treatments) she noticed it too. Her guess is that it repeated itself every 10 minutes to act as a “clock” for the staff because after the third repeat she remembers she was asked to flip over during the massage, which meant she was half way through. TIP: ask the spa to “prepare your bath” for you in the room. We both did during our stay and it was amazing. They bring Alila Spa bath salts, rose petals and will fill the bath half way so that you can adjust the temperature as needed to your preference once you are in.
Dining at the Alila is absolutely decadent. They have a superb assortment of North Indian, European and Continental cuisine. From traditional Spanish tapas to North-West Indian cuisine to American dishes and more, the chef is happy to whip up whatever the guest desires. The High 5 Tapas Bar & Lounge is poolside on the rooftop. I was all alone and enjoyed a fabulous ‘working lunch’ there in my bikini under the clear blue sky with great service, yummy food and refreshing cocktails there – all served up to me on the king sized Thai lounge I was spread across. The Tiffin Bar is on the ground floor and the bartender there makes some really kickin’ martinis, so I spent time there in the evenings before dinner with my laptop catching up on the day.
Pasha Bar and Grill feels like something special from first glance. The mix of seating and tables is wonderful, and we felt lucky to be seated in a unique oversized raw wood table with no straight lines … the table retained the shape and natural curves of the tree is was built from, making it one of a kind. The presentation of the menu is also lovely, with linen paper menus bolted down onto wooden backings – again with each one just a bit different. The north Indian food they serve is amazing, too. Our favourite dishes were the spring rolls, the crispy beef and the kebabs which were out of this world! We also fell in love with their natural beverage selection and I couldn’t get enough of the fresh ginger ale! Don’t miss trying this refreshing drink made with fresh ginger, lemon juice, sugar, grenadine, ice and a splash of soda. TIP: try their Rs. 999 all-inclusive dinner with 10 varieties of kebabs, 8 curries, 2 biriyani, raan (whole braised leg of lamb marinated for 24 hours) and much, much more! It is FANTASTIC.
Tiffin Room is their breakfast and all-day dining room but unlike EVERY other hotel I’ve been to in ages, it actually transforms itself at night into a very romantic and lovely fine dining restaurant. We enjoyed a couple of meals there and enjoyed every moment. First, the service is exquisite and the staff is very sweet. And the food is just delicious. The chef will prepare anything you are in the mood for but take my advice and try the fish if you are non-veg — he makes it so light and wonderful … it is a real treat. They also have a very unique wine cellar that guests can walk into themselves and select their wine instead of simply reviewing a menu which I found to be quite fun. Guests can even enjoy a mini tasting session inside! My favourite dishes were the pumpkin soup and the prawns sautéed in soy and chili sauce until caramelized and served with sweet red pepper on a bed of corriander and yogurt. Yum yum!!
The room service menu is ample and the food is simply excellent! Every order we placed was delivered just right and in a timely manner. Breakfast in bed was AMAZING and I can honestly say that they have the loveliest tea and coffee service with room service and the most kick-ass French toast that my daughter or I have experienced in Bangalore. Sadly the bacon is not that great but there are only two hotels in town I’ve found that have outstanding bacon so I wasn’t too surprised.
The wifi is complimentary, fast and available everywhere throughout the hotel and I never noticed snail-slow speed anywhere, which is not what I can say for other hotels in Bangalore. It was fantastic. However, with that said a friend of mine was staying at Alila and had some issues because she was streaming films at night and this was apparently beyond the ‘normal’ use that the hotel allots. One day she woke to no internet and was informed that she had been using too much bandwidth. Eventually it all worked out okay (not sure if she did pay extra in the end or not though). TIP: speak to the hotel first if you plan to do more than just check email and go onto Facebook.
All in all I have to say that the 5 Star Alila Bangalore is now my #1 favourite hotel in Whitefield. And on top of that, it is now in my Top 5 Favourite List for “Stay in Bangalore” Spa Getaway Weekends. Do yourself a favour and escape to Alila Bangalore next time you travel to Whitefield.
TIP FOR BANGALOREANS
If you live in Bangalore, check yourself in early on a Saturday morning and enjoy their “Stay in Bangalore Spa Weekend” fabulously titled the Epicurean Delight Package. The cost is just Rs. 9,890 per couple in a Studio Room but I highly suggest you upgrade to a Leisure Suite and ask for an early check-in on Saturday. The Epicurean Delight includes:
- Welcome drink
- 3-course dinner with wine
- One 60 minute treatment session @ Spa Alila per person
- Breakfast in Tiffin Room
- Poolside Sunday brunch (or lunch in Tiffin Room before check-out other days of the week)
Click here to visit the Alila Bangalore website!
(reviewer Angela Carson)
© Angela Carson All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without the permission of the author.