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Visiting the Taj Krishna Hotel and Resort, Hyderabad

Road 1, Banjara Hills

I traveled Sunday from Bangalore to Hyderabad to continue my frantic search for fantastic curries consulting trip. The flight was short and uneventful, although the ride out to the new Bangalore International Airport was touch-and-go, and the trek from Hyderabad’s new Rajiv Ghandi Airport in to the city was also exciting (in the Chinese sense of the word).

If you’re following along, you noticed that it seems all the cities in India are getting new airports. Yes, the government is spending mounds of rupees on infrastructure every day. (This is happening nearly everywhere in Asia.) Fortunately, my trip takes me through the newest of these facilities; both airports are less than 1 year old.

When I arrived at the portico, there was this army of folks from the Taj Krishna waiting. Just for me. They went through an elaborate greeting ceremony involving flowers, a powdered dot on my forehead, and much smiling (me) and giggling (them). I glanced around quickly for the Candid Camera hidden position, but couldn’t find it.

They even greeted me by name. The wrong name, as it turned out, but I was so distracted I didn’t hear it.

I couldn’t stem their tidal wave of enthusiasm. I was whisked away to the seventh floor, like an aging rock star with matching groupies, and shown an elaborate room, complete with complimentary wine, food, and who knows what all else. (I didn’t look under the bed.) I somehow knew this elaborate setup wasn’t mine, especially at the rock-bottom rate I always demand thrifty expenditure my per-diem would allow. When the room’s tour guide paused I tried again to explain they had the wrong suspect victim guest.

No dice. That just seemed to antagonize excite the team further, and they tried with increased volume (and in at least three languages) to convince me I was way too modest. (Those who know me well, of course, already know I’m famed for my modesty. But how could these folks know?)

Finally I got a scream in edgewise, and that got the manager’s attention, (Yes, he was in attendance as well.) I asked clearly, who did they really think I was? He said a name (not any rock star I recognized) and asked me what was the problem?

I simply handed him my passport.

Bedlam and confusion ensued. I was escorted, in the middle of a gaggle of porters, greeters and floor wardens down to the Manager’s Desk in the lobby. All would be quickly sorted out, I was informed; sorry for the mixup. And indeed, everything was straightened out with speed and style.

That’s what I call class.

Just what I deserve, of course. Nothing but the best for your hard-working curry correspondent! Unfortunately, the groupies had all disappeared like free food at a graduate seminar. Oh well.

I was shown to my room, with profuse apologies all ’round, and again a tour ensued. This time, it was more of a point-and-admire thing, they were in a hurry to get back to their other clients. Some big conference in town, I assumed. (Correctly, it turned out: PATA.)

With the room quiet I could really look around. The Krisnha’s a very beautiful place, with lots of polished dark woods and shiny marble surfaces. Mother-of-pearl inlays adorn columns in the lobby, and replicas of famous European statuary are in every nook and cranny, as well as standing in the foutains. Water, greenery and stone are balanced in a way remiscent of feng shui teachings.

There’s a serene garden north of the main building, and also a very beautiful outdoor pool with elegant surrounds.

And did I mention, they’ve got food? Lots of options, really.

There’s a sstandard place, Encounters, just behind the Reception area. They serve breakfast and they’re open all day; just the thing that an international traveler needs, regardless of whatever timezone their body thinks they’re in. They have an extensive buffet for lunch and dinner, with European, Asian and Indian choices. All offerings are chef-prepared, tasty and decorative.

The Taj Krishna has a more formal Indian restaurant, Firdaus, which I’ll try out this weekend. Their menu indicates they serve specialties from many regions of India, with the Hyderabadi Biryani holding the place of honor (of course). They hold a popular Sunday brunch too.

There’s an outdoor Indian barbeque most evenings, weather permitting. It smells wonderful, and I’ll be trying that one out several times I’m sure. (I am a statistician, after all; gotta sample often!)

Other restaurants offer Chinese food and other items; I may check them out, just to claim I’m thorough in my research. There are a couple of bars as well; gotta check those out repeatedly, to be sure that their standards don’t slip on my watch. I may even be enticed to try some Kingfisher beer, if the crowd is friendly enough and I’ve been sufficiently supplied with inducements…

(As I write this I’m only in my second day at the Krishna; already the staff all address me by name! Very like my favorite hotel in Taipei, the Landis. Both properties are members of the Leading Hotels of the World alliance, which explains a lot.)

Enjoy the (Elegant India) Heat!

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