"You prefer city road or country ro...?"
"Country road", came my reply even before my driver could finish his question.
Bengaluru traffic was not going to be my first experience on my maiden visit to Bengaluru, the Silicon Valley of India. I had about an hour's time to meet and greet the city and I was going to savour that hour. The driver took the country road and we zoomed past coconut groves and some more. The scenery didn't change much for the first half of the hour, speckled with farms, trees, villages, huge anthills by the roadside and an open road. And then, just like that, we entered Whitefield. A bit abrupt I must say but there I was, in Whitefield, wondering why the name...
Whitefield, a neighbourhood established in the late 1800s by the Anglo Indians. It is now a major suburb. Smaller lanes, more vehicles and tall buildings have replaced the quaint countryside. And just like that my driver announced our arrival at The Den Hotel, Bengaluru. The hotel—I looked up, took five steps back and looked up again—stood tall. Arguably the tallest building in the area, The Den Bengaluru was shiny and imposing. A building with full glass facade, it was a pleasing sight to see. The door opened to a spacious lobby, all bright and dazzling. The Den is a luxury business hotel no doubt but it sure had a touch of traditional Indian art that gave an interesting twist to its contemporary concept. Curious geometric patterns caught my eye as I walked past the lobby, lift, all the way up to my room on the 7th floor.
I had the corner room and that meant a sweeping view of the neighbourhood down below. Punctuated by tree-lined roads, my eyes went far and wide, making sense of the place I was in—the business district of Bengaluru. Space is usually an issue in most city hotels. Unless the property is spread far and wide, one can't help but feel a bit claustrophobic in a city. That was not the case with The Den; the 2.8 acre property was a fine example of smart utilisation of space. For instance, my room, at first glance was one big room with a bed on one side and a spacious bathroom on the other side, separated by a sliding door. When not in use, the door/wall just slides to make the room more spacious and that's just convenient because you actually have an easy access to a wash basin, full length mirror and storage space—with no hassle of a door.
The hotel is true to its name—The Den. It's a wholesome stay option that takes care of Eat, Work, Sleep and Play—the hotel's motto. As I walked past the lobby, I came across The Deli—a full service bakery with the best of coffee, chocolates and baked goods. On the left there was The Creek—a casual, all-day-dining restaurant that serves Indian and world cuisine ( traditional on special request). The folks at The Creek don't believe in a closed behind-the-door kitchen, because of which they have live cooking stations. You can see how your food gets prepared. As much as I liked eating looking right at the cooking counters, what closed the deal for me was their al fresco dining space. Bengaluru is known for its pleasant weather and what's better than the company of great food and the sound of babbling brooks? Yes, waterbodies. Pay attention to the names when at The Den. But I digress; the name The Creek came from the presence of water bodies surrounding the restaurant and the lawn. With a little help from technology, I felt like I was transported to a peaceful creek, enjoying a candle-lit dinner gentle waves.
Other side of The Creek is The Nest—a trendy bar and a gaming zone. The laid-back decor of The Nest is just perfect for a casual time spent with friends and family. A pool table, XBox room, arcade games made the lounge area a real fun zone. Just few steps further was The Cave (and my favourite room at the hotel). This private cinema is true to its name, gives the feel of your own living room with casual comfortable seating arrangement where you can just relax and watch a movie or 10. I Netflix-ed.
From my room I could see The Poolside, the pretty pool area with cabanas and greenery. The pool sits snugly right on top of The Creek!
The location demanded a place that would also be a comfortable state-of-the-art work space. The Den has it; infact five! A separate entry takes you to the business side of the hotel where there can be five conferences/meetings at the same time. Three caught my attention—the Forest, a perfect space for personal and professional gatherings that also came with an attached room and a bath and could be divided into two rooms in case of separate intimate events; The Aster—a classic boardroom with pristine and crisp decor; and The Arena—a 75-seater full-service auditorium suitable for lectures, workshops and other social events. The Amphi—an outdoor venue for events surrounded by green lawns—a place I chose to sit back, relax and enjoy the cool Bangalorean evening.
The hotel was my den for two nights and three days and I didn't feel the need to venture out for Eat, Work, Sleep and Play.
For more information, visit The Den