Great hotels stand as monuments to civilised living and the old capitals of the world have their fair share of such hotels. But those where efficiency and class converge elegantly are few. Delhi’s impressive ITC Maurya is one of them.
11/26/2014 3:56:09 PM
|written By : Shobha Tsering Bhalla|
The tall, slim guard’s stylishly coiffed bun sat under a rakishly tilted beret as she greeted me with a ram-rod salute as I walked down the thickly carpeted corridor to my suite. I looked behind me to check if there was a dignitary who had stepped out of the lift behind me before realising guards in this wing – the Eva Wing - came with the territory.
Likewise for the beguilingly sweet-faced female butler in Dickensian livery who would not have been out of place in Downtown Abbey, if that era had allowed for women in such exalted serving positions. Clad in tails and white gloves the young Bhutanese woman was the epitome of a classic Jeeves right down to the fetching and carrying in style and polished diction. Would madam like a fresh juice to cool down and may I recommend the Satsuma with a hint of mint? Such service is hard to fault and equally hard to find in the city I come from.
The level of service at Delhi’s ITC Maurya is almost embarrassingly high but the charm of the staff keeps it on the right side of cloying. One is in danger, in fact, of getting too used to it. Judging by the levels of courtesy and efficiency one encounters in the hotel, there is almost no one, it seems, who hasn’t been through a rigorous hotel management course.
Right from the doormen (note the plural) of which at least three are always on duty, to the waiters, concierges, front office personnel and butlers courtesy, alertness and efficiency come instinctively, unlike the forced and, to use an oxymoron, rude-politeness one sometimes encounters from hotel staff in lesser establishments.