Relive Kovai’s textile heritage at ITC’s brand-new WelcomHotel Coimbatore
The 50-year-old ITC House at Race Course took on a swanky new avatar earlier this week with the opening of the city’s first ITC Hotel. While the loss of one of the most recognisable buildings just off Trichy Road, leading into Race Course, may have altered the old-world charm of the West Club Road, WelcomHotel by ITC seeks to do its bit by creating a heritage textile trail for guests. “Having launched under the WelcomHotel brand of the hospitality chain, the five-star boutique hotel caters to the luxury, leisure and heritage market segment,” says Rohit Mallick, General Manager.
A multi-layered cookie stand laden with the famous ellu urundai (made with sesame seeds), thaen mittai (made with honey) and kadalai mittai (peanut candy made with local palm jaggery) welcomes you as you step into the lobby of this four-storied hotel. Even with a cursory glance, the elements of local heritage stand out at once — lamps that mimic burst cotton bolls, wooden ceiling art embellished with block prints and motifs commonly found on Kovai Cora saris and framed pictures of threads on a weaving loom. Following our curious glances across the room, our eyes fall on the faces by the concierge that greet us with traditional sandalwood paste, scented jasmine towelettes and a pink pattu dupatta.
Owned and managed by ITC, this one-acre property will be one among the group’s flagship hotels featuring the latest in technology — a mobile app that allows you to order food, control room settings, watch on-demand videos, view your bill among other facilities; and automated cleaning robots. “The city is the preferred gateway to popular holiday destinations and is often frequented by the millennial traveller for whom staying connected is the utmost priority.” Keeping in mind requirements, the hotel is equipped with utilities that include two conveniently-sized conference rooms and two convention rooms with a 500++ pax cover.
The ground floor, we discover, is entirely dedicated to the food and beverages apart from the lobby and the convention rooms. Guests can choose from the hotel’s offerings at their all-day dining option, WelcomCafe Kovai, which emphasises on local flavours (look out for their spicy vazhakkai varuval and meen fry) and a collection of their best spirits at their yet to open Cotton Bar.
Space between us
Their largest room, the Presidential Suite, is 1,500 sq ft and comes with a drawing and dining area, a study room, a bedroom-sized room with a king-sized bed and a separate room that houses a butler service for the suite’s occupants. “This room can also be converted into a guest room for additional members in the room.” What we love is the attention to detail that the hotel has lavished on the room in terms of decor, from the khadi lampshades to the textured wallpaper. The hotel also curates a special set of reading material, fiction and non-fiction, for the bookshelf based on the profile of the occupant. The deluxe rooms, though 345 sq ft in size, is equipped with similar custom fittings like USB ports in the walls, multiple charging points, ironing facilities within the closet and a 42-inch LCD HD TV. The fourth floor houses 16 club rooms that are similar in size but offers Wi-Fi facility, buffet breakfast and use of the boardroom, and three 500 sq ft deluxe suites.
Offering a holistic wellness experience, their signature spa K by Kaya Kalp, fitness centre and rooftop pool (similar to an infinity pool), which has a panoramic view of the Blue Mountains, is open to only hotel guests.
While the location may be WelcomHotel’s USP, their services aimed at the millennials is what has us excited. “Besides the technological aspect, we are also in step with culinary needs and time constraints that this generation has.” To this end, ITC offers a knock and drop quick service restaurant that ensures room service in 25 minutes. “Otherwise the meal is on us,” shares Mallick.
Rs 7,000 onwards. At WelcomHotel Coimbatore, West Club Road. Details: 2226555