The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
Kolkata Maidan- The lungs of the city. Lovingly shot by Arindam Patra.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The city needs budget hotels

Just remembered to put down a recently felt need here- Kolkata badly needs budget hotels. Ginger, the Tata group budget-hotel chain should have debuted in the city, rather than in Durgapur.

A bunch of colleagues came over from Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi, and since all were first-timers to the city, I spent two nights sharing a room with one at Hotel Victerrace off Camac St. The less said about the service, the better. The room service was painfully slow. So much so that one of the colleagues got her breakfast served after more than half-an-hour and that led to everybody's getting late for the training programme they came over to attend to. Everything, from the state of wall paint to the cooling power of the AC to the bath towel to whatever, the experience for all of them and me was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Checked with the secretary at office, who did the booking, as to why a better hotel was not found. My guess proved right. While Kolkata has a good no. of luxury hotels (Hyatt Regency, ITC Sonar Bangla Sheraton, Taj Bengal, Oberoi Grand and The Park are some), it has a strong need for budget hotels. The companies who don't really want to cut corners with hotel costs have little choice for all their employees travelling to Kolkata, whose entitlements don't include five-star comfort.