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The Oberoi Grand 4.5

Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal, India

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Central location opposite the Maidan, surrounded by shopping, dining, and attractions
  • One of the top luxury hotels in Kolkata, and one of its most historic
  • Classically ornate rooms featuring air-conditioning, extensive minibars, and balconies in some
  • Rooms and suites include twice-daily housekpeeing; some feature butlers
  • Popular and authentic Thai restaurant, plus international dining room
  • Large outdoor swimming pool secluded from the city's bustle
  • Opulent spa, beauty salon, and modern gym with extensive equipment
  • Meeting rooms and a 24-hour business center
  • Valet parking
  • Wi-Fi is available

Cons

  • Can get quite busy
  • Classic decor won't be to everyone's luxury tastes
  • Fees for Wi-Fi with some bookings

Bottom Line

The Oberoi Grand is one of Kolkata's best luxury hotels, set in the heart of the city and within easy reach of Park Street and the Maidan. It's a sumptuous hotel with a rich history, known locally as The Grand Dame. The acclaimed Thai restaurant is the oldest in the city, and interiors throughout the hotel are packed with classic details. Landscaped gardens house a massive swimming pool, and other facilities include a spa, gym, beauty salon, and boutiques. There's elegance in spades here, and the 209 rooms and suites feature modern amenities like extensive minibars, plus butlers and balconies in some. Guests with smaller budgets could check out the suites at The Astor Hotel instead, which also has some top restaurants, though it lacks a pool or spa.

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Scene

Plush, busy hotel with a rich history, built on a grand scale 

Ask a cabbie in Kolkata to take you to The Grand Dame and they'll head straight for The Oberoi Grand. With a long history that dates back to the 1880s this magnificent hotel is definitely still worthy of its nickname. Back then it was a favorite haunt for colonial figureheads, and through the ages it has welcomed endless notable names. To this day, the hotel regularly hosts functions for heads of states and celebrity guests. It's easy to see why, as this beautiful white-stone building is built on a grand scale throughout. Guests enter through large paved driveways edged with towering palms. The shining marble floors in the vast lobby are scattered with white leather chesterfields, and broad staircases lead up wide, airy corridors. It can be crazy busy at times, much like the market outside, but the staff-to-guest ratio is high -- features like butler service are geared especially to that fact. It's popular with corporate travelers and well-heeled tourists.

Location

In a smart neighborhood in central Kolkata, a 10-minute walk from Maidan and Park Street

The Oberoi Grand is located in an upmarket part of Kolkata, right in the middle of town. There are shops, markets, and restaurants all around and the Indian Museum is a five-minute walk away. It's a 10-minute walk to the main shopping strip on Park Street and 15 minutes through the Maidan to Eden Gardens cricket ground. Getting farther afield is simple enough -- with Esplanade Metro a two-minute walk away, and several bus and tram stops on the neighboring roads. The Victoria Memorial and Gardens are five minutes away by car, at the southern end of the Maidan. It's about 15 to 20 minutes by cab to Howrah Junction, the city's main train terminal. Dakshineswar Temple -- outside of the city center -- can take up to 90 minutes to reach by car, depending on traffic. The airport is up to an hour's drive away -- again, traffic can be unpredictable. Many travelers visiting the city are heading to Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, which is about a three-hour journey from the hotel, by car and ferry.

Rooms

Rooms and suites with a classic elegance, plus butler service, extensive minibars, and balconies in some

As you might expect in a hotel of this stature, rooms at the Oberoi Grand are spacious, and finished to a high standard. They have a classic elegance across all configurations -- from the entry-level Deluxe Rooms to the Luxury Suites. Ornate hardwood furniture is complemented by muted walls, natural colored drapes and intricate woven Indian rugs. The softly hued artwork on the walls only adds to the understated, yet opulent effect (even if the classic look won't be everyone's cup of tea). Some have balconies overlooking the pretty gardens, others have views of the bustling market and the city. Amenities include air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, DVD players, iPod docking stations, electric kettles, minibars, writing desks, bathrobes, and safes. Butlers are also provided in higher category bookings. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi is not free with all bookings. Suites add living rooms with dining tables. Bathrooms have a similar chic finish, with marble countertops, shower/tub combos, hairdryers, and toiletries. Small details like handmade wooden boxes and brass fixtures add elegance. 

Features

Authentic Thai restaurant, huge outside swimming pool, spa, fitness center, and meeting rooms 

Features here are abundant and help to create the overall luxury package offered by The Oberoi Grand. Its Thai restaurant is the oldest in the city, and offers a highly-rated menu of authentic Thai dishes in a stylish setting. A second restaurant, Threesixtythree, serves international food all day, and the bar has an excellent cocktail menu. The hotel buildings are arranged around a central garden, which is landscaped with more towering palms and dominated by a vast 60 foot swimming pool. Sun loungers sit beneath sunny yellow parasols. There's a spa with a range of relaxing treatments and a well-equipped fitness room -- supervised by a personal trainer. The business center is open 24 hours and there are several meeting spaces. Wi-Fi is free with some room rates, but not all -- which is surprising in a hotel of this caliber. The Oberoi offers a variety of experiences, including guided walks, wine tasting, and cookery courses. There are shops, a beauty parlor, laundry, and valet parking services, and a 24-hour concierge. 

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Address

15 Jawaharlal Neharu Road, Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal 700013, India

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