ITC Grand Chola in Chennai is the third largest hotel in India after Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel & Grand Hyatt, Mumbai and it was built with an investment of Rs.1200 Crores. I still remember the day when I crossed this property for the first time and wondered will I ever be able to stay in this property. Well, 5 years later, I did. Here’s my experience at this amazing luxury hotel,
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A few months back I got 2 award night vouchers from SPG as a part of their targeted promo offer (Ref: Aloft Coimbatore Review). While I can use them at any Cat 1-4 SPG properties, like W Goa or other wonderful properties across the world, I ended up using it here last minute at India’s one of the iconic property – ITC Grand Chola.
I booked 2 consecutive nights at ITC Grand Chola by calling SPG customer care helpline. It was quick and easy and I got the confirmation email shortly after.
- Revenue cost: ~Rs.20,000 (2 nights)
- I Paid: Nil (SPG Award Nights)
It is located in the prime area of Chennai, about 10km away from Chennai International Airport. You can find almost everything in ~5 km radius, from shopping malls to restaurants & more. Well, you won’t need any, as long as you’re inside this luxury hotel.
Check-in & Lobby
The problem with being a very big property is that it has 4 different entrances and the cab dropped us at one of the entrances, dedicated for service apartments. So we got to move to the main building for our check-in. They guided us to the main check-in counter through the air-conditioned “palace”.
Check-in took about 5 minutes and when I checked for an “upgrade”, they said “sorry sir, we’re fully booked”, yet I doubted on that. Later, I figured out that SPG pays $50 equivalent to the hotel (per day) for this redemption, so it’s obvious that no one wants to upgrade!
The room is nothing but luxury at its finest: Queen sized bed with two cozy bed lamps on both sides, fancy little armchairs and round coffee table, two-layered curtains, and a widescreen wall-mounted smart TV. Just the typical kinds of stuff.
You also get access to an iPad in the room that welcomes you with your name. It’s not just an iPad but the one with which you could control anything. It took me a while to realize that it’s not just a room, but a smart room indeed.
You can control everything in the room, from lights to AC temperature and even open/close the main door in a tap. Oh yeah, they do have a camera fit in the door so you can even see who’s out there from your iPad. It’s quite a new experience for me and I totally enjoyed it by playing with the lights, you know, cause, why not? 😀
One of the great things with these luxury hotels are the bathrooms. In Grand Chola, they have put the design of the bathroom to a whole new level. With recursive mirrors around, the place seems to be super spacious and it is indeed fun to be there.
It’s a very big property and the best way to imagine is, consider you’re in an air-conditioned palace. You can see pieces of artworks everywhere you move and a lot of places to lounge around.
They even have escalators in some places. Not just that you can also explore coffee shops, cake shops & garment shops just in case you want to get into some shopping spree.
Catching the last moment of summer breeze by the pool seems like a perfect choice for many foreign travellers. They Lounge on those chairs with a cocktail in one hand and a magazine in the other while wearing a pair of sunglasses. Oh, such a wonderful life, isn’t it? Unfortunately not for me, as i’ll become darker in that sunlight, reminds me of those sunny days at Goa.
Breakfast & In-Room Dining
- Breakfast: 1500 INR+GST/person
So who else got heart attack looking at the price? 😀 My package includes only the room and not breakfast and I’ve had no plans to pay that premium.
Anyway, we woke up late on the first day and on the second day we had to leave to the airport early, so I had no opportunity to splurge on their breakfast offering.
Coming to In-room dining, you can order anything from the iPad in a tap. You no longer need to call anyone! Again the costs are usually 3X higher than the normal rates.
So I should say it’s a one-of-a-kind experience that you must have at least once in a lifetime, just to get an idea as to how multi-millionaires & billionaires spend their life at luxury hotels. I would totally agree with the price of the room and the value it offers but not when it comes to food though.
If a beach resort like Taj Fisherman’s Cove or any island resort cost you a lot on food, it makes sense, but not when a hotel located in heart of city charges such a premium. That all said, I may certainly return to ITC Grand Chola yet one more time in the future, probably with family.
- Cardexpert Rating: 4.5/5 [yasr_overall_rating]
Have you been to ITC Grand Chola or planning to visit in future? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Fitting location for first Infinia transaction 😛
I have stayed in ITC Grand Bharat near Gurgaon which is true luxury witj 18 hole golf course, so can imagine it. U feel like u r in different world.
That was the actual property i wanted to use this voucher for, then changed to W Goa as they lifted its cat # and finally ended up here in last minute as other plans didn’t materialize.
Btw, that was booked with Award night vouchers too?
How you got 20k vouchers ?
I’ve updated that info. Pls check links in content.
You had mentioned it as targeted offer, can you provide more details on it. Was it like you had to meet a certain spend criteria and got the vouchers? or redeeming spg points.
Offer: take 1/2 paid stays and get 1/2 nights free in cat 1-5 properties
I’ve updated the necessary info. Pls check links in content.
great review , looks like 2 nights here on my next trip to Chennai then
Good to know that 🙂
your award nights are from credit card points or from welcome bonus?
It was through SPG.
Interesting review. How do we get enrolled into hotel memberships and make use of them like we have been doing for credit cards 🙂
You can signup for Marriott & wait for the offer.
Not sure how such promos works with Marriott these days, but SPG used to be better.
Which card earns you SPG points?
You can transfer from Amex MR Points to Marriott/SPG. Redemption works smooth after merger.
How any Amex points transferred to SPG will get a hotel stay in ITC. and is it worth to transfer to SPG?
Review on SPG will help lot of us, waiting for long time
Points varies with hotel.
I’ve been exploring it myself for quite sometime. I should be able to write about it very soon now.
Amex used to transfer to spg at 2 membership reward points = 1 Spg point.
ITC Grand Chola was probably available then at around 5k-7.5k points per night, if I recollect right.
After spg became part of Marriott, 1 membership reward point = 1 marriot point.
Redemption per night at ITC Grand Chola stands at 17500 points now.
This apart, the best play of marriot points is transferring to airlines like Alaska, Japan Airlines etc.
The value is unimaginable.
Recently stayed in this property. The hotel has been degraded so badly due to covid. Understaffed, stains in carpet and floor was extremely shocking for a star hotel. No covid safety being followed which led to cluster of covid. For check in it takes about 30 mins and for check out as well. Temperature control was super bad and got sick. Calls not answered by reception after six times with a gap of three hours, including emergency line. Overall will never return back to such a hotel anytime.