Hotel Review : The Oberoi Grand Kolkata

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Rating: 3.5/5

Staff and Hospitality: 4.5/5
Rooms/Decor/Maintenance: 3/5
Food/Beverages: 3.5/5

The only reason I haven’t rated the hotel higher is because of the dated rooms and lackluster food. If it weren’t for that, this hotel would have scored a solid 4, the highest I’ve given a hotel!

The Habibi and I were in Kolkata for a week so I got to take full advantage of the hotel and its facilities while he was out on business. We were given a double room that had a view of another hotel and an old movie theatre which was picturesque but I didn’t realize that there were rooms available that had balconies overlooking the central courtyard and pool, otherwise I would have asked to change rooms. The monsoons had just started and the weather was glorious. Dark and drab heavy grey clouds looming overhead bursting with showers every now and then, it was perfect for someone sitting in the room reading while waiting for the Habibi to come back from work.

I had plenty of time to hang out in the room, which would have been wonderful if it had been updated a little. There isn’t anything specific that I can point out to, just a general feeling of age that had settled into the room and the appliances. The bed just about did the job but where did the 5-star quality beds with super soft mattresses and comforters go? To be frank – the mattress we had was pretty hard and the comforter scratchy. Other than that though, I didn’t have any major complaints and that says a lot for someone who spent most of the first few days in the room.

Since I was mostly left to my own devices for the first few days and I was given strict instructions to not get into any trouble.. ie don’t leave the hotel boundaries, I got to know the staff pretty well. Especially the housekeeping and room service staff. Particularly the housekeeping staff. Thanks for all the shower gel hook up you guys! #hoarder #harassingthestaff. The staff has been trained perfectly. In fact, I would even dare to say a little too perfectly. Eveywhere I turned there was someone waiting with a smile and greeting. After you say hello to the same person for the 10th time in the same morning, it gets annoying. Then you feel bad for finding it annoying. And then you are in a semi grumpy mood which makes the whole good morning greeting a complete waste of time and energy and emotion. 

The hotel was undergoing a few renovations when we were there, so we had all our morning meals ie breakfast #lol at the Thai restaurant they have. They were serving the menu from the coffee shop and bar as well so we still a pretty decent variety to choose from. More than the food, I think we really enjoyed talking to the staff while eating breakfast. They were quick to anticipate our needs, going above the call of duty to bring us something to try, giving us tips and places to visit in the city. Shout out to Harmeet Singh for making us feel so welcome and for making the Habibi an aloo parantha he actually loved. Punjabi hospitality at its best! #balleballe

Food was alright. I had quite a few opportunities to order from the room service menu and while the food was ‘good’ it wasn’t anything to write home about. Everything was under seasoned – especially under salted- and not very tasty - truth be told- a little bland. I began to realise that maybe they were doing it on purpose so we would ask for salt and pepper and hot sauce on the side to season to our liking. For a 5 star hotel I would have expected a little more finesse in the dishes, especially with their ability to do something as simple as season correctly.

 We would start each day with breakfast downstairs, Eggs Benedict for me and ‘something spicy’ for Habibi. Then he would go off to conquer the Bengali world and I would saunter around the hotel until the gardener would look at me suspiciously. I took that as my cue to head back to the room where lo and behold the housekeeping staff would be cleaning the room. I would then proceed to watch them make the bed, leaning over their shoulders as they turned the corners to see how they do it, following them into the bathroom to see how they fold the toilet paper, pacing in the room with my hands behind my back getting in the way of the vacuuming. Basically doing exactly what I was instructed not to do, make trouble.

You would think after a day or two I would either get bored or learn how to turn bed corners and fold toilet paper a ‘la 5 star hotels or the staff would get wise, spread the word about the bored yet kind, gorgeously mysterious girl in room 261 (#heehee #workoffiction) and not be embarrassed by me anymore.

But nope. I didn’t get bored and they didn’t wisen up. What did happen was that Habibi had his mornings free after that ( hmmm, how convenient now that I think about it)  so we would eat breakfast and then go off into the city to sightsee.

We spent our last evening there by the pool. The weather was cloudy and it started to drizzle by the time we got settled in. everyone started running for cover but I just stayed put on my lounger. Everyone was acting like poison was falling from the skies. We came to the pool to get wet didn’t we? #commonsense

We had a wonderful stay the hotel and I think all the credit for that goes solely to the staff. Without them it would have just been a nice building with a nice pool and nice food.